Last month, league spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT that the NFL is the “ultimate reality show.” Thus, leave it to the league office to add another dash of spice as we embark on the most compelling weekend of the season, from which the final four teams will emerge.
Bob Glauber of Newsday and Peter King of Sports Illustrated report that the league has issued a warning regarding the recent spate of trash talking, which came in profane quantities from Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Glauber says the league office has told players to keep the trash talk “outside the white lines.” In other words, any yapping that occurs once the game starts could result in penalties and/or fines.
Still, we agree with Jets center Nick Mangold, who told PFT Live on Friday that the trash talk is a source of humor and entertainment, and that none of it matters when the games begin.
Then again, Mangold apparently realized after his own effort to wade into the Battle of the Backhanded Barbs that some folks don’t see the humor and/or they are not entertained. Last night, Mangold responded to Welker’s press conference sleight-of-foot by making an observation that invoked the Spygate controversy. Said Mangold thereafter, “I make one little joke and Pats fans get their panties so in a bunch that one person told me to kill myself. Stay classy Foxborough!”
We still think that the chatter adds to the drama. As do warnings from the league office regarding the potential consequences of too much chatter.
Yes, the extraneous talk could cause in the minds of some the letters N, F, and L to be replaced with W, W, and E. But it maintains and increases interest in the on-field product, which nearly all will agree (with the exception of Seahawks fans still lamenting the outcome of Super Bowl XL) is not scripted.