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Bloopers: The Super Bowl Tape Mix-up

In this edition of Bloopers, 6-time Emmy award winning Sports producer and reporter J.D. Pruess shares a embarrassing moment when he was stranded on set.

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Brian Clapp, SportsTVJobs.com: You’ve worked on camera and behind the camera, you’ve produced Emmy award winning programs and you’ve worked for just about every major sports network there is… but everybody has a cringe moment, a blooper from their past an event that still to this day makes them laugh or makes them want to cry… what is yours?  

J.D. Pruess: I love to humiliate myself, I’m always looking to tell a good story and often in a fun way. There are 2 stories that come to mind, first off when I worked for you up in Seattle and I dressed up as a member of the New York Yankees on the streets off Seattle and ran around stretching and acting as if I was a lost member of the New York Yankees. But that was an intentional flub where I was willing to humiliate myself for the comedy of the piece.

But for my big unintentional blooper, during my time at the Journalism School at University of Missouri one of my classic bloopers was after I got named to be a full-time weekend anchor and it was Super Bowl Sunday. I was so excited I was planning on working all day; I told them I didn’t need a producer that I would do all the editing and planning work for the sportscast. It was the 1996 super bowl with Brett Favre leading the Packers against the Patriots, I got out there on the set and said ‘big day for Brett Favre and the Packers against the Patriots in the super bowl – lets go to the highlights” and the show producer said in my ear, we don’t have the tape. So I called for it again and said “ok, we’ve got the tape, lets roll it now” and the producer said again, “nope we don’t have the tape.”

I sat there in disbelief and went to a scoreboard graphic of the game results. For all those people expecting the see highlights of the Super Bowl I had forgotten to deliver the tape to the control room, so now I’m sitting on set with no highlights of the biggest game of the year on my first anchor shift just dying. I kept hoping and calling for the tape after each story, but there was never any tape.

So the fine people of Mid-Missouri to this day have still never seen highlights of the 1996 Super Bowl victory for the Green Bay Packers. It reminds me to pay attention to the details and be humble when you make a mistake, but in this business you have to have a tough skin and be able to laugh about it many years later.