7 Most Embarrassing On-Air Blunders in Sports History

Ravi LullaAnalyst IOctober 5, 2011

7 Most Embarrassing On-Air Blunders in Sports History

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    Sometimes it is easy to forget that sporting events are also live television productions and there are a lot of things that can go wrong with live broadcasts.

     It isn't until something goes wrong with a broadcast that we remember the players on the field aren't the only performers involved in making the production.

    Every once in a while, a broadcaster, sideline reporter, or the subject of an interview will do something so embarrassing it becomes an instant member in the YouTube hall of fame.  

    Here are the seven most embarrassing on-air blunders in sports history.

7. Ron Jaworski Swears on Monday Night Football

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    A few weeks ago a Monday Night Football commentator said one of those words you can't say on television.  Jaworski dropped an "s-bomb" while describing a throw by Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne.

    The strange part about Jaworski's slip is that it did not come in the heat of the moment or during a moment of exclamation.  Jaworski seems to be rather calm and collected before, during, and after saying the swear word.

    Part of the reason this isn't higher on the list: Most people hear worse things on a fairly regular basis, so in reality, while swearing on live television is a clear no-no, it's not all that embarrassing.

6. Joe Theisman Can't Pronounce Danny Woodhead Correctly

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    While this was not a live broadcast to my understanding, it was still on the air so I am going to count it.

    In this clip, Joe Theisman and his colleagues are breaking down the New England Patriots' offense when Theisman accidentally calls Danny Woodhead, "Danny Woodcock."

    Although Theisman's blunder itself is fairly embarrassing, I find the most embarrassing part of the video Deion Sanders' reaction to what happened.  The man can clearly not control himself.

    This is also a slightly embarrassing clip for all males everywhere because this video makes it quite clear that our sense of humor never changes after we are about 12 years old.

5. Lamar Thomas Encourages Hurricane Players During Brawl

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    If pictures of Miami Hurricane football players with boosters in clubs becomes the lasting image of the program's lack of control off the field, this brawl versus Florida International might be the lasting image of the program's lack of control on the field.

    The brawl itself is embarrassing for every single player involved, specifically the players engaging in activities such as using their helmets as weapons.  

    Even more embarrassing then all of this, though, is the way former Miami wide receiver and color commentator for this game encourages the violence and wishes to get involved with it.  

    At one point he even suggests the teams finish the fight after the game.

    Thomas' ignorant comments ended up costing him his job.

4. ESPN Commentator Mades Crude Comment

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    Someone must not have told commentator Brian Kinchen about this whole "political correctness" thing that is pretty big these days.  

    Kinchen was describing how players need to catch the football with their hands instead of their body and got a little carried away.

    In what was probably an attempt to save a little face after saying some things that sounded a little silly while explaining how to use your hands while catching a football, Kinchen apparently realized how ridiculous he was sounding and wraps up his rant by saying, "That's kind of gay, but hey ... "

    That of course was followed by an awkward silence before the broadcast resumes as if nothing had happened.

3. Boom Goes the Dynamite

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    This is one of the most famous train wrecks in sports commentating history: Brian Collins, a Ball State University freshman at the time, was filling in on the as sportscaster for the campus news when he filmed this infamous segment.

    No matter how inaccurate or unpolished Collins' commentary was, to me the worst parts are the prolonged awkward silences scattered through the clip where Collins doesn't say anything at all.

    While this was probably the longest four minutes of this guy's life, the reason it isn't more embarrassing is the fact that he created an iconic phrase "Boom goes the dynamite!"  A saying as good as this that can be used in all facets of life was not matched until our No. 2 entry.

2. LeBron James Is Taking His Talents to South Beach

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    This one might catch you off guard a little bit but just think about it: How many people can go from the most loved athlete in the world to one of the most hated over the course of a single hour?

    To me, that's a pretty embarrassing, although rather impressive, effort.

    Let me break this down for you as to why exactly this was an embarrassing moment for LeBron James.

    First of all, James made it painfully clear how inflated his sense of self-importance was by taking an hour to announce something that literally took about 30 seconds to say. 

    Secondly, James refers to himself in the third person several times during the one-hour show, and let's be honest, anytime someone refers to themselves in the third person they sound like an idiot.

    Finally, LeBron uses the now famous phrase of "Taking my talents to South Beach," which became embarrassing in the fact that it was only used to either make fun of James or to describe things like going to the bathroom.

1. Joe Namath Hits on Suzy Kolber

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    The crown for most embarrassing on-air sports moment goes to Joe Namath's hitting on Suzy Kolber during a sideline interview.  

    Clearly Namath was more than a little tipsy during his interaction with Kolber.

    This incident is embarrassing for Broadway Joe for a few reasons.

     Let's start out with the fact that Namath was drunk on national television.  That is just not a real classy way to do things.  Next, Namath throws a pass (sorry, I had to) at a woman just trying to do her job, and oh yeah, he is still on national television.  

    Last but not least, let's not forget the fact that Joe Namath also is shot down by Suzy Kolber after his drunken proposition and once again it was all on national television.

    Put it all together and you have an extremely embarrassing moment for the former New York Jets quarterback.

    Joe Namath, congratulations.