By now you’ve probably heard Tom Brady’s comments about the HBO reality TV show “Hard Knocks.” If not, you need to read more sports news:
Honestly, I haven’t turned it on,” he said in a casual manner. “I hate the Jets, so I refuse to support that show.
Also, by now you’ve heard of our old friend Brandon Phillips’ comments about the St. Louis Cardinals:
I may not agree with them, but it’s good work nonetheless. Anyway, what’s the difference here? Why do I like what Tom Brady said and not like what Brandon Phillips said?
Well, before we get into that, let’s clarify something. I hate Tom Brady. I mean…I hate Tom Brady. I think he’s overrated, overhyped, and overdone. He’s the poster child for a franchise that cheats and got caught cheating. Everything he does is tainted and nothing you can say will convince me otherwise. Until he, or better yet his cheating coach, publicly apologizes to me or my team the Rams (which won’t happen), I’m going to hate him and disparage almost anything he does.
Whew. Now that we have that out of the way, I feel better. Because from here out, I’m going to agree with him. I’m not going to like it, but I’m going to do it. Consider this my attempt at being the bigger person.
As I said in the comments on Chappy’s post, I like the fact that players will hate their rivals. There’s not enough hate in pro sports anymore. Except hockey…they have that hate thing down, which is another reason why it’s awesome. All Brady did was say out loud what we all hoped. I want my favorite players to hate the same teams I hate. I want Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday to hate the Cubs. I hope Chipper Jones named his son Shea just to dig Met fans a little bit more. I like to think Peyton Manning refuses to talk to anyone associated with the florida gators. It’s like it justifies my hatred. I love it.
But there is a line. That line shouldn’t be crossed and you should be very careful not to come close to it.
Brandon Phillips did that and then some.
His comments about the Cardinals went above and beyond that line. Apparently he didn’t realize that his General Manager, current third baseman, backup outfielder and at least one relief pitcher are all former Cardinals. He disparaged them all.
That’s not a good idea.
Now one thing these comments from both players won’t cause is the other team to play harder. Think Pujols was swinging extra hard or Bart Scott will hit with extra authority because of some comments? No. That’s stupid. That’s why Brady’s comments don’t matter as much. That’s why Jets’ coach Rex Ryan responded like this:
“Hell, he knows we hate the Patriots, so what’s the difference?” Jets coach Rex Ryan said in response Monday. “That’s great. Hey, join the club.”
Good comment, good response, now we’ll go out to the field and settle this. That’s good trash talk. Chad Ochocinco has been making a career out of good trash talk. When it’s done properly, it’s fun.
In baseball, comments like that are greeted like this:
Again, that’s not good.
In baseball, you have to stand up in that batter’s box and take a fastball to your ribs. You’re pretty exposed and very alone up there. In football, you have at least five 300 pound behemoths standing between you and the guys who want to tear your head off. Score one for football here.
In short, I like trash talk. Good trash talk. Tom Brady, intentionally or not, got it right.
Brandon Phillips, on the other hand, did not.