Christopher Smith

ESPN's Chris Fowler Needs Heimlich At Halftime

Created on Dec. 29, 2013 4:57 PM EST

Viewers watching Saturday's Pinstripe Bowl broadcast got no indication of how close the broadcast team came to disaster at halftime.

According to play-by-play man Chris Fowler, former quarterback and ESPN analyst Jesse Palmer administered the Heimlich maneuver after a piece of chicken sandwich lodged itself in Fowler's airway.

Fowler was eating the food in the green room behind ESPN's outdoor set at Yankee Stadium, according to ESPN FrontRow

“I was watching Chris chew his food, and his eyes began to get big,” Palmer told FrontRow. “He tried to swallow some water to clear his throat, then he had a look of panic on his face.”

ESPN senior coordinating producer Ed Placey, present for the Heimlich, confirmed the narrative, describing Palmer as "reacting immediately."

The Heimlich involves a forceful press to the lower ribcage and stomach area, usually by interlocked arms from behind, designed to make a choking person shoot the contents of their airway out of their mouth.

Palmer, who never has performed the maneuver prior to Saturday, played quarterback for the Florida Gators and New York Giants before appearing on The Bachelor, dabbling in acting and beginning a career in broadcasting.

The pair made no mention of the incident during the second-half broadcast, but Fowler tweeted about it soon after the game ended.

"Not bad to have quick thinking, ex-NFL player around when Heimlich needed. I'll take bruised ribs to avoid choking!" Fowler wrote.

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