Jump to content

Good article from deadspin on trash talking


Recommended Posts

http://deadspin.com/5736740/

The Meaning Of "**** Tom Brady," And The Genius Of Rex Ryan's Trash-Talking

Athletes talking sh*t to each other is hardly a new story. Every kid who ever played sports in high school knows that sh*t-talking is a time-honored tradition in competitive athletics. The winners sh*t-talk the losers; the losers sh*t-talk the winners; the fans sh*t-talk the players, sh*t-talk the other team's fans, sh*t-talk each other. Screwing with people's minds is an American pastime.

It is also, among athletes, a very Darwinian process. Those who take it personally and let it negatively affect their game are weeded out, until you have, in professional sports, a group of men who are not so easily rattled.

Whenever a "war of words" breaks out between two teams, as it did last week in the run-up to the Jets-Patriots game, we learn a lot more about the quirks and insecurities not of the players who speak out, but of the reporters who beg them to. Next time a player sounds off about his next opponent, watch the clip closely. He'll seem exasperated, and the key quotes will come in some final, dismissive flurry of words muttered in the hopes of ending the line of questioning. The reporter wants this soundbite, he needs this soundbite, and he will do anything to get this soundbite. Antonio Cromartie's "**** him" line about Tom Brady was, I suspect, less about Brady as a person and more about the ceaseless monsoon of Brady-scorched-you-the-last-time-you-played-and-appeared-to-be-rubbing-it-in-while-he-was-doing-it questions. Look at the full exchange:

Cromartie, in his first year with the Jets after four years with the Chargers, backed up Ryan Tuesday when he was asked by the Daily News if he's ever seen Brady pointing after the Patriots score.

"We see that a lot. He does it a lot," Cromartie said. "That's the kind of guy he is. We really don't give a damn, to tell you the truth."

Okay, what kind of guy is Brady?

"An ass————.

"———— him."

If you asked me about kittens all day for a week, when all I was trying to do was take a shower and go home, then, yes, eventually I'd say, "**** kittens." Because what I'd really be saying is, "**** you."

That's not to say that players aren't complicit in making this bullsh*t machine hum. They know what the reporters come for, and they know what will keep them coming back, to that same locker, whenever they need to whip up a story. Some players obviously enjoy it and take pride in being the mouthpiece of the organization. But most players understand that it's a media game played on the media's terms, and they choose not to participate. When interviewed, they speak in banalities and platitudes, offering little or no original insight. This is because little or no insight is required to keep the machine churning. Reporters usually have the stories written in their heads. They just need the player to agree so they can plug in his quotes to complete the piece. That's why you'll often hear questions like: "The last time you played this team, you turned the ball over four times and lost the game by three points. How important will it be to win the turnover battle this weekend?" A less leading question risks a more thoughtful response, one that might contradict the premise of the story the reporter has more or less already written. So the sportswriters' questions supply their own answers.

That's the case even with the questions that lead players to insult their opponents. "Okay, what kind of guy is Brady?" Take the bait and call Tom Brady a little bitch. That's the story just aching to be written, not because Cromartie wants to call Tom Brady a bitch, but because the media want to call Tom Brady a bitch, so they find a guy who will say it for them. But Brady knows this. He knows that Cromartie, in this situation, is little more than the least-composed member of the Jets' defensive backfield, coaxed over the line by a relentless, conflict-loving New York media (who of course will turn around and scold the Jets for engaging in the conflict the media concocted). For this reason, Brady probably didn't take any of the Jets' chatter very seriously, whether it was Cromartie's jabs or whatever nonsense head coach Rex Ryan was spewing.

