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Fox Sports pulls foul-mouthed announcer from NFL gig

After completing his play-by-play debut last Sunday as part of the Fox Sports call of the Lions-Vikings game, announcer Mike Goldberg tweeted a message to partner Brendon Ayanbejo:

Alas, Goldberg's first NFL assignment could also be his last for Fox -- at least this season. 

Fox Sports management pulled Goldberg from his next assignment -- this Sunday's Vikings-Bills game -- after the broadcaster sparred with Twitter users who were critical of his broadcasting, a series of exchanges that included a some curses from Goldberg to his detractors. Pro Football Talk chronicled the online action here.

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A Fox Sports spokesperson said Goldberg will not call any more NFL games for the network this year. The spokesperson said he was scheduled only to do the Lions-Vikings and Vikings-Bills.

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What triggered Goldberg's response? The broadcaster received a torrent of social media criticism for his call, which included misidentifying players and coaches and mispronouncing names, among other issues. 

"Obviously, Mike let his emotions get the best of him during his Twitter responses on Sunday," said a Fox Sports spokesperson. "He was quick to apologize for this unfortunate and regrettable situation and understands he made a mistake. He offered to not broadcast this Sunday's game to avoid any further distraction and we agreed.”

Had Goldberg, whose primary job is working as a commentator for Ultimate Fighting Championship (note Fox's relationship with UFC here), had more of a track record with Fox executives, it's likely he would have faced only internal discipline. But networks do not like to be embarrassed by any employee, especially ones that do not have a lot of juice built up with management.

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On Tuesday Goldberg tweeted that he and Fox came to a mutual understanding about his giving up this week's broadcast.

"I just want to apologize to everyone at Fox and elsewhere for my momentary lapse of reason Sunday night," Goldberg wrote. "I let some mean-spirited folks on twitter get to me and I should have had thicker skin instead of reacting so quickly and emotionally. I don't want to be a distraction on the upcoming broadcast Sunday, so we mutually agreed that it would be best to sit this next one out. I'm not happy about it personally but, professionally, it's the right thing to do after my mistake."