Two massive battles occupied plenty of televisions on Sunday night, with the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones hitting HBO and Game 7 between the Toronto Raptors Philadelphia 76ers playing out simultaneously.
The former was a bloody mess, and spoilers for that episode are ahead in the words written below, so be forewarned. But we’re handling this with much more care than SportsCenter did on Sunday, as the episode that aired right after Kawhi called series in Toronto contained spoilers for an episode that many sports fans, basketball fans especially, did not watch yet.
The incident occurred on Sunday night, right after Thrones wrapped up on HBO and the Sixers were vanquished in Toronto. Astute sports fans noted that that SportsCenter, airing three hours earlier on the West coast, made it to airwaves before the episode even made it to HBO in their time zone.
In the setup to air the highlight package of Game 7, Michael Eaves told viewers about something big that happened in Episode 5, “The Bells.”
“Unlike the way Cersei went out,” SportsCenter anchor Michael Eaves said, “This one was anything but disappointing.”
People on Twitter were livid, as many had watched Game 7 instead or simply did other things and anticipated sports being a safe place for them to direct their televisions before they had the time to watch the 80-minute episode. And Eaves was hounded by Game of Thrones fans on Twitter who had yet watched the episode.
And on and on.
Eaves didn’t apologize, though. He responded to the angry tweets sent his way that he didn’t spoil anything, and that he didn’t know Cersei (SPOILERS) had been crushed in the Red Keep by rubble caused by a dragon.
The sentiment, however, is more than a bit empty. From Eaves’ other tweets about the show it’s clear he’s watching the series, and whether he knew what actually happened or not it’s not an entirely necessary thing to do. He could easily have tied Game of Thrones into sports in a non-spoiler way if he wanted to, or found another way to preempt talking about one of the best endings to an NBA Playoff game in history.
The defense here is disingenuous at best, and talking about Cersei’s death whether you have knowledge of it or not is not particularly cool given that the game and the show were happening at the same time. It only works as a clever segue into the highlights if you watched HBO, not the basketball game. And if you happened to be watching neither and came to catch up, well, you likely got spoiled for no particular reason at all.