Since getting into radio a few years ago, my biggest fear hasn't been a "dear in the headlights" moment (I prepare pretty meticulously), it hasn't been a guest or caller sending the show sideways. The one thing I'm still most fearful of is accidentally cursing on the air. You'd think it would be easy to avoid (and thankfully, in three-plus years I have avoided doing so), but when you get into the true flow of a show, sometimes you forget you're on the air and if you're a person who mixes curse words into his or her regular vernacular (raising hand...guilty), an expletive could fly.
Theoretically (and with many thanks to Janet Jackson's nipple fiasco back at the 2004 Super Bowl) if my producer were to miss censoring the curse word, our station could be subjected to warnings and fines from the FCC. That's why, even in a world where curse words are fairly prevalent (damn internet!), a swear sneaking out on live TV is still a "Holy shit!" moment.
The latest "cursing on air" instance happened in a hockey game last night between the Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers, when Washington color analyst Craig Laughlin described a goal as a "shitty goal." Awesome! Let's take a look....
In most "cursing on air" videos, when an announcer is guilty of it, they at least pause as they're doing it or show some contrition right after it happens. Laughlin doesn't even break stride; in fact, I kind of wish the video kept going because there's a 50-50 chance he might have called the goal scorer a "motherfucker" in the next eight seconds.
So to help get you through the rest of the week, one 15-second embedded video clip at a time, here are a few more great "cursing on live TV" videos.
BERT BLYLEVEN - The "Oops, You Mean This Is Live?" Curse
Hang in until about the 45-second mark. Blyleven is stammering and stuttering his way through this game intro and finally gets fed up and wants a do-over because he's "fucking it up" (his words). One problem...BERT...YOU'RE LIVE!!! (Side bar: Blyleven has been a borderline Hall of Famer each year on the ballot. This video alone should put him over the top. In my world it would.)
RANDOM ESPN GUY - "Unfortunate Ballpark Name Mash-Up" Curse
The Mets used to play in Shea Stadium. They now play in Citi Field. Not a big issue...unless you forget that is the case halfway through saying the word "Shea." Shea + Citi = Shiti. As in "SHITTY." Observe...
NBA PLAYERS - "I'll Curse Because I'm (fill in name of player here) And You're Not" Curse
Shaq, I'm not necessarily okay with you cursing, but I guess a few championships and MVP awards give you some level of immunity. But Steve Francis? Dude, you know what's bullshit? Every All-Star game you played in. THAT'S some bullshit, man.
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"MEAN" GENE OKERLUND - "The Set Is Caving Around Me!" Curse
This video might be a slight overreaction by "Mean" Gene. I mean, it's not like the entire set collapsed, it was just the logo portion falling off the wall (must've used a glue stick instead of the Super-Glu). That said, it would have been much funnier if the fragment that fell off actually landed on "Mean" Gene. Or at the very least, if Rick Rude picked it up and cracked Gene's skull with it.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.