07-13-2010, 02:09 PM
Black Tooth Grin
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Apache Juntion, AZ
The Art of Trash Talk
This article is hilarious
The Art of Trash Talk
By Jake Rossen
There’s an excellent chance James Toney is going to discover pain in joints he didn’t even know he had on August 28. Fortunately for him, that has very little to do with his value as an entertainer.
From a Monday FightHype.com interview:
On Brock Lesnar: “Stiff-ass, coward-ass…[he] had on a pink skirt [against Shane Carwin].”
On Dana White: “Even though Dana White is a toes-eatin’ motherf--ker, he puts on good shows every month, you know what I’m saying?” (I don’t know what “toes eatin’” implies, but I’ll be using it every chance I get.)
Toney’s comments often read better than they sound: he can be difficult to understand at times, the possible victim of two decades spent getting his brain stamped. He’s also crude and offensive. But he somehow manages to take his overblown comments appear sincere. That’s the trademark of a good trash talker. Believe the script.
Trash talking has been around since the bare-knuckle days in the UK, where stubborn men fighting for dozens of rounds could easily hear themselves over small crowds and the lack of mouthpieces. Today, the Unified Rules of MMA warn against “abusive language,” though there’s been no instance of a fighter being fined or fouled for defamatory comments prior to a bout. A good talker is the single most important function this sport has adopted from pro wrestling. If you keep your jaw open long enough, people will want to see it punched shut.
Toney gets it, which is why he was able to talk himself into a UFC deal despite being 41 and 0-0. (Only Ron van Clief, at 51, was older for his UFC debut -- I think. God knows I’ll get emails if I’m wrong.) Having a rap can get you deals. It can get you wins: Frank Shamrock was notorious for planting doubt in opponents’ heads by whispering predictions into ears. It can inflate reputations: the volume of Dan Hardy’s confidence before the Georges St. Pierre fight made you half-believe he had a chance. Alternately, it can just get beer cups thrown at you.
Some tips for standing out while you’re lashing out:
1. Don’t force it.
There is nothing sorrier than a fighter trying to manufacture a reason to dislike an opponent. I will never forget the reason offered by Ken Shamrock and Don Frye on why they hated the other so much: that’s because there’s nothing to forget. There wasn’t one. If you can find something to pick at, great. If not, accept that not every fight is going to go nuclear.
2. Don’t start the routine too early.
Josh Koscheck had barely started filming the 12th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” in the summer when he accused future opponent St. Pierre of doping. Considering they’re more than five or six months out from the fight, this is a waste of venom.
3. Avoid wishing death on your opponent.
Exception: Shamrock’s promise to send Tito Ortiz into a “living death,” which reached Yogi Berra levels of genius. Otherwise tasteless.
4. Use social networking.
Twitter has been a magic wand for fighters who want to snarl at one another. Again, avoid the poor judgment of Tweeting a wish for a deadly illness or harm to family. It’s just a sport: publicly hoping an athlete gets Ebola before falling down a flight of stairs is not only overkill -- it would cancel your payday.
5. Don’t settle for the obvious.
Dan Hardy’s Mohawk? Too easy. Frank Trigg telling Matt Hughes he “comes from a better family”? Trigg was too audacious to ignore. (Though we did learn to, eventually.)
6. Learn English.
Sad but true: you could be Dorothy Parker in five-ounce gloves, but if it’s in Portuguese, few in the States would know it. Avoid using your interpreter as a stand-in for insults: their monotone delivery poisons everything. It’s on par with typing bad words into voice software.
7. Don’t get too Dennis Miller.
Even Van Gough and Tilden in a wind tunnel hear what I’m saying.
You can get away with just about anything if your record supports it. Drop a few and it all becomes a desperate bid to remain relevant. Who wants to hear about the carnage you’re capable of when you can’t make it out of a round?
So why does Toney get premium seating in this topic? Because he’s gotten the industry worked up before he’s had a single fight. If Toney beats Randy Couture, Joe Rogan will never get his microphone back.