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Coaching And Cussing

So who was right, between New York Jets coach Rex Ryan and former Colts and Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy, as to whether or not it matters if a professional coach in any sport, not just football, uses foul language for any reason during practice or a game ?

I certainly admire Tony Dungy for all that he has accomplished with both Indianapolis and Tampa Bay. He should and does get a lot of credit, for the Buccaneers team that went on to win a Super Bowl under Jon Gruden (2002 season), especially it’s defense ( known as the “Tampa 2”). Dungy has always conducted himself with class and distinction. I remember how the Colts players were all in admiration when their coach was eulogizing his son, Jamie, 18, who took his own life on December 22, 2005, and how even in that most tragic of circumstances, he used his own sorrow as a teaching tool for his players, so they might gain something from his loss.

It certainly would be difficult to live up to his standards, the way Dungy carries himself, in both words and actions. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to reach for a higher standard, that we can all accept and live by. On the one hand, I am certain that almost all coaches in professional sports, and at the elite level of the amateur ranks, also cuss when they are frustrated or angry for any reason. At the same time, when you consider that Dungy has coached and succeeded at the highest level of his sport,and been a Super Bowl winner with the Colts during the 2006 season, his comments about swearing should not be ignored either, just because he sets the bar at a higher level than most people expect, in terms of personal conduct.

It was not surprising that Dungy spoke with Rex Ryan, and hopefully the Jets bench boss might become more cognitive of what he is saying. I would guess that he probably will be more cautious in his choice of words, although I doubt that he will stop swearing entirely. At the very least, you can bet that when the Jets coach is about to speak in angry words, he will probably be thinking of Dungy, and what he might say about Ryan’s choice of words, even if he disagrees with Dungy entirely. That may have been what Dungy intended all along. I’m sure he is not worried about being Rex Ryan’s buddy. Dungy is a strong enough character, that he is not concerned with winning popularity contests. He probably feels that strongly, about setting a higher standard for those in the high profile position of being an NFL coach.

Ryan was completely correct in telling “ Just because somebody cusses doesn’t make him a bad person. Just because a guy doesn’t cuss doesn’t make him a good person.” At the same time, Tony Dungy strongly encouraging clean language usage, doesn’t make him wrong either, and might end up having a positive impact on Rex Ryan or others in the coaching profession as well .

1 comments: on "Coaching And Cussing"

Chef Lucky said...

While i have the utmost respect for Tony Dungy,i can't help but be bothered by his "calling out" another Pro Football Coach over language,that has been used in Locker Rooms since the beginning of time. This is PRO FOOTBALL! A violent game,played by violent men,and Dungy is upset over Rex Ryan's Cursing???? I am 100% sure,that in his many years both as a player and Coach,that Tony Dungy has heard far worse than what Rex Ryan said.I agree with your point about both Dungy and Ryan being right,but i can't help but feel as though Dungy was being just a wee bit too moralistic for his own good. Profanity or the lack of it has NOTHING to do,with winning games or with what kind of person you are. Dungy is no better or worse a Human being than Ryan ,because he chooses not to use profanity and Ryan is no better or worse than Dungy,because he does. I find Rex Ryan,to be a breath of fresh air. The NFL is so busy trying to act as if it is some sort of PG-13 Family Affair,when in reality it is violent,brutal,cut throat and yes full of Profanity,on and off the field.