Friday, December 7, 2007

Tom Brady is Unimpressed by Anthony Smith's Smack Talk

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Anthony Smith has just about used up his 15 minutes of fame. He has achieved some temporary notoriety for guaranteeing that Pittsburgh will beat the 12-0 New England Patriots this Sunday. Hopefully he is enjoying all of the extra attention and media coverage, because the next--and last--time a national audience will hear about him or see him is the inevitable lingering camera shot that will happen with about five minutes left on Sunday when the Patriots are up by a couple touchdowns. "There is Anthony Smith," the announcer will say as the camera shows a dejected figure sitting on the bench with his head down."His guarantee of a Steelers win became bulletin board material this week and we can all see the result."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had the best answer to Smith's remarks: "Well done is better than well said. That's been the motto of the team." Coach Bill Belichick denies that Smith has provided any extra motivation for New England: "We can sit around and put a bunch of stuff up on a board and write stuff down on paper and all of that. I think in the end it comes down to whether you can outplay the other team on Sunday or not outplay them. On a priority basis, that's what our priority is, trying to prepare well and play well." However, a few years ago when Indianapolis kicker Mike Vanderjagt said of the Patriots "I think they're ripe for the picking," Belichick admitted that he did sometimes use trash talk from opponents as a motivational tool.

There are two kinds of trash talk: one comes from guys like Muhammad Ali, Reggie Jackson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan--sometimes it appears in the media, but often it is said under one's breath to a competitor in the heat of battle, and it is almost always backed up by championship level play; the other kind of trash talk comes from nobodies who think that bold talk means more than solid preparation.

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