Prior to last week’s New York Jets vs. New England Patriots game, players on both sides had some trash talk for the other team. Whether it was hilariously subtle, such as Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker’s interview where he mentioned feet a total of 11 times in eight minutes, referring to Rex Ryan’s affection for feet, or just plain cursing out an opposing player, such as Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie calling Brady an “asshole.”
The NFL warned players about the “trash talk” before the game and many people at the NFL office, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, denounced the pre-game chatter. However, I found it not only hilarious and entertaining but also a breath of fresh air.
I like to believe, even if I am being naïve, players on my team care about the games as much as I do. Last week, you could tell that players on both sides of the ball truly cared about the game, maybe even more than I did as a fan.
But now, the NFL, living up to its billing as the “No Fun League,” may implement guidelines that will either prohibit or discourage that type of trash talk. Goodell has said that the “trash talk” will be a “topic of discussion” in the offseason which almost guarantees that the NFL will try to legislate what is “appropriate behavior.”
The NFL is a man’s game, misogynistic or not. It is not for everybody, the amount of violence on the field is incredible, awe-inspiring and awful all at the same time. A player has to be incredibly aggressive to play well and with aggression comes emotion.
The NFL needs to allow room for players to show emotion on or off the field. They have already outlawed team celebrations on the field and “excessive displays of showmanship” on the field, what’s next? You can’t hit hard, oh yeah, that’s in the works as well.
Here is an idea Goodell and the NFL Front Office, instead of focusing on outlawing some of the details that makes the NFL so fun and entertaining, try focusing on making sure we have a season in 2011 by hammering out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.