Bram Weinstein has been in multiple ‘This is SportsCenter’ commercials since his debut with Rafael Nadal last fall. But when Weinstein was offered a chance to perform a Nationals double-dip — a co-starring role with Stephen Strasburg, and a bit part with Bryce Harper — the Silver Spring native was still thrilled.
“They told me Harper and Strasburg were coming up, and I was like ‘Yeah, I definitely want to do it with those guys,’ ” the former ESPN 980 star told me this week. “For me, it was a treat.”
Both spots were filmed in January; the Strasburg commercial debuted on Sunday, while the Harper commercial will come out later this season. Weinstein said he and Strasburg did what felt like hundreds of takes over a few hours to produce ‘Frozen Lunch.’ And while the final version involved a meal called Glazed Turkey Tenderloins — a phrase that will no doubt be attached to Weinstein for years — they flirted with other Lean Cuisine meals during the taping.
“One had Ranchero sauce,” he recalled. “I remember Salmon With Basil; we did that one like 100 times.”
(I also asked if there was actually a frozen meal inside the wrap; “I’m not sure if it was actually Glazed Turkey Tenderloins, but there was something in there,” he told me. “But we did it so many times they had to re-wrap his arm about five times.”)
There were different scripts, as well; one in which Strasburg attempts to pin the Lean Cuisine theft on Scott Van Pelt, and another where Weinstein openly suspects the frozen meal is actually inside the pitcher’s wrap.
Between filming, the two talked briefly about Washington, and traded stories about missing sleep due to young children. And while Weinstein’s comedic bent is pretty well known — even if you’ve never seen him performing karaoke — Strasburg is a less accomplished ham.
“Those things are actually hard to do — for me, too — but for him, he’s not doing stuff like that all the time. It took a while for him to get comfortable doing it,” Weinstein said. “You end up doing the same thing over and over and over, but I think by the end he was enjoying it….He was happy to do it, but I’m not sure it’s totally his thing to be out there. He’s just kind of a reserved guy. But he knew I was a fan of the team, and I think that made it a little easier.”
The spot is below. There have now been more than 400 of these ‘This is SportsCenter’ ads. Also, do you want to feel old? Weinstein joined ESPN more than a year before the Nats drafted Strasburg.