Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Legend takes offence

Apparently one of the "number of complaints" lodged with the BBC about Danny Cipriani's use of the "f-word" (as the media like to call it) on Saturday was by none other than former Tottenham, Arsenal and Northern Ireland goalkeeper, Pat Jennings.

Just to recap, Cipriani was interviewed immediately after the final whistle and, clearly still buzzing with excitement, was full of praise for the English forwards, blurting out "It's the fucking [or ****ing, according to the newspapers!] one to eight who deserve the man of the match," before adding "I can't believe I've just sworn on live TV."

This seriously heinous behaviour was evidently more than the former Northern Ireland goalkeeper could bear, Jennings being reported to have said:

"I am furious about the language used in the middle of the day.

"I was watching that game at home and was totally and utterly shocked.

"The game of rugby used to be a gentleman's game, but it doesn't seem like it is any more."

Jennings, of course, used to play football in the 1970s and 1980s when language on the terraces at Highbury and White Hart Lane was obviously far more genteel than that used by modern day rugby yobs like Cipriani. Who can forget those witty little numbers "You're going to get your flipping head kicked in" or "You're going home in a flipping ambulance," that the ever-so-well-behaved sets of supporters used to sing to one another as a token of their mutual respect? And with his fellow players obviously so terribly well spoken and polite, no wonder the holier-than-thou former shot-stopper was so upset by Cipriani's outburst.

Perhaps if the BBC didn't shove a microphone in front of players almost as soon as the final whistle blows we might in future avoid upsetting other former paragons of gentlemanly behaviour who have such sensitive dispositions that they find the occasional uttered oath so offensive.

You really couldn't make this up!

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