Johnny & Al's Swearing In Football

The asterisk key has never been so frantically used as in Johnny and Al's latest paen to the art of the industrial language. Who wouldn't want to hear Alan Hansen say 'c**t'?

Last Updated: 11/07/12 at 13:23 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Football Managers On TV: Roberto Martinez

7 comments

He's a 'Bright Young Manager', which is meant as a huge compliment, and he's also affable and approachable. It's actually quite difficult to dislike Roberto Martinez...

WhoScored's Five Early Season Statistical Shifts

5 comments

WhoScored.com look at five sides who, after the opening four matches of the season, seem to have made tactical alterations to their style over the summer...

All Articles

Words are powerful things.

So much so that society constructs laws to define which words can and can't be said to other people and in what circumstances.

We can't write the word c**t or rather, we can, but we have to use those asterisks. You know what the word is, you've just said it in your head, but we can't write it. We're not sure why we can't spell it out, but can asterisk it, or whose sensibilities are being protected by this obfuscation or why whoever that is gets such preferential treatment.

But there it is. F**k it.

In our view, this is somewhat pathetic given the context we're writing them in. This is not a report of the local vicar's Sunday sermon, where it would be incongruous to see such words. "And lo the prophet did say unto the heathens, 'truly my son, you are a f*****g c**t'."

As anyone reading the court reports this week will know, there is a lot of swearing in football. We doubt many people will be shocked by this - however, many have been genuinely amazed at how puerile the 'banter' is; more suited to 14-year-olds than grown men. It is further proof that football, perhaps especially at the high levels, allows and encourages many of its participants to remain as young, silly boys. In this world, my dad is bigger than your dad is still active social currency...or perhaps that should be 'my latest step-dad is bigger than the bloke that is currently bunked up with your dirty mother.'

When we watch football on TV we are all aware of the swearing, whether it's the players insulting each other or the crowd chanting various obscenities. Does it bother us? No.

The fact that football media on TV and in the press doesn't use 'bad' language at all has always struck us as somewhat odd. Clearly, standards have to be maintained but allowing a pundit to say "that was a f***ing disgrace" after a bad penalty call, would only be appropriate and would sometimes better express our collective feelings.

But it is never allowed. Indeed, if a mild expletive slips from phone-in callers' lips, apologies are issued all-round to those who might have been offended. This has never seemed sensible. Surely, it is the content and meaning of words that might offend and not the choice of words per se. You can insult without using swear words and you can compliment using swear words. But when it comes to broadcasting, it seems meaning is less important than expression. So you can say someone is a useless fool without censure, but not a useless tw*t.

But is that really any worse? Is being called a fool more acceptable? Who is to say and based on what, exactly?

For some reason, even the most rigid and disapproving of our newspapers are quoting from the Terry court report that he had called Ferdinand "a knobhead", with the word written out full. We have seen an "arse" where "s**t" feared to tread, and "crap" often pops up where "s**t" is deemed not right. It is confusing. It could be that those people who think that total strangers, in this case footballers, should be role models for their children are once again being treated, not with the hooting contempt and disdain that is their due, but with deference.

This is not a call for unfettered swearing though. For any words to maintain their power, their use must be selective and not become part of everyday sentence construction. There is nothing more annoying than talking to someone who uses f*** every fourth word in every f*****g sentence, you know what we f*****g mean?

We are calling, then, for a one expletive allowance per pundit, per match. We strongly believe that if Mark Lawrenson is hating a match as badly as he seems to be, he should be allowed to say: "This Greece match is f***ing boring." And Alan Hansen should be permitted to assess some defending with: "Terrible defending, look at the space between the centre halves, totally undisciplined. What a bunch of c***s." Any more than one swear per game, and it's their match fee in the swearbox. If Alan wants to fork over 40 grand for an additional "cock-smoking twot-bubble" then that is his choice entirely, all proceeds to charity.

John Nicholson and Alan Tyers

Alan's book is called 'Gin And Juice: The Victorian Guide To Parenting' and you can check it out here.

And read John's book, 'The Meat Fix.'

Follow Alan on Twitter here or Johnny here.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

ilarious, thanks for that. But if I may, I do suspect the reason of your partners' ire is not Tottenham, but most probably all the compusilve gambling :)

DannySmith
Backing Costa To Keep Banging 'Em In

T

wo police horses in a paddock. Horse 1: What's with the long face? Horse 2: I'm working St James Park this weekend.

hump3.
Pardew braced for protests

T

wo things. First, I can't stop reading your name as 'Dane Bowers'. Second, you used the words 'philosophy' and 'Redknapp' in the same sentence.

ajsr1982
Can United's Defence Handle Ulloa?

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini not concerned by Yaya Toure's form

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has no concerns over the form or commitment of midfielder Yaya Toure.

Transfer news: Chelsea's Jose Mourinho plays down Cristiano Ronaldo transfer talk

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has played down speculation about signing Cristiano Ronaldo.

Dundee boss Paul Hartley anticipates a good derby with United

Dundee boss Paul Hartley maintains his players have no fears as they prepare for the derby match with Dundee United.

Mail Box

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

No, Wenger IS To Blame For Failure...

The backlash to the backlash to the backlash sees Arsene Wenger getting a good kicking while we also have mails on Chelsea, Newcastle, Everton and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property