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Cut out cursing this year

By Anthony Rhoads

"Cursing or swearing is a weak mind trying to sound strong."

Eagle's Landing Christian Academy head football coach Tim Luke gave me that quote when I was getting local reaction last year when Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson instituted a ban on all curse words.

Before becoming head football coach at Vanderbilt last year, Johnson had a no-cursing policy at Furman.

Also at the Division I-A level, Tyrone Willingham also has a similar set of rules.

Perhaps local coaches, fans and players can take a cue from these coaches, who realize that learning to control the tongue is another way to instill discipline into the young men that they coach.

Spouting off a tirade of curse words doesn't make you a man. On the contrary, it makes you look like an immature child. If you're going to go off on these profanity-laden tirades, why don't you go ahead and hold your breath until your face turns blue, jump up and down, roll around in the floor while flailing your arms and legs and basically act like a whiny child in the middle of a temper tantrum.

As much as I like sports, sometimes I dread the school year because of the coaches, parents, players and fans who curse. I don't have a goody-goody, Polly Anna attitude about it but it gets tiresome after a while.

You get tired of hearing the same things over and over again. You get tired of folks cursing the officials; you get tired of the general disrespect that is shown in general.

You get tired of hearing these Bobby Knight-wannabe coaches who constantly curse the kids and the officials.

When I think of coaches who display character, one of the coaches in my life that really stuck out was Buzzy Richmond.

Coach Richmond was my junior high football coach and he eventually became the varsity head football coach.

Several years later, I had the chance to interview coach Richmond for a project I was doing when I was in college.

Coach Richmond didn't believe in cursing.

"Sometimes you have to get on young men but you don't have to curse or degrade young men" was one of the quotes I used for my story and I have often thought about that when I see other people go off on these tirades.

I certainly believe in discipline and certainly believe in pushing young men and women to excel. I certainly believe that young men and women who choose to play sports should have to walk a straight line.

These kids do need to be yelled at sometimes to shake them up and motivate them to do better but I think a line has to be drawn when it comes to cursing.

"I think any time you take a stand that's against the norm, you're going to build discipline," Luke said. "Discipline is a positive. Curse words are negative and are used for tearing down. You do have to yell and get on them at times but you also build them up as well."

Anthony Rhoads is a sports writer for The Daily and his column appears each Wednesday. He can be reached at arhoads@news-daily.com or sports@news-daily.com.