There are more than a few legends known for their use of "colorful" language (i.e., swearing): Eminem, Cartman, Denis Leary, Lewis Black, Ozzie Osborn, John McEnroe. McEnroe, in particular, elevated the notion of bad sportsmanship to an art form. Good thing he wasn't rowing in the Head Of The Charles this year, or he'd get slapped with a 60-second penalty.
Blowing off steam comes natural to rowers. As civilized as the sport of rowing is, let's face it: rowers have been known to drop the almighty "F-Bomb" all too often--among a few other choice words.
After years of stewing about it, the HOCR Race Committee has opted to refine their "unsportsmanlike conduct" rule as follows:
"Incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct by a competitor or crew, including the use of personally abusive language shall be reported to the Jury by the witnessing official. The Jury may impose penalties ranging from reprimand to time penalties up to 60 seconds!"
With that said, it's safe to say that it's not just 'yo momma' who better not hear you say anything directly offensive to anyone in particular at the Regatta. It's not about swearing, per se. Someone might actually like being called a #^&*@! And someone else might be offended for being called an Idiot (even if they might actually be one!).
The name of the game at the Head Of The Charles is: it's all about good sportsmanship. As competitive as the Regatta can be, there is a sense of camaraderie all weekend on the Charles River that the Head Of The Charles is proud of.
So keep your choice of words--and your rowing--clean at the Regatta. Otherwise, even Massachusetts's native Denis Leary might think you're being an a#%.