The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
Diamondbacks Announcers Fined By FCC For Referring To Randy Johnson As "The Big Unit"
Originally posted 5/31/2004

"The Big Mechanism" (left) celebrates his perfect game with Diamondbacks cather Robby Hammock
PHOENIX - Arizona Diamondbacks radio announcers Jeff Munn and Ken Phelps, as well as television broadcasters Thom Brennaman and Rod Allen, were fined by the Federal Communications Commission this week after continually referring to Diamondbacks ace pitcher Randy Johnson as "The Big Unit."

Johnson, who has commonly been referred to as such for well over a decade, recently pitched a perfect game against the Atlanta Braves, attracting the attention of the baseball world and, unfortunately for the Diamondbacks broadcasting team, the FCC.

"Look, I'm all for maintaining standards in society," said Allen after receiving news of his fine. "I've got kids of my own. But I really think this is taking it too far."

"The Big Unit looks to beat the World Champion Florida Marlins after achieving perfection the last time out," Munn told listeners prior to Johnson's May 23 start in Miami. Though it was not the first time Brennaman has used the nickname in reference to Johnson, FCC chairman Michael Powell hopes it will be the last.

"After what happened with Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl, we've got to impose some standard of decency over the airwaves," Powell said after announcing the broadcasters' $25,000 fines. "'The Big Unit' is not a nickname that's appropriate to be mentioned during what should be a family-oriented baseball broadcast. But, I'm not one to assign blame without offering solutions."

Powell then produced a large thesaurus. "There are plenty of words that mean almost the same thing as 'unit,' and are seldom if ever used as a euphemism for male genitalia. For instance: 'Assemblage.' 'Contingent.' 'Corpuscle.' 'Integer.' 'Legion.' 'Mechanism.' Huh? 'The Big Mechanism?' See, there? Isn't it more fun when it's not so dirty?"

Powell also announced that Arizona Diamondbacks Spanish-language announcers Richard Sanchez and Oscar Soria will be fined for referring to Johnson as "El Unito Gigante."

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