Monday, July 6, 2015

That wasn't Brian Westbrook on 'SportsCenter'

Not by a long shot.

That wasn't Brian Westbrook on 'SportsCenter'

Travel Deals

ESPN's SportsCenter got scammed last night from Tom Cipriano, the school crossing guard from Lansdale who's made a career out of duping news organizations to put him on the air.

Cipriano, aka Howard Stern character Captain Janks, impersonated the agent of Brian Westbrook and then was put on the air as the outgoing Eagle with anchor Scott Van Pelt about 11:30 p.m.

The gig was up when Cipriano/Westbrook said he had "nothing but respect for head coach Andy Reid and I look forward to a future of worshiping the prostate of Howard Stern."

How on earth can this happen?

After Cipriano nailed CNN two weeks ago when he posed as a New Jersey emergency management official during a snowstorm, I asked him if producers had in any way tried to verify his identity before putting him on the air.

Cipriano said no. He simply called in and went live.

Last night's ESPN prank was more elaborate. He said he called the network at 7:30 p.m. and identified himself as Westbrook's agent, giving the name "Glen Goldstein." ESPN offered to tape an interview with "Westbrook" at 9:30 and asked for his number. Cipriano called back shortly before 9:30 as Westbrook and said he didn't want to tape the interview "because I don't want you cutting up what I'm saying." ESPN producers then agreed to put him on live.

Cipriano said ESPN clearly did not check to see that Westbrook's agent is Todd France.

After the scam, Cipriano said, an ESPN producer called him back and snapped at him, referring to him as a body part.
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

Michael Klein
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter