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The Protocols of Talkin' Smack: Carolina Panthers Edition

Randy, Tom, and Randy's beard

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

"It's weird, Tom, I grew this beard to look like Kimbo Slice and now everybody wants a piece of me."

You may have heard that two of the Panthers’ defensive backs questioned Randy Moss’ efforts (to the Boston Globe!) after Carolina’s loss to the Patriots on Sunday. Keeping his eyes on the scoreboard, New England coach Bill Belichick simply noted, “That’s a lot of conversation coming from a team that lost another game.”

Belichick’s masterful comeback demonstrates his core understanding of some of the most important unwritten rules of sport - what we’ll collectively call the PTS: Protocols of Talkin’ Smack. Of course, we’d love to list out the full PTS for our readers, but doing so would render them “written” so we’ll have to settle with merely pointing you in the right direction:

1. If you play defense, you give up points, and your team loses, then don’t tell the winning team’s hometown newspaper that their players didn’t try hard enough – the score indicates otherwise. This will be known from this point forward as the Panthers Rule;

2. If you are a coach and you decide to taunt members of the opposing team, it usually works best if you taunt the kickers. Doing so to the linebackers has been known to result in at least one 32-3 beatdown and league-wide embarrassment;

3. If you’re winning a game, it’s cool to look at your opponent and say nothing other than “scoreboard.” If you play for an Ivy League school, it’s not ok to respond “board scores.” That would be insufferable;

4. If your team is getting blown out, the game is almost over, and you’re on the bench, then the only person you should be talking to is the kid with the towels sitting behind you. This circumstance definitely includes calling out the reigning MVP for showing pride in his workmanship; and

5. If you decide you must talk trash to a teammate, and you’re playing baseball, it’s not a good idea to also pick a fight. For whatever reason, this problem affects those on the diamond more than anyone else – check out Big League Stew’s list of their Top 10 MLB Teammate Fights for proof.