The start of the NFL season is here. Things kick off with the Thursday night game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England
Cheaters Patriots, who have suddenly become the most hated team in the league (not that they didn't have a large contingent of people who detested them already). For the Dallas Cowboys, things start in AT&T Stadium on Sunday Night Football against the New York Giants. All the things we love about football are back. The competition. The excitement. And of course, the trash talk.
As our own Dawn Macelli pointed out in her inaugural BEast Report of the season, the Giants have a few problems to deal with this season. They have lost Jason Pierre-Paul for an indefinite amount of time (insert your own fireworks/finger related joke here), and Victor Cruz is looking doubtful for the game. They are also nicked up at linebacker. Meanwhile, the Cowboys look to be ready to roll offensively, no matter who gets the start at running back, and the defense looks to be much improved. Dallas also appears to be healthy, which may be an indication that the cautious approach of the staff throughout training camp and preseason was correct. They are without Orlando Scandrick, who will be missed, but the team thinks they can survive his absence. Dallas is seen as the clear favorite in the game by almost everyone.
But don't tell that to former Giants DE Osi Umenyiora. He expressed a very different opinion in a couple of tweets.
Cowboys will lose by 3 touchdowns on Sunday night. Why? Because I said so.— Osi Umenyiora (@OsiUmenyiora) September 9, 2015
Overrated O line. Unstable at RB. Good WR. Erratic QB. Keep drinking the Kool aid. But the Cowboys can and will be beat.— Osi Umenyiora (@OsiUmenyiora) September 9, 2015
I guess that when you become a former player, the old rule about not providing bulletin board material doesn't apply. Or at least, no one can do anything about it. Nonetheless, it doesn't seem like it is helpful to the Giants to be throwing that kind of disrespect around. In particular, there are five large and often very mean-spirited (on the field) men who might have a thing or two to say, and do, about being "overrated". (Of course, Umenyiora doesn't have to worry about facing them on anymore.) And anyone whose team has Eli Manning as their quarterback is a perfect example of hurling rocks in a glass house when they use the word "erratic" to describe a quarterback.
Meanwhile, the Giants are just bearing down and getting their game face on. Or something. It seems they are incorporating the manly practice of having a "spa day" as part of their preparation for the game.
Optional treatments include yoga, hot/cold tubs, self-massages with stick rollers and elastic bands, and air compression boots.
Does Chip Kelly know about this? You have to assume smoothies will be served.
The idea may not be a crazy as it sounds, since the purpose is to try and physically recover from the previous practices during the week. But they tried it last year before losing the following game to the New York Jets - which featured a pick-six of Manning. At least he had excellent skin tone on his struggle face.
Manning was not engaging in any trash talk himself. He had nothing but compliments for Tony Romo in a conference call. Sort of.
During a conference call with media members at Valley Ranch, Manning was asked which of the QBs has a better DirecTV commercial.
"I don't know," Manning responded. "I enjoyed Tony's. His was good. He seemed very creepy. He did a great job portraying that role."
In the interests of journalistic balance, it must be reported that there is a little trash talk coming from the Cowboys as well.
At least Dunbar was man enough to do it man to man. It does sound a little more friendly, as well.
One Cowboy, Brandon Carr, certainly feels like there will be plenty of trash talking on the field as well.
Last November, Odell Beckham Jr. made a three-finger 43-yard catch in front Carr. The catch was replayed for days and a lasting image of Beckham in mid air with Carr on the ground, discarded, looking up at the receiver went viral almost immediately.
As the two teams prepare to meet on Sunday, Carr was asked if there was going to be any extra trash talk about the catch.
"We talk trash, every day, every game, so hey, it's part of the game," Carr said.
It is all in good fun. Or maybe not. (Manning's comment is really pretty funny. He probably needs a good sense of humor.) All this stuff does not really affect things on the field that much. Still, almost all NFL games are a closer thing that we realize, and sometimes just a little emotional boost can make a difference. For instance, there is a feeling that Tom Brady is gonna be one fired up dude in just about every game this season after the way he is being reviled by roughly 31 fan bases around the league.
And let's face it. A little hatred just makes the rivalries better. The best thing about trash talk:
Football is back.