Trash talk is one of those sports staples. It’s not even explicitly a sports phenomenon, but the term is most commonly associated there. As long as a spots team exists, and someone is a fan of them, trash talk will occur. It is as natural as farting. We’ve all done it. Some partake more than others. Some are very good at it, some are hopelessly bad at it. Everyone can appreciate a good zing, even at their own expense.

I’ve never been the biggest partaker of trash talk, personally. I do it among my friends, of course. I think its different when you are just ribbing friends. But I never go up to or trash talk random people. It might be my pessimistic nature (I trash the Giants far more than I do any other team) but I just don’t really do it outside my buddies. I think for most people in real life it’s probably similar. Online tends to be a different story. The ability to throw trash talk around anonymously means we have a lot more of it. I’ll throw zingers at other teams occasionally on twitter (usually after a team does a stupid thing).

I think the biggest issue is that there are a lot of people who are just bad at trash talk. Good trash talk is clever, and used at opportune moments, with a wink and a smile. What makes it worse is that these people tend to be the biggest trash talkers. They are the people who will pass you on the street and tell you your team sucks when you happen to be wearing a team hat. These are the people who will slide into your twitter notifications and tell you how trash they think your team is on a tweet that was you already bashing your own team (this happens to me a lot).

Bad trash talk is frequent, not clever, typically directed at someone you don’t know, and honestly more closely resembles harassment than anything. Last year, sometime around week 3sih, I made a tweet calling the Giants defense good (Something that was objectively true last season). An Eagles fan (This is not me picking on the Eagles again, it just happened to be one, I get lots of good Eagles trash talk every weekend, Eagles fans have a knack for it) dropped into my comments to call me wrong and stupid and the Giants defense actually terrible. Not in a witty way. Not clever. About as plain as the sentence I used to describe it. I gave him a decent back and forth for the rest of the game, hoping it would turn into a real team discussion (like most of these back and forths tend to do), but it became clear pretty fast the guy didn’t really have anything clever to say, he just wanted to call the Giants bad and me stupid. His trash talk game was weak. He was the 2017 Bengals of trash talk.

He kept this up for weeks. If I tweeted and he was online, even if my tweet was about something inane like bananas, he’s come in and go “Yeah even bananas aren’t as bad as the Giants” only even less clever somehow. He kept trying to zing back to the “Giants defense is good” comment, even deep into the season when it was clear the Giants defense wasn’t a fluke and was legit good, which means he had nothing to actually work with, especially as the Eagles season faded. By the last few games of the year, I straight up muted him. To this day he is the only person I’ve muted on twitter. I hadn’t even thought of him since until I started writing this post. I didn’t mute him due to the frequency of his replies, it was because his replies and his trash talk were so bad  that I just decided I didn’t want to look at it anymore. If you want to trash talk random strangers on the internet, bring at least your B game, and don’t be relentless about it, leave your bit and move on. If you don’t get a reaction, then it’s time to find a new target, or try an open a genuine sports talk session.

I didn’t really mean to ramble on about one dude I encountered on twitter once but I do always write these things late at night when I’m half asleep so there you go. Bandwagon/fairweather fans are the absolute worst fans because they trash talk a lot with no knowledge or cleverness behind it and they vanish or play hurt when you zing them back. Bandwagoners…The Worst? Discuss.