Anyone who's ever been in an NFL locker room knows the language can get a little salty. On any given day, the F-bombs, among other expletives, are going to fly.
So why is New York Jets coach Rex Ryan being so liberally criticized for his profanity, which was captured vividly last week on the debut of HBO's "Hard Knocks" series? It's apparently a Tony Dungy thing.
Ryan didn't just hear from his mother, he also heard (in a roundabout way) from Dungy, the former Indianapolis Colts coach who said in a radio interview that he was disappointed at the Jets coach's use of colorful language. Dungy even suggested that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell call Ryan and remind him that he represents the league.
Understandably, Ryan was stung by Dungy's remarks, saying, "I'm a good person." According to reports, he invited Dungy to Jets camp so he could meet the "real" Ryan.
Ryan also said, "I've been a big admirer of Tony Dungy, and I'm sure a lot of people are, but he unfairly judged me, and that was disappointing to me."
We can assume that Dungy probably heard every conceivable curse word during his time on playing fields and in locker rooms. We can also assume that he told his players and coaches that those kinds of words aren't welcome on his teams.
But banning them doesn't mean they don't exist. They do. And unless we missed something on the first installment of "Hard Knocks," Ryan never cursed in anger, nor did he use profanity to belittle or insult a player or coach.
Maybe, in this case, it's best to leave the last word to Rex's father, Buddy, the old defensive coordinator who never pulled punches and always said what he meant.
"It's none of Tony Dungy's business," Buddy said.