"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me."
It was reportedly first published in the 1860s, but it is one of the dumbest things ever said.
And, unfortunately, the myth perpetually continues.
Keep in mind what has happened lately with nothing more than words in two cases - Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin; and Marcus Smart
I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that NFL players stand squarely in Incognito's corner and Martin is left alone.
It has everything to do with the locker room culture.
With the release of the Ted Wells report of the mess that happened in Miami, more things have come to the surface about the barbaric thoughts of men.
Look, I know how completely stupid and moronic the male gender is and can be.
I get it.
I just don't get that part.
I do not understand how other NFL players could not and did not stand up in the locker room and straighten this thing out.
The Miami situation has everything to do with words.
Why this is so disturbing after the Wells report is the fact that grown men - a lot of them - think this is OK.
I don't want to hear about the wussification of America.
This has nothing to do with that.
This has everything to do with grown men treating each other correctly.
I am all for some fun hazing, for some good-natured ribbing, for laughing quite hard at life itself and all of that, but this just cannot continue.
This is the reason why bullying is such a huge problem in our society.
People have no clue where the line is and, therefore, have no clue when they cross it.
So, what happens when a lot of people say what happened and what was said was wrong, but those taking part in it see nothing wrong?
Where's the meeting point?
The Incognito-Martin saga has nothing to do with guys sitting around the locker room ripping on one another with nothing more than verbal jabs.
These are not mama jokes so commonly heard where everyone within earshot knows nothing is meant by the barbs.
Case in point was the scene within the movie "Remember the Titans."
Former NFL player and current ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth wrote a brilliant piece on ESPN.com and part of it said:
I've heard a lot of current and former football players evoke "the code" in regard to Martin's departure from his team.
Many have said Martin has broken "the code" and will never be welcomed back in the locker room. What about "the code" that says we love one another? We play hard for one another? We set aside our differences and bond together as one?
What about that fraternity, that code?"
What about it.
I could only imagine that head coaches like Joe Gibbs or Tony Dungy or Bill Bellichick or Bill Cowher would have never put up with this.
In fact, according to Schlereth, who played for the Washington Redskins and later won two Super Bowl rings with the Denver Broncos, "Joe Gibbs was the head coach, and he set the culture of our locker room from the very first meeting of the year. As a rookie, I had a vision of what my first NFL meeting would be like. I was expecting fire and brimstone, some real Football 101, but what I got was the truth from a quiet, regal man.
"Welcome to the 1989 season, men," he said. "Today I'd like to give you some priorities for your life ...
1. Your relationship with God.
2. Your relationship with your family and teammates.
3. Being the best football player you can be.
"I guarantee you, if the first two priorities are not in line, you can't be your best on the field," Gibbs said. "Let's make it a great year. Break out with your position coaches."
That was it, and the tone was set.
So, in Miami, where were the men with character?
Then you have a 50-something year old calling a teenager a "piece of crap."
But, considering what I hear at almost every high school sporting event I attend, this does not surprise me.
Just curious if he has called his boss "a piece or crap" or his wife or his mom or his ... ?
Apparently, it's OK, though, inside a college arena.
Smart shoved Jeff Orr after the comment, was given a technical and later a three-game suspension.
Go back to the video and watch the face of the woman next to Orr and her complete "shock" that Smart pushed the man.
This is a typical adult reaction.
"How dare you react to what was said to you."
I have seen occasions where adults have said something directly to a player from another team, all teenagers, and were shocked when they got a response which wasn't "thank you for saying that rude comment to me."
The worst part in all of this are adults not being adults.
The Orr character has a history at Texas Tech games and it is rather obvious those around him have no problem with his behavior - as it is obvious the Red Raiders brass have had zero problems with his antics over the years.
I keep waiting for one adult to shut up another adult at a high school sporting event before the first adult gets booted from the gym for saying something completely inappropriate - which I have heard in more than a few gyms this year.
So, what do we need?
Uncommon people doing uncommon things.
More on that next week.
(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at @MathisonMike)