SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— All attention turns to the NCAA tournament on Thursday as March Madness is upon us.

“I have Gonzaga and Louisville (in the final),” John Madden told the KCBS morning crew.

But with all the excitement and the stakes riding high on the tournament, it’s no surprise that sportscasters covering the event, or any live sporting event on television for that matter, must learn to clean up their language a bit.

This was actually the topic of a Wall Street Journal article where it mentions former athletes or coaches-turned sports announcers who have to learn how to do just that. In the digital era, results go live with social media and most of these games don’t have any kind of delay to act as a censor or buffer.

“What I would do was, I would make a habit of never swearing on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Luckily in my second year, I worked with a guy named Gary Bender. Gary Bender didn’t swear, so that’s kind of how I fell into it. When I’d be with him, no swear words would ever come up,” Madden said.

He couldn’t recall any instances where he swore over the air, not even a slip on Monday nights.

“It’s probably tougher on the play-by-play guy because he’s the first to talk. The analyst listens to the play-by-play guy and doesn’t talk until he’s finished. You do have a filter in their that they don’t have,” he said.

It just goes to show that there aren’t many jobs tougher than live TV.

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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