Sherrone Moore cursing interview reminds us of similar moment over 50 years ago

With his tearful postgame interview on Fox, Michigan football offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore earned a place in the state’s hall of fame for profanity during a live sports broadcast.

By dropping a pair of F-bombs and another off-color word, Moore will forever be remembered with others such as a pair of Detroit Tigers who said a few dirty words when the team clinched a division title in 1972.

The backstories:

At State College

Moments after the second-ranked Wolverines’ 24-15 victory Saturday afternoon over No. 9 Penn State, sideline reporter Jenny Taft grabbed Moore for a quick word with the victorious coach. Moore, also in charge of the offensive line, served as the acting head coach because of Jim Harbaugh’s three-game suspension because of the sign-stealing scandal.

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Michigan acting head coach Sherrone Moore celebrates a 24-15 win over Penn State on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, in University Park, Pennsylvania.
Michigan acting head coach Sherrone Moore celebrates a 24-15 win over Penn State on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, in University Park, Pennsylvania.

Too overcome with emotion to talk for several seconds, as tears flowed down his face, Moore thanked the Lord and then thanked Harbaugh.

“(Expletive) love you, man,” he said while sobbing. “Love the (expletive) out of you, man. Did this for you.” He hesitated for an instant. “For this university, the president, our AD. We got the best players, best university, best alumni in the country. Love you, guys!”

Then Moore turned toward tailback Blake Corum, blood between his eyebrows, waiting for his turn to chat with Taft. Moore was breathing and sobbing heavily. And he was fired up.

“These (expletive) guys right here, these guys right here, man,” he blurted out. “These guys did it! These guys did it, man!”

Moore slapped hands with Corum and threw an arm around him. As Moore headed off to celebrate, Moore told Taft to “talk to him, man” and added a “love you.”

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Nonplussed with the unexcepted turn of events, Taft said a simple “thank you, coach” and started interviewing Corum.

At Tiger Stadium

On Oct. 3, 1972, on the next-to-last night of a strike-shortened season, the Tigers beat the Boston Red Sox, 3-1, to clinch the American League East. Al Kaline was the hero by driving in the winning run and catching the final out at Tiger Stadium.

As the fans stormed the field to rip up the turf and pull up the bases, the Tigers went crazy in their locker room. Willie Horton, stripped to the waist and muscles rippling, dumped the contents of a champagne bottle over Kaline’s head and then threw a bear hug around him. Dick McAuliffe managed to break free from another Horton bear hug.

The celebration was broadcast in living color on Channels 2, 4 and 7 in Detroit. The lasting memory, though, wasn’t the images — it was the off-color words.

Shortstop Eddie Brinkman provided the most memorable interview on live television: “It’s a fantastic feeling, not so much for myself but for the rest of the (expletive) guys.”

So fantastic, so euphoric that Brinkman didn’t catch himself with his next sentence. “We had to struggle the whole (expletive) time.”

Channel 7 sportscaster Dave Diles was holding the mic for the pool coverage when Brinkman uttered his famous words. Diles turned away, smiling wanly, in search of someone else to talk to. Back in the WXYZ-TV studio, sportscaster Al Ackerman grinned on camera: “Obviously that was a live feed from the Tiger dressing room. I don’t know what I would have said if I had been that excited. Probably something far worse.”

And then wry anchor Bill Bonds came on: “I am asked at least twice a week: ‘Mr. Bonds, are the programs at 11 o’clock live or are they taped?’” Dramatic pause. “They’re live.”

Ed Brinkman 1974 Opeechee
Ed Brinkman 1974 Opeechee

Years later, Brinkman admitted he never lived down his locker-room interview.

“The guys got on me for that for a long time,” he said. “But at least I was telling the truth.”

Over on the radio side, WJR-AM (760) newsman Don Howe asked catcher Duke Sims whether the Tigers could take Oakland in the AL playoffs. His live reply: “We could beat the (expletive) (expletive) out of Cy Young if they threw him up there.”

The next day, Brinkman said he was embarrassed by his on-air comments and was sorry it had happened. Sims apologized, too, but was much more philosophical:

“You get in a situation like that and you’re liable to say anything. I’m sorry if people were offended, but it’s the nature of man to curse.”

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Sherrone Moore interview reminds us of 1972 Detroit Tigers moment