And herein lies Rex Ryan's genius. By controlling the media narrative — "This is about Bill Belichick versus Rex Ryan," he said, just about writing the headline for everyone — and by letting Cromartie attack the Golden Boy, he could also control national expectations for the outcome. No way can Rex Ryan beat Bill Belichick. No way can Cromartie beat Brady. This might be a stretch here, but I'll go so far as to say that Ryan's manipulation of the media actually pushed the line further than it already was, resulting in a -9 for the Patriots. Nine points is a bit much against a team that looked so good in beating the Colts the week prior, unless you believe that it's a battle between Belichick/Brady vs. Ryan/Cromartie. Then I'll take the Pats to cover.

Meanwhile, behind closed doors, Ryan was building up his players for an a$$-whooping. It's obviously impossible to know exactly how he did it, what he said, what message he conveyed and how he conveyed it. But Sal Palontonio's postgame interview with Bart Scott offered a small glimpse into Rex Ryan's psychological approach during the week. Scott's emotions were raw, and he vented about the lack of respect that the Jets' third-ranked defense was shown in the week leading up to the game. He also sent a parting shot to the Patriots' D, which, he said, couldn't "stop a nosebleed." I pay close attention to sports media, and no one was bashing the Jets' defense or making unfavorable comparisons to the Patriots' defense. But Bart Scott believed otherwise. This tells you exactly what Rex was telling his team. No one respects us. They think this entire league is about Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Well, **** them! It's about the guys in this room. I believe in all of you. **** everyone else. Bart Scott may have been talking, but those were his coach's words — literally. This is how Rex Ryan described the Jets' third-quarter defense in their loss to the Bears in December: "We couldn't stop a nosebleed."

The best, most effective sh*t-talk all week, I'd wager, was whatever Ryan told his own guys in the locker room. The Cromartie-Brady dust-up was a made-for-television event. It was all pretend. If they saw each other in a bar, they'd be all smiles and hugs. (The players who really hate each other don't talk about it in front of cameras, because they know how truly personal it is.) But Bart Scott's anger was very real, even if the disrespecting critics existed only in his head, courtesy of Rex Ryan. That is how you motivate jaded professionals. You lie. And it's a lie you can live with, because you know that in the world of professional sports, you have to find ways to keep your players riding that edge. That edge is what the Jets had and the Patriots didn't. The lesson of last week's war of words isn't that the Jets successfully screwed with New England's mind. It's that Rex Ryan successfully screwed with everyone's mind.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Rex definitely knows how to motivate behind the scenes. You saw the huge-a$$ packet he gave LT about how he was finished. And you hear repeatedly by the players in interviews that people were doubting them.

it's clear he has the gift.. i'm interested to see his antics thsi week.. so far, it looks like a lot of praise for the steelers to the media.. wonder what's happenning behind closed doors

Link to post
Share on other sites

A very well and artfully written article. But not all of it is true.

I think the second point of this article sounds on thin ice.

To ensure the high point spread is not viewed as a sign of disrespect he debunks it as something that was a creation of Rex Ryan talk. Not true. Those lines make those sportsbook a ton of money. They are not based on a pure posturing.

Added to that there were "experts" out there that were predicting a pretty one sided game. And pretty much everyone predicted the Patriots to win. One Tom Jackson from ESPN predicted Patriots win 30-10. Off course now we find that he was doing that to motivate the JETS! :rolleyes:

Back to the point. Rex Ryan is a great motivator. But he is not out there to screw his players into thinking something that is not. This team has a lot of intellect to fall for something that is made up. The fact is the media and the experts did disrespect the JETS. Gave it no chance to win. Never really gushed about the JETS defense. And most of the talking points I heard were around will this game even be competitive. I am sure Rex Ryan used it and the team had that extra edge. And the rest as they say is history! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's an okay article, but I don't really agree with it.

First of all, if I remember Cromartie's quotes correctly, he called Brady an a$$hole, describe why and then the reporter seemed to give him a chance to soften it and he responded **** Tom Brady. It could be that I don't remember it that well because I read about it 376,492 times, but only saw the clip once.

