ESPYs host Danica Patrick falls flat in opening monologue

AP News | 7/18/2018 | Staff
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Danica Patrick’s monologue to open the ESPYs went over like, well, a flat tire at the Indianapolis 500.

The newly retired racecar driver was the first woman to host the annual show honoring the past year’s best athletes and moments on Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

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Her first joke about Cleveland fell flat. A crack about vertically challenged Astros second baseman Jose Altuve fell, uh, short too, although he managed a slight smile in the audience.

Patrick soldiered on, telling the audience, “We have to mention the elephant in the room. It’s time to talk about the national anthem controversy.”

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At that point, a photo of NBA All-Star Game anthem singer Fergie came on screen and Patrick said, “I don’t know what Fergie was thinking either.”

Some athletes in the crowd sat stone-faced. Others looked uncomfortable or winced.

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Social media wasn’t impressed, either. A woman tweeted, “Am I the only one who thinks Danica Patrick is super awkward as host?”

Another person posted a GIF of comic Steve Carell grimacing with the caption: “These Danica Patrick jokes not hitting ... at all.”

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Patrick did score with a few jokes. As a photo of a grinning Alex Ovechkin holding the Stanley...
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