Some tenets of trash talking

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Some tenets of trash talking

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

I'm a big fan of trash talking in sports.

I do it a lot, especially during college basketball season.

Sometimes the payoff is sweetly satisfying -- like the wake of UConn's 2011 National title -- (WOOF). Other times -- like after 2010's brief NIT "run" -- you're left feeling bitter, angry and maybe a little foolish.

The topic comes to mind because things between the Boston and Tampa Bay crowds are getting ugly. And it should heat up; these fans are rooting for a trip to the Stanley Cup finals.

Unfortunately, I'm seeing some things I don't like. "Waitaminute," you say. "I thought anything goes in the world of smack-talk!"

Wrong. Trash-talking is also a game. There are winners, there are losers, and there are standards.

1. You shouldn't spit fire only when your team is tops.

Take, for example, the faithful fans of Tampa Bay's (Devil) Rays between 1998 and 2008.

There weren't any?

Oh. Okay. Well, let's look at '08. Tampa went 97-65 that season for the best record in the AL East. Boston's 95 wins had them at second. Fenway Park averaged 37, 632 fans getting drunk, making stupid signs and doing the wretched wave a game that season. The Rays? 22, 259. Great number, gang! Big cap-tip to those who gathered up their cowbells and trudged over to the Trop.

Even if numbers slip, you've got to work with what you've got. When the Rays traveled to Boston and crushed the Sox 10-3 in September of '08, some prideful townie in red stuck around and got a substantial chorus to chant something unkind about Evan Longoria's mother.

Hang tight.

2. Don't use history as ammo if your franchise doesn't have any.

This one's more a helpful hint than anything. It just sounds silly when somebody beats his chest and says, "RESPECT US. RESPECT OUR CLUB AS ONE OF THE FINEST TRADITIONS IN HOCKEY DESPITE THE FACT THAT EVERY PLAYER ON OUR ROSTER IS OLDER THAN THE FRANCHISE."

The other day I saw some Lightning fan waving Tampa's 2004 Stanley Cup around with words. Neat! Boston won Stanley Cup No. 1 (out of five) in its first 12 years as a hockey club, too. That was in 1928.

Might want to try a different approach.

3. Be prepared to get what you give.

Bruins marketing has used The Bear in ad campaigns for a few years now. His ads are lighthearted but pointed. Like this one:

Lightning fans could have responded in several ways.

A. Laughter and promises of a vengeful butt-kicking in Game 3.
B. Anger and promises of vengeful butt-kicking on the ice in Game 3.
C. A similar ad campaign that roasts Boston in a smart, fun way.
D. Indignation and whining.

Tampa chose 'D'. ProHockeyTalk.com It's unfortunate.

Boston's billboards were taken down due to complaints. Ringleader of the Dish-It, Don't-Take-It Crew is Tampa radio show host, Mike "Cowhead" Calta. The part I don't get? For someone supposedly offended by wit and humor, the guy's counter-attack was exponentially worse -- just hateful and disgusting. Beyond the comments NESN documented, Calta also called Bruins fans fgs and pssies via Twitter.

Hub hockey fans are going to respond in kind and it's not going to be pretty. Thing is, by setting such a disgusting and bigoted tone, he has surrendered his right to complain about anything anybody says to him in the future.

Best of luck, you jackhole.

4. If you make a bet you have to own up to it.

Tony Luke Jr. is a perfect example of this tenet.

Luke is a lover of all Philadelphia sports but I don't hate him because he's a stand-up guy. He made a bet with Bruins fan Kosta Diamontopolous during the Stanley Cup semifinals, lost it (like his Flyers lost the series and their pride) and made good on the deal.

Check it out:

An attitude like that gets you respect in this city.

Anybody who touts his or her team gets to gloat like hell after a win. The same people also have to know when they're beaten. Considering there are at least three more games to play in the Eastern Conference finals, I hope the fans figure it out fast.

We'll all have more fun that way.

Brady to Amendola on Facebook: 'Paddle's fixed...Time for a rematch!'

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Brady to Amendola on Facebook: 'Paddle's fixed...Time for a rematch!'

When Danny Amendola told the world on Tuesday that he's better than Tom Brady at ping pong, the quarterback must have been listening. 

