The dangers of reporting sports on live TV are deep and varied. A distasteful hot-mic comment can get you fired or an overthrown football taken to the dome can turn you into a viral jester for the masses to mock.
Then there are the pros-pros, the people who can get it done in adverse conditions, who overcome obstacles to provide clear commentary no matter the extenuating circumstances surrounding them. Enter NFL Network reporter James Palmer, who proved to be the latter today.
While reporting from Bucs training camp, where the weather forecast calls for rain and wind in the 7-10 MPH range, Palmer's umbrella flipped around on him mid-report and became the kind of distraction talking heads detest in the middle of a live segment. But rather than get flummoxed, Palmer took what the wind gave him, discarding the umbrella, making a quick joke and then getting right back into his observations about the Bucs practice, which were really quite insightful.
Brady and Gronk miscommunication? A red-zone interception from Tom Terrific? Sacks, false starts and dropped passes? That's the kind of insight I'm looking for ahead of an NFL season where no one knows how any team will perform because there are no preseason games to observe. Thankfully Palmer was able to recover from his uncooperative umbrella to bring us that insight. Otherwise, I would be forced to believe the mainstream media, who fawn over Brady and the Bucs even though most haven't seen them practice this year.