There are many, many ways to start a fight. Sucker punches, insults, grabbing the wrong woman’s posterior. But in terms of disparity between perceived and actual damage, there’s no more illogical yet sure-fire way to piss another man off than spitting.
Baltimore cornerback Frank Walker knows this, apparently, and if Pittsburgh punter/holder Mitch Berger is to be trusted, Walker put the tactic to good use as kicker Jeff Reed converted the extra point on the go-ahead touchdown on Sunday.
After the game, Berger told the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE:
“The guy dove, he tried to take out Jeff’s knee,” said Berger, who holds for Reed’s kicks. “I went over there and he got up and he spit in my face — and they called it on Jeff for pushing him!”
Now look, some frustration on Baltimore’s part is understandable after that inexplicable overruling on the “touchdown” catch. But spitting, while about a tenth as hurtful as throwing your shoe at someone, is a wildly poor idea. You don’t win a fight by spitting, you win it by actually throwing down. Nobody respects a spitter. What are you going to do with that spit, get a little bit of someone’s shirt wet? Nice going, tough guy.
On the financial side, you know damn well that Roger Goodell is going to be displeased; back when Bill Romanowski spat at J.J. Stokes, the linebacker was fined $7,500. Nowadays, Der Kommissar hands out $10k fines for honoring your pregnant wife; spitting might cost Walker half a season and his right arm (this is only barely exaggeration).
And besides, if there’s one thing Dylan taught me, it’s that if you’re going to spit, spit hot fire.