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FOX's Joe Buck gives full explanation for botching Mark-Paul Gosselaar's name during playoff game.

By Jimmy Traina
January 09, 2019

1. As I told you in Monday's Traina Thoughts, Joe Buck angered many people Saturday night during the Seahawks-Cowboys game when he mispronounced Mark-Paul Gosselaar's name, saying "GossAH-laar" while reading a promo for the actor's new FOX show, The Passage.

Obviously, it's completely unacceptable to botch the game of a man who played one of the greatest characters in TV history on one of the best show in TV history. Zack Morris and Saved by the Bell should never be disrespected. 

I confronted Buck about this travesty on the newest episode of the SI Media Podcast, which came out today. Here was the exchange:

Traina: I don't want to start off on a negative note and go right to the controversy...

Buck: It's big. It's a big controversy.

Traina: It's big. And I'm hard-hitting journalist, so we gotta get right to it. I named you and Troy [Aikman] the "Broadcast Team of the Year" in SI.com's Year-End Awards feature and then right after that, you go on national TV and disrespect one of the great actors of all time, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, aka Zack Morris, from one of the great shows of all time, Saved By the Bell. How do you explain yourself?

Buck: Well, this is gonna come in like a four-part answer. So, here's the first part.

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.

***

There was plenty of more talk about Saved by the Bell, but you have to listen to the podcast for it. We also talked about Buck's philosophy on criticizing referees, why Troy Aikman has had his best year ever as an analyst, what it was like doing two games a week with the addition of the Thursday night game, the response to Jason Witten and why he was put in a tough spot and much more. 

After the interview with Buck, legendary WWE announcer Jim Ross joined the show to reminsice about the late Mean Gene Okerlund. You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes.

2. DeShaun Watson wore a purple hoodie to watch his alma mata, Clemson put a beating on Alabama Monday. Apparently, Watson's fashion choice was a problem for a Nashville radio host.

3. WARNING: This clip is NSFW for all bettors reading Traina Thoughts. Kentucky was a 12-5-point favorite against Texas A&M last night and this happened. And props to play-by-play man Tom Hart for acknowleding the Bad Horrific Beat.

4. With the Sixers blowing out the Wizards, 132-115, last night. Joel Embiid only played 23 minutes (putting up 20 points and 10 rebounds). With all that time on his hands, the popular Philly big man decided to take in some of the game from the stands and even had one fan sit on his lap.

5. The Kliff Kingsbury story is so weird (fired after going 35-40 at Texas Tech, hired as OC by USC a few days ago, ditches USC, gets hired by the Arizona Cardinals as head coach), but you can't deny he'll be a storyline in the NFL thanks to his unique personality. We need more stuff like this from NFL coaches. 

6. The best thing going in the WWE right now, besides Becky Lynch, is heel Daniel Bryan. On last night's SmackDown, Bryan mocked WWE fans for their food choices while doing a promo from the concession stands.

7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: In honor of today's lead item, here's the Saved by the Bell reunion from the Tonight Show a few years ago.

Traina Thoughts is the best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts right here.And make sure to listen to and subscribe to the SI Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina.

IN CLOSING: If you can listen to Joe Buck's interview on the latest SI Media Podcast and still not be a fan afterward, you're completely lost, 

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