Trash talk

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler illustrates why talking trash against an opponent is not wise.  Before his team played the Packers, he preened, he bragged, he taunted.  And then he got sacked 7 times and threw 4 interceptions:

When you talk trash to the opposing team before the game, and then throw a bunch of even more odiferous garbage around the field in a loss … well, you have what amounted to a very bad week for quarterback Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears. Not to mention, the other team has every right to talk right back at you.

Packers defensive back Charles Woodson put it best after the game. “Same old Jay. We don’t need luck — we just need to be in position. Jay will throw us the ball.”

Clay Matthews spent more time in Chicago’s backfield than Matt Forte did. (Getty Images)It started on Tuesday, when Cutler, fresh off an impressive Sunday outing against the Indianapolis Colts, stirred things up by saying that the Packers’ defense could bring whatever it wanted.

“Good luck,” Cutler said to his future tormentors. “Our speed guys are going to get around them and our big guys are going to throw and go … We invite press coverage. We invite man. And if we get in that type of game, our guys outside have to make some plays for us.”

“It’s all about matchups,” receiver Brandon Marshall said on the same day. “I’m 6-5, 230 pounds and there’s not too many DB’s walking around that big. If they want to get physical, I do welcome that.”

The Bears did not make plays, nor did they win any matchups, in a 23-10 disaster that was nowhere near as competitive as the score indicated — the Bears had zero net yards at the end of the first quarter, and Cutler was 7 of 18 for 70 yards and two interceptions after three quarters were done. He finished the game with 11 completions in 27 attempts for 126 yards, one touchdown, and four picks.

via Jay Cutler talks trash, throws picks, gets sacked in embarrassing loss to Packers | Shutdown Corner – Yahoo! Sports.

Here is the lesson in life, boys and girls and student athletes:  If you diminish your opponent, that diminishes your victory if you win.  And if you lose, you look oh, so foolish and pathetic.

Far better, even if you are playing a weak team, is to build them up and say how good they are and how you hardly have a chance.  Then if you beat them, you come across not only as a good sport but as a team that has accomplished something significant.  And if you lose, well, that’s understandable.

Also, you wouldn’t have fired up your opposing team and inspired them to wipe you off the field.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Jimmy Veith

    Does this lesson in life work in the political arena? Just asking.

  • Jimmy Veith

    Does this lesson in life work in the political arena? Just asking.

  • WebMonk

    Trash talk is only partially intended to intimidate the other team. It is used to psych oneself up and to mislead the opponent as well.

    But, the biggest reason for people trash talking to the media is that it gets themselves lots of coverage and publicity.

  • WebMonk

    Trash talk is only partially intended to intimidate the other team. It is used to psych oneself up and to mislead the opponent as well.

    But, the biggest reason for people trash talking to the media is that it gets themselves lots of coverage and publicity.

  • DonS

    Caveat — building your opponent up is a godly practice — you are valuing their humanity above any temporal competitive issue and keeping our ultimate value system in perspective. However, don’t lie. Your comments need to be credible, given the opponent’s known competitive strength. Saying the other team is really good and you hardly have a chance when your opponent is 2-10 and you are 10-2 is dishonest, and will be seen as disrespect by that opponent. The key to both pre-game and post-game comments is to show respect to your opponent.

    Speaking of showing respect to your opponent, the Giant’s Tom Coughlin and the Buc’s rookie coach Greg Schiano got into an interesting dust-up after their hard-fought game yesterday: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-09-16/sports/os-schiano-coughlin-spat-0917-20120916_1_cheap-shot-schianos-rutgers-coach What is the proper protocol when you are down by only one score, your opponent has the ball with only enough time for one play, and they choose to kneel down? Can you charge in and try to force a turnover, or should you graciously accept defeat?

  • DonS

    Caveat — building your opponent up is a godly practice — you are valuing their humanity above any temporal competitive issue and keeping our ultimate value system in perspective. However, don’t lie. Your comments need to be credible, given the opponent’s known competitive strength. Saying the other team is really good and you hardly have a chance when your opponent is 2-10 and you are 10-2 is dishonest, and will be seen as disrespect by that opponent. The key to both pre-game and post-game comments is to show respect to your opponent.

    Speaking of showing respect to your opponent, the Giant’s Tom Coughlin and the Buc’s rookie coach Greg Schiano got into an interesting dust-up after their hard-fought game yesterday: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-09-16/sports/os-schiano-coughlin-spat-0917-20120916_1_cheap-shot-schianos-rutgers-coach What is the proper protocol when you are down by only one score, your opponent has the ball with only enough time for one play, and they choose to kneel down? Can you charge in and try to force a turnover, or should you graciously accept defeat?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    My son was not happy with the outcome of that game. I, on the other hand… :D

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    My son was not happy with the outcome of that game. I, on the other hand… :D

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    My dear brother, this warning against trash talk does indeed apply in the political realm. Indeed, this post about football is nothing more than a political allegory. You will notice that I never say that my “team” will win. In fact, I always say that my team will lose. (I am just wishing now that I had a team!) You, however, might do well to learn from Jay Cutler.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    My dear brother, this warning against trash talk does indeed apply in the political realm. Indeed, this post about football is nothing more than a political allegory. You will notice that I never say that my “team” will win. In fact, I always say that my team will lose. (I am just wishing now that I had a team!) You, however, might do well to learn from Jay Cutler.


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