Saturday, June 20, 2009

Jeff Brantley Catches Thief "Reds" Handed

While feasting on a full rack of dripping pork ribs and a basket of ketchup-soaked french fries during a recent June evening baseball broadcast, 45-year old Cincinnati Reds announcer Jeff "The Cowboy" Brantley suddenly feasted eagle eyes on Brandon Phillips, who was chomping on some pretzels at second base. The former Reds closer, cheeks specked with an unidentified-but-zesty-looking condiment dip, shouted, "Aha, I Gotcha!" from the Great American Ballpark radio booth so loudly, that 63% of the Reds radio audience tuning into 700 WLW temporarily went deaf.

The short-sleeve dresshirted Brantley, known for his love of eating food of virtually any variety so long as it's covered in something with the consistency of gravy or Montgomery Inn BBQ sauce, or literally doused with a mixture of the two, made haste from the booth to confront Phillips, who he believed to be playing a prank by stealing his pretzels.

Booth mate Marty Brennaman reported that Brantley was overheard yelling. "They think it's so damn funny when they take my snacks! I'll show 'em funny!" he shouted, with the belly of his shirt stained by some rogue grape jelly that had abandoned its English muffin while he was dining at Denny's that morning.

In the end, Phillips was left unassailed and safely remained in the game due to the half-dozen vendors that distracted The Cowboy on his way to the field. Brantley, having eaten every variety of Skyline chili, LaRosa's pizza, frosty malt and fried bologna sandwich, between the booth and the field, only to top it all off with a jumbo sized cotton candy and bucket of popcorn, was ultimately too content to care about his burgled pretzels.

Having returned to the booth where Brennaman wasn't sure if it was blood or BBQ inhabiting the corners of Brantley's mouth, the Cowboy sighed under his breath, "There's 162 games in the season and I'll have my day. Mr. Phillips, I'll see you in hell; though more likely I'll see you at the Montgomery Inn Boathouse."

Then inexplicably, The Cowboy murmured the word "smokin'," and fell sound asleep, his hand reaching for Marty's brattwurst with spicy mustard.

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