A Dan Hurley f-bomb during "ESPN College GameDay." A Dan Hurley f-bomb during “ESPN College GameDay.” (Awful Announcing on Twitter.)

F-bombs often happen on sports broadcasts, but sometimes in surprising ways. Beyond just exclamations from on-the-field athletes or fans that get picked up on mics, there are also comments made by broadcasters (sometimes on mics they didn’t know were hot, but sometimes in the middle of the action), mic’d-up athletes or coaches, and more.

But Saturday’s ESPN College GameDay men’s basketball pregame show provided a surprising one. That was a clear f-bomb from mic’d-up UConn Huskies’ head coach Dan Hurley after he unsuccessfully tried eight half-court shots in a row after visiting the GameDay set.

Also, while it’s not really shown there, Hurley booted a ball into the stands:

Hurley’s attempts came after former Connecticut star Rip Hamilton drained a half-court shot on the first try earlier in the show. There, Hamilton referenced how ESPN analyst Jay Williams (who went to Duke) had previously listed of the Huskies as on his “Mount Rushmore of blue bloods” after their championship last April:

The broadcast went to break after Hurley’s f-bomb. Shortly after its return, host Rece Davis provided a funny apology for Hurley’s language, referencing 1983’s A Christmas Story:

“If you happened to catch Danny Hurley say a little something there going to break, we apologize for that. In the immortal words of the narrator from A Christmas Story, ‘Only he didn’t say fudge.’ Sorry if we got you there.”

Here’s what Davis was referencing:

While f-bombs on sports broadcasts can and do lead to complaints to the Federal Communications Commission, that tends to only really cause sufficient volume for problems with high-profile broadcasts such as the Super Bowl on over-the-air networks. (And even there, while the 2017 postgame on Fox saw a lot of player f-bombs caught on camera and led to a lot of complaints, it came after 10 p.m. Eastern, in the “safe harbor” period where the rules are less strict.)

With ESPN, some f-bombs and gestures get a few complaints, but generally at a much lower level. For example, Eli Manning’s 2021 double bird on the ManningCast prompted only three FCC complaints. And most of the obscenities that ESPN does somehow air only draw notice from viewers and apologies from the network. So nothing here is a big deal. But it was funny to see Davis work A Christmas Story into his apology and explanation.

As for the game in question, No. 1 UConn hosts the Villanova Wildcats at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. We’ll see if that game produces more “he didn’t say fudge” moments from Hurley, aired or unaired.

[BroBible, Awful Announcing on Twitter]

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.