Fans who tuned in to the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday between Nevada and Arizona might have been confused if/when they heard ESPN’s Bob Wischusen and Danny Kanell referring to the “Nevada Formation.”
ESPN decided before the game that, in light of the tragic shootings in Newtown, CT, on Friday, the phrase would replace “Pistol offense” as a descriptor of Nevada’s offense. The formation was originally developed by Wolfpack head coach Chris Ault in 2004.
Read a memo from ESPN senior vice president and executive producer Mark Gross:
-for the time being, we should not be tweeting about sports until further notice (the Talent Office will communicate when tweeting about sports can begin again)
-refrain from using ‘shooter’ or other words which are not appropriate given the tragedy
The Worldwide Leader’s decision is understandable but nonetheless curious in that there are myriad football phrases — Shotgun, aerial assault, bomb, quick strike, etc. — that are hardly deemed offensive.
As noted out by Deadspin, the phrase “Shotgun” was used during the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl later in the day on ESPN.
While the idea was well intended, we’re not sure the edict served its purpose.