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Even NFL Trash Talking Has Its Limits

Illustration for article titled Even NFL Trash Talking Has Its Limits

Just before halftime of the Jets’ 23-20 OT win over the Giants, WR Brandon Marshall got into it with DT Cullen Jenkins. Marshall addressed the scuffle after the game, revealing a little bit about the fascinating code of shit-talking: at least to Marshall, talking about a man’s wife is beyond the pale.

“I think there are some things that are off limits,” the Jets wide receiver explained. “I believe in trash talk. Some guys get up for that. But some things are off limits. He made a comment about ... he said, ‘My girl.’ He didn’t know I was married.

“There is not enough money on this Earth for somebody to disrespect my wife.”

It is so frustrating to know that there is constant, brutal banter between opposing players throughout every game, and we never get to hear any of it. One day some disgruntled NFL Films employee is going to leak their archives of the best shit talk, and it will be a glorious day.

In the locker room talking to reporters, Marshall took out his phone and pretended to message his wife to tell her how he stood up for her.

“He thought maybe I had four or five girls,” Marshall said. “I’m happily married to one woman. I love my wife, Michi Marshall, and I will fight to the end for her. ‘So there you go baby. He’s 500 pounds and I went after him for you.’”


If Marshall’s objections provided a peek at the code of trash talking, Jenkins’s willingness to back down is a big part of it too. Marshall said he told Jenkins he was married and didn’t appreciate the comments, and Jenkins came up to him later in the game to apologize. Michi Marshall’s honor remains unbesmirched.


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