UW Health Sports Medicine 

The Voice: However you say it, Bielema making name for himself

The_Voice_Matt_Lepay_200.jpgFor a broadcaster, one of the worst mistakes we can make is mispronouncing someone's name. It is the equivalent of a writer misspelling a name. I have been guilty of that basic fundamental screw up more often than I care to admit.

In fact, a few days ago while taping a segment for the "Badger Sports Report" TV show, I referred to the South Dakota Coyotes as the "Ki-OH-tees." That is incorrect. They are the "KI-Oats."

Now you know. I would imagine it is pretty annoying for a South Dakota fan or a school administrator who time and time again will hear people say Ki-OH-tees, but I am sure they deal with it as best they can.

I would suggest they have company in the Badgers' head football coach. How often have you heard a national broadcaster butcher Bret Bielema's name? 

To some, he is Bret "Bull-EE-ma." To others, he is Bret "BILL-la-ma." There probably are some others, but "Bull-EE-ma" appears to be the leader in the clubhouse.

As Bret BEE-la-ma has said on a number of occasions, "I have been called any number of eating disorders."  

At least he can have some fun with it. Last week, Coach BEE-la-ma and Northern Illinois boss Dave Doeren were doing a radio interview together on Chicago's 670 The Score. The Badgers coach was able to chuckle when the hosts referred to his good friend as Dave "Door-ee-in."

For the record, it is "Door-in," but I am sure you Wisconsin fans knew that already.

I understand mistakes happen, but I would think by now most folks who get paid to talk about college football could properly pronounce the name of the fellow who coached his team to last year's Big Ten title. Is that asking too much? 

I mean, for crying out loud, this is Bull-EE-ma's, errrrrr, BEE-la-ma's sixth-year as head coach at a rather high-profile program. Can't these people get it right?

Of course, BEE-la-ma has company with another somewhat established coach -- Iowa's Kirk "FAIR-intz." Seems many folks still call him "Fuh-RENTS." Maybe that will make Bret feel a little better. Or maybe not.

After all, this is FAIR-intz's 13th year as the Hawkeyes' head man, so perhaps there is no end in sight for BEE-la-ma being called "Bull-EE-ma."

Oh well, maybe this is just another way Wisconsin can stay a little bit under the radar. Given the team's 3-0 start and top-10 national ranking, staying under the radar probably is a bit of a stretch, but if botching the coach's name gives the boys the feeling of disrespect, perhaps it is all for the better.

So, take heart South Dakota Ki-Oats fans. Your team is less than two weeks removed from knocking off last year's FCS national champs, and you are a top-20 team in your own right. Your squad is one year removed from beating Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Still, dummies such as yours truly fumbled your nickname. My apologies, and I plan on getting it right from now on, especially on Saturday afternoon.

As for those on ESPN and the other big boy networks who still can't get Bull-EE-ma, I mean, BEE-la-ma's name right, part of me says shame on you, while another part of me says just keep it up. BEE-la-ma appears to be surviving the blow.

Either way, I believe it is safe to say the University of Wisconsin head coach is starting to make a name for himself, no matter how the talking heads choose to pronounce it.


You think THIS is a problem? Wisconsin has been a state since 1848, and many sportscasters (notably including Brent Musburger) still pronounce it WESconsin. And they don't even have the excuse that it's spelled that way.

No if we could just get Wisconsin people to pronounce "Oregon" correctly we'd have something. As a native Wisconsinite who has lived on the West Coast I know nothing irritates fans of the Ducks and Beavers faster than when people mispronounce the name of their state incorrectly. Yes I know Wisconsin has a small town called "ore-a-GONE" but they have an entire US State and it's pronounced "ore-e-GINN"... like the former Ohio State Wide Receiver. Next time the Ducks or Beavers are in Madison let's see if UW can get it right as opposed to the last 2 times these schools have been here for football.