Ric Beardsley Reflects on Being the Ultimate Smack Talker


Ric Beardsley developed a reputation for talking during games, both as a player and a coach. He needed no more motivation than the players lining up on the other side of the field, or a coach standing on the opposite sideline.

Former teammates and players know Beardsley as an ultimate smack talker, and he’s lived up to that reputation over nearly three decades in the game. The Syracuse legend simply had a knack for smack talking.

He sat down with Paul Carcaterra on Season 4, Ep. 7 of “Overtime” and spoke about his innate ability to talk during games.

“The way I took guys out of the game was trying to get under their skin,” he said. “I go from zero to 100 quickly. One blessed thing I had — I can be extremely angry but at the same time be very much under control — I can get to the point where I’m breaking you mentally, but I know everything that’s going on because I can snap out of it in a second. It’s a horrid trait in life, but a spectacular trait on a lacrosse field.”

It wasn’t just opposing players that got the wrath of Ric Beardsley during his days at Syracuse. Even coaches drew his ire — like the time he scored a goal against Loyola and turned toward then-coach Dave Cottle and gave him a not-so-friendly gesture during a matchup in 1992.

“I come off a little ball fake and, zoomp, I drain one in the corner,” he said. “I closed my eyes, and it hits the goal. I turn and flip off the bird and said, ‘Don’t you wish you recruited me harder?’ Meanwhile, the guy offered me a full scholarship.”

Beardsley’s propensity to smack-talk his opposition earned him a reputation, and he doesn’t reflect on his actions proudly. He said he believes he lost out on second team All-America honors in 1992 because of his antagonistic style.

Carcaterra and his former teammate dissect why he felt the need to smack talk, and where that motivation came from.

“It was the feeling of maybe my fear of losing, my fear of getting embarrassed,” he said. “I wanted to be the aggressor of the embarrassment. I have to create my own anger in order to play.”

Although his verbal jabs may have been effective, he knows he had gone too far at certain points. He’s hoping to change that stigma stemming from his playing career.

“I totally regret it,” he said. “People say the same thing all the time to me. ‘God, you’re much nicer off the field.’”

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