The verdict has been returned.
For his on-air suggestion that NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya was not among the top drivers in the Sprint Cup because he was “out having a taco,” ESPN college football analyst Bob Griese will have plenty of time to eat tacos or anything else he might choose to order or prepare. The Pro Football Hall of Famer has been suspended for a week.
It’s not ESPN’s first experience with live remarks that potentially offended persons of Spanish heritage. In September 2008, former Monday Night Football analyst Tony Kornheiser had this to say after a portion of the Spanish game audio was played during the English version of the broadcast, “I took high school Spanish, and that either means ‘nobody is going to touch him’ or ‘could you pick up my dry cleaning in the morning?'”
Kornheiser later read a vague apology that left some viewers befuddled, and that was the end of it.
Though Griese’s stiffer penalty can be explained by the more direct nature of the ethnic connection, the notion that a Colombian would be eating a taco is nearly as confusing as the suggestion that someone speaking Spanish would be telling someone else to pick up his dry cleaning.
Unfortunately for Griese, the statement came just one day before Mark Sanchez provided more innocuous material by eating a hot dog during a game.
And the irony is that the connection between Sanchez and a taco is more clear, given that both are Mexican.
Now, if you’ll excuse me for a moment, I need to eat a plate of pasta, dance on some grapes, and then “whack” someone.