All my life I have been involved in sports. For the past year or so, I have had the opportunity to play in a city recreational basketball league. I have a good time getting some much-needed exercise and participating in a constructive, competitive event each week. But one thing that I do not enjoy is the incessant trash talking.
Unfortunately, I’ve increasingly come to realize that modern day sports and trash-talking are completely intertwined. From professional sports to 5th graders playing pick-up games at the park, athletes just won’t shut their traps.
What really gets to me is that the amount of trash talk is in no way correlated with actual ability. In my city rec league, I have seen guys who shoot less than 10% from the field but still talk smack. They will sit at the top of the key and taunt, “Come and get me! You can’t stop this, baby!” Then they will drive to the hoop, and throw up a total brick. You would think they would be a bit more humbled the next time down the court, but no; they actually tend to talk more.
And just about everyone does this. Personally, I think this is due to poor examples in professional sports mixed with the self-esteem movement in general — one that praises people regardless of end result.
“It doesn’t matter that you got a D- on that test, you ‘tried your best’ so you are a winner.”
“It doesn’t matter that you only make 1 out of every 10 three-pointers you shoot, you ARE Kobe Bryant if you believe you are.”
This makes me concerned for Harrison once he starts playing sports.
Fortunately, there are still some professional athletes that serve as good examples for young athletes. One of my favorites is Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald. This guy is a total class act. Not only is he arguably one of the most talented wide receivers ever, he is also one of the most humble. The man makes spectacular catch after spectacular catch, but he doesn’t flaunt and doesn’t talk trash. He busts his rear for every yard, scores the touchdown, tosses the ball to the ref, high-fives his teammates, and books it over to the sidelines to get ready to do it again.
No stupid touchdown dance, no flexing his muscles, no taunting his defender, no pointing to his jersey number. He lets his game speak for itself, and I totally respect that.
What’s your take on talking trash? Is it all just a part of the game? Leave a comment below:
Talk is easy, but real results take time and effort. Don’t fall into the trap that says you have to have a big-time mouth to be a big-time competitor. Work hard. Play hard. Be competitive. And like Larry Fitzgerald, let your results speak for themselves.
This post is linked up at Dude Write. Manly men, dudely dudes, writing about manly and dudely things.