Lauren Shehadi interviews Drew Timme. Lauren Shehadi interviews Drew Timme. (CBS.)

There’s always some cursing that winds up broadcast in sports, and some of that even happens in specific one-on-one post-game interviews on TV rather than just in what’s picked up on floor or field mics. By any standard, though, this year’s men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments have had quite a bit of that. And it sure looked like Gonzaga’s Drew Timme was going to give us another one in an interview with CBS/WBD’s Lauren Shehadi following the Bulldogs’ remarkable 79-76 Sweet Sixteen victory over the UCLA Bruins Thursday night. But Timme pulled off a last-second pivot:

“I mean, I’m doing whatever I can to fire this team up and fire myself up, and if people have a problem with that, they can go…go somewhere else.” “Go somewhere else” in that context feels like an incredible movie-curse-altered-for-TV line, like “This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps!” or “Yippee ki-yay, Mr. Falcon.”

Everyone knew what Timme meant (well, at least down to a couple of different explicit possibilities). But he got that across without saying it. And that led to Shehadi and announcer Kevin Harlan both cackling, understandably, and to Shehadi’s “Kevin, he’s very shy,” and Harlan’s “I can tell, Lauren.”

For comparison, here’s a less-censored version of Timme Sunday. That came after the Zags beat the TCU Horned Frogs and stretched the school’s streak of consecutive Sweet Sixteen appearances to eight:

And that’s just one of the many on-broadcast curses we’ve seen so far across these tournaments. Here are a couple more:

Erdahl has a good point in that last one, and it’s not about truTV being obscure. It’s about it being a cable channel, where the Federal Communications Commission is much less concerned about cursing. (They still get complaints, but many fewer, and it doesn’t tend to lead to much.) By contrast, Gonzaga-UCLA was on broadcast CBS, so it’s nice to not even have to have the discussion about potential FCC complaints.

Even when cursing does happen on broadcast TV, though, the volume of complaints only really gets notable if it’s something like the Super Bowl (which also draws complaints even for things like Adam Levine without a shirt). What the FCC really cares about, and really fines people for, is misuse of emergency alert tones. So, as long as players avoid that, they should be fine.

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About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.