KALAMAZOO, Michigan - College Football Sports Analyst Bob Griese did the old open-mouth-insert-foot routine while he was doing the play-by-play announcing of an NCAA college football game between Great Lakes of Michigan College and Solid State University.
Griese was doing an on-the-air promotion for an upcoming NASCAR event, The Tucson Taco Swell 700 when he said that the winner of the race would receive his choice of either $70,000 and 700 tacos or else $70,000 and no tacos.
The ESPN/ABC phone panel lit up. In a little less than seven minutes, the phone panel operator, Deena Maybelle Koslowski, 43, had logged in a total of 2,890 calls.
She said that out of the 2,890, 2,888 were from irate callers complaining about Griese's "Taco" remark.
One of the two non-complaining calls was from an individual named Artie Cudweed, 89, of Pascagoula, Mississippi. Mr. Cudweed said that he did not like tacos because they made him burp, sneeze, cough, and break out in quarter-size hives.
The second uncomplaining caller was 72-year-old Bufasa Tibooki who said that he had just moved to America from Zimbabwe last Friday and he wanted to know what the heck a taco was.
Bob Griese apologized on the air for making such a stupid, dumb, idiotic, Ann Coulter-like hateful remark. He said that he loves tacos, and that he has his wife, Mrs. Griese prepare them at least two and sometimes five times a week.
Griese noted that during one of the commercials he personally called the president and CEO of Taco Swell in Redondo Beach, California, Don Don Fernandez.
He said that he apologized to Senor (Mr.) Fernandez and said that he wanted to buy each one of the 2,888 irate callers a Taco Swell Deluxe Taco.
Don Don Fernandez said that he would gladly send him 2,888 coupons for one free Taco Swell Deluxe Taco redeemable at any one of the over 3 million Taco Swell Restaurants conveniently located throughout America, Mexico, Costa Rica, East L.A., Guatemala, and Bolivia.
The Tacos sell for $1.03 each including tax. Griese said that his little 'taco' slip cost him $2,974.64. He then added that he was just glad that he said 'taco' and not 'Butterball Turkey.'