In the heat of the 1989 NFC Championship game, quarterback Jim Everett made an unforgettable move. Anticipating an imminent sack, he famously collapsed to the ground, dodging contact from the approaching defender. This moment, now etched in sports history, is known as the 'phantom sack'.
Jim Everett on Jim Rome's Talk2 Show
Known for his agility in the pocket, Jim Everett was glossed by Jim Rome with nicknames like 'Fred Astaire'. More provocatively, Rome also dubbed him 'Chris Everett', a play on the name of famed female tennis player Chris Evert, in reference to the 'phantom sack' incident.
In a 1994 face-to-face encounter on Rome's ESPN2 show 'Talk2', the tension escalated. Within the initial 30 seconds, Rome addressed Everett as 'Chris', prompting a stern warning from Everett against repeating the nickname. Undeterred, Rome did so again. The situation quickly spiraled; Everett flipped the table and pushed Rome to the ground, all unfolding live on air. This confrontation became one of the most talked-about moments in sports television history.
Before the interview, the show's producer informed Jim Everett that he might be called 'Chris Evert'. Everett showed no objection at the time, hinting at no forthcoming reaction.
Reflecting on the event, Jim Rome shared, 'He didn’t directly apologize, but he seemed remorseful.' Rome recounted Everett's parting words: 'I’ve had to put up with this stuff for three years in L.A., and I just snapped.'
The altercation, while intense, led to no injuries or legal consequences. In a humbling turn, Rome publicly apologized to Everett, acknowledging the incident as an embarrassing low point in his broadcasting career.