Posted tagged ‘trash-talking’

Verily, Verily!

November 25, 2017

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                        November 25, 2017

                                              

“Not in my house! Not in my house!” bellowed the basketball player to the camera after blocking the shot of an opponent.

“That’s how you do it! That’s how you do it!” screams the wide receiver who has just made a touchdown catch.

“Go back to Michigan! Go back to Michigan!” trash talks the Ohio State defensive tackle after he has sacked the quarterback.

I’ve noticed a growing trend in college and professional sports. Players have to repeat themselves as they trash an opponent, or immediately after making a good play. Saying a statement once isn’t enough. Saying it twice let’s the audience know that the player thinks he is all that! Saying it three times in a row means he believes he should be on ESPN Sportscenter that night.

In each situation, however, the focus of the repetitive language is the player. It is an indication of the arrogance of athleticism. In the old days before trash talking became “a thing” we used to get psyched for a game, pumped up, and motivated to win. There was no strutting for the cameras…maybe because there usually weren’t any cameras! Nowadays making a great play isn’t enough. There is the verbiage and performance that follows the play that seeks to convince the viewer that the player is the next football messiah.

Jesus was a bit different. In the Gospel of John he often began a statement with the words “Verily, verily…” (King James Version) or “Truly, truly…” (RSV). It was an indication that what he was about to say was the truth. Saying verily twice indicated that what was about to be said was important for the listener to hear. In John 5:24 Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

In the Upper Room Jesus said, “When Jesus had thus spoken, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” (John 13:21) And then when Peter felt that he had to profess his devotion, Jesus said “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times.” (John 13:38)

When Jesus repeated himself it was to state a spiritual truth, or to foretell what was to come. It wasn’t to boast, but rather to guide.

Today and tomorrow as athletes bluster in front of the cameras I think I will speak back to them and say “So? So?” In fact, their performance is just “so-so” when compared to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. After all, scripture tells us that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and tongue confess.

That is something to proclaim loudly and often!

Fantasy Football Trash-talking

September 27, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                          September 27, 2016

                               

It’s Fantasy Football season…in case you missed it! Millions of people spend millions of hours being the coach and general manager of their team of fifteen players and defenses. Fantasy Football is the new way that adults who are now has-been athletes relive their youth through chiseled millionaires. College loyalties go out the window. Buckeye fanatics could care less about what Ezekiel Elliott did for them in Columbus. If he is going against their fantasy team this week they want him to get pummeled and get a bad case of fumble-itis!

Part of Fantasy Football…a big part in fact…is on-line and in-person trash-talking. This past week I left two running backs  on my Fantasy bench, both whom would have notched me twenty plus points. Soon after the Thursday night Patriots’ game I got the sarcastic messages about LaGarrette Blount getting big yardage and two touchdowns while sitting on my Fantasy bench. I could sense the sneers.

And then when LeSean McCoy was also sitting on my bench on Sunday as he rolled up 23 fantasy points the social media laughter escalated.

That’s what makes Fantasy Football fun and interesting…the sense of triumph and the embarrassment of oversight competing against people you may be eating Thanksgiving dinner with.

For instance, my youngest daughter erroneously had her laptop still on “Autodraft” as we began our draft night. She wanted to take a certain player, but as soon as she hit the “Select” button whoever was still at the top of her draft list got drafted. She drafted two quarterbacks in the first three rounds before she discovered the error of her ways. Her gathered family at the same draft site- husband, sister, brother-in-law, and dad- expressed our sorrow for her…but inwardly we were chuckling and giving ourselves high-fives. At the end of the draft night we made a few joking remarks about her debacle, like campers throwing a few more logs on the fierce fire.

And now she’s laughing back at us as she sits on top of our twelve person family league still undefeated after three weeks. Who’s laughing now???

There are the on-line fantasy  products and leagues, like Draft Kings, that attract their element. A lot of people use fantasy football as an excuse to gamble. The great thing about this side event, however, is connecting with family and friends in non-sweaty competition.

Last year I emerged as champion of our “Wolfe-Terveen” family league, which emerged out of the marriage of my youngest 3-0 daughter, Lizi, and her husband, Dr. Mike Terveen. I’m sitting at 2-1 after three weeks, but my team name is a constant remember to everyone of who won last year as I merged Bill Belichick into my current season objective. Welcome “Bill-a-Back-to-Back!”

Family pride is at stake! Okay, maybe just Dad Pride! I need to secure my place at the head of the table…put these young bucks in their places.

Our family league has more than just my boast of fame name. There’s also these team names: “Who You Calling Gurley?”, “Great Barrier Reiff”, “Drove My Chevy to DeAndre Levy”, “Breesus King of the Drews”, “Detroit Lions Suck”, and “Pjanic at the Disco”. Creativity in team name adds to the aura of the opponent.

Big games this week! By Sunday night the chatter will be at full blast! Unsympathetic unfiltered words of humiliation will be typed that will mostly be accepted as humor. By the end of December the King/Queen will be determined.

And the prize is…nothing! No ring, no trophy, not even a McDonald’s Happy Meal gift certificate. The prize will be just knowing throughout the family who the champion is!

And at that point I’ll need to consider renaming my team again for the next season. I’m leaning towards “Bill-a-back-to-back-to-back!”