Opinion: Dear Tyrann: Be Quiet
An open letter to the Honey Badger
By Cody WorshamPosted Jun 20, 2012
Let me start by saying this: You’re a hell of a football player.
The reason I quit playing sports and starting writing about them was because of athletes as talented as you. The feats of pure athleticism you and your teammates accomplish on the field push the way we think about humanity and limits in such profound ways that I wake up every day eager and excited to make meaning of your performances. Without you and others like you, I’d have to work a way crappier job to pay the bills.
Formalities out of the way, I have to say something, if for no other reason than I’m really not sure that anyone else has said it to you: Be quiet.
Forgive the medium of this message, because text is limited and cannot fully convey tone so I’ll clarify. I don’t mean “be quiet” as in “shut up” or “shut your mouth” or in any other context where I’m a superior figure giving you a command. On the contrary, I mean to say, “be quiet” as more of an earnest, respectful request, because I truly believe that a sincere effort on your part at quietness would make you not only a better football player, but also a better NFL prospect.
Hear me out. I only bring this up now because of your recent Twitter episode with Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, where the two of you exchanged some pretty heated tweets. For memory’s sake, I’ll transcribe (and comment in parentheses):
You (@TM7_ERA): “Try throwing a corner route or a cross country on me this year!!! i’ll be waiting!!!”
(Granted, this was a general tweet not aimed at anyone, so it was McCarron who escalated the situation by responding):
McCarron (@10AJMcCarron): “U can talk ab stopping something.. But actions speak louder than words. Remember that. #neworleans #14.”
(Never one to back down from a challenge, you quickly fired back):
You: “Everybody have a good game every now and then try having a great season back 2 back 2 BACK! DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIP NOT YOU.”
(Also a fiery personality himself, McCarron’s second tweet was another taunt):
McCarron: “Ur right the TEAM. That’s how we play as a TEAM. We stick together through our losses and wins. #thatswhatmakesusgreat #wehave14”
(And to end it):
You: “You have 1,THE school has 14! you play your part well thanks to great coaching! but anyways we’ll talk nov 3rd!”
(Of course, there were other tweets, but that gets the gist of it.)
I, too, am on Twitter (shameless plug from @CodyWorsham). I wasn’t on my account when this war was going down, but had I been, I’d probably have tweeted something like this:
“@TM7_ERA: Be quiet #heywhatarehashtagsforagain?”
Of course, I wasn’t there, but I stand by my idea. I think you’d do well to be quiet, or at least be quieter than you are now.
Trust me, I get it. All of your football career, no one believed by looking at you that you were an elite SEC cornerback. You’re comparatively undersized and, while fast, don’t have world-class wheels. So when coaches and opponents overlooked you, you had no other choice but to make noise to get their attention. And once they got your attention, well, as good as you are, you weren’t going to lose it.
But guess what, Tyrann? You’ve now got everyone’s attention. Through your play, you’ve earned a viral nickname and a reputation as one of the best in college football. No one’s overlooking you now. Thanks to you and that narrator dude Randall, everyone knows just how badass the Honey Badger is.
Which means you’ve got to be quiet. You’ve got to be subtle. You have too much attention. Now, you have to learn to deflect it. The Honey Badger can’t strike if his prey knows he’s coming.
That’s where my advice comes in. Be quiet. Don’t talk. Even when provoked, maintain silence. At worst, you’ll throw your opponents off by your unexpected quietness. At best, your total and complete muteness will truly terrify them. Nothing is more terrifying than a silent assassin.
So, you see, Tyrann, that’s why I think you should be quiet. You just don’t need to talk anymore. Your game, your talent, and your team – they should do all the talking for you.
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