Acceptable Trash Talk: U-G-L-Y, Your Team Ain't Got No Alibi, They're Ugly!
Unacceptable Trash Talk: "The Vikings need to go down there and hit that town like Katrina."
This quick lesson in how not to be stupid, insensitive and offensive is in honor of sportscaster and Chicago Bears Hall of Famer Dan Hampton. While co-hosting the Pro Football Weekly show, Hampton thought it wise to actually use Hurricane Katrina in an analogy for how the Vikings should match-up against the Saints during the NFL season opener this Thursday night. You know, that stormed that killed all those people and destroyed all those homes and ruined all those lives? Yeah, that storm is apparently an appropriate reference when talking pigskin. Experience this foolishness for yourself...
The irony that Hampton is a former Chicago Bear isn't lost on this Saints fan. After all, I remember the cruel signs many Bears fans held up during the NFC Championship game in Chicago just one year after Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. Here's one asinine example:
(Stay classy, sh*t for brains. Thankfully, that voodoo curse I put on your team is holding up quite nicely.)
It's jarring that such a life shattering event is so often callously tossed around by idiot fans of other teams and even so-called professional sportscasters as a means of "sticking it to the Saints." And while it would be easy for Saints fans like me to stoop to this pathetic level by, say, writing a nasty letter to Hampton alleging he's the product of a late night crack binge, we fans have bigger fish to fry. Those of us who aren't still living in trailers, looking for permanent work after losing our jobs after the storm, wondering how we'll ever recoup the money those shady contractors made off with, bogged down by government red tape, mourning the loss of our loved ones, mourning the loss of our livelihoods, and lobbying for fair housing rates, tougher levees, and therapy for our children who waded in water next do dead bodies....those of us who aren't bogged down with all that "messiness" are actually getting ready for a game of football on Thursday.
Let's also be clear about another thing: any sportscaster that would dare weave images of September 11th into a football analogy would be fired on the spot, and rightfully so. While Hampton's fate has not been announced, there appears to be a general perception that we "Gulf Coast hicks" are just too busy marrying our cousins and plucking a banjo to be affected by some a-hole's tactless, senseless jibber jabber. Fox analyst and resident douchebag Chris Meyers apparently thought so when he pulled a similar gutless move earlier this year by bashing Katrina victims in comparison to victims of the Tennessee flood.
Since apparently common sense is in short supply, let me spell it out plainly. Hurricane Katrina is still an open wound. We're still not "over it." People's lives are still being affected. Not lazy, dependent, unmotivated people, as some would like to suggest. Hard working homeowners who lost everything, from homes and jobs to family members, are still struggling in this dreadful economy to get their lives back.
Using Katrina to trash talk a football team or its fans is an unnecessary sucker punch. But if you're gonna do it, I suggest you keep your cowardice comments on the internet or in the cozy confines of a studio where you can avoid the well deserved retaliatory blow to the face from the nearest Gulf Coast resident. And don't worry, it's not because we need you to pity us or even that we need your sympathy. The aftermath of the storm is our cross to bear. All we ask for is a little human decency and a little something my momma called "home training."
Oh, and here's another wild thought: how about we keep the football trash talk, to football.
Follow Shaneika Dabney on Twitter: www.twitter.com/chicksndahuddle