On his Facebook page, Brady published a snarling image of his face Photoshopped onto the body of a table tennis player. That paddle he broke after losing to Amendola three years ago? It's fixed, Brady explained in the caption. And he's ready for a rematch.

Talk about intimidation.

OFFSEASON

Blakely: Boston becoming a favored destination for free agents

Blakely: Boston becoming a favored destination for free agents

BOSTON -- In some circles the pursuit of Dwight Howard by the Boston Celtics is just as perplexing as Boston being one of the six teams getting an audience with Kevin Durant and, with that, a shot at the Durant sweepstakes this summer. 
 
Both serve as examples of how the Celts are no longer at the back of the line when it comes to being a potential destination for the best free agents. 
 
Of course it’s about sealing the deal, and getting the best free agents on the market under contract, and all that good stuff.
 
But before that can happen, Boston has to be seen as a place to even be seriously considered by free agents. That's exactly what we’re starting to see happen right now.
 
It’s easy to point to the Celtics having a ton of salary cap space, which in itself makes them a possible landing spot for players who we all know will be hauling in max to near-max salaries this offseason.
 
But there’s just one problem with that line of thought. More than half the league enters free agency with enough money to sign one max player.

The fact that Boston is on the short list for the summer’s top free agent (Durant) and have already secured a sit-down with one of the top centers (Howard) says a lot in terms of how far Boston has come in the eyes of players. 
 
And several factors point towards the Celtics getting an audience with other top-shelf free agents this summer if they fail to secure one or two of their top choices.
 
But let’s not kid ourselves. How others view this franchise is the reality of what the Celtics have to deal with when it comes to adding elite, upper-echelon talent like Durant. 
 
The fact that Durant is willing to include Boston in his short-list of teams is a bit of a head-scratcher when you see that the Celtics are the farthest away from the group in terms of competing for an NBA title (although an argument can be made that they are neck-and-neck with the Miami Heat along those lines). Durant has said in the past that would be something he would be looking for in whatever team he signed with.
 
The biggest selling point the Celtics have to offer Durant or any other free agent (besides money) is that they are a franchise on the rise, they have stability on the floor with Brad Stevens as the head coach, and they have stability in the front office with Danny Ainge. Both Stevens and Ainge signed long-term extensions earlier this month. 
 
And one of the perks that players who come to Boston quickly discover is the fan base, which is about as rabid a group as you'll find in the NBA.
 
There’s no mistaking they wear their emotions on their sleeves, whether it’s cheering the team on following a season-ending playoff loss, or booing the owner after the team makes a draft pick they don’t particularly care for. 
 
They bleed green!
 
Add all those things up and it’s clear that Boston has the kind of environment, the kind of culture, where a star can come and thrive. 
 
The Celtics and their fans have known this for a while.
 
Now it seems some of the game’s best players are starting to catch on, as well.

Wednesday, June 29: B's not in Stamkos sweepstakes?

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Wednesday, June 29: B's not in Stamkos sweepstakes?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while laughing out loud at the mental image of Bill Lee rolling joints for Peter Gammons.

-- Dion Phaneuf says he’ll be at the Stanley Cup Day for Phil Kessel even though he’s still waiting for his own playoff glory.

-- Former NHL player Bryan Berard, who was defrauded out of much of his hockey earnings by his former financial advisors, is speaking out so other players don't make the same mistake.

-- Bob McKenzie appears on Vancouver radio and never mentions the Bruins as one of the teams that might be in the running for Steven Stamkos.

-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) James Mirtle sits down with Brendan Shanahan to discuss Shanahan's plan to fix the Maple Leafs.

-- In the interest of self-promotion, here’s my hit with Toucher and Rich this morning about a possible Bruins' offer sheet for Jacob Trouba.

-- Player agent Allan Walsh thinks that the interview period prior to July 1 is a terrible thing.

-- The Florida Panthers hire Roberto Luongo’s younger brother Leo to be their AHL team’s goalie coach.

-- Kudos to the NHL and their Hockey is for Everyone campaign for bringing the beautiful game of hockey to inner-city youth.

-- You may need Google Translate for this, but it looks like Dale Weise has played his last game for the Montreal Canadiens.

-- For something completely different: As mentioned above, this Bill Lee interview with Toucher and Rich is a phantasmagorical experience.