While I typically prefer athletes to shut up and play, there is a right way to use boasting and bragging. When the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, wide receiver Doug Baldwin taught how to do it properly.
Between the end of minicamp and the start of training camp at the end of July, I’m savoring the great plays and moments that lead to Seattle lifting the Lombardi Trophy. Like this one:
Watch this video at 3:43 and Professor Baldwin will deliver a lesson.
Chris Carter had just called Seattle’s receiving squad “average,” “pedestrian” and “appetizers.” He thought they were the weak link on the team. Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Golden Tate were offended and set out to prove Carter wrong.
After Kearse caught a 35-yard touchdown from Russell Wilson to take the lead for good in the fourth quarter, Baldwin pointed to his teammate and made sure the cameras were watching.
“You see this?” he said, gesturing to Kearse’s name on the back of his jersey. “Average. Pedestrian. We’re not the main course. We’re appetizers. Shut up.”
And that’s how it’s done. Use your words to tell the world you support your teammates. That’s the type of talk that brings a team closer. Baldwin is wise to know this. The diva receivers of the league think they’re the most important part of the team. I’ve always thought this is very faulty logic for a person who cannot throw the ball to himself.
The smart receivers know they need other great receivers and a whole team supporting them. When the defense has to worry about Kearse burning them, opportunity opens for Baldwin.
Now, can you discuss trash talking and the Seahawks without mentioning Richard Sherman? No.
Keep in mind how much Sherman references the “Legion of Boom.” It’s not the Legion of Sherm. He promotes the defensive backfield as a dangerous unit. He relies on Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas to do their jobs. He welcomed Byron Maxwell to the Legion when Brandon Browner was out due to injury and suspension. He spent much of the OTAs and minicamp coaching Tharold Simon and the other young defensive backs.
Football isn’t completely about action and entertainment. Sometimes you just might learn something. So if you’re going to yap, do it to bring your team together.