Column: RICK SOLEM
Whether it’s playing or watching, my attitude when it comes to sports is “shut up and let your game talk.”
And that’s not to say my game has anything to say for itself, but that’s kind of the point.
Whether I’m any good or completely awful, I don’t need to say anything. I don’t need to talk “trash” or “smack.”
I hate everything about it.
I hate post-tackle celebrations and sack dances. Dances? You’re playing football, why have you come up with your own dance?
I’m torn on end zone celebrations. I think some are funny. And I do kind of like the “stare” after, say, a player dunks on someone – just a quick stare, that’s all, no backward walk and glare for 10 seconds and certainly no Dikembe Mutombo finger wave - but all that’s been deemed illegal and you get a technical for it.
For the record, I do the Mutombo finger wave once in awhile, but only when it’s completely off base and ridiculous to do so … like when I slap a pass out of bounds.
That, however, is stuff that happens during the game. There’s also trash talk before a matchup, and I’m not sure where I stand there.
If it was tennis, and it was just you out there, talk all you want.
But usually it’s a team game and if you’re guaranteeing a victory, and you lose, fine, you look like a dork and your team probably hates you a little bit. If you win, it wasn’t just you out there winning. Either way, win or lose, you’re trash talk is lose-lose.
There are so many ways to talk trash. The best way: Let your game speak (if possible).
And the worst way … well, that may have just been invented recently by Greg Jennings.
The former Green Bay Packers wide receiver keeps talking … sometimes about Green Bay and other times about quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Read for yourself in this snippet from the Green Bay Press Gazette via KFAN in Minneapolis:
“When I came over here, I was kind of brainwashed,” Jennings told KFAN. “There’s no ‘kind of’ to it. Being over in Green Bay, you’re brainwashed to think anyone in the division is tiers below. And so coming over here I meet the people within the organization and I’m like, ‘Wow, these are really great people.’
“It’s like everything that you know in Green Bay is like the best, the best, the best, the best, the best,” Jennings said. “And it’s like total brainwashing. And I think you don’t open your eyes to see what other teams have to offer unless you are in that position.”
LISTEN HERE at 33:18-mark
It’s like reverse trash talking. Or backward trash talk? I’m not sure, and I don’t think anybody really is. As if it’s a bad thing for a team to tell its players they’re the best.
When you’re the Green Bay Packers, it makes sense. If you’re the Oakland Raiders, it’s hard to believe. But it’s a winning mentality coaches want all their players to have, and Jennings is trying to use it to talk trash about his old team.
Maybe two weeks into training camp, with Christian Ponder at the helm, Jennings realizes the mistake he made, and he needs to talk all he can now, because he knows a 600-yard, three-touchdown season is in store.
The brainwash comments are just the latest in Jennings’ outbursts, in which Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier has already told him to shut up in talking about the Packers.
Frazier said that a month ago when Jennings ripped on Rodgers. He’s apparently above his coach now, too.
Jennings was also on ESPN's First Take and all but said Brett Favre was hands down a better quarterback than Rodgers. An arguable point and he may have been referring to longevity, but when the hosts questioned why Jennings would leave Green Bay and one of the best quarterbacks in the league for Minnesota and … Christian Ponder, he had no answer?
He said it was time for the younger guys to shine – like he left so Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jordy Nelson could reap the rewards. What a guy!
It gets back to what I wrote not long ago, “Why can’t an athlete just say they left for the money?”
Heck, Jennings could have just said he wanted to play with Adrian Peterson and we would have been satisfied.
Instead, he seems to go off on Green Bay weekly and these ‘brain washed’ comments take the cake.
He’s like the bully’s sidekick that always talks the big game and never fights.
But the fight will come Oct. 27 at Minnesota, and, if nothing else, this kind of trash talk has brought some hype to an already great rivalry.
But that’s not to say the trash talking was good. Win or lose, nobody will look back on Jennings’ comments and say they had any impact on the game.
They just give us something to talk about until the real games start. Talk the coaches don’t want. Talk his teammates don’t want. It makes him look like he’s better than his team … just like Green Bay makes it players feel as if they’re better than the rest of the league.
Clearly, the brainwashing has worked.