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Sports & Politics

Two quick articles, one on football and a really good trash talker, the other is politics, I'm not quite sure I know which institution engages in the most trash talking (In this post election instability, you got to pay attention to D.C.)

USA, USA, USA…The Chant That Has Been Hijacked?

After the riot inside and outside the Capitol building on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, I had a chance to pause and reflect on several things that occurred. However, I will focus on the one item that piqued my interest. During the demonstrations and eventually riots at the Capital building, I heard these Trump supporters and insurrectionists regularly chant “USA, USA, USA.” Besides the latest pro-Trump demonstration, this chant has been heard at other rallies trying to secure DJT to a second term. I’m not sure what the USA these protestors/rioters are referring to. Will that be a stain for other groups that use that same chant?

Moving to international football events (soccer) involving the United States, USA fans invariably will chant that same expression. Sometimes it’s a chant of celebration and sometimes a motivating force to help America’s team to a victory on the pitch. Can that same chant at international football games continue? In other words, this chant will at least for the near future, be perceived differently. It’s could be a rallying cry for the American team to perform well or it could be construed as a cry for those far-right wingers who are unable to accept the results of the election.

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson Mic’d Up?

CGJ is quite a character. If he fails to cover a receiver or tight end, he can turn to trash talking. Just to be clear, this is his 2nd year in the NFL, it’s amazing that he has such bravado, willing to do whatever it takes, while sometimes stretching the rules, again, whatever it takes. Stretching the rules applies both to the physical and psychological space. Let’s look at some of the key incidents Gardner-Johnson found himself in.

During a practice in October, 2020, Saints receiver Michael Thomas got into a physical altercation with Gardner-Johnson. Thomas didn’t appreciate how he was guarded by CGJ, perhaps both competitors had a different interpretation of how practice should be run. Verbal insults and profanity were exchanged before Thomas punched Gardner-Johnson. Thomas was the only Saints player suspended by New Orleans for that incident.

On November 1, 2020, against the Chicago Bears, Bears wide receiver, Javon Wims punched CGJ several times before Wims was ejected and later suspended two games. Some NFL video shows Gardner-Johnson ripping Wims’ mouthguard from his facemask. CGJ was not suspended for the incident but was fined $5,128. He was a significant instigator on and after this particular play but avoided suspension.

On January 10, 2021, during Wild Card Weekend, Bears receiver Anthony Miller punched Saints safety CGJ. Miller was ejected from the game for throwing a punch, an NFL rule. Both players received penalties, which were offsetting. A critical game for both teams but Miller’s ejection had a detrimental effect on the Bears offense, an offense that struggled during the entire year -- were down one of their three top receivers.

If I could digress for a moment and say of all the football I’ve watched in my life, will God ask me why I wasted so much time watching football instead of doing something more positive?

Since I watched football for well over 45 years, I’ve seen a plethora of great trash talkers in the NFL. However, with all the all-time great trash talkers, I’ve never seen anyone get the reactions consistently that Chauncey Gardner-Johnson gets.

It’s honestly amazing and remember, it's his second season. I’m so amazed at his trash talker reputation that I’m going to hope the Saints continue to win so I can watch his craft on the gridiron. What are some of the triggers CGJ says to an opposing player who retaliates against CGJ with a punch as referees are nearby assessing the interaction? Could it be the profanity? The use of the ‘N’ word, insulting one’s family? I don’t condone what he’s doing but it’s working for him, perhaps he’s found the ‘major words’ that a little yapping may lead to trash talk and if this occurs, one only knows when it may become physical on one or both combatants.

I'll say one last thing about CGJ, if a video streaming company could get partial or full coverage on what is being said. It will never happened, perhaps I shouldn't say 'never.' An uncensored version of being mic’d up, especially when several combatant competitors like these two tangle would be a rating bonanza.

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