Second, Bart Scott's "raw emotion" seemed like a performance to me. I believe that Rex is an excellent motivator and I'm sure the talk he gives these guys is tremendous, but Bart Scott is doing this on his own. I'm sure Bart Scott is the one looking up stats on the Pats D.

Also, they specifically said that Ryan didn't give the main speech this week, but let Dennis Byrd do it. I'm sure Rex had plenty of chatter time to get these guys amped up, but this is like saying that Superstar Billy Graham wouldn't have talked if the Grand Wizard didn't get him fired up first. Rex and Scott are both going down mouths open no matter what.

Edited by #27TheDominator
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a bit tough because it doesn't put Rex or any other coach in a good light but I still think there is a lot of thruth to it, especially at the lower levels of high school and college. I agree though, not spot on in terms of grown men who to paraphrase, are too dumb to understand the psychology of sports. With that said very thought provoking w/ a hidden (at least half) truth that nobody really wants to bring up...the hidden secret behind a master motivator in any walk of life is there's always a little bit of manipulation. I will say that what seems to set Rex apart is there seems to be a genuine sincerety there, that the players see in him but not other coaches. I will say the article doesn't do a good job bringing that part up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A very well and artfully written article. But not all of it is true.

I think the second point of this article sounds on thin ice.

To ensure the high point spread is not viewed as a sign of disrespect he debunks it as something that was a creation of Rex Ryan talk. Not true. Those lines make those sportsbook a ton of money. They are not based on a pure posturing.

when that posturing influences the public, it sure as heck does. Lines are set (generally) to get 50% of money on each side of the game. What that means is it's influences by the publics perceptions of the teams ability as much as it is thier actual ability

Link to post
Share on other sites

when that posturing influences the public, it sure as heck does. Lines are set (generally) to get 50% of money on each side of the game. What that means is it's influences by the publics perceptions of the teams ability as much as it is thier actual ability

To an extent but not purely based on posturing alone!

Link to post
Share on other sites
I will say that what seems to set Rex apart is there seems to be a genuine sincerety there, that the players see in him but not other coaches. I will say the article doesn't do a good job bringing that part up.

No doubt.

Rex is sincere. He's genuine. The players respect that. We know this not just because of his bravado and backing his players up at all times, but how he reacts to adversity. How he thought the team was out of the playoffs last year, and how dejected he was in his presser. His reactions this year to the foot fetish (and worse) brouhaha. Those were real responses. The players see a man as their coach. Not a character, not a robot, not someone who's trying to be someone else.

Rex is a smart coach who puts his players in the best position to succeed. All of this other stuff means nothing without that. But along with it, his players are emboldened. They know they have a great gameplan, and they have a coach they're willing to kill & die for out on the field.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You call his motivational tactic genius in your title...but you question whether he'll have the team ready to play this week?

Since when does anyone bat 1000 ... I think Brady is a HOF QB, but he didn't look like one on Sunday

Link to post
Share on other sites

http://deadspin.com/5736740/

....That is how you motivate jaded professionals. You lie.

Nice read. But I disagree that Ryan is knowingly feeding his team a line of bullsh*t. It's not lying. It's called motivation.

Every professional sports team has its share of players with amazing physical talents. At this super-high level of playoff competition, the mental edge you can get over another team is critical. Thus a good motivator is just as important as one that knows all the X's and O's. I believe Ryan believes that the Jets have the best team. Ryan's job (among other things) is to make his players see that. It's a catch-22. You won't play like the best team unless you believe you are the best team. Trouble is you have to believe you are the best team BEFORE you go out and play like the best team. Then when you win it's a self fulfilling prophecy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the article misses the point entirely. the trash talk is a sideshow the came about because rex shoots of his mouth, (channing crowder) so he can't tell his players to keep quiet and keep any credibility

rex's motivational strategy centers around one word, and it's the word that he has on his desk in 8" high letters that you can see during his weekly interview with a tv guy (channel 2 I think)

Edited by Larz
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...