ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Rio Grande Rivalry had a Native American feel to a group of radio listeners on Saturday.
Two men from the Navajo Nation made history, broadcasting radio play-by-play and color commentary in their native language during the college football game between the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University, KRQE reported.
Cuyler Frank called the play-by-play during Saturday’s game in Albuquerque, New Mexico, while Glen King provided analysis during the annual rivalry game, won 34-25 by New Mexico.
“This is the first time that the Lobos and Aggies football game here in Albuquerque is the first time it’s been broadcast,” Frank, who called the game on KCZY 107.3 FM, told KRQE. “Glen and I are the first to do it. So this is going to be the first time it’s going to be on a radio station on the Navajo Nation from Albuquerque.”
Frank and King work for KCZY, which is located in Crownpoint in the eastern portion of the Navajo Nation.
In September 2005, Frank was the first solo broadcaster to speak the Navajo language during a radio sportscast, KRQE reported. He called New Mexico State football and basketball games for nine seasons before becoming KCZY’s station manager. King has been a Navajo language radio host for 20 years, the television station reported.
Both men hope that broadcasting the game in the Navajo language will appeal to the tribe’s younger fans.
“Encourage the Navajo language to be spoken in homes, in schools, and also you know, in general, because it’s important to us and this is what we’re doing to our part and try to help and make the Navajo language survive,” King told KRQE.
The two broadcasters do not have any other games scheduled to broadcast this football season, the television station reported.
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