I’ve always been a real big Ndomukong Suh fan. A big guy with the agility of a three guard on a team in the middle of a major turnaround was enough to get me on his side.
But not anymore – and it was all because of one word in a postgame interview this week… “what?”
Last Sunday while playing the Lions, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was injured when teammate Will Svetek accidentally stepped on Ryan’s ankle. Falcons players Todd McClure and Roddy White accused Lions’ star Suh for taunting Ryan while on the ground.
For the purpose of being concise, it was wrong for McClure and White to bring this situation outside the field of play. Grow up. Address him privately next time you see him. But that doesn’t bother me as much as what Suh said in the postgame interview.
After some rhetoric, Suh was asked by a reporter in the clubhouse, “So then what did you say to Ryan…if anything” (or something very similar I forget the exact quote). After about one full second, Suh looked at the reporter and said:
“What?” asking him to repeat the question.
That one word tells a novel. By asking “what?” it tells me Suh wasn’t quick enough to think of a fitting defense to the question. It tells me “If you’re not telling me the truth now, what else are you exaggerating or lying about?” It tells me a lot about his character, and he has a lot of growing up to do.
Side note – I think trash talking is good for the game. Football is tough. Players consistently say it’s part of the game so if you’re a trash talker, embrace it.
Suh had the Falcon snitches by the groin when they blabbed to the media about the taunting. All Suh had to do was embrace it and respond with, “Yeah…I’m a trash talker. That’s my game.” Reggie Miller made it his legacy. People may not have positively responded at first, but down the road it would’ve shown maturity and strength, rather than taking the low-road and trying to deceive your fans into making them think you’re someone you’re not.
Contrary to what Suh thought, embracing himself as a trash talker makes him more popular, feared, & marketable. It would’ve made players even more scared of him.
Regardless, he’ll still be a very dominant player for a long time, but if other players pick up on this, it will expose a weakness in a superstar.