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Swearing off Swearing
Rick Reilly
September 25, 2006
YOU AND I have the same problem. We swear too goddam much.
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September 25, 2006

Swearing Off Swearing

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YOU AND I have the same problem. We swear too goddam much.

Growing up, the worst my mom ever said was, "Crying in the beer bucket!" Still have no idea what it meant, but it was serious. She said cursing was "for the locker room." Man, she wouldn't believe how big the locker room is now.

I realized it a couple of weeks ago at the Colorado-- Colorado State football game. The two student sections cursed like teamsters in two-sizes-too-small thongs.

They yelled, "F--- 'em up! F--- 'em up! Go CU!" They sang, "Bullllls---!" at a ref's call. And they chanted, "F—you, CSU!" (Clap-clap, clap-clap-clap!) And that was their clever stuff.

No student seemed to be able to pass a rival in the concourse without hurling a "F--- you!" in the other's ear, accompanied by twin birds and projectile spittle. (And, really, some of the men were just as bad.)

It's not just Colorado. We have become a nation of !@#$%&ers. Michigan hockey fans serenade each opponent sent to the penalty box with a dozen elegant words: "Chump! D---! Wuss! Douche bag! A------ ! P---- ! Cheater! Bitch! Whore! Slut! C---------!"

Higher education at its finest.

That's why I'm all for what they're doing at Boston University. Beginning this season, anybody who cusses at a BU home athletic event gets pitched out of the arena. "We had to do something," says hockey coach Jack Parker. "People are telling me they're afraid to bring their kids to games."

It's not going to be easy making BU hockey fans give up swearing. It's like asking frogs to give up flies or R Kelly 15-year-olds. Not only that, but how will the Terriers play games with only three players left on the ice? "I just hope an usher doesn't come down and get me," says Parker.

Athletic director Mike Lynch and dean of students Kenneth Elmore decided something had to be done after BU fans cursed a blue streak during last spring's NCAA hockey tournament. Now the school will station cuss cops—officials, ushers, even Lynch—all over Agganis Arena's infamous section 118. "They're trying to censor us," says Nick Williams, sports editor of the student paper. "I feel like it limits my freedom of speech."

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