Does trash talk have a place in fantasy sports?

July 14, 2017

Nearly every fantasy league has an owner or two that likes to talk some serious smack. Some leagues see every owner do it. Does trash talk make fantasy leagues better?

I think it does. Having engaging owners, regardless of how they are engaging, is almost always a good thing as long as their actions don’t create negative drama.

Even if you don’t talk the smack yourself, it makes beating the owner(s) that does even that much more enjoyable.

I tend to talk more smack in my hometown leagues where I have in-person drafts and play against mostly friends of mine that are friends of mine outside fantasy football. In industry leagues or high-stakes leagues I’m generally more humble.

Now, there is some hard data to suggest that trash talk in general is a good thing. In recent article at Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth Bernstein wrote about a study that backed up that take.

Psychologists define “trash talk” as boastful remarks about oneself or insulting remarks about one’s opponent delivered before or during a competition. Trash talk is prevalent in sports, business, politics and the military—and also common between friends or family members when they find themselves competing for something.

Now, new research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School—soon to be published in the journal “Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes”—shows that trash talk can be surprisingly motivating to the target of it.

Do you talk trash talk in your league or are there others that do that drive you crazy? I’d love to hear about it. Let me know @DanClasgens on Twitter and include the hashtag #My1MoreThing.

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