Laurel or yanny? According to Charles Barkley, neither.
If you've been anywhere on the internet the past few days, you know the biggest debate going on at the moment is over an audio clip from vocabulary.com that is supposed to be pronouncing the word laurel, but to many it sounds like yanny (my colleague Tom Avril explained why people are hearing different words).
On Inside the NBA Wednesday night, crew members took turns chiming in on the viral audio clip. Both Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith said they clearly heard laurel, while Shaquille O'Neal said he heard both, but mostly leaned toward yanny.
So what did Barkley hear? doughnut.
"I thought I heard doughnut," Barkley said. "I'm telling you the truth. I swear to you, I thought I heard doughnut."
Producers played the audio snippet several times in a row as Barkley concentrated intensely.
"Y'all don't hear doughnut?" Barkley asked his laughing co-hosts.
It turns out there was a simple explanation: The crew was pranking the former Sixers great by playing the word "doughnut" in his earpiece. In the correct clip, Barkley heard laurel, which is the word the Georgia teen who started all of this typed into vocabulary.com in the first place.
Last season, Tony Romo was widely praised by fans and sports media critics for his performance as a booth analyst for CBS.
But one person who wasn't a fan of Romo as a broadcaster was ESPN's Rex Ryan, who took a serious shot at the former Cowboys quarterback during a discussion with Advertising Age reporter Anthony Cripi.
"Sure, Romo calls a lot of plays ahead of time, but do you know how easy that is to do?" Ryan told Cripi. "If Romo always knows what's coming, how is it that I used to trap him into throwing picks all the time?"
(In a September 2011 game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Jets, while Ryan was still the Jets' head coach, Romo threw a late interception that set up a game-winning field goal for the Jets. But Ryan didn't mention that Romo also threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns in that game, hardly a performance a defensive-minded coach would want to brag about.)
Ryan, whom ESPN hired in March 2017 as a studio analyst on Sunday NFL Countdown, reportedly was among those who tried out for the open analyst spot on Monday Night Football that ultimately went to former Cowboys tight end Jason Witten. Ryan called one football game last season as an analyst, a 24-21 Denver Broncos Week 1 win over the Los Angeles Chargers that also featured Beth Mowins becoming just the second woman to call an NFL game.
Critics weren't impressed with Ryan's performance.
"He often stuttered, constantly said 'um,' and basically told you exactly what just happened on a play and offered no insight or original analysis," Sports Illustrated's Jimmy Traina wrote. "He also had no energy and sounded like it was a chore for him to call the game."
A little less than a month away from the start of the World Cup, Fox Sports has begin to ramp up its promotion of the world's most popular sporting event with a new advertising campaign that features Sixers phenom Joel Embiid.
Embiid appears in two ads that are part of a campaign created by Wieden + Kennedy New York. In one, he appears for a few seconds as the spot cuts back and forth from several noted soccer players, including Argentine forward Lionel Messi, Manchester United teammates Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, and Alex Morgan of the U.S. Women's National Team. Also making a random appearance is Ryan Reynolds as his Marvel character Deadpool, who mocks the ad's "obligatory" David Beckham cameo.
Embiid is also the star of a second, shorter spot where the camera focuses on the Sixers big man juggling a basketball with his feet in the team's training facility in Camden.
Embiid is a huge soccer fan. His favorite team is Real Madrid, but he admitted his favorite English team was Arsenal ahead of the Sixers game in London back in January. He's even been spotted attending Union games, and recently won a $100 bet with Sixers head coach Brett Brown over his ball-handling skills.