There is a list of taboo words that are deemed indecent in broadcasting. You might know them as what George Carlin calls “the seven dirty words.”
When it comes to college athletics broadcasts, the list tends to get quite lengthy.
For instance, last September, Allen Pinkett, the color analyst for radio broadcasts of his alma mater, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, had an interesting take on coach Brian Kelly benching star players due to misconduct during the offseason: “I’ve always felt like to have a successful team, you’ve got to have a few bad citizens on the team,” he said on the August 29, 2012 edition of the Dan McNeil and Matt Spiegel midday program on WSCR-AM/”670 The Score” in Chicago. “Look at the teams that have won in the past. They always have a couple of criminals… You can’t have a football team full of choirboys.”
As a result of his comments, Pinkett was suspended for three games, including the season opener against the Navy Midshipmen in Dublin, Ireland.
With that, we bring you to Grand Forks, North Dakota, where the team formerly known as the Fighting Siouxs (Prince should have whipped up a new team logo for them) was chopped down in overtime by the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. (What exactly do lumberjacks chop in Arizona? Cacti?)
Anyway, following the game, Sioux, er, UND radio play-by-play man Paul Ralston interviewed head coach Brian Jones on the postgame show. There’s no audio available, but according to the school, Ralston referred to the team’s OT loss as a “choke job.”
And for that, he’s been sidelined from working the next two UND games, both of which are on the road, and both of which possess potential playoff implications.
Ralston will be back in the radio booth for the team’s next two games, which are also road games. The regular season concludes on March 9 with a home game against Southern Utah.
Maybe Ralston could spend his newfound free time in New York, where a high-profile news anchor just quit his job after allegedly choking his wife.
I still can’t believe a sports announcer in any level of broadcasting was suspended for uttering the term “choke job.”
That just blows me away.