"So I'm watching the Daytona 500, and they cut to a shot of Erin Andrews making her way through the pits and she bumps into 50 Cent..."
Honestly, if I were to start a sentence off with that lead-in, how excited are you for the rest of the story? Giddy, right? There are hooks and there are hooks, but EA running into Fitty in the Daytona pits is a HOOK (ALL CAPS, baby). The weird thing is the only thing untrue about that lead-in is the part about me actually watching the Daytona 500. (800 left-hand turns? No thanks.)
The rest of it is true, though. Erin Andrews was handling pit duties for Fox (pit duties being the NASCAR equivalent of an NFL sideline reporter) and as she was wandering with only a moderate sense of direction searching for Daytona 500 pole-sitter Danica Patrick, she ran into rapper 50 Cent.
What happened next imprisoned social media for the next several minutes:
0:01 -- Erin Andrews is marching in between cars with a sense of purpose looking for the "person who has stolen the spotlight here at Daytona," which at that point in time referred to Danica Patrick, but said spotlight would soon be stolen by somebody else. (The spotlight was the goddamn WWE Hardcore title! Anyone can take it at any time! GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY!!!)
0:10 -- Erin Andrews continues to navigate the crowd and she is clearly unsure whether or not she's even going to be able to find Danica in the mass of humanity in the pit area, which has to be nerve racking for Erin because I don't think she's done a bunch of NASCAR work and, oh yeah, Danica is the ONLY reason about half the audience is watching. So if you're the NASCAR gods and you want to throw neophyte NASCAR reporter Erin Andrews the world's biggest curveball, what do you do? How about dropping a random rap artist in the middle of her path. Seriously, of all the people you expect to run into in a NASCAR pit stop, where does 50 Cent rank? Five trillionth? This felt like one of those Sportscenter commercials where people are working in an office environment and in the background you randomly see the Phillie Phanatic using the copier machine or something. I mean....50 Cent? At the Daytona 500?
0:12 -- "Of course, 50 Cent here!" Of course! Why wouldn't 50 Cent be hanging out in the pits at a NASCAR race? This is like the reporter for the BET Awards wandering the red carpet aimlessly and out of nowhere stumbling across, like, Davis Love III. "Of course, Davis Love III is here!" Of course he is! Sure!
0:13 -- AWKWARD!!!
0:15 -- Just recapping 50 Cent's attempt at securing the Erin Andrews smooch: he goes in with the straight north-south, "get upfield" burst, but EA counters with a right-cheek flash and quick swing around to the left cheek with the immediate "I got to go talk to Danica Patrick" as her "here's why I can't stay and make out with you" caveat. If I had to "sports translate" and equate each participant's game to the NBA, I'd say EA's defense was Dikembe Mutombo with the finger wag, and 50 Cent's offense was the equivalent of pretty much anything Omer Asik does with his back to the basket.
0:17 -- Knowing that Fitty comes from a world where feuds actually get started because one guy looks at another guy the wrong way at a concert or something, Erin does the smart thing and engages him in a little casual banter with a semi shell-shocked "What are you doing here?"
0:19 -- EA was probably hoping for a "Just chillin'" from 50 Cent, and instead what she got was a walking partner, like she was some sort of NASCAR Dorothy who just landed the hip hop scarecrow in an attempt to find the redneck wizard. Actually, Erin indicates they're "gonna go see Danica." Nice of EA to tell 50 Cent what the goal of the mission was. I'm pretty sure the goal of Fitty's mission at this point was vastly different than Erin's.
0:25 -- At this point, 50 Cent has been neutered and relegated to "creeper" status, as he's following Erin Andrews the same way that some horny college senior would follow her on campus for Gameday back in the day. The only difference between Fitty and the college senior is about a hundred million dollars and a few gold records.
0:32 -- They get to Danica's car, and there is no Danica. Damn, EA, this is the "Al Capone's vault" of sideline reporter interviews! But correctly, Erin Andrews points out....
0:41 -- "....thank goodness 50 Cent is here!"
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Indeed. Thank goodness!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.