ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Two men from the Navajo Nation made history at Saturday’s Rio Grande Rivalry game, with a first-of-its-kind radio broadcast in Albuquerque. For the first time ever, two men from the Navajo Nation announced a D-1 college football game in the Navajo Language.
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“This is the first time that the Lobos and Aggies football game here in Albuquerque is the first time it’s been broadcast,” said Cuyler Frank with KCZY 107.3 FM. “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 was the play-by-play commentator for Saturday’s Rio Grande Rivalry game, alongside his color commentator, Glen King. Both are from the KCZY 107.3 radio station located in Crownpoint, New Mexico which broadcasts throughout the eastern part of the Navajo Nation.
They said this is the first time there’s been a duo in the sports broadcast booth to announce a game in Diné. Back in September 2005, Frank was the first person to announce an NCAA D-1 football game in the language. Following his broadcast, he continued to announce NMSU football and basketball games for nine seasons before becoming the station manager for KCZY.
Meanwhile, King has been a Navajo language radio host for more than 20 years. Both men said with their broadcast, they’re trying to appeal to the younger generation and find ways to help keep the Navajo language alive.
“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.”
Frank said he knows people in both the UNM and NMSU athletics departments and that’s how they were able to broadcast Saturday’s game.
The two broadcasters don’t have any other games scheduled to broadcast this football season. But hopefully, they’ll be able to broadcast another football game soon, or even basketball.