The Batters Box

Tom Batters

A web-only column that allows me to ramble aimlessly about whatever I feel fired up about at the moment.

In my column this week, I mentioned that Metamora football coach Pat Ryan kept his language clean, even when he was in an intense verbal exchange with the referee.

Why did I include that in my column?

Well, I think it is important to give Ryan credit for the way he conducts himself on the sidelines.

I have been around a lot of football coaches. Most of them know how to keep it clean.

Some, however, prefer to use obscenities, throw clipboards, and generally make a fool out of themselves when arguing with the officials or chewing out a player.

I could write about a thousand words describing what kind of a class act Ryan is on and off the field. I’ll save more of that for a later column.

I just thought it was important to mention this, though.

Ryan is as intense as any coach I have witnessed. He gets his points across with as much vigor as the Mike Ditka-types out there.

However, he does not feel the need to insult somebody in the process. I respect that. Referees respect that. Players respect that.

I once saw a coach call a referee a “f-in a-hole.” Granted, the referee had just blown a call at a critical point in the game. But, was it necessary for the coach to use that kind of language in front of high school kids?

I know. I may sound like an over-sensitive prude.

This is football. It is supposed to be violent and the action takes place in “the heat of battle,” so a little vulgarity should be expected, right?

Wrong.

Former NFL coach Tony Dungy recently took exception to Jets’ coach Rex Ryan’s foul language in the television special “Hard Knocks.”

Some commentators criticized Dungy for over-reacting, or being too sensitive.

Others, however, commended Dungy for standing up to the Jets’ coach and bringing attention to the issue.

Rex Ryan could learn a thing or two from Pat Ryan, don’t you think?