Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Fandom - ESPN Playbook [Print without images]

Friday, June 22, 2012
Playbook investigates clown question roots

By Steve Etheridge

In today's episode of Bros Brycing Bros, we bring you the backstory of Bryce Harper's galactically publicized "clown question" burn, which we promise to stop covering sometime in the next eight months.

Donn Roach
Padres minor leaguer Donn Roach, a former teammate of Bryce Harper, is a big fan of using "clown" as an adjective.
But first, let's review the past week in TACQB news:

Harry Reid said it, which is funny because he's old.

Chris Wallace said it, which is funny because he looks like the Penguin from Batman.

• Bryce Harper himself acknowledged it by wearing a T-shirt. Aside from the T-shirts that instantly became available, Under Armour is reportedly going to produce a licensed version.

It is a beer.

• A guy made it into a website.

• Neither the Dalai Lama nor Desmond Tutu said it for some reason.

OK, so the back story: An Auburn newspaper reached out to Harper’s big brother Bryan, who plays ball there, and he said Bryce picked it up from a mutual buddy, Donn Roach.

Roach, who on Wednesday was promoted to Double-A San Antonio as part of the Padres organization, played in high school and junior college with Bryce. A quick search of his Twitter handle yields several of his friends giving him credit for the TACQB craze.

I called him to confirm the story, and Roach took credit -- sort of.

"I guess I would say it a lot when we were in college," Roach said. "We kind of got it from our high school coach, who would say it."

That coach was Scott Baker, who can be seen here getting tossed from a game for a sassy quip of his own. Harper played for him when he was 12 or 13 but has spent more time around Roach in recent years.

"I can't completely say where Bryce got it from, but I did used to say it a lot," Roach said.

Whether it was Roach or Baker who planted the clown seed that eventually blossomed into a viral sensation doesn't really matter, mostly because this story doesn't really matter. But it should be noted that Roach reached out to Harper shortly after he made the comment, reminding him who was sheriff of this clown town.

"I sent him a text, called him a clown."

Nice, bro.