I’m at home. You’re at home. As long as we’re all at home, let’s watch Northern State head men’s basketball coach Saul Phillips find a home!
Yes, it finally happened: the much-discussed House Hunters featuring Saul and his family finally aired on HGTV on Wednesday, March 18 at 6 PM. When I went up to Aberdeen to shoot a Midco Sports Magazine story with Saul back in mid-January, he and I briefly chatted about the show before we started recording. At that point, even he had no idea when the show would actually air, saying the production team at HGTV would give a heads-up a short time beforehand.
There were other things he couldn’t divulge for legal reasons, but safe to say, Saul and his family had a new appreciation for TV productions (including his wife, Nicole, a former television news reporter)! Nicole was the one who applied for the family to be on the show and they heard back from HGTV a short time later. Filming took five days in the summer of 2019 and while it was certainly tiring, it was also a lot of fun for the family. Saul even admitted he had to "re-create" a reaction to entering a bathroom at one point!
I did a live-tweet as the show happened on my Twitter account (@DBrownMidcoSN), for those interested in my "as it happened" thoughts.
I thought the show did a great job showing the entire Phillips family dynamic, as well as the strong bond between Saul and Nicole. Of course, Saul’s fun-loving attitude was present throughout, which included him mooing at the cows outside the countryside house (aka house #3). However, "I’m more of a free-range human" takes the cake as the best quote of the entire episode!
Also, nice job by the HGTV editors into making it seem like house #1 was the least desirable option! I had a back and forth on Twitter with our North Dakota basketball analyst Zachary Dosch and he equated it to a 12/5 upset in the NCAA Tournament (man, I wish that was happening right now!) I concurred with his opinion that house #1 was overlooked. Before the ultimate reveal, he predicted house #2, I predicted house #3 and we were both wrong!
All in all, it was a mindless half hour of fun! As we continue to adjust to sports on hiatus, it’s nice to see the people and characters behind the games we know and love. And soon enough, we’ll get back to those games.