Friday, March 16, 2012

March Madness, the Swear Jar and Baby's Ears

It's March Madness so, like most red-blooded North American men, I'm in a state of paralyzed enchantment with college basketball.

And while I'd love to write one, this isn't an ode to the NCAA Tournament. (The number of sports blogs is astonishing so, I'll just stick to my humble little "daddy-to-be" blogging turf.)

So, this isn't about the tournament. Nope, this is about what I do while I'm watching it and other sporting events. And, it's about what nearly every other guy I know does while they're watching sports too. 

In fairness, even the mascot is a bit
obscene. Where are his pants?
We swear. We swear a lot. 

Now, this doesn't apply to a garden-variety ball game. You won't catch me yelling at a mid-July baseball game. But, if it's college basketball tournament time and my team is playing, the full slate of swear words gets a workout. And, the higher the stakes of the game, the more of a workout it gets. 

To those who are offended at the mere thought of coarse language, sorry. I know it's not right. I know it's not cool. And I most certainly know that it makes me sound like I'm a rather dumb fellow. But the first step to solving a problem is admitting there is a problem. 

So, here goes: my name is Blackwell and I yell obscenities at my television    an admittedly inanimate object    while watching sports. 

Yes, I've got a problem. And that problem smacked me in the face last weekend. While watching my team lose a three-point nailbiter in its conference final, I was in fine form. 

I'm frequently alone when watching games; Mrs. Blackwell prefers to leave the house as she's seen this drill before. But last weekend, both Mrs. Blackwell and my mom, who was visiting, happened to be on hand.

Suffice it to say, I spent too much energy unsuccessfully trying to restrain myself. Far too often my obscenities were reduced to muttered screeds, still audible to both of the ladies when they were near me and the television. All this effort naturally got me thinking about how this can work when the baby is born. 

Put bluntly, my son cannot, must not and will not, be the kid teaching his pre-school buddies "those words" simply because daddy's team wasn't hitting its 3-point shots or "can't get its power play going."

I come by my swearing honestly and, to be frank, I blame my father. My father is a placid, amiable fellow who, by all outward appearances, is the picture of calm. Never one to use more words than are needed, he prefers a quick quip over a long joke any day of the week and, in conversation, the next time you here him swear will probably be the first.

However.....put that man in front of a television with the North Carolina Tar Heels playing Duke, and paint will peel from the walls and angels will cry. I was 12-years old when I learned this. Dad had the foresight to send his boys out to play and close the door to the TV room; but I returned home and heard the noises. Ohh the noises. 
"A Duke basketball game? Sure, we'd love to watch. Do you
have a sound-proofed room?"

Abraham Lincoln said that "folks who have no vices have very few virtues." Dad's vice is firmly intact but, judge not folks. If anyone's earned the right to occasionally scream a blue streak, he has.

I'd turn to my mom for guidance, however, through the years, my father has eroded her wherewithal and now she too is passionate about North Carolina and tolerant  of my father's screeds. ( I think she finds it funny.)

Perhaps, we'll try the swear jar. Though I have my concerns about what this might do to our budget. 

Discipline is a tricky virtue. It comes naturally in some areas and is so lacking in others. I'm trying to not get so worked up and be more aware of my language. And, perhaps when our little guy is growing up, I'll find reserves of restraint I didn't know I had. 

And if not, I can always find a thicker door.  

Editor's Note: We at Blackwell's Mark would like to thank the parents of the site's creator for their kind indulgence. They are, in fact, well-spoken, well-read, articulate folks.

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