Inappropriate Sports Commentator Moments
Foot-in-mouth disease is a dangerous and contagious condition.
Foot-in-mouth infects its victims quickly, causing them to spew out inappropriate opinions and words in front of others—things they never intended anyone to hear—and the afflicted almost always end up with a hulking foot in their mouth.
As the disease tends to strike people projecting to large audiences, sports announcers are naturally the most susceptible to this gaffe-producing ailment.
The following announcers and media members caught the bug on television and ended up saying the kind of things best written down in an ignorant, perverted little diary.
Clippers Announcers Analyze 'Borat'
Some quotes from this video:
“He’s from Iran?”
“The real Iran??”
“You sure he’s not Borat’s older brother?”
The conversation between announcer Ralph Lawler and color analyst Michael Smith about Hamed Haddadi—a Memphis Grizzlies player of Iranian descent—is almost stupid enough to tear a hole in the ozone.
The two FOX Sports commentators were given a one-game suspension for their comments, and American students studying abroad shook their heads and apologized to their host families.
Perverted in Any Language
Hold off on buying your Rosetta Stone.
The commentator and the cameraman at this women's track event seem to sync into one consciousness regarding this athlete's behind, and go on to provide us with a smorgasbord of posterior-hounding inappropriateness.
You can blame the commentator for losing his focus and professional tone, sure, but the noise that comes out of his mouth at the 15-second mark is not the sound of a voluntary reaction.
It sounds more like a ghost escaping from his body. Yep, definitely.
I Guess No One There Had Worked on TV Before
Warning: Video is NSFW due to profanity
“When I’m doing TV and I say ‘hit me with the turkey gravy,’ it means hit me with the damn turkey gravy!!”
That’s not exactly what he said, but the leaked footage of ESPN Monday Night Football host Chris Berman ripping into the production staff during an off-air commercial break showed us that he expects on-point professionalism on the set.
Professionalism that, in this case, Berman himself fails to show.
Howard Cosell Gets into the Sauce
The late, great sportscaster Howard Cosell was a strong personality who called it like he saw it, no matter the occasion.
The only problem was, a lot of times, Cosell saw the game through a pair of beer goggles thick as a Coke bottle.
It was widely known among colleagues that Cosell liked to indulge in a drink or five while commentating, and a former ABC executive wrote in a book that Cosell had once vomited on Don Meredith’s cowboy boots while calling a game.
This particular sound clip of the announcer reportedly slurring through a 1970 Monday Night Football game was a prime example of Cosell’s on-air boozing and is ripe for the inappropriate-commentary plucking.
You Mean Brian Spears, Fullback for Oakland in ’62?
Forgive me for digging into a bit of YouTube archeology, but now I wish everyone would leave Britney Spears alone—especially when they’re commentating SEC football.
This commentator just offhandedly throws out there, “I have an important question! What is Britney doing with her life?” as though this whole football game has led up to this opportunity to cut the crap and get down to the meaty crux of it all.
Everyone pauses, and his fellow commentator attempts to triangulate if this is some kind of joke or reference to the game, but no one understands.
If he was joking, well, stick to commentary, pal. And it if he wasn’t, then like his colleagues said:
“...Why do we care??”
'That's Kind of Gay'
In this video, ESPNU commentator Brian Kinchen tries to elucidate on the topic of using your hands to catch a ball and ends up wandering into a strange and romantic explanation of the human anatomy.
Kinchen starts to feel weird and raps off an unnecessary apology saying, “That’s kind of gay.”
Silence follows, but if you listen very closely, you can hear the cardboard moving box of unemployment being placed on Kinchen’s desk.
They Call Him 'Hard Wood' Holtz. No, They Don't.
OK, who forgot to give Lou Holtz his applesauce?
Seriously, I told you guys—if you don’t get the former Notre Dame coach his cinnamon Mott's before he gets on the air, he starts rambling about Korea and how his surname means “hard wood.”
The best part about this clip is the “...welp, Big Gulps, eh...” manner in which his fellow commentator moves through the musty cloud of Holtz’s awkwardness and back to the game.
