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Super Bowl XXX Was Broadcast in Navajo Language

ICTMN Staff
1/23/14

This is not just an OMG fact to be revealed, then forgotten about.

On January 28, 1996, KTNN aired a radio broadcast of Super Bowl XXX in the Navajo language, and according to an Associated Press report in the Post and Courier, it was the first time in history that the championship was heard this way.

“We have avid sports fans here and about 30 percent of people speak nothing but Navajo,” said Tazbah McCullah, KTNN’s general manager to the newspaper back in 1996. The game was broadcast on its 50,000 watt AM station to more than 250,000 people.

That same year, 1996, the Super Bowl was played in Tempe, Arizona. It is unclear whether a subsequent Super Bowl was broadcast in Navajo, but in 2005 the Raiders Bronco game was aired in the Navajo language. Reporter Ernie Manuelito delivered the play-by-play along side KTNN Sports director L.A. Williams.

NPR’s All Thing’s Considered reported on Manuelito, Navajo, who died in April 2009. You can hear some of his broadcast here

 

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