The art of Talkin' Trash

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

Trash talking. It can incite anger or gales of laughter on the football field. Sometimes, both at the same time.

"(Ex-NFLer) Deion (Sanders) used to say some crazy things like, 'Water covers one half of the world, I cover the rest,'" Blue Bombers cornerback Omar Evans said. "I don't get into those things."

Well actually, Evans did just that in a game against the now-defunct Ottawa Renegades last season. Evans shut down receiver Jason Armstead almost completely during that Winnipeg victory.

"I was just telling him he was in for a long day," Evans recalled recently. "I did say, 'You're an OK receiver but you're a better returnee.' It was just two competitive people. He's a good player, a great player, and I guess I'm an OK player at times and it got heated out there just trying to win and compete and sometimes, it gets like that. You get real pumped up. But we were hanging together after the game. But I don't talk trash, man. I don't get into that."

Former Bomber defensive end Elfrid (SWAC) Payton used to draw laughter from both his teammates and opponents by trash talking in the third person.

"The SWAC just beat you," he would say to his latest victim.

B.C. Lions receiver Jason Clermont used to shake his head over former teammate Frank Cutolo, saying "his mouth runs almost as fast as his feet."

"I like to talk (crap), it keeps me in the game," Cutolo once told the Ottawa Sun. "I try to get (opponents) rattled. Get them over-aggressive and off their game."

Calgary Stampeders receiver Nik Lewis waged a week-long verbal war with the Eskimos last season.

"They can't cover me with one person," Lewis told the Edmonton Sun.

Then there's Winnipeg placekicker Troy Westwood, whose tongue-in-cheek insult of Saskatchewan Roughriders fans led to the creation of the annual Banjo Bowl. Westwood had referred to 'Riders fans as "banjo-pickin' inbreds." He later apologized saying he didn't think any one in Saskatchewan could play the banjo. Roughrider players responded by making a TV commercial that made obvious references to Westwood and banjos.

"A good, fun-loving ribbing is always good for the soul," Westwood said at the time.

"I'm not much of a trash talker," rookie Bomber receiver Arjei Franklin said during training camp. "'I've seen better hands on a clock,' is probably the best one I've heard."

Bomber veteran cornerback William Fields recalled one particular game in college when he was covering a starting receiver.

"He said to me, 'Are you gonna talk every time I catch a pass?" and I said, 'Yeah, I'm gonna talk every time you catch a pass.' And he said, 'You gonna be talkin' all day.'

"But I don't say too much," Fields said. "I let my game speak for itself. But I'm going to hit you real hard. That stops all the talking once I do that."

Then there's Roughriders GM Roy Shivers, who has never been one to shy away from a good insult of any opponent.

"Kids have been talking trash, or whatever you want to call it, ever since sports began," he once told the Canadian Press. "If you need some kind of bulletin-board psych to get you jacked up for a football game, there's something wrong with your football team."

But not everyone buys into the trash-talk approach.

"Nobody talks to me," safety/linebacker Robert Grant said before the Bombers cut him. "They're all scared of me so, I don't get too much of that trash talk. I don't need to give it either, I let my past do the talking."


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