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Will Joe Flacco's Profanity Cost CBS Big Bucks?

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03:  Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after the Ravens won 34-31 against the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
John RozumCorrespondent INovember 27, 2016

Joe Flacco won Super Bowl XLVII with an MVP performance for the Baltimore Ravens and then dropped an F-bomb with the cameras rolling near him on the field.

(Warning: Unedited video with expletives.)

Should this cost CBS some cash?


But will it?

Well, according to an article by Kelly Woo of Yahoo! TV:

The Parents Television Council is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to fine the network. "The FCC must step up to its legal obligation to enforce the law, or families will continue to be blindsided," said PTC president Tim Winter. ...

But will the FCC pursue the matter? Both CBS and the commission declined to comment, but judging from the past, a fine seems unlikely.

For the sake of playing devil's advocate, though, let's check out the FCC's rules on profanity.


It is a violation of federal law to air obscene programming at any time. It is also a violation of federal law to broadcast indecent or profane programming during certain hours. ...

Regarding the safe harbor period, Congress and the courts have instructed the Commission only to enforce the indecency standard between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., local time. - when children are more likely to be in the audience. As a consequence, the Commission does not take action on indecent material aired between 10 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. In this way, constitutionally-protected free speech rights of adults are balanced with the need to protect children from harmful content.


That brings in another issue regarding which CBS stations may face fines depending on their time zone, as it was after 10 p.m. ET when Flacco swore.

If we're to blame anything, how about the game's popularity?

Yes, that sounds rather corny, but people need to understand the level of passion, emotion, adrenaline, agony and hysteria that comes with football, especially at the professional level. Once the game ends, these expressions of human nature don't immediately subside.

Think about Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers.

You think they just all of a sudden got over losing the Super Bowl once it ended?

Not a chance.

The Baltimore Ravens were also playing to send legendary linebacker Ray Lewis out with a Vince Lombardi Trophy. As well, team owner Art Modell passed away in September, and every player for John Harbaugh certainly felt that impact.

We're living in a contradictory age of extremism, and sports are at the forefront. At the same time, television censorship has its flaws, and it's impossible to please everyone.

Possessing a competitive nature and having passion are embedded in America and its pro sports. The NFL simply happens to be the largest and most popular league, and the Super Bowl is the nation's single greatest sports spectacle.


In short, Flacco was just being human, and we're not perfect.

Failing to reveal any emotions during a moment of career fulfillment would be an injustice to the game's difficulty. If winning a Super Bowl were easy, no emotional expressions would exist.

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