With no sports to create drama, people who talk about sports need to fill the drama vacuum.
Former Jets and Bills coach Rex Ryan, now with ESPN, did that on Friday, dubbing Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper a “turd.”
“I wouldn’t have paid this guy,” Ryan said Friday on ESPN’s Get Up regarding Cooper and the five-year, $100 million contract he signed. “To me, this is the biggest disappearing act in the National Football League. He doesn’t show up on the road. He doesn’t show up against — when the competition’s good, when he’s against the top corners, that guy disappears. . . . This is who he is. . . . [H]e doesn’t love football. Hell with it, he stops his routes, he does all this. I wouldn’t have paid this turd. No way in hell. No way in hell would I have paid this guy.”
Ryan is entitled to his opinion, but “turd” is a very strong choice of words. In NFL parlance, a guy who isn’t very good is referred to as a “slapdick” or a “slappy.” (“Slapdick” or “slappy” also applies generally to low-level players and team employees who are readily interchangeable. . . #TheMoreYouKnow.)
The term “turd” goes to a player’s character, suggesting that the player is someone who consistently does things he shouldn’t and gets in trouble. You know, someone who gets fined $50,000 for giving a fan the middle finger in 2010. Or someone who gets fined $75,000 for cursing out a fan at a game in 2011. Or someone who gets fined $100,000 for yelling “f–k you!” at someone after a game in 2014.
In contrast, Cooper has done nothing like that, or anything else to which the term “turd” would apply.
So tune in Monday, then, when Ryan inevitably apologizes for his choice of word.