Dan Marino Takes Rage out on Desk
HBO’s Inside the NFL got a lot more interesting after a slip of the tongue frustrates former Dolphins quarterback and NFL analyst Dan Marino enough to go on a table-punching spree.
Luckily, no other analysts were hurt in the incident, and Marino’s lack of a Super Bowl ring left the desk unblemished.
Brent Musburger Acts Like a Red-Blooded American Man
Did he go a little overboard? Kind of.
Is he a 73-year-old man ogling at a woman 50 years younger than him? Maybe.
Some people might’ve thought commentator Brent Musburger was out of line for showering compliments on Katherine Webb, the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron at this year’s BCS title game.
But while Musburger’s comments might not have dripped professionalism, the remarks hardly amounted to the creep-a-palooza some would make it out to be, and even Webb herself says she wasn't bothered and found the praise flattering.
When asked by TMZ if he believed he said anything inappropriate concerning Webb, Musburger replied, "No," and said he hopes to speak with her about the situation one day.
You know what? If Webb is cool with it, so am I.
Female Linesmen—Apparently the End of Humanity
Soccer broadcasters Andy Gray and Richard Keys rewrote the laws on how far one can put their foot in their own mouth after their off-air misogynistic comments about a female linesman were caught on tape and leaked to British newspapers.
Gray and Keys apologized, but Sky Sports has since pulled them off the air.
James Blake Hears Commentator Writing His Career off
ESPN’s Pam Shriver doesn’t know it, but her voice is loud.
It's kind of like a high, keening buzzsaw of criticism.
And tennis player James Blake can hear it dissecting his game, ripping up his confidence and slicing his career into mincemeat all throughout this match.
Shriver’s sonic drilling goes on until the 4:30 mark, when a fed-up Blake sends her a message that he isn’t deaf.
What does Shriver do?
She doesn’t drop a decibel.
He Was Fired! Up Top!
SportsCenter hosts Hannah Storm and Adam Schefter celebrated like they had just won a bucket of tickets at Dave and Buster's after breaking the news that Eric Mangini had been fired from his job as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
I can only hope they redeemed their “points” for a big, fancy ESPN-brand lava lamp to knock one another over the head with after this callous reaction.
Boomer Launches a Tactile Nuke at Dan Marino’s Ego
Former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason has made a career for himself in doing football analysis and commentary for various networks, but this isn’t one of his shining moments.
In this video (taken before the Colts' 2007 Super Bowl victory) Esiason goes on a tangent about Peyton Manning and ends up calling Manning “this generation’s Dan Marino” because he doesn’t think Manning can win a Super Bowl.
As you can see from the video, Marino’s face immediately dissolves into rock-solid glare of almost contempt.
It was a harsh and unnecessary comparison considering Marino was right there, and it had to have been hard to stomach for Marino since it came from a fellow ring-less former quarterback like Esiason.
I’ll Have a Burger, Cornball Bro on the Side
Former ESPN analyst Rob Parker veers off down a sad, narrow-minded alley on ESPN’s First Take, calling out Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and questioning his “blackness.”
Park throws out a laundry list of reasons, each as uncomfortable as the next, as to why RG3 may be what he refers to as a “cornball brother.”
Now, I don’t know what a “cornball brother” is. But I do know it’s provocative and it gets the people going. And it ended with ESPN choosing not to renew Parker's contract at the end of this past year.
Don Imus Pours on the Racism
He’s not exactly a commentator, but the infamous “nappy-headed hos” remark made by Don Imus regarding the Rutgers women’s basketball team during his radio show, Imus in the Morning, is an oldie and a "baddie," and deserves its rightful spot on this list of commentator inappropriateness.
The Winter Olympics—Too Many White People for Bryant Gumbel
He didn’t explode, but he did used the word “paucity.”
But at the end of the day, Bryant Gumbel toed a thin racial line with his annoyed and uncaring stance toward the Winter Olympics, and disparaged the ability of every athlete in attendance.
Jimmy the Greek Wanders into Sensitive Territory
Jimmy the Greek loved to flirt with the line and rap his opinions straight off the top of his head, but the controversial comments he made in this television interview in 1988 crossed the line for many viewers and cost him his job.