While actually watching matches, games, and fights are entertaining, the athletes participating in these events are themselves, almost as interesting sometimes. There are hundreds of examples of painful, funny, troubling, and confusing stories about athletes. From Tiger Woods' womanizing a few years ago to Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg to the countless athletes who have dated or married brainless celebrities or been caught doing illegal substances or committing other crimes, the world of sports is filled with great stories that have nothing to do with sports.
Many of these stories involve post-game/pre-game interviews or press conferences, during which fans can really get to know players. These interviews and conferences are occasionally more exciting than games. Fans get to see their favorite players and their most hated players running their mouths, occasionally regarding topics with which they have no expertise. It's amazing TV when professional athletes let the world know what they think of same-sex marriage or when the St. Louis Rams' receivers have to explain their doing the "hands up, don't shoot" motion before the game.
Most reporters just want to hear the usual nonsensical "teamwork and effort rant." Example: "We all 'sports-ed' pretty hard tonight, but the other team seemed to be 'sports-ing' harder at some points throughout the game/match. The only answer is to 'sports' as hard as we can in practice, so that we can 'sports' harder as a team in the future and win more 'sports' games." Obviously a paraphrase, but a spot on one at that, if I do say so myself. When athletes avoid the normal "this is what is expected" script, an interview can really get interesting.
This is a list of athlete and sportsperson interviews that broke away from the mold. Some get vulgar, some get weird, others get upsetting and more often than not, they get hilarious. Sit back and enjoy some of the most offensive, controversial, awkward, funny, and unintentionally funny moments in sports history.
20 20. Dirk Nowitski vs. The Fly
19 19. Patrick Roy vs. Jeremy Roenick
18 18. Tracy McGrady: Responsible for EVERYTHING
17 17. Terrell Owens Crying
16 16. Mike Richards Bench Interview
What do you expect when you send a reporter to chat with a hockey player on the bench while all of his teammates are around? Throughout the interview, we can see two of Richards' teammates spraying water and gently brushing his face with a stick.
15 15. Lindsay Harbert and Eli Manning
This one took a bit of research after I found the interview on YouTube. Unfortunately, I'm still not sure exactly who Lindsay Harbert is, or what event she and Eli Manning were at. As far as I can tell, she is a part of a small comedy team called Cool Kids Club, and does silly things like this on a regular basis.
14 14. Ray Kaunisto: Super Troopers Cat Game
Most people haven't heard of Ray Kaunisto of the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL. In fact, I'm sure there are plenty of sports fans who do not know what the ECHL is. It's the East Coast Hockey League. It's basically one level below the AHL, which is the feeder/farm system for the NHL.
For some more background, Super Troopers is a 2001 cop-comedy made by Broken Lizard, the comedy team who made Beerfest and Club Dread. In the movie, a pair of joker highway patrol cops played pranks on motorists such as the repeater (repeating each other word for word) and the cat game, in which the officer would question and intimidate a vehicle's occupant but using the word "meow" in place of "now."
13 13. Muhammad Ali
12 12. Marshawn Lynch
Beast Mode, the Seattle Seawhawks' running back, is an interesting case when it comes to his media presence. Back in 2007, he was already rocking "beast mode" in interviews but in 2013 and 2014 he is now known as a man of few words. The media wasn't able to get much out of him during the run to the Super Bowl, but they did determine that he was "all about that action." More recently he made headlines first by avoiding the media altogether and receiving a $100,000 fine and then attending a press conference and answering nearly all questions with "yeah."
11 11. Pete Rose and Jim Gray
This was a great confrontation, in which Pete Rose, who is one of baseball's most controversial figures, was directly asked if he would finally admit to having gambled on games. The all-time hitting king of the league was as direct as ever in denying the allegations that got him banned from the sport.
10 10. Baseball Stars Interviewed About PED's
Steroids and other PED's in baseball are sometimes bigger news than baseball itself. In another brilliant use of taxpayer dollars, Congress decided to have a hearing on the topic.
9 9. Charles Barkley and Gerry Dee
Finding a comedian who can talk sports can lead to some interesting commentary and entertaining interviews. Move along Dennis Miller, possibly the worst decision in the world of football commentary ever made, as Gerry Dee and Charles Barkley showcased their awesome chemistry and sense of humor in this interview.
8 8. John Rocker
In what would become possibly the most notorious athlete interview, John Rocker took on New York, the LGBT community, punk/emo youth, and of course young mothers. Seriously, young mothers, who do they think they are, right?
"Imagine having to take the 7 Train to the ballpark looking like you're riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some q**** with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing... The biggest thing I don't like about New York are the foreigners."
7 7. Dennis Green: "THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE!
I'd call it quick and painless, but Dennis Green looked like smoke was going to start blasting out of his ears. Coach Green was reacting to a question about the team's loss to the Chicago Bears, where they had blown a twenty point lead.
6 6. Tiger Woods Admits to Good Times
For years as a casual fan of golf, I thought Tiger Woods was just a more skilled version of every other professional golfer out there. A calm, cool and collected athlete with good diction and a classy demeanor.
When his entire world came crashing down and his former lovers came out of the woodwork, it felt like a tricky game of devil's advocate to defend the man. In his infamous press conference, he showed genuine remorse for his infidelity and lifestyle. South Park showed (with a brilliant parody of the whole situation) that his real mistake was getting caught. He admitted to falling away from his marriage due to lust, illegal substance use, and abandonment of his spirituality. His tale of booty wrangling involved all sorts of attractive women from cocktail waitresses to a few adult film stars.
5 5. Richard Sherman
"The best cornerback in the league" takes number five on this list for two interviews. after the Seahawks' early 2014 playoff win over the San Francisco 49ers, he announced his displeasure with Michael Crabtree to Erin Andrews, shouting in her face for around 15 to 20 seconds. After his outburst, Sherman was called unsportsmanlike and many worse words than that.
4 4. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson: Sexual Harassment x 2?
Rampage is one of the most entertaining fighters to ever grace the UFC octagon. Given his personality, he was always an entertaining character even when he wasn't fighting. In two separate interviews, he committed acts that would get him in front of a human resource board at any regular job.
3 3. Joe Namath: The Kiss
The famous Jets' quarterback would later admit to his troubles with booze, and back in 2003, he had a bit too much to drink and was interviewed while visibly sloshed. He had difficulty putting sentences together and eventually stopped talking about football and exclaimed that he wanted to kiss his interviewer, Suzy Kolber.
2 2. Mike Tyson
It's hard, if not impossible, to find one single example of Mike Tyson not giving a memorable interview. From his countless instances of threatening and insulting his interviewers, to his determination to eat Lennox Lewis' children, his career in the ring is made that much more interesting by his high pitched voice coupled with his awkward social graces, not to mention his criminal history.
1 1. Jim Rome and Jim Everett/Chris Evert
Our number one entry is from an interview about twenty years ago, between former NFL quarterback Jim Everett and controversial interviewer Jim Rome. After his infamous "phantom sack," where Everett fell on the field in anticipation of a big hit but had not been contacted by any defensive players, Rome had labelled him "Chris" Everett, a name similar to Chris Evert, a female tennis player at the time.
Everett obviously had enough, so when Rome called him "Chris" for the third time, hilarity and one of the most memorable moments in sports interview history was born. Rome, as the tough guy he is, was pushed to the floor and didn't get up to confront Everett. Advantage Everett.
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