Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case involving Bono, Cher and the broadcasting of coarse language.

The alleged offenses are similar to Chase Utley's uttering of an f-bomb at a Friday Phillies rally.

"World champions!" he yelled. "World freaking champions!"

Except freaking wasn't the word he used.

Naturally, commemorative products have already popped up online.

Spell the swear with a "ph" and you'll find t-shirts on eBay; shirts, caps, decals, bumper stickers and mugs on zazzle.com; and everything from women's tank tops to "keepsake boxes" to baby bibs on CafePress.com.

CafePress also offers the correct spelling on apparel - including an infant's body suit - as well as some items with WFC (an acronym for the phrase) over a Liberty Bell.

Utley's words were heard live over a handful of local TV stations who were streaming the celebration. They all apologized afterward.

Radio stations WIP (610 AM) and WPHT (1210 AM) managed to bleep it, WPHT host Michael Smerconish said this morning.

Many people wondered if the swearing-airing could get the local broadcasters fined or warned by the Federal Communications Commission.

The U.S. Supreme Court is about to weigh in on that point, in the case of the Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television.

It's a highly polarizing case, with one side defending freedom of speech and freedom of the press, the other fighting a perceived deterioration of morality in America.

At issue is whether isolated and spontaneous profane remarks are punishable by the federal government.

More than a dozen interested parties, from conservative watchdog groups to major media corporations, have already submitted their views to the court by filing amicus briefs.

It's a complicated case, with a variety of pertinent precedents. The Supreme Court ruled in 1978 against a radio station that aired comic George Carlin's famous "seven dirty words" routine. But the FCC itself has let profanities go unchallenged in instances such as the broadcasting of Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan.

Three on-air f-bombs uttered by celebrities will be a big part of the case.

In 2002, Cher said of critics, "So [expletive] them," at the Billboard Music awards.

In 2003, U2 singer Bono said this Golden Globe award was "really, really, [expletive] brilliant."

Also in 2003, Nicole Richie dropped two different no-no words at the Billboard awards.

Richie and Paris Hilton were joking about their Fox show, The Simple Life:

Hilton: "Now Nicole, remember, this is a live show. Watch the bad language."

Nicole: "Why do they even call it The Simple Life? Have you ever tried to get cow [expletive] out of a Prada purse? It's not so [expletive] simple."

The FCC at first let the Bono blurt pass, then reversed its opinion, ruling the episode "indecent and profane," but issued no fine against NBC for airing it.

Fox, however, appealed similar FCC findings concerning its airing of the two women's words.

After a federal appeals court ruled in Fox's favor, the FCC appealed to the Supreme Court.

A Fox lawyer has said he'll use the actual words in court, which might explain why the court has declined to allow C-Span to quickly get an audiotape of the proceedings, according to the New York Times.

A ruling in another case involving celebrities and decency was recently handed down in Philadelphia.

In July, a federal appeals court here overruled the FCC's $550,000 fine against CBS for the infamous Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@philly.news.com.