Live TV isn’t easy. That red light comes on, you know thousands (if not millions) of eyes are on you, and you have a relatively short time to get your message across. Mistakes are going to be made.
Ducks TV reporter Kent French (the guy we all call “Frenchie”) has been aware of that for a long time, and he knows it all too well after a mistake he made six nights ago in Detroit took on a life of its own.
While introducing Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf for a postgame interview on Prime Ticket after Anaheim’s 3-2 victory over the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena, French must have had fellow Ducks center Ryan Kesler on his mind. And then this happened (click the audio icon in the corner):
The blunder by Frenchie, followed by the priceless facial expression by Getzlaf, did not go unnoticed. It soon spread throughout social media, thanks in part to the above Vine video posted by a fan named Tim Hollenback (@thollenback15). Suddenly, the hashtag #Keslaf was born, along with a fake Twitter account, Ryan Keslaf (@RKeslaf).
French, however, didn’t realize the mistake until later that night.
“I didn’t even know I said it at the time. No idea,” French says. “Nobody said a word to me, but after the game when I got on the bus, I looked at Twitter and all of a sudden I was getting a ton of tweets about it. Then [Ducks radio commentator] Dan Wood walked on and said, ‘What have you done?’ I just said, ‘I don’t know.’"
To his credit, French is as polished as they come, and on-air flubs are few and far between. This one, unfortunately for him, wasn’t missed.
“I wasn’t very happy because I don’t like to make mistakes, especially with the captain. But then Getzy comes on the bus, and the first thing he says to me is, ‘I thought we’d been together a long time.’ The next day before practice, I was in the press room reading some notes, and he walks by and he’s like, ‘Studying up on the names, bud?’”
As if Getzlaf wasn’t already aware of the expression he made, (“Oh yeah, I was giving him a look. He screwed up my name”), his friends made sure he knew about it.
“I’ve got lots of text messages with my face,” Getzlaf said with a laugh. “But I was there, I know what I did.”
Getzlaf has known French for nearly a decade and says, "You don’t see Frenchie mess up very often, and I thought he transitioned great after he did it.”
Of course, social media – not to mention Frenchie’s co-workers here in the Ducks offices – have made certain that he doesn’t forget about it anytime soon.
“I don’t like to mess up, but you just kind of roll with it and have fun with it,” Frenchie says. “I always tell people: It’s live TV, you’re going to make mistakes. It’s how you move on from those mistakes.
“But Getzy’s been great about it and the fans are having a good time with it, so it’s fine.”