There are a lot of media outlets out there in sports today that choose not to cover pregame and postgame interviews largely because athletes and coaches become robots once the final whistle sounds and provide us with cookie cutter answers that are boring, rehearsed and repetitive. However, there are some guys out there who aren’t afraid to show off their personalities. Some of these guys are likable personalities, and others not so much.
Athletes we've always loved for a quote include former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, who was funny, accessible, entertaining and never seemed to be afraid to speak his mind. Then there are guys like Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, who don’t say anything to the media, yet still give them a story.
Whether you believe professional athletes and coaches should be obligated to speak with the media after games or not, we all love to see the highlights that are most interesting when it comes to what people say away from the field of play. Some of that has now changed with the advent of Twitter because we can dissect a tweet, but there’s no replacement for classic press conferences that get a little crazier than we initially expected. It’s in honor of those press conferences that we present to you the 10 most heated sports press conferences in history.
Not all of these coaches and players made it to a professional league where the pressure to win is at its highest, but that doesn’t mean that being in the spotlight didn’t get to them at times. You can’t blame them though because we all have our bad days, the difference is that these athletes and coaches have their bad days on camera, allowing major media outlets to display them publicly for our enjoyment. There were always some reliable sports figures for a great moment, but some of these seemingly came out of nowhere, as the status quo was thrown out the window and raw emotion just took over. You'll probably soon find yourself imitating these outbursts the next time you have to let off some steam.
11 Honorable Mention: Allen Iverson
These days Allen Iverson isn’t exactly privy to the spotlight… as proof of that we present to you this photo of a young girl at a nightclub who is standing right next to him and apparently doesn’t even know that he’s one of the greatest scorers in NBA history. The Instagram photo aside, here he is delivering one of the most memorable press conferences in sports history in which he reminded us that the topic of the discussion was practice…way too many times. No matter what your views on practice are, you’ve got to hand it to him… he always played hard and he always played hurt.
10 Derek Anderson
Derek Anderson is now toiling away in obscurity behind Cam Newton with the Carolina Panthers, acting as a backup for the last number of years. Once upon a time however he was a starter for the Arizona Cardinals. In this press conference, he wasn’t too happy with what the reporter was asking and he let the whole room know about it…. and just so you know… he takes football very seriously. The funny thing is now that he’s never going to be a starter again, there’s a good chance nobody will ever take him seriously anymore… at least when it comes to football. This will forever be the most memorable thing Anderson's ever done in the NFL.
9 Jim Mora
How about a trip to the playoffs? Former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Mora didn’t think his team was worthy of the playoffs based on the way they played on this particular day, leading us sports fans to one of the most classic sayings in a way that only Mora can deliver it. Here, he is absolutely shocked at the suggestion that his team can reach the postseason. These days with Andrew Luck at quarterback, we’re likely to see the Colts in the playoffs a lot. Mora left just before the Colts achieved consistent success with Peyton Manning.
8 John Chaney & John Calipari
You wouldn’t think that one basketball coach would wish death on a fellow coach during a press conference, especially not the day before Valentine’s Day. In 1994, then coach of Temple University, John Chaney did exactly that after he stole the show during this press conference and called out John Calipari, who now coaches the Kentucky Wildcats, over some things he obviously wasn’t happy about. Chaney didn’t kill Calipari after all. College basketball fans in Kentucky have to be happy about that.
7 Dennis Green
The Cardinals sure have provided us some memorable moments on Monday Night Football in recent memory. One of the things that often happens when you let another team off the hook is that the coach goes crazy. Here is the second former member of the Arizona Cardinals to do so on this list, coach Dennis Green, who let the whole world know that if they wanted to crown the Chicago Bears, they should do so. But it’s the way that Green said it that had the whole sports world laughing. This clip just serves to show how funny an angry coach can be sometimes. Hey, if you had to go from coaching the 1998 Minnesota Vikings to these Cardinals, you'd probably be angry too.
6 Mike Gundy
You should never go after a player that does all the right things if he’s not getting paid for it. Just ask coach Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State University’s football program at the time. In this clip, he defends his quarterback who was apparently getting plastered by the media for not having played well in the previous game. Luckily for that kid, Gundy is a man and 40, which means the media should go after him and not his player. Classic clip.
5 Jerry Burns
Here is former Minnesota Vikings coach Jerry Burns swearing it up at a press conference, but the funny thing is that his team actually won the game, which is the reverse of what usually happens when a coach is upset of course. Burns’s style is funny because he doesn’t hesitate to swear over and over again. There’s just something about a man that is super passionate about football, old, and really mad.
4 Kevin Borseth
3 Jon Bones Jones vs. Daniel Cormier
2 Mike Tyson
During his prime years, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson could end a bout in less than 10 seconds, making us scratch our heads as to why we had to pay $50 to watch it on pay-per-view. Nevertheless we did because he was an absolute animal and it was quite exciting to see how ferocious he could be, but with Tyson’s ferociousness came an attitude towards the public and the media that definitely scared us a little bit.
Tyson is a little bit more of a mellow guy these days, but press conferences like this one will always be online for us to watch when we want to be reminded that the potential to go nuts is always there. Whether it was an interview, a press conference or a fight, Tyson always kept us on the edge of our seats for moments like this.
1 Hal McRae
You know a press conference is getting heated when electronics starts getting thrown around everywhere. Nowadays these things don’t happen because an athlete or coach would never want to throw their $600 smart phone around the room, but back during simpler times it was much more cost effective and relieving to take an old school piece of equipment and whip it all around the room so that the reporters would leave you alone. Here’s former MLB player and manager Hal McRae doing just that.