At the end of the day, oh well: People swear sometimes. It happens. Get over it. Those who spend too much time trying to protect their kids from swear words are probably focusing on the wrong things, parenting-wise, or at least wasting their time: Your kid is going to hear, and eventually use, bad language. Life goes on. (Of course, your parenting mileage might vary. I don't have kids. What do I know?)
Still, it's never particularly palatable to hear large groups of people chanting obscenities because they happen to disagree with a referee's call, or because they find the rival team distasteful. When Louis C.K. swears, it's hilarious. When a thousand fans do it in unison, it just seems sort of dumb.
It doesn't do much for the reputation of an institution of higher learning, that's for sure. Which is perhaps why Kansas State seems intent on curbing the collective swearing heard so often in the Octagon of Doom this season. How are they doing so? By getting coach Frank Martin -- no stranger to profuse sideline profanity in his own right -- on board. On Thursday, Martin sent a letter to Kansas State students promising to curb his own use of naughty language on the sidelines, in order to better represent the school and its community. From local columnist Greg Hall:
“None of us are perfect. I continue to work at correcting the mistakes I have made. Moreover, I have done things I wish I could take back. However, in life you can’t go backwards but you can always get better from the lessons. One thing that I have worked hard at improving is the language that I use at games and eliminating these moments. I cannot allow my competitiveness to blind me from the fact that I represent you, the great students of a university of higher education. As a father, and an educator, there is no place for this at any event in which I am representing K-State.”
Don't do it, coach! For one thing, you don't want to lose your edge. For another, if you don't swear, we won't be able to sit around and read your lips, and as such watching Kansas State games on TV will get at least 30 percent less entertaining. Giggling at Martin's angry exclamations like a 10-year-0ld is one of the great joys of Kansa State broadcasts. What will we do now?
Alas, K-State fans still belted out their fair share of profane chants Monday night. Perhaps, with the hated Jayhawks in town, that was to be expected. But now that the rivalry is out of the way, we'll see if all of Bramlage can follow its coach's example and take things down a notch or two. It doesn't have to be G-rated, but PG-13 would be a start.
(Hat tip: Lost Lettermen)