NBC decided to spice up Wednesday night’s Penguins-Rangers broadcast by throwing in a pinch of Susan Sarandon. This was an idea that had a beginning and middle. It worked its way through management far enough to come to fruition. Somewhat predictably, it also had a inglorious end.
Sarandon, an Academy Award-winning actress and longtime Rangers fan, took a perch in the Pierre McGuire spot between the benches and let loose with some guttural insights. The audio sounds like someone watching the Fourth of July fireworks and, also predictably, earned some online sneers.
During a pregame chat, McGuire asked Sarandon to compare Kevin Costner and Mark Messier, and she dubbed both of them “sexy” and “leaders.” Late in the period, NBCSN showed a photo Sarandon tweeted in 2016 of a Vesey Street sign during Jimmy Vesey’s free agency sweepstakes from that summer. Sarandon was among several celebrities tweeting at Vesey to entice him to come to New York. “Did it work? Well, there you go,” Sarandon said.
Other than that, though, the appearance was a smashing success and a great way to grow the game, which is the intended goal of such celebrity spots. Perhaps the next one will find smoother sailing.