Few players in sports feel more pressure than a field goal kicker trying to win or tie a game for his team in the closing moments. Some wilt under that pressure (Mike Vanderjagt). Others thrive (Adam Vinatieri). And some get unfairly lumped into the former category, when moments earlier they were squarely in the latter.
Enter 49ers kicker Chase McLaughlin and ESPN play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore. Shortly after McLaughlin nailed arguably the most pressure-packed field goal a kicker can make (trying to tie the game on the last play in regulation), he missed a kick in overtime to try and win it. While the OT miss was bad, it didn't change the fact that McLaughlin had kept the 49ers in the game with a 47-yard field goal (not easy) with six seconds left on the clock in regulation.
Only it appears Tessitore forgot about the first kick, because he said "the moment was too big" when McLaughlin missed the second one.
No, Joe, it appears the moment was too big for you to provide any context.
Again, I get this wasn't a good kick. But, again, tying a game in regulation is more pressure-packed than this kick. The 49ers didn't lose the game on this kick. They would have if McLaughlin missed the first. But he didn't. He nailed it. The moment wasn't too big for him. And for the moment, he kept the 49ers' perfect season alive.
When it comes to announcing, there's always going to be missed opportunities. But it takes a lot of nerve to call a kicker out for missing one field goal to win the game when they had made the kick to tie the game that put his team in a position to win in the first place. Or it takes a very inattentive mind.