For anyone wondering how long it would be until Kevin Millar got Jim Rice to loosen up on NESN’s pregame show, the answer is… about thirty seconds in. From the opening bit in which El Bencho poured “shots” for his fellow broadcasters, the new guy was on, reminiscing about 2004, dissing his own skills as a player, and generally adding a sort of over-the-top zaniness that the likes of Nick Carfado and, God love her, Amalie Benjamin simply can’t conjure.

I’ve always been a big Jim Ed fan, but somehow, the guy makes me a tad… nervous on the pre-game show. He knows his stuff for sure, but seems too tightly wound, like at any minute he might just fall over and spend the rest of the show on the floor. Those days might be over. Check this bit here, in which Millar has Rice close to tears. There’s also a glimpse of the comedic side of Rice we sadly just haven’t seen enough of.

From the looks of this, it’s gonna be a great summer. And if any TV programmers out there are listening, get these guys their own buddy cop show. Quick.