By popular demand, we return to Anti-Trash Talk, in its third incarnation now as Anti-Trash Talk III! Dawn of the Deadly Shut-Down Lines!
For those of you who stretch to be insulted by these lines, all submitted by our Pilgrims and contributors, the whole idea is to respond to insults, echo-chamber the insult, get some get-back -- to back up off yourself the world of verbal bullies out there, whenever they strike, as they undoubtedly will.
So, in the immortal words of Marvin Gaye and Mills Lane: Let's get it on.
Ben Wood from Australia e-mailed to say that trash-talk is called "sledging" in the Land Down Under. Anti-Trash Talk is Anti-Sledging down there. Ben's example was sent in by at least 10 other story-tellers, who told the line in 10 different ways. Ben's line wins the blue ribbon, surpassing Jim Brown's near-immortal, "Do you think you can kick my ass?"
(And no, Stephen of the Heights, the Shut-Down Line to top all SDLs is not "Was Fuzzy Wuzzy Fuzzy?" It is not the perfect retort to Brown's line. Quentin Tarantino will not be turning green with envy. In fact, Jim Brown may decide to kick your ass just for suggesting it.)
We'll get back to Ben and the blue ribbon. But first, the runners-up ...
Brian Walsh: "Kick my ass? Pack a lunch. Bring a ladder."
Mike Solo: "Uh ... you're gonna need more people."
Gilbert Gilbert: Come heavy or not at all." (Credits Uncle Junior, to Tony in "The Sopranos.")
Andrew Eick: "Take them rags and wipe my boat!" (In Texas Hold 'Em Poker, the rags are bluff hole cards; we'll wait to see if either Page 2's Jay Lovinger or Norman Chad claims authorship of this saying first.)
Joe Diersing: "As long as that's the only fantasy you have where I'm involved, we're okay." (Joe, Joe -- let's not give them any ideas here.)
Zachary Tofias: "You're already irrelevant!" (Zach, it may go better to say, "You're already yesterday's news." You don't want to stop in the middle of a good Shut-Down Line to explain what "irrelevant" means.)
Brian P. Miller: "I doubt it. I don't plan on playing in Turkey." (Credits Troy Murphy, Notre Dame forward, responding to West Virginia varsity hooper who said, "Don't matter. I'll get you in the pros next year.")
Derek L. Sampson: "Tu hermana y tu madre." (Even in Spanish, this one is incredibly weak, Derek.)
Jay Ranjitsingh: "Grab a spoon. Taste defeat." (***! -- Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times.)
Colin Bernard: "Want a medal? You need a chest to pin it on."
Chad Stauffacher: "I'm the whup. You're the ass."
Marcus Estrella: "Don't worry. It'll all be over soon." (Credits to the Manga creature in the video game "Fist of the North Star.")
Vernon Howard: "Take two of these and don't call me in the morning." (Depends on what "these" are, Vern; Shut-Down Lines requiring pantomime are automatically devalued by five Khabibulins.)
Frank the Shizzle: "Go make me a sandwich."
Nicholas Flanagan: "Get better, not bitter." (Get a clue, Nicholas. What would be your reply to a hot stick in the eye? A noogie?)
J Thomas: "Want my autograph now or later?"
Joan Allen: "Typical." (Sadly, guys won't get that one, Joan.)
Kevin Williams: "Tissue?" (Or, credited to Eddie Murphy, mimicking voice of Michael Jackson: "Tito, bring me a tissue.")
Jerry Swider: "Alligator mouth, hummingbird ass."
Mike Lesan: "You'd look funny with a golf club sticking out your back." (Uh, look, Mike: It's supposed to be Anti-Trash Talk Shut-Down Lines; not "Helter-Skelter II: The Ramblings of Charles Manson.")
Jim Cocoran: "Did you know you're bleeding?" (Any line that can be responded to with a simple "Does your mama?" doesn't cut it.)
Kareem Mayan: "Shouldn't you be in the playoffs?" (Credited to Michael Jordan after a poor golf shot, responding to Warren Sapp after Sapp hit Jordan with the shopworn trash-talk line "Does your husband play?")
Tim Taorimo: "Have another beer and make another observation." (Credited to Brian Billick, responding to one of his many media critics.)
Christopher Sullivan: "Loser, party of one? Paging Mr. Loser." (And also from Christopher: "I shook you like a cheap nanny.") (***! -- Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times.)
Jared K. Yerg: "No thanks ... " (That's it? Go back to Subway, J-man.)
Dave N Colorado: "Were you looking for this?" (This is taken from Ultimate Frisbee, but works in any game requiring a ball, or playing cards; is most effective in a game requiring darts, a javelin, or suppositories.)
Ben Gold: "Your shot is like an art form: Baroque!" (In spite of your great sports name, this is possibly the worse SDL I've ever heard -- but still, it's all according to taste.) (*** -- Rex Reed, The New York Observer.)
Sherman Sims: "You need a vacation -- but I'm taking one." (Credited to Michael Schumacher, speaking to the entire Formula 1 field.)
Ben Macone: "Bring it, don't sing it." (Not too shabby.)
"Muffin Man": "Woke up on the wrong side of the cage this morning?"
Jerrold Witcher: "Trust me: The pain'll go away one day."
Kevin Drummond: "What time are cheerleader tryouts?"
Brain Wooley: "What are you gonna do? Arm-tackle me?" (Says he got this second-hand from new Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who was telling stories out of school about his good buddy Curt Schilling, who was talking to Deion Sanders.)
Steve Sayre: "Take a hike." (Time-tested, and inadequate.)
