Let the trash talking fly

Dillan Schorfheide, Sports Editor

Trash talking is and always has been a big part of my life, as bad or as silly that makes me seem.

Considering video games have been a big part of my life for over a decade, I tend to trash talk people I play against, real or computer-controlled.

Sports have always been in my life as well, so when I got older and got more skill and confidence, I started talking smack to my competitors.

Hell, my family and I talk smack to each other over simple games of rummy.

So, yeah, I am quite ingrained in the art that is trash talking; rather, the art of trash talking is ingrained in me, maybe.

Recently, however, trash talking, or talking smack, or whatever you want to call it, seems to be facing an ever-growing resistance in an effort to make sure everyone’s feelings are safe and OK.

There is certainly a line trash talking should not cross, but the Big 12’s new rule that will limit a certain taunting gesture is flat-out stupid.

The Big 12, an NCAA athletic conference, which includes such schools as Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, ruled Tuesday, ‘“If (the gesture) is to a bench or to another player, and it’s prolonged, it would be an unsportsmanlike act.’”

This comes from the Big 12 coordinator of officials, Greg Burks, who added if the gesture, using a hand to make a pointing down horn gesture (mocking the horns up gesture Texas fans and players make), is quick and not at someone, it will likely be OK, according to the USA Today.

An unsportsmanlike penalty in football is usually called for taunting or an excessive celebration in football, so this gesture fits in the scope of the long-followed rule in football.

I am admitting this because it is important that I am not misunderstood to be arguing that the general unsportsmanlike penalty is stupid, but rather that the ruling of this specific gesture is quite dumb.

Football is a product, meant to entertain people.

Who does not want to see some trash talking between teams?

I think players should be allowed to make the gesture at other players or benches; who cares?

ESPN’s Sportscenter showed a brief video Tuesday of Texas quarterback, Sam Ehlinger, saying he did not mind the horns down gesture, and it, in fact, would motivate him and his team to play harder.

Trash talking is one of the constants in sports over the decades, and it should remain as such.

I would define unsportsmanlike conduct as following one player back to his bench, or doing crude gestures to the opposing team, something like that. That second one because it is something no one needs to see, and the other is causing some sort of actual disturbance (to an extent).

But just doing a harmless mock gesture of another team’s mascot? That is nothing.

Go look up what players would say to each other in the NBA and NFL back in the 70s and 80s and 90s, or what they would gesture toward each other.

Hell, while I do not agree with throwing around racial slurs, some of the greatest athletes ever have endured harmful, racial slurs and have brushed them aside to continue to play.

So, this horns down thing is nothing.

If you want some really great trash talk stories, look up Larry Bird stories on YouTube. It is a part of the game(s).

I know for a fact I have even said worse to people I played soccer against in high school. I also heard worse in high school.

This rule needs to be erased because it quite simply is pathetic and will certainly bring up debates on how the referees are interpreting that rule this upcoming season.

If you are wondering, this whole gesture was brought up in November after an opposing player made it while running across the goal line for a touchdown against Texas.

But seriously, can we just let trash talking go on?

As long as it does not cross the line, of course, which this gesture does not.

Dillan Schorfheide is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].