There have been plenty of f-bombs on the sports airwaves over the years. Some of those are picked up from field or crowd mics, while some come in post-game interviews or press conferences. When it comes to studio content, there have been some from callers or interviewees, and some from hosts themselves (sometimes bleeped, sometimes not). ESPN’s Mike Greenberg is not particularly known for on-air coarseness, though, and he said in a Pat McAfee Show appearance Tuesday he’s never cursed on air. But Greenberg told McAfee he’ll change that under two circumstances, both involving the idea of Aaron Rodgers and Greenberg’s beloved New York Jets.
First, Greenberg said he’d drop a f-bomb on McAfee’s show if Rodgers doesn’t wind up on the Jets. That led to McAfee asking what happens if Rodgers does go to the Jets, and Greenberg said he’ll do that if Rodgers wins the Super Bowl, then revised downwards to even just winning the AFC championship:
"I've been a professional broadcaster since 1990 and I've never cursed on air.. If the Jets don't get Aaron Rodgers I will come on this show and say the F word out loud" ??@Espngreeny #PMSLive pic.twitter.com/VUdAETjhdK
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) April 4, 2023
This starts with Greenberg saying “I actually thought of this when I was getting set to come on. I’ve never cursed on the air in my life. In my entire life! I’ve been a professional broadcaster since 1990, and I’ve never cursed on the air. If the Jets don’t get Aaron Rodgers, if somehow this thing winds up that he either retires or plays on another team, I will come on this show and I will say the f-word out loud.”
McAfee then asks “What if he goes to the Jets, too? Can we get one of those?” Co-host A.J. Hawk adds “Something to think about.” Greenberg says “If he wins the Super Bowl, I’ll do it,” and McAfee goes “Okay, put it on the ticker.” Greenberg then says “In fact, if he gets to the Super Bowl, I will come on the day after the AFC Championship game, when we have just beaten Cincinnati 27-26, and I will come on here and I will say – the hell with it. I’ll say anything you want.” McAfee says “Hell yeah, we’ll write the script,” and Greenberg says “You write the script and I’ll read it.” McAfee then talks about that script, saying “We would like some deep analytics on the f***ery that is potentially coming into that script like it’s an Impractical Jokers punishment.”
It’s interesting to hear that McAfee’s a fan of Impractical Jokers. And it’s nice of him to keep truTV Awareness Month going into April. Beyond that, the best part of this on his end might be the idea of writing a profanity-laden script that Greenberg has to read if the Jets make the Super Bowl. That could go full Burgundy:
Meanwhile, this would certainly be a big change for Greenberg to break that non-cursing streak, and to do so with an f-bomb of all things. Of course, it’s less shocking for him to promise to do that on McAfee’s YouTube show rather than cable ESPN (which doesn’t get a lot of FCC backlash for profanity, but does get some viewer complaints) or broadcast ABC (broadcast TV sometimes has actual profanity concerns, especially around high-profile broadcasts like the Super Bowl). But still, Greenberg dropping a f-bomb on any broadcast would be notable, and he’s now provided two scenarios where that might happen.
It’s also worth noting that this is not the first unusual promise Greenberg has made around this Rodgers-Jets situation. Early last month, he said if the Rodgers deal happened, he would either go on a Rodgers-style “darkness retreat” or chop off his pinky toe (which he doesn’t think “would be that big of a deal“). So if there is a Rodgers deal, we get a Greenberg darkness retreat (or potentially self-mutilation), and possibly a f-bomb as well if the Jets make the Super Bowl. If there is no Rodgers deal, we get a Greenberg f-bomb.
And the Rodgers situation has produced other entertaining Greenberg content, too. That includes him declaring to McAfee (later in this interview) that ESPN NFL analyst Mike Tannenbaum’s take that the Jets should draft a quarterback in the first round was “the worst thing anyone has ever said in the history of Get Up,” and him saying to McAfee last month he’d put McAfee’s Rodgers interview (about Rodgers’ desire to play for the Jets) “directly behind the birth of one of my children and directly ahead of the other one.” One of the criticisms of Greenberg has long been how safe and corporate-friendly he’s been (Colin Cowherd famously once dubbed Mike and Mike “Mickey and Mickey In The Morning“), but maybe all that was needed to change that was the idea of Aaron Rodgers heading to the Jets.