Comedian George Carlin immortalized “the seven words you can never say on television” (that was before cable). When the umpire ejected Crash Davis from a game in “Bull Durham,” Millie said, “Crash must’a called him a (one of Carlin’s bad words).” Which, course, Crash had.
Last Monday night, Bears offensive tackle Kyle Long didn’t get ejected against the San Diego Chargers but he did get an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty for being, well, a potty mouth.
Long was incensed a no-call after a Charger defender appeared to flatten quarterback Jay Cutler after a fourth-quarter pass had been thrown. Long launched into an animated exchange with the official making the call, whereupon the flag flew.
“I think one thing led to another,” said coach John Fox. “[Long] was protecting his teammate, as any coach would expect. I don’t think it was anything physical with the umpire. I think it was just some verbal communication [the official] didn’t take a liking to.”
Did Long use one of the 7 Deadly Words? Are there magic words you can’t say to an official?
“I’m not sure,” Long hedged. “No, I’m not sure. What flag are you referring to?”
The personal foul. Long took the NFL version of the Fifth:
“I have no knowledge of the aforementioned incident.”
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Long does, however, remember another incident, back on Nov. 24, 2013, involving himself and the St. Louis Rams, when he went after Rams players he saw behaving badly after a play had ended. St. Louis defensive end Chris Long came off the Rams’ sideline to pull his brother away. He was penalized and fined $7,875 and was fortunate not to be suspended over an apparent kick at the Ram player.
“If you’re looking at the “What have you done for me lately,” I don’t know if I’ve overcome my inability to control myself,” Long deadpanned. “But in terms of a football player, absolutely, I’ve grown. I’d probably say I keep my mouth shut and just play a lot more. I was fired up as a rookie on the road. I bought in to the whole thing that week about playing against my brother and my brother’s team.