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The Loop

College basketball is back, and with it Bill Walton barking like a dog mid-broadcast

December 01, 2020

Ethan Miller

We’ve seen it all this year. Empty stadiums. Virtual press conferences. Roger Goodell’s basement. Disney World QZs. Since sports returned in its new, post-COVID form in early June, we’ve seen every conceivable permutation of absurdity. Or at least that's what we thought until Bill Walton, the Czar of Bizarre, the Sultan of Strange, made his triumphant return to television this week, seasoning 2020s hallucinogenic sports stew with his own magic pixie angel dust.

It all began on Monday, with a little mid-game meditation on mountains . . .

. . . and continued Tuesday, when Walton began barking like a dog a little over halfway through the first half of Texas-Indiana. Go ahead and mash that volume button.

If this is the halflife of Bill’s WFH sanity, he’s going to be doing naked handstands while reciting the Necronomicon in pig latin by Christmas. In a year that has seen ESPN ratings plummet and jobs slashed, however, risks like this could be what make or break the network. Does Bill’s zaniness electroshock viewers back from their stupors or does he, like all once-funny internet sensations, say the wrong thing at the wrong time and get blacklisted from planet earth?

Only time will tell, but Bill won’t care either way. He’s too busy researching medieval weaponry and unicorns anyway.