There aren't many ways in which the Southern Mississippi football program can outclass the University of Miami's...unless the category is "broadcasting mishaps."
The Golden Eagles took the series lead this weekend, when a techical error sent 30 minutes of very private commentary by the production staff out to fans watching a live webcast of the spring football game.
Fortunately for Southern Miss, that's "fewer than 50 people" according to the official apology. We're guessing it was actually "3," thanks to the scientific formula: [number of players' mothers + equipment manager's aunt ÷ number of laptops in Mississippi].
Also on the plus side, the mix-up wasn't audible to those listening on the radio (a would-be increase of 9 percent).
Despite the best efforts of Lamar Thomas, who provided commentary so colorful during the Miami-FIU brawl it got him fired, or the fun we all had when the NBC control booth caught fire at the Orange Bowl in 1992, nothing Miami's accomplished comes close to the heights reached by employees of WXRR-104.5 FM.
Topics worthy of color commentary off the record: marital relations with picnic tables, transsexuals, coke bottles, ladies in the stands, SMU cheerleaders, and (unrelated to cheerleaders, presumably) fat girls; things they know that would get the play-by-play announcer fired; and low-quality toilet paper. Oh, and -- shocking -- the "n-word" makes an appearance in reference to that other Mississippi school.
How did this resumé-boosting talk go unnoticed for half an hour?
"You would have had to have been listening to the webcast [to catch the wiring malfunction]," said Southern Miss athletic director Richard Giannini.
He hung his head, but then brightened when he realized that at least 11 people will tune in next year just in case it happens all over again.
Janie Campbell is a Florida sports fan who has already downloaded the scandalous audio to her iPod. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the Internet.