TELANDER: Bears, Packers could learn thing or two about trash-talking
BY RICK TELANDER firstname.lastname@example.org December 15, 2012 9:32PM
Juan Manuel Marquez (right) follows through with the punch that knocked out Manny Pacquiao on Dec. 8 in Las Vegas. | Eric Jamison~AP
Updated: January 17, 2013 6:53AM
Folks got pretty worked up about the trash-talking between a few Bears and Green Bay Packers, words of scorn leading into the game Sunday at Soldier Field.
Packers tight end Jermichael Finley started it with some stuff about Brian Urlacher, hinting the Bears might be better off without the old, injured middle linebacker. The Bears’ Lance Briggs responded by calling Finley an ‘‘idiot.’’ Then Urlacher said the Packers might be better off without Finley, too.
That’s not trash-talking; that’s absent-minded thought bubbles. It’s stuff you might say to a fellow’s face and even might be true. Things you say to your pals all the time. Chit-chat.
Here’s trash-talking. Before the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight Dec. 8 in Las Vegas, Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said: ‘‘If [Marquez’s body] is natural, I will kiss his ass.’’
Marquez, 39, looked like a steroid doper, moved like a steroid doper and punched like a steroid-doper. That’s not surprising, considering he employs BALCO-tainted, illicit-drug expert Angel ‘‘Memo’’ Hernandez as his strength coach.
In the fight, Marquez knocked out Pacquiao with a right hand that could have dropped a mule.
Roach’s trash-talking, of course, came to nothing — a heroin addict likely could pass Nevada’s drug testing — but it was out there and impressive.
† THEN THERE’S mixed martial artist Anderson Silva, who said before his championship bout against Chael Sonnen in July: ‘‘I’m going to make sure every one of his teeth are broken, his arms are broken, his legs are broken. He’s not going to be able to walk out of the Octagon by himself, I can guarantee that.’’
Sure, it’s just fighting. But the list of things Silva promised would be broken was alliterative and impressive.
† LET’S MOVE ON to baseball, where we abruptly have muscleman slugger Josh Hamilton going from the Texas Rangers to the rival Los Angeles Angels to join Albert Pujols and rising star Mike Trout. It would be easy to say the Angels now are the best team in the American League West, but we never know with these things.
The Cubs, of course, have no problems like these, but you just wonder what happened to the Philadelphia Phillies when they loaded up on great pitching or, well, so many other teams when they loaded up on high-priced stars.
No matter what, the Angels have Trout’s own tweet to put the move in perspective: ‘‘Wow.’’
† THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS got center Dwight Howard in a sweepstakes that took place last summer.
‘‘Too much talent!’’ critics cried.
Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and ‘‘Superman’’? Commissioner David Stern should have vetoed the move.
Now? How does 12th place in the Western Conference sound? At 10-14, the Lakers are 9½ games behind the conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder and even trail the Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers.
I know it’s not the biggest reason for the Lakers’ swoon, but how can you have a superstar player — Howard — leading the league in free throws attempted with a free-throw percentage of .492? And be a contender?
I’ll answer myself: You can’t.
† HOW ODD IS IT that the best football team in the Big Ten is 12-0 Ohio State, and the Buckeyes won’t be playing in a bowl game?
You remember the whole Jim Tressel-tattoos-trinkets fiasco of a couple of years ago and how this suspension is the punishment for those crimes. It’s always amusing when the punishment comes with all the offending players gone, as well as the coach.
But you gotta love the system because out of the crimes came a $4 million-a-year mercenary coach (Urban Meyer), a $50 million-a-year-in-revenue football program and an undefeated season.
The funniest thing? Ohio State backup quarterback Cardale Jones tweeted in October: ‘‘Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL? We ain’t come to play SCHOOL.’’
He had a point. And because he did, he was suspended for a game. And now the Buckeyes can sit home and watch the bowl games roll by, playing school all they want.
† NORTH CAROLINA won its 21st NCAA women’s soccer title recently. I’d like to say congratulations, but all that comes to mind is, ‘‘That’s kind of pitiful.’’
The women’s tournament started in 1982. There have been 31 championships, and North Carolina has won more than two-thirds of them? What’s wrong in women’s soccer? Where’s the competition, the excitement?
In Chapel Hill, I guess.
† LET’S GIVE the final word to former NBA journeyman center Chuck Nevitt, briefly a Bull, who told reporters one day: ‘‘My
sister’s expecting a baby, and I don’t know if I’m going to be an uncle or an aunt.’’