As much as I might hate certain teams, (and I do) I’m done trash talking any of their fans. I just don’t have it in me anymore. And truthfully, I never did, anyway, so it’s not like this is any great loss.
But I realized very acutely after this weekend just why I don’t talk any trash. The reasons for this are several, and as I think you’ll agree after learning why, it’s probably for the best that I don’t.
When I was a kid, I was extremely sensitive. I still am, but as an adult you’re able to handle things better than when you’re younger. I always wanted to make sure everyone was having a good time with whatever we were doing, which was one of the reasons I developed such an acute sense of winner’s guilt.
My intent here is not to boast, so take this next statement how it’s intended even though I realize this entire post is going to come off as some sort of long ass Humblebrag. I’ve always been able to pick up new skills quickly, and then master them. I was always one of the best players on any team I played on. First person shooters notwithstanding (which I’m terrible at), I’ve always been great at video games. I’m sharp, I learn quickly, and I’m good at almost everything I choose to try. Except running. I suck hindwind when it comes to running. Just slow and clomp-clomp-clomp-clomp. One dude in high school told me I looked like a giant 2 year-old the way I ran. That was nice of him.
But when it came to the stuff I was good at, it made some people crazy. During freshman year of college, some of the people in my dorm referred to me as “the kid with the trampoline.” Everyone had this friend. You’d go to his house, try some trick you thought was awesome, and then he’d hop on and demolish you with something way cooler right away. The kid with the trampoline is the kid who made you feel like shit unintentionally.
As a result of this, I became really sensitive not to be too cocky about the things I did. I hated that feeling of seeing people either disappointed or upset, so I started to hate winning. I mostly just wanted everyone to have a good time and enjoy themselves. And if that meant easing off the gas and letting someone else have their moment, that was fine with me. Winning is fun, but watching dejection, taken on balance, is not worth it to me.
Besides, trash talk is ultimately such a fruitless endeavor. If you talk a bunch of shit and lose, you look like an empty headed moron who slings idle threats. If you talk a bunch of shit and win, you look like a preening, narcissist jagoff. I hate both of those outcomes. In the words of George Costanza, “We’re trying to have a society, here!”
And don’t get me wrong here. I want CSU to beat CU every year by 70 points. I want the Rockies to beat the Giants 100 times out of 100. I want the rest of the AFC West to crumble embarrassingly every time they play the Broncos. And if we’re playing Beirut, Madden, cornhole, H-O-R-S-E, tiddlywinks, or anything else, I love a good competition. Let’s get into it and fucking go. But I’m not going to trade barbs with you.
If you’re able to enjoy the tete-a-tete with members of the opposing tribe, I mean this honestly, more power to you. I was clearly born without this gene, and the most important aspect of why I don’t talk shit, I haven’t even shared with you yet.
I don’t have playful trash talk in me. I can’t do it. If I’m talking shit to you, it’s coming from a pure, real, and very ugly place inside of me. I don’t like that place, so I visit it as little as possible.
While tailgating this weekend for the CSU/CU game, buses full of CU students pulled up and dropped them off right in front of our little area. The kids all sang the mock version of one of our cheers – “I said, it sucks… to be… a CSU Ram! I said, it sucks…” When they started this, I thought to myself, “I hope you fall on a fucking spike and die.” I meant it. In that moment, I wished for violent and awful things to happen to those dumbass, pissant little CU shitheads. If one of them stepped to me and started shooting their mouth off, it’s entirely possible I could have gone unhinged and said something like, “Die in a fire and AIDS fuck your mother, you little cunt.”
I’m not making this up, and I’m not sharing this with you because I’m trying to be funny. I don’t have playful trash talk banter. If someone chants “it sucks to be a CSU Ram,” my impulse isn’t to shout back “1 win!” at them referring to their previous abysmal season. I go right to the darkest place of my soul, gather up some of the black goop from inside of it, and try to smear it on the other person’s face. I have no idea why.
This is legitimately one of the worst sides of my personality, and I didn’t realize it until I was thinking these things yesterday. Then I managed to stick my head out of the blackness and remembered this is just a football game – take a fucking breath – and to ignore these little morons who are living to get a rise out of me, or anyone. So I went on ignoring them. But I continued to burn knowing these jerks just wanted to throw sand in our faces for the sake of throwing it and color an otherwise terrific day.
I’m content to let the game play out, and may the best team win. I want that to be my team, but if it wasn’t, so fucking what. It’s sports. Pretty much every team but one (college football’s crazy, arcane bowl structure being the weird exception) ends the season with disappointment. Let’s all just shut the fuck up and enjoy the game as much as we can, and then go on with our lives. I limit the acrimony everywhere else in my life, why enhance it where I’m supposed to be having fun?
On Friday at work, I passed by one of my co-worker’s offices. He had written on his dry erase board, “Go Buffs!” and he had drawn a little Ram logo with a circle around it and a line through it. I stopped in to say hello, and then this: “Should be a hell of a game this weekend. We’ll be on opposite sides, so I’ll just say… after Sunday, best of luck to your team.” He said, “Same to you.” We smiled and parted ways.
And that’s about as intense as I let the trash talk get. I clearly can’t handle anything more. And I realize just how fucking strange this probably is.