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

Costa Numbers Embarrassing for RVP...

Post comment

The comparative 'ruthless efficiency' of Diego Costa has been the difference for Chelsea, while Christian Benteke has shone. Robin van Persie, on the other hand...

F365's Premier League Relegation Quiz - The Answers

Post comment

Tricky quiz this week - but how did you do?

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

I

still can't see the Phil Jones thing that some people go on about. Whenever I watch him play it's a repeat of headless chicken meets a gurning Bambi on ice for 90 minutes.

diabolicaldiaby
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

P

robably the first list I've come across in a long time where I agree with a large majority of what was written. Can't agree with everything though, Zaba has had an awful season by his standards, I'd put Monreal (a player who I've never rated) up there, gotta give credit where it's due, he's really stepped up his game.

scroteymcbooger
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

S

ome top analysis here..... UNITED WOULD BE TOP IF IT WEREN'T FOR ALL THEM GAMES THEY LOST

benvo81
United Progress Stifled By Bottom-Half Record

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho agrees new Chelsea deal, claim reports

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has verbally agreed a two-year extension to his contract, according to reports.

Brendan Rodgers says he will be a better manager at Liverpool next season

Brendan Rodgers believes he "will be a better manager" next season, and has criticised the "short-termism" that has threatened to dislodge him at Liverpool.

Swansea's Bafetimbi Gomis could return from injury against Arsenal

Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis could return to action against Arsenal after nearly a month on the sidelines.

Mail Box

Coutinho Better Than Cazorla And Cesc...

Philippe Coutinho has outperformed Santi Cazorla AND Cesc Fabregas, while Arsenal need no new signings. We also have mails on Olivier Giroud and shopping lists...

Giroud Is More Than Good Enough...

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are integral to Arsenal's title hopes next season. There's also more on handballs, Juventus, and Ronaldo holding Bale back...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company