Some of our favorite moments in the past few years have been announcers accidentally swearing on air. Ron Jaworski casually swearing on MNF, Lee Corso saying f*%& it, The Rock on SportsCenter, Lawrence Frank making Jay Crawford VERY uneasy on First Take, and the list goes on. There's a kind of grade school excitement and glee when someone momentarily forgets they're on television and let's go of their filter. The only thing better than the swear word that slips out is the awkward, forced apology that comes afterward.
But just how hard is it for all these ex-athletes and ex-coaches and broadcasters to prevent their commentary from becoming a bit more colorful? The Wall Street Journal has an insightful piece on NCAA Tournament broadcasters and their awareness of not letting a curse word escape. But the highlight of the piece is ESPN college basketball analyst Dan Dakich, who has to take some unusual steps to ensure his analysis stays PC…
"Every day, Dan Dakich sequesters himself to the bathroom for 10 minutes and reads the newspaper aloud. The ESPN announcer and Indianapolis radio host reads the newspaper because he likes the newspaper. He reads it aloud to hear himself speak without swearing.
On days that Dakich broadcasts a college-basketball game to millions of people, he takes his preventive measures to the extreme: He avoids vulgarities all day. A former coach at Indiana and a self-diagnosed "major-league swearer," Dakich said, he also writes "NS" for "no swearing" across the top of his game notes and doodles around the reminder for the entire telecast. "By the time the game's over," Dakich said, "the 'NS' is really dark.""
What's even more interesting is Dakich hosts a daily radio show in Indianapolis. Either the broadcast standards out there are much looser, or this has to be a regular occurrence for the former Indiana player and coach. Dakich is a great analyst because he's not afraid to be honest and not be critical of players and coaches. Just imagine how honest he would be if he could bring his "major-league swearing" game to ESPN? Couldn't we just broadcast one college basketball game a year on HBO to make this happen?