Issue 103: Come On Down! You’re the Next Basketball Contestant on The Price is Right

One of my favorite game shows of all time is The Price Is Right. I first got into it when Bob Barker was hosting; surely I was staying home sick from school and flipped on CBS only to find a magical game where people could roll dice to win cars or play a giant pinball-esque game to score some sweet, sweet cash.

I didn’t fully understand the beauty of The Price is Right until I got a little older, though. By then, I could better appreciate the worst player ever, when the model Manuela accidentally gave away a car, or even Dane Cook’s bit about the show.

Now, I still enjoy watching Drew Carey and co. encouraging us to come on down and win some fancy prizes. And if you look closely enough, you can even spot some hoops action on The Price is Right.

A former college player has a shell of a time onstage

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has had some memorable moments in the NCAA Tournament. They pulled off a 14-over-3 upset against Iowa State in 2015. They defeated No. 1 seed Kentucky in the second round in 2004 to reach the Sweet 16. And in 1981 and 1982, they made it to the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight in back-to-back seasons.

Norman Anchrum Jr. was on those UAB teams in 1981 and 1982, but surely the greatest moment of his career came when he made it on The Price Is Right on February 13, 2019. 

The 6’10” Anchrum is a full foot taller than Drew Carey, so the height discrepancy was quite lovely. Despite being perhaps the tallest person to ever grace the stage, Anchrum didn’t let the moment get to him.

He got out of Bidders Row by vaguely knowing the price of some Michael Kors watches, and then he got to play the Shell Game.

This game is similar to that old street corner game where you try to guess which cup or hollowed-out rock or whatever has a ball underneath it. Drew Carey is no seedy street slicker, but he does a decent enough job mixing the shells around. 

For his efforts, Anchrum won a pretty sweet prize package. He nabbed a TV, washer and dryer, smart video doorbell, home assistant, and a vacuum. 

While he didn’t make it past the big wheel, he still got to spin it and give a shout out to his hometown of Birmingham.

An NBA mom making an appearance

Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley is probably among the most despised players in the NBA. He certainly has a history with his fellow guards, whether it’s injuring one while he was trying to call a timeout or making fun of another while his opponent was lying on the ground in pain.

Simply put, he’s not super popular, though he’s a guy you’d like to have on your team because of how much hustle he gives you.

But Beverley’s mom? She’s beloved by everyone after her appearance on The Price Is Right.

On May 3, 2018, Lisa Beverley got called to come on down. Sporting an “NBA Mom” shirt, she put together quite the performance.

Here’s a minute-long recap of how her day went. Let’s just say I’d also be quite pleased with this result.  

Lisa Beverley on The Price Is Right

A pricing game that required some sportsmanship

If you ever want to go down a delightfully entertaining rabbit hole, look up some old The Price Is Right games. Back in the 70s and 80s when the show was still expanding, it did quite a bit of playing around with formats. And some of them are WILD.

There’s one that features a lifesize puppet named Professor Price, which is simultaneously hilarious and frightening. But for the purposes of this issue, we’re going to look at a game called On the Nose.

This convoluted game had people trying to successfully guess the price of a car out of four possible options. If you guessed correctly, you scored a cool cash bonus of $1,000 and then had four chances to successfully complete some kind of sporting skill. Incorrect guesses awarded you fewer tries at the sport.

The sports ranged from sinking a free throw to tossing a baseball or football through a hole, but there were also more obscure events like using a tennis racket to knock a ball into the hole or throwing darts. It’s quite chaotic up there. 

I do like that Bob Barker gave us an inspiration shot before letting the contestant go, even though he often missed it.  

The game debuted on September 14, 1984 and was retired on November 22, 1985 because, well…asking people to perform a clutch sports move didn’t go over very well. 

And if you watch older episodes of The Price Is Right, a lot of these folks are dressed up nicely. I don’t know about you, but trying to hit a jumper or throw a bullet pass seems kind of difficult in a suit to me.I couldn’t find a video version of the basketball playing (debuting on September 18, 1984) but you can check out a gallery of said free throw shooting, and here’s a video of the very first playing of On the Nose for good measure.

Other Reads and Watches

U.S. Olympic team sings “Happy Birthday” to Kevin Durant despite it not being his birthday

Jorge Fitz-Gibbon on Sue Bird and the WNBA relaxing their anthem protest for the Olympics

Ajayi Browne on KD’s message to Giannis after the Bucks/Nets series

Broderick Turner on the upcoming free agent class

That’s all ’til next time. Thanks for reading!


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