BOSTON (CBS) – I knew when I read Dan Shaughnessy’s column in the Globe the other day that it was going to have ugly repercussions, and I was right.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

If you missed it, Shaughnessy, the veteran Globe sportswriter, watched the Houston Texans stumble to an underwhelming win in their first-round playoff game, thus earning the right to play the Patriots this Sunday in Foxboro.

And he wrote this:

“The…Patriots just became the first team in NFL history to get back-to-back byes before advancing to the conference championship game. Could this get any easier? I mean, seriously? The planets are aligned and the tomato cans are in place. The fraudulent Houston Texans are the only team standing between the New England Patriots and a trip to the AFC Championship game. All the Patriots have to do is beat the terrible Texans.”

It didn’t take long for star Houston running back Arian Foster to pick up on the piece, posting it on his Twitter feed as motivational material for his teammates.

And for Pats fans, this is unpleasantly reminiscent of two years ago, when the Jets came to Foxboro after absorbing a terrible beating earlier in the season and knocked the Pats out of the playoffs.

Shaughnessy is taking heat from some fans right now for supposedly “jinxing” the Pats with what he wrote, but I have to side with him on this one.

For most, if not all sports fans, trash-talking an opponent – as long as it doesn’t cross basic boundaries of taste – is an integral part of the fun.

And for many Boston sports fans, trash-talking comes naturally as an extension of the art of the “rank,” the pointed but essentially-friendly insult shared between friends. I know some folks get upset when Red Sox fans chant “Yankees Bleep,” but they don’t understand that it’s really a sign of respect for their most-feared opponent.

So, leave Dan Shaughnessy alone. He’s just doing what comes naturally.

Unless the Pats should, perish the thought, lose.

Then, Dan old buddy, you’re on your own.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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