This really isn’t camp-related, but at the same time, it could be — if someone was shooting off their mouth, who needn’t be — or does it matter?
On a side note, my apologies for not posting over the weekend, but my internet was literally half-working. Check my Facebook status updates (if you’re privileged to do so) to feel my rage.
So, in this posting, I’m not specifically posting about the Carolina Panthers, as much as I am the NFL as a whole, and even just sports in general.
The topic? On- and off-the-field (or court) banter.
I recently read a piece from PFT (Pro Football Talk to any novices), about how some no-name defensive back for the Cleveland Browns, said something along the lines that the Browns defense is going to run Cincinnati’s Terrible Terrell Owens over with a train or like a train.
I thought that was both cute and humorous.
It was cute, because a fourth-string defensive back made the statement, and humorous because I was unaware that the Brownies had a defense. After all, what team signs an interception-throwing machine, while releasing, waiving, trading it’s carousel of quarterbacks? I’ll save that for a later date.
The thing is, this is just one isolated incident where a player runs his mouth — whether it’s a joke or not — and draws the ire and criticism of his coaches and the media.
As fans, why do we care so much? All of a sudden, a guy runs his mouth, and we’re like, “uh-oh. Our opponents’ defense — or offense — is going to kill this guy. I never realized the profound impact words have on a game or on a team.
Last year, I figured that if anything, the New York Jets‘ Rex Ryan would be eating a lot of crow with some of his bold statements and predictions. In the end, it was I who was eating the crow. Now this year, he’s made another bold statement with something as simple as writing “soon to be champs” on the side of Adam Schefter’s training camp bus.
And to follow that up, the New England Patriots‘ Wes Welker wrote “one game at a time,” in rebuttal. Last year, bold predictions and all, the Jets were in the playoffs. The Patriots were not.
So are the words spoken really that big of a deal in the end?
It’s okay to shoot your mouth and talk some trash, so long as you can back it up — individually or as a team — in the end. If the specific team is looked upon as one that has a slim-to-none chance (like the early 2009 Jets seemed to), but talks like it’s just returning from the Super Bowl, then give an incredulous look — like I did many times — and move on.
In the end, who really cares about what’s said? How is it that for the last, maybe six or seven years, something that a guy says becomes front page news? In this case, a nobody — Brandon McDonald. Are words hurting athletes’ feelings now? Meanwhile, it’s still okay to talk shit on the field.