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Media Meltdowns

ESPN Soccer Show Briefly Derailed By In-Studio Fart

ESPN FC's Kay Murray and Alejandro Moreno laugh after Steve Nicol farts.
Image via ESPN FC

Friday’s episode of ESPN FC’s Extra Time required a stoppage after a noise, barely picked up on the broadcast, caused all three studio commentators to descend into laughter. While Alejandro Moreno was discussing whether Harry Kane or Kylian Mbappé had the more annoying transfer saga, something happened that caused host Kay Murray to laugh until she cried. Start the clip at around 9:15, and you should be able to pick it up:

But what kind of noise was it? Let’s go to the transcript to see if we can deduce what happened. Note that everyone was laughing as this conversation unfolded:

MORENO: But similarly, [with] Kane, you sort of know what the outcome is gonna be as well, so both of them just seem to be going on and on forever, but I do think that there is gonna be an ending to Kane, whereas Mbappe, we’re gonna keep talking about it up until last year, so—

[A faint noise, Murray starts laughing]

MORENO: You OK, Kay?

MURRAY [through tears]: Stevie, sounds like you had something to say.

NICOL: Yeah, yeah.

It was clear at this point that commentator and Liverpool great Steve Nicol generated the toot-like noise. But did they narrow it down any further?

MURRAY: What would you like to say, Stevie?

MORENO: Well, he was saying plenty while I was talking.

NICOL: I’m not going to say it, because somebody would say whatever I said stunk.

[More laughter]

MORENO: He said plenty already.

After reviewing the video and consulting the proper analytical models, it is with 98.8 percent certainty that I say Nicol farted. This was not a First Take situation where there was ambiguity and reasonable doubt; the person who supplied it did not deny it. In this instance there was also joy, because there are few things better than laughing with your pals about a fart.

Murray tried to regain her composure and pass the Kane-Mbappé question to soccer journalist Julien Laurens, who was calling in and not subjected to any possible odor. As the show wrapped up, she and Moreno made sure to rib Nicol one last time. “Thanks for your contributions, Stevie,” Murray said.

H/t to Matt