NFL: Bad Lip Reading Skewers the League Again

When the NFL season officially comes to an end in nine days, some people may be pissed off that the Broncos won it all, others may be pissed off that the Seahawks took the title. Some others still may be salty that their favorite team didn’t even make the big game.

One thing all NFL fans should agree on as a well-done capper to this season is the video above, provided by the popular YouTube channel Bad Lip Reading, which adds their own ridiculous dialogue over footage from all areas of pop culture. This is BLR’s second take on the NFL, their first is already seen as a classic and has been viewed over 47 million times. This latest one should approach that number if it doesn’t surpass it.

What’s so great about these videos is that they mine laughs directly from the thing that makes football so addictive to most of us — the wild fluctuations of emotion, the consistent high level of feeling and earnestness — at some point, in every game, every week Armageddon is occurring on the field and with every hit, every catch, every red flag thrown for a challenge 22 battle-tested guys and a staff of coaches who’d love to insert themselves directly into the action at any time are trying to stave it off.

And for any long-time fan of football we know that what is really being said in this footage is mostly empty plaudits and cliches with some technical talk sprinkled in. If only they were speaking these kind of random and surreal streams of consciousness, they sort of seem realer than the average clips from NFL Films.


No doubt, when the real is offered things tend to get weird around it.

I sort of expected Bad Lip Reading’s take on Richard Sherman towards the end of their latest video, but good comedians know better than to step on such retreaded territory. Didn’t stop Fox, though I admit the kids are cute.

As a writer, I didn’t really look at this topic and its continued roll-out as “serious sports conversation of the week” with much enthusiasm. Interestingly enough, I first saw the Sherman interview with the sound off in a sports bar, begging then for a bad lip reading, but without the noise from Sherman’s mouth to match its out-sized movement it just looked like a funny aside to an amazing game. I didn’t get the meat of Sherman’s snap sandwich until I read it off the NFL Network bottom scroll later in the evening.

What was occurring on Twitter and on countless word processing programs during that time tried to contain Sherman into some narrative that fit their world view either as an unabashed, yet anonymous racist on social media or as a defender of the People, ready to pounce on anyone who would infringe on this young talented brother who was just speaking his mind, using his profound platform to shout in the unique way that the great Ralph Wiley once outlined.

Nowhere did people who want to defame Sherman admit to themselves that so-called thugs don’t talk like the “Macho Man” when they want to bring finality to a problem. If Sherman was the thug they wanted to paint him to be he wouldn’t have been mushed to the ground when he got in Michael Crabtree’s face after the game. These people don’t know real thugs but they know how to brand people without thought or proper perspective.

And for those who defended Sherman, willingly arguing with fools with their empty points of “but he went to Stanford…” (because all the black thug athletes go to cash-strapped state schools) or other things that fail to get to the heart of what Sherman was doing in that one, unique moment I only feel a little more empathy.

Sherman said what he said because he’s an entertainer and once upon a time we only asked our NFL players to entertain us with physicality but today we ask them to do so with their mouths as well, its why microphones are stuck on the most verbose of them throughout each game and why the League’s broadcast partners feel the need to stick even louder mics in front of these freer talkers immediately after the most emotional moments of their lives — these broadcasters want to enthrall us, to provoke us, but too many of us don’t know what to do with that provocation and we just fall back into old, insulting ways of thinking and this in spite of the fact that the concept of trash talk in the mainstream of sports has been around for at least 50 years.

If you hate to see young, talented black people express themselves so much, why would you even watch the NFL? In most cases their superiority over you is on display at all times during every broadcast, not just when the audio is live. If what Sherman did distastes you so much, if its such an indictment on society and what people like Sherman have supposedly done to it then take your soft ass to Animal Planet and watch the Puppy Bowl next week. Let us who can allow ourselves to enjoy sports and to be entertained by the people in them to experience one-of-a-kind moments when they happen.

The surreality and snideness of the discussion around Sherman failed to raise to the level of Sherman and his talents, so it really wasn’t needed. I don’t want to hear anyone speaking on Sherman this coming week but the man himself — and that won’t be a problem on his end, I’m sure.

Follow Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under Regal Radio and Kyle Means on Twitter @Wrk_Wrt

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