Bill Walton calling a basketball game is like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice.
Personally, I can’t get enough Bill Walton. PAC-12 games where he’s court-side with Dave Pasch are appointment television in their unpredictable moments and magnificent absurdity.
It’s true Ken Kesey and the Merry Prankers performance art. The world needs more unabashed psychonauts letting their freak flag fly on national television during sporting events.
Let’s take stock of some recent Walton moments, all captured during ESPN broadcasts:
–Giving out John Wooden’s phone number on air.
–Rubbing chocolate on his face
–Taking off his shirt and talking about bridges
–Wait, how long hasn’t he taken an indoor shower?!
Fresh off a stint as Father Time (again!) with Wavy Gravy at Dead & Co’s San Fransisco New Year’s Eve show, Walton was live in Eugene with Dave Pasch for Oregon-Arizona. Somehow a jar of peanut butter got introduced into the mix, resulting in Walton scooping it out with his fingers and eating it.
These tweets are sequential, crescendoing in absurdity:
It only got weirder from there.
YEP, Walton somehow found an Oregon Ducks football helmet:
And yes, that is Mario Cristobal and his son. Mario’s response here is legendary:
Walton’s shenanigans are lore at this point, bringing a Shakedown Street parking lot vibe to these PAC-12 hoops broadcasts.
Last spring, I heard an awesome story from one of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters about Bill Walton accompanying the Grateful Dead to Egypt in 1978 to play at the Gaza pyramids. Walton was apparently in rare form on that trip. He apparently looked absurd on a camel given his height.
Stay weird, Bill.
Brandon Wenerd is a founding partner at BroBible and the site’s publisher. He’s waiting for Phish to announce summer tour at the moment, but also excited for the Disco Biscuits to finally announce some west coast dates. Follow him on Twitter here and Instagram here.