“What’s Going on in Utah?”: an Oral History of Brian Windhorst’s Viral Monologue


Williamson: Somebody texted me about it while I was on the show. Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe you just were there when he was doing that.


Windhorst’s confidence in the import of his humdrum trade was striking on its own. But the way he shared the news was particularly noteworthy.

Coleman: Brian’s not usually a hand gesture kind of guy.

Windhorst: I actually do more hand gestures now, but when we first started doing home broadcasts, you had to be very careful. If you moved too much, the picture would pixelate. And so I became practiced in: don’t move too much, don’t be too animated.

Coleman: That tipped me off, like, okay, that’s something that he doesn’t do. And I’ve been with him in one-on-one conversations, and I’ve seen him on TV, and I’ve interviewed him on my radio show. And when he started doing that, I said, “Boy, that’s really unusual.”

He was like Tim the Tool Man from *Home Improvement—*pulled out a different tool that actually worked.

Windhorst: The chairs on First Take are very, very good. In that particular moment, I leaned back because that chair is a great chair. You would never normally lean back, and so when I leaned back as part of the storytelling, I made gestures that I normally wouldn’t. That just happened in the moment, but those are the best chairs. Stephen A. has rigorous chair requirements, and he is rewarded with spectacular, spectacular chairs on that desk.

To that whole finger thing—it wasn’t the finger, it was the chair. Nobody respects the chair.


As the clip blazed around social media—hailed immediately as a “TV Masterclass” (!)—it became immediately clear that the lucky viewers who had tuned into a sleepy Friday edition of First Take had witnessed a minor bit of sports television history.

Coleman: We looked at him and said, “Okay, what do you know?” And he says, “There’s something going on but I’m not at liberty to say.”

Williamson: I saw him in the lobby and I go, “Windy, what was that?” And he goes, “I don’t know, Christine, I’m just glad I got to talk about the Jazz on First Take.”

Rob Perez, NBA Twitter luminary, host of the Underdog Content Network: Windy is the perfect combination of being plugged into NBA happenings while being unintentionally hilarious. Combine that with the platform of First Take and the theater of his performance, and that was the result. He’ll never admit this, but he knows how to build drama in story-telling. Those long pauses and hypothetical questions always leave the viewer/listener wanting the answer. And he is the master of its delivery. [The memes have] got to be up there, but I’m old enough to remember when J.R. Smith went full Wile E. Coyote in the Finals while LeBron was standing there with his arms out in shock.

O’Neale: A lot of people started messaging me and were hitting me up on Twitter sending me the meme. It’s actually kind of cool because anybody who brings it up remembers me from that meme.

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“What’s Going on in Utah?”: an Oral History of Brian Windhorst’s Viral Monologue

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