When Pat McAfee agreed to bring his popular show to ESPN, he did so with the lone caveat that he would cut down on f-bombs.
It’s a seemingly small price to pay for a contract worth $85 million over five years at the Worldwide Leader. But even though the former NFL punter vowed to drop less f-bombs on The Pat McAfee Show, everyone knew the word wasn’t going to be completely eradicated from his vocabulary.
To combat the risk of getting an f-bomb dropped on ESPN, Disney’s sports network opted to air The Pat McAfee Show on delay. And during the show’s debut on ESPN, the delay worked, sort of. But by episode number four, the delay was much less successful in hiding one of McAfee’s f-bombs.
The swear word was dropped while McAfee was reacting to his friend Aaron Rodgers tearing his Achilles just four plays into his first regular season game with the New York Jets. After Rodgers was carted off the field on Monday Night Football, McAfee joined thousands of Jets fans in hoping the injury wouldn’t sideline Rodgers for the season. But then head coach Robert Saleh arrived to his postgame press conference and briskly hit that “hope” with the People’s Elbow.
Can’t catch ’em all pic.twitter.com/lzQEWWyqfT
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 12, 2023
“I was holding out optimism,” McAfee said. “Until Saleh comes up to the thing and goes, ‘Yep, popped his Achilles, we’re f*cked.’ Oh! Can’t say that, here on ESPN.”
It wasn’t the first time McAfee cursed since launching his show on ESPN last week, it wasn’t even the first time he dropped an f-bomb. But it was the first time the audience watching on ESPN heard McAfee drop an f-bomb. That’s big news.
As soon as McAfee said “f*cked” he realized the gaffe and recoiled away from the microphone, before hilariously returning with a five-second countdown, referencing the time of delay ESPN instituted for his show. And while ESPN did hit the mute button after hearing McAfee’s f-bomb, they failed to mute the frowned-upon word.
Some variation of this article could have been prewritten the day McAfee’s partnership was announced with ESPN back in May. “Pat McAfee drops first f-bomb on ESPN.” The use of delay delayed the article for a few days, but on Sept. 12, 2023, history was made when McAfee dropped his first audible f-bomb on ESPN.