Monday, April 20, 2009

Too Much?

If you take a casual look around interweb of sports today, you will find a story about some trash talk issued by Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks towards St. Louis Blues center David Backes.

Most of the talk is your run of the mill verbal sparring you might hear in any tense sporting contest. A bit of name calling, a little physical threat to his twig and berries, letting Backes know that Burrows and Kesler are stormy petrels who will be looking for him all game. It's all standard trash talk in an attempt to get an opposing player to stop concentrating on the game.

Then the Vancouver duo brought Backes wife into the conversation. Backes didn't seem too upset by it and the talk was passed off as just a conversation between a couple of gamers.

But when does the talk go too far (if it can)? Backes has a hot wife and he can laugh it off as a pathetic attempt at getting under his skin. Would he do the same thing if Kessler and B
urrows were talking about his kids? What if he has a retarded kid that gets mentioned, or a stillborn child?

A lot
can be said in the heat of the moment and you never know the length some players will go to for a competitive edge. We already saw Sean Avery get suspended this year for claiming that Calgary Flame forward Jerome Iginla was dating his "sloppy seconds" in Canadian-born actress Elisha Cuthburt (of '24' fame). Avery said it to a throng of reporters before a game in an obvious pre-meditated move.

You might pass off Avery's comments as a stupid cheap shot by a man described as the NHL's biggest pest. You might think it was funny and Cuthbert is just a hussy anyways. Or you could find the comment a disturbing example of how far someone will go to goad another player.

We don't know what is said on the field or ice, especially during the play
offs. That's the way athletes like it. Say what you want on the field as long as you leave it on the field. But now that we have audio and cameras everywhere, the talk won't stay with the players.

I'm guessing it's only a matter of time before someone goes overboard with the talk and horrifies fans prompting a league commissioner to address the situation.

Elisha Cuthbert would be happy with that.

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