We were intrigued by Monday’s remarks from former Bucs and Colts coach Tony Dungy on The Dan Patrick Show regarding the potty mouth of current Jets coach Rex Ryan. You were, too. Nearly 200 comments were posted, and many more were deleted, for a variety of reasons, including excessive use of Rex’s favorite word.
Since I’ll be visiting with Dan at 11:35 a.m. ET to discuss the Dungy-Ryan dynamic, I figured it would make sense to have a take on the situation. And since sometimes the only way for me to have a take is to force myself to write a take, here goes nothing. Literally.
As we opined in the wake of the Wednesday’s cluster-”F”-bomb debut of Hard Knocks, real life is rated R. Adults, adolescents, and children routinely use profanity, in pretty much every setting where adults are around other adults, adolescents are around other adolescents, and children are around other children. Studies have shown that letting the expletives fly helps to relieve stress, so that has been my own excuse for periodically using a four-syllable term that may or may not include a hyphen.
Against that backdrop, we respect anyone who maintains full control of his tongue and vocal cords and, more importantly, who can find other ways to blow off steam — or alternatively who can find a way to avoid letting steam accumulate in the first place.
When it comes down to it, Dungy and Ryan are different people, and they use the methods in which they believe. Dungy applied a calm demeanor in an inherently stressful and confrontational line of work, and it worked. Ryan has gravitated toward the other extreme, where most football coaches tend to congregate. So far for Ryan, it has worked.
So in light of Dungy’s perspective and personal habits, we’re not surprised that he’s disappointed by Ryan’s language, or by his belief that the Commissioner should talk to Rex about toning it down when the cameras are rolling.
And that’s the thing that surprises us the most about the presence in an NFL Films production of rampant profanity. Even if Hard Knocks is broadcast on the network that brought us a dramatic series in which the “F” word was used as often as the word “the”, Hard Knocks carries the NFL shield. So if it’s bad for the NFL shield for guys like Ben Roethlisberger to drink like a sailor, why is the NFL shield bulging with pride over a show in which Rex Ryan curses like one?
Feel free to share your views in the comments. With or without profanity.