Sep 8, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) greets Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) midfield following the Saints 23-17 victory at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Sports are supposed to be fun. Rivalries between teams up the ante and get fan bases riled up and excited for their respective match ups. After the year that the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons have had, you could make the argue that both teams should be focusing on execution rather than trash talk.
Both of these teams are set to undergo changes during the off-season regardless if either makes the playoffs. Mike Smith is likely gone from Atlanta after a dismal season. The Saints have some financial issues to deal with that, speculatively, will involve personnel shake-up.
Many guys are playing for their jobs, either on their respective team or to prove they will have value to another team. Just imagine if you were experiencing the prospect of being laid off from your job after the holiday season. Pretty stressful to think about huh? That’s why trash talk is so important.
It gives you a chance to direct some of that stress to humor. A war of words not meant to harm but rather to humor and entertain. As NFL players you are obviously expected to execute, but how can you execute well if you aren’t enjoying what you are doing?
When Lewis said, in reference to stopping Matt Ryan from throwing for 500 yards, that “We’re definitely going to give them their funeral”, he is just having some fun. When Sean Weatherspoon tweets out:
He’s just having some fun. Nobody is losing focus, providing a distraction to psych out the opposing team, or providing bulletin board material for each other. They each have at least eight games worth of bulletin board material.
Do either team have any authority for the trash talk they spout? Absolutely not. Are you entertained? Absolutely. We only have so much football left before the playoffs, Superbowl, Pro Bowl, and the eventual absence of football.
Don’t take it personal, just enjoy it while the Falcons still think this is a rivalry. (See what I did there?)