ESPN panelist makes U.N.C.L.E. joke; host doesn’t get it

The outcome of ESPN’s Around the Horn show on May 25 depended on a joke based on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Host Tony Reali didn’t get it — and that affected the outcome.

Background: Around the Horn, which airs at 5 p.m. New York time, is ESPN’s “show of competitive banter,” where four sportswriters discuss sports news of the day, with their arguments given scores by host Reali.

On May 25, sportswriters Tim Cowlishaw and Kevin Blackistone were the last two men standing and appeared on the show’s “showdown” segment. One question concerned a box who plans his own television show. Reali asked both Cowlishaw and Blackistone to start coming up with titles. After a few tries from both, Cowlishaw piped up, “The Man Who Cried UNCLE!”

Reali had no idea what Cowlishaw was talking about and took away a point. That led to Blackistone winning the contest for the day.

After Blackistone delivered a short commentary (the prize for the winner of each day’s show), Cowlishaw informed Reali about how his pun referred to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. At that point, Reali seemed to get it but didn’t real care. Too bad, given how Reali has been known to occasionally make James Bond references on Around the Horn.

New Orleans Saints pull a James Bond — intercept Brett Farve with 0:07 to go

The New Orleans Saints pulled a James Bond — they intercepted the Minnesota Vikings and QB Brett Farve with 0:07 to go in the game.

It’s tied 28 all at the end of regulation. The NFC championship game is going into sudden-death overtime.

UPDATE: The Saints win the game 31-28 in overtime. The Vikings never got to touch the ball.