It’s been a highly enjoyable week of trash-talking between the New York Jets and New England Patriots, who square off in a divisional playoff matchup later this weekend. The Jets, for their part, have said horrible things about New England, with cornerback Antonio Cromartie openly declaring Tom Brady an “-—hole.” And the Patriots have responded with the old “We won’t even dignify that with a response” response, which is kind of its own form of trash talk.
There’s video evidence that Brady did in fact taunt the Jets game when the two teams last played on Monday Night. But off the field, Brady has been far more reluctant to engage in verbal fisticuffs.
Anyway, given what you’ve heard and what you know now, the question is: Who do you root for? Do you root for the trash-talking young upstarts, or do you root for the stoic champions who have been here before?
Well, listen. There is a certain portion of the American population, who almost certainly don’t approve of the Jets’ methods. They’ll tell you that trash talking has no place in sports and that New England goes about its business the right way.
Now let me tell you why those people are annoying. This is football. It’s a sport that appeals to us specifically because of its hostility and naked aggression. So, from a personal standpoint, I quite enjoy it when one team gets all talky and hateful in the buildup to an important game. It lets me know the hate is REAL, and that people out there really do want to hurt one another. Much better than in the NBA, when opponents kiss and cuddle before games. That’s horrible. We want to know there’s real dislike to our games, the way we fans dislike one another for real, and the Jets have been kind enough to provide it.
So think twice before you cheer on the boring old “dignified” team this weekend. In your heart of hearts, it’s not really what appeals to you.