Sunday, October 30, 2011

Coaching profanity

Profanity has no place at all in sports.  Respectable coaches never use profanity and those that do are simply reverting back to some semblance of egotistical Neanderthalism where male dominance can never be disputed.  Players don’t respect coaches that use profanity and never find motivation in swearing tirades that more-often-than-not tear down a kid’s precious self-esteem. 

Ok, now that the politically correct answer is complete, and I’m done smirking at it, the reality can be discussed.  Nobody should be spewing f-bombs left and right, but this idea that Shawn Abel should lose his job coaching football because he went ranting at half-time in the locker room is a tad bit ridiculous.  For those not in the know, Abel was recorded by a player and his comments were put up on YouTube for the world to witness.  The fake outrage is nauseating.  People are condemning the coach for damaging the frail sensibilities of high school students, as if he called them the worst names in the universe while talking bad about their mom.  Most of the complaints are coming from people who can’t believe someone would use that kind of language in an educational setting. 

Reality is that most athletes will tell you that they have heard this before.  Coaches sometimes use profanity because it further emphasizes a point; and no it doesn’t mean the coach is either bad or uneducated.  I don’t condone using profanity because of two reasons.  First, the political climate is so idiotic about being “correct” that every little thing that you say is analyzed.  Second, I felt like when I did use profanity during my younger years that it wasn’t effective in promoting my message.  That’s not to say it doesn’t work for someone else, it just doesn’t really work with me.  So I work really hard not to use swearing as a way to convey my message; although I have to admit that I might whisper a couple to things on the sideline when I’m away from everyone. 

I think profanity has become too much of a big deal overall in society today.  Those faux offended care so much about what words are being used that they fail to actually listen to the message.  And while Coach Abel might have been wise to tone it down a touch, there has to be something else to the situation because profanity in high school locker rooms should shock, well, nobody.  In fact it is often ignored and occasionally rewarded.  I just got done watching Prayer for a Perfect Season, an HBO documentary about Kevin Boyle’s 2010-11 basketball team at St. Elizabeth High School in New Jersey.  In the documentary you hear Coach Boyle swear at practice, in the locker room, and absolutely go Eddie Murphy style on the sideline and in game huddles (right in front of fans).  And you know what the coach from St. Liz gets for using profanity?  A $125,000 pay raise, a car and a new home in Florida (all paid for), and the distinction of being 2011 Naismith High School Coach of the Year. 

Now that’s profane.        

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