There are many words that could be used to describe the mazy touchdown run by Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
Terry Bradshaw picked the wrong ones.
While narrating a replay during the "FOX NFL Sunday" program, the former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback guffawed his way through this bit of commentary as Bush navigated his way through the majority of the Colts' defense.
"Look at this Jimmy, like he was chasing that bucket of chicken that the wind was blowing the other day."
While the line made no sense and generated the default chuckles expected from his colleagues, many people people took notice that Bradshaw said something, even if no one is quite sure what, about an African-American athlete chasing a bucket of chicken.
Given his reputation for nonsensical ramblings, there seemed to be greater consensus over Bradshaw's ineptitude as an NFL analyst than his racism.
Matt Yoder of "Awful Announcing" describes Bradshaw's style as "a verbal Jackson Pollock painting, just without the artistic value" and is unsure that the former Steelers QB had any racist idea or intent as he rambled.
Deadspin agrees that it is plausible that the "not very bright" Bradshaw unwittingly stumbled his way into this extremely unfortunate choice of words.
Similarly, Chris Strauss of USA Today Sports see this as a particularly poor example of "the sort of goofy Southern colloquialism Bradshaw routinely spouts."
On Monday morning, Bradshaw's FOX colleague Curt Menefee took to Twitter to explain the "chicken" statement, insisting it was a joke about another member of the FOX studio crew, Jimmy Johnson. As Menefee explains it, the"Look at this Jimmy" that begins the sentence is the key to any meaning it had.
While the notion that Bradshaw's cluelessness makes him relatively blameless seems to have its advocates, the possibility that this is yet another inside joke needlessly given airtime during an NFL program doesn't seem so far fetched either.
What do you think? Should Bradshaw be punished by FOX? Or was this just an example of an unintended and unfortunate choice of words by a broadcaster who notoriously doesn't choose his words carefully?
UPDATE 11/5 3:59 p.m.: Bradshaw discussed his comments with USA Today, saying that he is "so sorry if I hurt anybody and I'm shocked I'm in this position." As Menefee tweeted, Bradshaw insists that he was joking about Jimmy Johnson's love for chicken but got his pronouns mixed up.
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