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Tom Jones' Two Cents

Sports analysis, perspective and more.

Greatest news conference meltdowns



Last week, Michigan women's basketball coach Kevin Borseth had one of those moments sports fans live for: a meltdown during a news conference. It was three minutes and 36 seconds of fist pounding, screaming and saying at one point how his team "totally, totally, totally, totally, TOTALLY laid an egg.''
Good stuff, but it didn't make my list of 10 favorites. Here are my picks with links to some of the more PG-rated ones. You're on your own to track down the others.

Lee Elia, Chicago Cubs
This is The Godfather of tirades. The best ever with tons of great lines to quote. Upset with fans booing his 5-14 Cubs in 1983, manager Lee Elia unloaded, showing a vast and impressive array of expletives as he ripped the fans and stuck up for is ball club. I can only give you a small slice of what he said about the fans:
"The (expletives) don't even work. That's why they're out at the (expletive) game. They ought to go out and get a (expletive) job and find out what it's like to go out and earn a living. Eight-five percent of the (expletive) world is working. The other 15 percent come out here. It's a playground for the (expletives).''

Jim Mora, Indianapolis Colts
We all remember how this Jim Mora tirade ended, but don't underrate how hilarious the beginning was following a loss in 2001 that put the Colts at 4-6.
"I don't care who you play, whether it's a high-school team, a junior-college team, a college team, much less an NFL team,'' Mora started, "when you turn the ball over five times ... you ain't going to beat anybody I just talked about. Anybody! And that was a disgraceful performance in my opinion.''
So, what about the playoffs?
"Playoffs??!! Don't talk about ... Playoffs?! You kiddin' me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game.''

Jim Mora, New Orleans Saints
After a 19-7 loss to Carolina that left his team 2-6 in 1996, Jim Mora wasted no time. FDR is remembered for his "Infamy'' Speech. Lincoln had the Gettysburg Address. And Jim Mora has "The Diddily Poo''’ Speech.
"That second half, we just got our (rear) totally kicked,'' Mora before even reaching the microphones. "We couldn't do diddily poo offensively. We couldn't make a first down. We couldn't run the ball. We didn't try to run the ball. We couldn't complete a pass. We (stunk). ... We couldn't stop the run. Every time they got the ball, they went down and got points.''
Well, it kind of went on from there with lots of bleeps.

Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers
Know how many times Sixers guard Allen Iverson said "we’re talking about practice'' during a two-minute, 22-second span during a 2002 news conference? Thirteen times! He said the word "practice'' 20 times. The next day, 76ers coach Larry Brown joked, "He said 'practice' more times than he has actually practiced.'' At one point, after he has already said, "We're talking about practice'' about seven times, Iverson says, "We're talking about practice. Man, what are we talking about ... practice? We're talking about practice.''
Sorry, I just got here. What are we talking about again?

Dennis Green, Arizona Cardinals
Here's what happened when the Cardinals blew a 20-point lead and let undefeated Bears escape with a victory in 2006. After trying to start a sentence about six ways, Arizona coach Denns Green finally snaps: "The Bears are who we thought they were! That's why we took the damn field! If you want to crown them (slams podium with fist) then crown their (rear)! But they are who we thought they were! And we let them off the hook!''
Exit stage left. Thanks for coming. See ya next time.

Herm Edwards, New York Jets
So, coach, why do you play the game? Jets coach Herm Edwards answered that question in a 2002 news conference: "You play to win the game! Hello. You play to win the game. You don't play to just play it. That's the great thing about sports. You play to win. And I don't care if you have any wins. You go play to win.''
You ... play ... to ... what was the rest of that, Coach, you play to do what?

John Chaney, Temple basketball coach
Some coaches go nuts during their news conference. John Chaney gets bonus points for going nuts during someone else's news conference. After John Calipari's UMass team beat Chaney's Temple Owls in 1994, Chaney interrupted Calipari’s post-game session to start yelling something about Calipari’s team playing rough. Next thing you know, the two coaches were being separated while Chaney was yelling, "I’ll kill you! ... When I see you, I'm going to kick your (rear).''

Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State football coach
He's a man! He's 40! That's all he has to say because it makes him want to puke.

Hal McRae, Kansas City Royals
During a 1993 post-game news conference in his office, Royals skipper Hal McRae starts off just fine, but then gets tired of, uh, answering questions. After playing 52-card pickup with everything not nailed down, McRae goes on to use a word that begins with "bull''’ repeatedly. Extra bonus points because one of the objects he threw hits a reporter in the face, drawing blood.

Bob Knight, Indiana basketball coach
I could make up a list of 50 meltdowns by former basketball coach Bob Knight alone, so I'll just pick our favorite. This breakdown didn't even involve a member of the media, but an NCAA volunteer during the 1998 NCAA Tournament. After a nasty exchange, it ends with Knight yelling, "I'll handle this the way I want to handle it now that I'm here. You (messed) up to begin with. Now just sit there or leave. I don't give a (expletive) what you do. ... Now, back to the game.''
You know what, Coach? I'm good. Thanks.

[Last modified: Monday, June 14, 2010 2:41pm]


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