Twitter exploded with criticism of Fox’s Joe Buck during the Cowboy’s Wild Card round playoff victory over the Seattle Seahawks this weekend. The outrage had nothing to do with what happened on the field. It was all over the way Buck pronounced the name of former Saved by the Bell star Mark-Paul Gosselar.
Buck was the featured guest on this week’s edition of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast and Jimmy Traina made it a point to get to the bottom of how one of the great play-by-play men ever could butcher the name of one of America’s favorite actors.
When it debuted, and I looked this up, I was 20. And I watched a lot of “Saved by the Bell” in my early 20s, which I think started to make me feel creepy, watching a show about high school. But I was well aware of Mark-Paul, I was well aware of the great Dustin Diamond, well aware of really the entire, cast, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, right on down the line, with Tiffani probably being the main reason why I was watching.
So every time I saw his same, Mark-Paul, we’ll leave the last name out of it for now, on the credits, I always in mind thought that that’s how you pronounced it, the way it’s spelled. I think the end of it is -laar. So forever, since I was 20, I’ve thought that’s how you pronounced his last name. So I have been saying it incorrectly for the better part of a month now and nobody at FOX or in our truck or anywhere said to me, “Hey, you’re screwing up the guys’ name.” It’s Gosselar. OK. Whatever.
So then I say it in the Cowboys game on Saturday and there’s a Twitter storm and all that. So, what I did, and I’m not a journalist, I’ve admitted that on HBO, but journalistically, I thought it would be best if I talked to this guy, Mark-Paul Gosselaar. So I got his number, he got mine, he called me and we talked yesterday for maybe a half hour and now I consider him one of my best friends.
And here’s the beauty of the whole thing, I said tell me you don’t have an uncle that pronounces your last name “GossAHlaar.” He said, “No, actually, you’re pronouncing it correctly. When I got into TV, I dumbed it down and just said ‘Gosselar’ because I thought it would be too difficult or sound weird if I pronounced it the way it’s really pronounced.” He said, ‘In fact, the way you pronounce my last name is ‘Hosselaar. It’s Dutch.'” So I was closer to the actual pronunciation having not seen any in-depth interviews over the years with Gosselaar, but he was great. And we’re trying to find a way to inject this whole thing back in the broadcast in L.A.Joe Buck on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast
Gosselar’s name came up on the broadcast because he is now on the Fox show The Passage. If there is one staple of Fox Sports broadcasts, it has been Buck promoting Fox programming.
The full episode can be found here. It features Buck talking about his NFL play-by-play partner Troy Aikman’s growth as a broadcaster, his philosophy on criticizing referees, and late WWE personality “Mean” Gene Okerlund.