Matthew Pierce: "Hold my trophy while I kiss your girl." (This is the PG version; there's also an R version and an NC-17 version of this one, as you can imagine if you'll only think about it for a few minutes.)
Edna Link: "You look cute in your uni -- not." (Edna, this might be devastating to Sarah Jessica Parker, but it is not going to have any impact on, say, Scot Pollard, Bill Romanowski, Don Brashear or Rasheed Wallace.)
Chris Rossini: "This isn't going to go as well as you had planned."
Paul Craskey: "If they keep you on me, I'll be in the Hall of Fame by Monday morning." (Credits Andre Rison. Not bad at all, only Rison was probably talking to a 10-year-old at the time.)
Walz From Arizona: "A common curtsy will do." (Perfect for the soccer hooligan set, I guess. This is a real Merchant-Ivory SDL. Walz, is there any truth to the rumor than you're really Ruth Prawer Jhabvala?)
Harrison Lin: "Oh? Is that game already?"
Dave Miller: "Well, it's true, I could be your daddy. But then again, the line was awfully long." (Dave, you have officially ended the usefulness of "Who's Your Daddy?" as smack talk. Congratulations.)
Brian Blades: "Next time, maybe you can hit me with your purse."
Olivarri Yoda: "What does the bottom of my shoe say?"
Ira Udaskin: "Who do you think is going to bleed first?"
Jack McDonald: "Which one of my hands do you want to lose to?" (Niiiiiice.)
R Dean: "That's pretty brave talk, coming from a one-eyed fat man." (Credits Robert Duvall, to John Wayne in "True Grit.")
Miles L.: "I've beaten bigger guys on my way to a fight."
Kelley Horton: "Your mom called. She says you left your game at home."
Andrea Pearce: "Nice face, moron."
Eric Neuteboom: "You're still away ... you're still away ... you're still away ... "
Nathan Johns: "I'm gonna call you 'Iley' until you earn a W." (Good one, Nathan; I see it's personalized just for me, too. Gee thanks. Thanks a lot. Say, what's that on your nose? Oh -- that is your nose. Sorry.)
Anonymous: "I see that nose of yours, but not the dog I shall throw it to!"(Quoting notorious anti-trash talker Will Shakespeare, for Nathan Johns.)
Robin Fishbein: "At least make that weak trash rhyme."
Travis Branham: "Enjoy your studio apartment life."
Jamaal Bailey: "You're not a has-been. You never were."
Willy 22: "Don't let me slow down the search for someone who's interested in whatever you're talking about."
Highlor from Thailand: "Shut up or I'll eat your dog."
Kevin Ecker: "I don't trade hee-haws with a jackass." (Credited to former USC coach John McKay, speaking to former Stanford coach John Ralston.)
Patricia Miller: "You were a difficult birth, weren't you?"
Josh Roberts: "You're nothing but Gatorade to me."
Aaron Kaufman: "E-mail me at www-dot-yo-mama-dot-com."
Greg Baggett: "First time playing outside?"
Casey Jorgenson: "Save your breath. You'll need it to blow up your date." (****! -- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post.)
Joe Almonte: "If I want crap from you, I'll squeeze your head."
Timothy Remme: "Didn't you forget to give me my fries?"
G-Money: "If the phone don't ring ... it's me."
Steve Kovatis: "Yeah, I remember my first hit of acid, too."
Flowman: "If I had wanted your opinion, I would have beat it out of you."
Stephen from the Heights: "What's worse is ... I'm American! (Stephen, I guess this might fly if there were nothing in the world but French nationals. Know you mean well about the Olympics and everything, but then again, aren't there enough embargoes and jihads in the world already?)
Gary Montoya: "Make sure you look eye." (Credits Pat Morita/Mr. Miyagi.)
Eric Beck: "I didn't grow up watching you." (Credits Michael Jordan, speaking in his last days as a player to a brash, trash-talking rookie.)
Mike Mauldin: "Do you know who the hell I am?" (Credits Evel Kneivel. This one can work, unless the initial trash was talked by the police, and you happen to be Michael Irvin, Al Cowlings or David Boston.)
Jon Goings: "Aw, look who's trying to defend. That's so cute."
Darwin Conner: "You need an editor." (You talkin' to me, Darwin? I mean, there's nobody else here ... you talkin' to me?)
S Waters: "I'm Rick James, bitch!" (Credits David Chappelle.)
Finally, our winner, from Mr. Ben Wood. We can't be absolutely sure who the particulars were in this Ultimate SDL because we got 10 responses from people who were supposedly there when it happened; yet, they all told it differently. Somebody go to Rwiley1@aol.com and set things a'right.
Apparently, a star cricketeer -- or rugby or Australian Rules player -- from Australia who had gotten along in years and was carrying more poundage in his saddlebags than he had in his salad days faced a rival from New Zealand (or South Africa) in an international battle full of intensity and national pride.
The New Zealander said: "Oy there, Mate! 'Ow'd you get so freakin' fat?!"
To which our hero replied: "Because every time I (censored) your wife, she gives me a biscuit."
Even the New Zealanders had to laugh.
Ball game, people.
Unless you have more.
Ralph Wiley has written articles for Sports Illustrated, Premiere, GQ, and National Geographic, and many national newspapers. He was one of the original NFL Insiders on NBC. His many books include "Serenity, A Boxing Memoir," "Why Black People Tend To Shout," "By Any Means Necessary: The Trials and Tribulations of the Making of Malcolm X" with Spike Lee, "Dark Witness," "Best Seat in the House" with Spike Lee, "Born to Play" with Eric Davis, and "Growing Up King" with Dexter Scott King and the children of Martin Luther King Jr. He contributes to many ESPN productions, and bats cleanup on a weekly basis for Page 2.