Dwight Anderson just can’t help himself: He’s a serial mouthpiece.
And while the animated Stamps cornerback prides himself on keeping his nonsensical trash talk between the lines, Wednesday he stepped over them.
“Screw them,” declared the eloquent 28-year-old without provocation.
“Screw everything about Saskatchewan. I don’t care. It’s that time of year I don’t got any love on for anyone. I’m going to smack somebody around.”
For those unfamiliar with No. 33’s act, he’s akin to that magpie outside your bedroom window on Saturday morning, abhorred by all for continually squawking.
After breaking up plays, batting down passes or making a big hit — things he does better than almost anyone in the league — he can often be seen preening towards the opposing sideline while hurling insults.
He’s Nik Lewis on defence.
And while his act disgusts the majority of fans at home or on the road, he’s determined to continue down a path far too many athletes follow these days — the self-aggrandizing types who celebrate everything.
It is, he says, what helps make him a great player.
Quite frankly, he’ll have to be great this weekend if the Stamps have any shot at winning the west final with their first win of the season over Saskatchewan.
And that means he’ll be even more verbose than he was last week against Edmonton when he spent most of the afternoon taunting Eskimos players and coaches on the sideline. It got so bad late in the game, teammate John Eubanks ran over seconds before a snap to interrupt Anderson’s verbal volleys and ensure he knew the play call.
“I didn’t know if he got the play call because D.A. was doing what D.A. does,” laughed Eubanks.
“It doesn’t matter if they can’t hear him, he’ll still keep talking and then make his point with his play.”
Expect even more such antics this weekend given the crowd, the opponent and the fact Anderson admitted he was furious at being overlooked as a league all-star Wednesday.
“The bigger the game, the more words that’ll come out of me,” promised Anderson, a husband and father of three.
“The offence is more pretty boy style —the defence is more down and gritty. You get a little nastier on the defensive side. Nik might throw a little joke or something but I’m not with that. I’m trying to hurt you.”
His diatribe Wednesday came minutes before head coach John Hufnagel praised the star defender for limiting his never-ending stream of inanities to the playing field.
“Since Dwight has been here, I really haven’t read anything in the paper that he’s said — his stuff is on the field during the game,” said Hufnagel, who won’t be happy to see Anderson’s comments splashed across the front of the Sun Thursday.
“That’s just the way he plays football. But he’s just one of 11 other guys out there talking – that’s part of the game. Some people do more than others.”
Having said in the past he’d rather have to reign a guy like Anderson in as opposed to getting him fired up, Hufnagel was asked why he pulled Anderson aside during the Edmonton game.
“Yeah, he was talking to the wrong people,” smiled Hufnagel, referring to the officials.
“I haven’t got a penalty for it all year,” insisted Anderson.
“The refs are right there and they understand. If I was going over the line I’m pretty sure the sideline judge would throw flags. Hey, I just live up to the bad boy mentality. I’ve been doing it my whole career and it ain’t ever gonna stop.”
Not even with 31,000 Roughriders fans roaring at the province’s social event of the decade.
“I’ll make sure they’ll hear it because I’ll get in their ears,” he promised.
“It’s football man. The football might look crazy to reporters and everybody but that’s football. At the end of the day we’re going to line up man to man and see who wins.”
And see if Anderson has anything to say afterwards.