The Land :: www.TheLandOnline.com

Nuts & Bolts

February 28, 2014

Good luck throwing the flag on racial slurs, profanity in football

As I walked the sidelines of a professional football game, my ears were filled with a barrage of profanity the likes of which I’d never heard. There’s no use repeating the language here because no newspaper in the country would print it.

It was a side of pro football I’d never experienced. We all know the game - tough, physical, even brutal. You can see that from anywhere in the stadium.

But the verbal exchange on the field can be vile, crude and gross. Does that reflect the nature of the sport or the extreme combativeness of its players? Probably both. I found it somewhere between funny and intimidating.

That sideline experience came to mind this week as I read about a proposal by the National Football League to crack down on profanity and slurs - especially use of the N-word - next season. Consequences could be a 15-yard penalty, ejection from the game or maybe a fine.

The proposal is made all the more strange because there’s already Rule 12 on player conduct, which includes a section prohibiting unsportsmanlike conduct. It’s just not enforced - at least the part about cussing.

If you don't take it from me, you can believe Dale Orem, who started working NFL games as an official in 1980 and continued until 2001. He spent the last few years reviewing disputed plays on TV monitors high above the field. Profanity and racial epithets have been in the game forever, he told me, not defending the practice.

So why is the NFL all of a sudden focused on player protocol?

The answer is fairly obvious. The Miami Dolphins’ bullying scandal – Richie Incognito vs. Jonathan Martin – shocked the NFL. Workplace harassment and intimidation are intolerable, especially within a multibillion-dollar enterprise.

Then came the announcement from Southeastern Conference defensive star Michael Sam that he is gay and hopes to be a high draft choice. His decision to jump out of the closet as he potentially enters an NFL locker room forced the league to be proactive.

Text Only
Nuts & Bolts
  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 24, 2014

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 24, 2014

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 24, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 18, 2014

  • Afghanistan vet who ran to grenade gets Medal of Honor

    A former Marine Corps corporal who was severely wounded when he risked his life to shield a squad mate from a grenade blast in Afghanistan was awarded the nation's highest military decoration Thursday.

    June 20, 2014

  • May 2014 was the hottest may in recorded history

    According to new data released this week, May 2014 is officially the warmest May in recorded history.
    Both NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency have tentatively ranked May at the top of historical measurements, though NASA's numbers are preliminary because crucial information is still missing from China.

    June 20, 2014

  • Nelly-elephant.jpg Bet the farm: 5 'psychic' animals predict soccer victories

    Need some guidance on whom to place your bets for this year's World Cup? Since Paul the Octopus achieved a prediction success rate of 85 percent in 2010, hosts of animal oracles around the world have sought attention as soccer sages. Here's a look at a few of them.

    June 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Is the FDA waging a war on artisanal cheese?

    Is the Food and Drug Administration waging a war on artisanal cheese?
    The answer depends on your perspective. But this much is certain: The agency's answer to New York regulators about using wooden boards to age cheese has caused an uproar in the domestic industry and raised questions about the status of imported cheeses that use the same process.

    June 12, 2014

  • Texting while driving is latest teen risk as smoking declines

    While smoking among American teens has fallen to a 22-year low, most adolescents admit to engaging in a new type of risky behavior: texting while driving.

    June 12, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
The Land's Twitter Feed