There's no easier way to inject some pizzazz into a sports broadcast than by introducing a weird, unexplained sound. Producers may hate this, but it's really for the benefit of everyone at home. Wednesday night's Sportsnet broadcast of the Lightning-Canucks game featured something that sounded like a fart. But was it? Let's review the footage:
That does sound like a fart. Canucks play-by-play man John Shorthouse even asks his partner John Garrett, "Was that you?" There was no denying that a fart-like sound had happened. I imagine this is why a Defector reader both emailed our tips line and tweeted the clip at me. (Thank you for that, by the way.)
An on-air fart is not unheard of; it really can happen. In this instance, the sound is so cartoonish and so pronounced that it feels too good to be true. This will be an unpopular conclusion, but I've consulted the analytical models and determined that there was a 11.8 percent chance that this was an actual fart. It sounded more like the Canucks goalie's skate scraping against the ice, or possibly someone dragging a laptop across a desk. I also think the two Johns would've been less keen to acknowledge the noise if it had been a genuine toot.
This game had a couple of other significant moments aside from the alleged fart. Steven Stamkos of the Lightning scored a hat trick and reached 500 career goals. Also, this fan won a car:
That's more impressive than what Stamkos did. This game really had everything—NHL history, a possible fart, a free car—except a Canucks win. They fell to the Lightning, 5-2.
Update (5:23 p.m. ET): As pointed out to me by CJ Fogler, the sound could be heard on the ESPN+ broadcast, too. The Johns were disrupted by the noise, but are exonerated from being the producers of it.