Trash talking is as old as football itself. A player baiting another player with a taunt or threat is usually par for the course during any game, especially a game between rivals or with championship significance.
So, it was no surprise that Monday’s Gator Bowl between Florida and Ohio State — two teams that have loved Urban Meyer — had a little more vitriol than usual. What was surprising was the type of caustic comments being said.
Ohio State linebacker Tyler Moeller said Florida players hurled racial slurs at him throughout the game and that that sparked some of the chippiness during the 24-17 Florida win.
“They’re classless. That’s the way I’d put it,” Moeller said, according to Marcus Hartman from Buckeye Sports Bulletin. “I’ve never seen more people swing at our players and call us racial slurs. I’ve never been called a ‘cracker’ more in my life than I have today. So I don’t really have much respect for them in terms of that but they’re a good team. They came out and outplayed us today.”
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve never heard a player complain about this in terms of reverse racism (which is still just racism) and really, you rarely hear about this type of thing at all on the collegiate level, though it probably exists. I’m sure there was a slew of unsavory things said on that football field, but who knew the “C-word” was still a racial slur that anyone used?
I’m not trying to make light of the situation, but I thought it went out of style after comedian Chris Rock ran the slur into the ground during his HBO special in 1999. The word is probably as relevant now as some of the words used in the infamous 1975 Saturday Night Live skit “Racist Word Association Interview” with Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor.
I do wonder what other things he and other players were called and what they might have yelled back? I’m sure there was some profanity dropped that probably drew more anger — and some colorful rebuttal — than the “C-word.”
Ohio State defensive back Travis Howard, who is from Miami, told Hartman that that kind of trash talk is common in the state of Florida.
It’s interesting that in other leagues, especially soccer leagues where there are many different ethnicities on one field, this kind of stuff is severely punished. Unfortunately, this will probably go relatively unnoticed.
Moeller actually doesn’t have the best luck in the state of Florida. In 2009 while vacationing with his family, Moeller was punched in a Florida bar and suffered a skull fracture and a serious brain injury. Doctors told him he’d never play football again, but he returned to the field a year later.