Civil unrest in light of the tragic police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis this past week resulted in an all hands on-deck approach from Minnesota media. The prime example of the response is WCCO's Mike Max seamlessly transitioning from a sports reporter to a newsman on the ground amid the chaotic scenes.
Max, a native of Gaylord, Minnesota, who is typically talking about the Vikings, Twins, Lynx, Wild, Wolves and Gophers – not to mention town team amateur baseball – suddenly found himself dodging rubber bullets and tear gas as he calmly told the story as it unfolded in front of him.
Max, whose sports persona flashed multiple times during the night, including when he referred to a police formation as a "Flying V" (Might Ducks reference), later had a run-in with what appeared to be an angry protester who stopped Max's live shot by demanding he leave and blocking the camera person.
WCCO ducked out of that shot back to the studio, and around an hour or so later the TV station finally made clear to worried viewers that Max was OK and back at the station.
Max's transition to reporting from protests and riots was so smooth that he was at one point the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter.
"I admittedly haven't seen any of Mike Max's reporting during all of this, but the fact that he's a sports anchor and is out there in the thick of it all says a lot," said Tyler Mason, a local writer who was admiring Max's transition.
Here's more from viewers who were impressed with the sportsman's coverage.