15 Sports Interviews That Fell off the Rails
Athletes are paid to compete. But, for every minute these players spend on the field, they allocate another 10 to answering questions about teammates, game strategy and their "reaction to the allegations made against Justin Bieber."
The media gauntlet can be taxing. So, it should come as no surprise that athlete-reporter interactions occasionally require security personnel, handcuffs and a fire extinguisher.
This list focuses on some of the more infamous examples of sports stars and media personalities clashing. From expletive-laden tirades to threats of bodily harm, these video clips highlight the occupational hazards of carrying a press credential.
As an ode to things escalating quickly, these are 15 sports interviews that fell off the rails.
“I Wish I Was 50 Years Younger, and I'd Kick Your [bleep].”
Interviewer: Larry Merchant
Interviewee: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
During a post-fight interview with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Larry Merchant presses Money for taking a purported cheap shot.
Instead of answering the tough questions, Mayweather Jr. attempts to intimidate an 80-year-old man.
Merchant, much to his credit, responds by saying, "I wish I was 50 years younger, and I'd kick your ass."
“I’m Going to Crush You on Here in Front of Everybody.”
Interviewer: Skip Bayless
Interviewee: Richard Sherman
Fireworks are fun, but the greatest pyrotechnics occur when two egomaniacs clash over personal and professional accomplishments.
In this clip, Richard Sherman and Skip Bayless throw shade at one another over who is more established in their respective fields.
With quotes like "In my 24 years of life, I’m better at life than you,” this exchange is like a split-screen episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
“I Love You, Sarah.”
Interviewer: Sarah Kustok
Interviewee: Greg from Lemont
Comcast Sports Net reporter Sarah Kustok interviews a Chicago Blackhawks fan after an on-ice promotion.
The interview quickly goes from jovial banter to a full-blown confession of Greg from Lamont's love for the beautiful beat reporter.
Greg from Lamont closes by saying, "I love you, Sarah," with absolute sincerity in his eyes, which is equal parts touching and unnerving.
"We Know What We Did."
Interviewer: Larry Brooks
Interviewee: John Tortorella
Typically, reporters let coaches throw temper tantrums without much resistance, but Larry Brooks challenges NHL coach John Tortorella's incessant, passive-aggressive response of "We know what we did."
Brooks calls Tortella's shenanigans a waste of time and—true to form—Tortorella tells Brooks to "Get the [bleep] out of here then."
“I Love Kobe Bryant Because...”
Interviewer: Billy Mac
Interviewee: Nicole Richie
It's probably not a good idea to put Nicole Richie on live television, particularly during her The Simple Life heyday.
Case in point, Billy Mac longs for a seven-second delay when Richie responds to a question about her favorite Laker player with, "I love Kobe Bryant because I want him to have sex with me!"
The look on Mac's face afterwards is a lot like the look on Eli Manning's face when he throws a pick-six in the fourth quarter.
"Well, I'm the Best Corner in the Game."
Interviewer: Erin Andrews
Interviewee: Richard Sherman
In an age when the value of a sound bite is measured in @replies, the man who gets the most turned up is king.
After deflecting a pass that effectually secured Seattle's place in the Super Bowl, Richard Sherman does his best "Macho Man" Randy Savage impression during the postgame interview.
When Erin Andrews asks Sherman to take her through the last play of the game, the Seattle Seahawks corner back uses the stage to declare his place on the throne, slander Michael Crabtree and stare menacingly into the camera like a crazed Gary Busey.
Make no apologies for being awesome, No. 25.
“Look a Man in the Eye Before You Try to Kill Him or Make Up Something.”
Interviewer(s): Members of the New York Media
Interviewee: Michael Strahan
Now that he's on 4,092 different television shows in New York, it's hard to imagine Michael Strahan having anything short of a full-blown love affair with the local media.
That said, the locker room is no place to pit teammates against one another. One wrong question about franchise morale could trigger a whirlwind of rage the defensive end typically reserves for a quarterback's blind side.
Behold the fury of an NFL player with more than 140 career sacks.
“My Best Advice to You Is, Shut Up.”
Interviewer: Ken Krayeske
Interviewee: Jim Calhoun
Oftentimes, the highest paid public employees are the purveyors of major college basketball or football programs. And, according to a Yankee Institute report, Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma are The Land of Steady Habits' highest earning state employees.
During a press conference, one reporter takes exception to the allocating of state funds in Connecticut, forcing Calhoun to defend his salary.
UConn's head basketball coach is mighty persuasive.
“Mike, Why Do You Have to Talk Like That?”
Interviewer: Russ Salzberg
Interviewee: Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson is the unchallenged king of awkward interviews, and this powwow with Russ Salzberg is a microcosm of Iron Mike's volatile relationship with the media.
In this clip, an angry Tyson flippantly dismisses Salzberg's questions as though he's an angst-ridden teenager being pestered by his mother about his "day at school."
Instead of a standard out cue, this interview ends with Tyson telling Salzberg to "[bleep] off."
“You Are a Real Man, You Know That?”
Interviewer: Tim McCarver
Interviewee: Deion Sanders
As a multiple sport athlete, Deion Sanders plays a Sunday game with the Atlanta Falcons during the day and a playoff game with the Atlanta Braves that same night.
Announcer Tim McCarver questions Prime Time's motives, which leads to an ice water shower during the postgame celebration.
“I Wanna Kiss You. I Couldn’t Care Less About the Team Struggling.”
Interviewer: Suzy Kolber
Interviewee: Joe Namath
Suzy Kolber is an excellent reporter, consummate professional and—unfortunately—most famous for enduring an alcohol-fueled full-court press on national television from legendary quarterback Joe Namath.
During a sideline interview, Namath deviates from his bumbling analysis of Chad Pennington to tell Kolber repeatedly, "I wanna kiss you."
See? Even television stars have their fair share of workplace hazards.
"I Bet I Will... Chris."
Interviewer: Jim Rome
Interviewee: Jim Everett
It's easy to rip athletes from the stands or in the comfort of your own television studio.
But it's important to remember that many of these guys are physically imposing, athletic specimens who are capable of ripping the wings off of a Gulfstream jet with their bare hands.
Jim Rome learns a harsh lesson about the perils of trolling when he repeatedly refers to former NFL quarterback Jim Everett as "Chris," a reference to female tennis player Chris Everett.
Remember, kids: Think before you talk, especially when you're speaking to a dude who weighs 220 pounds and trains year-round.
“Now, Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It.”
Interviewer(s): Kansas City Media
Interviewee: Hal McRae
During some early season woes in 1993, former Kansas City Royals manager Hal McRae reacts to a posed hypothetical from a reporter by throwing inanimate objects about and cursing at a feverish pace.
After running this tirade by McRae through our censors, Bleacher Report's [bleep] machine exploded like a battered propane tank.
“They Are Who We Though They Were, and We Let Them off the Hook”
Interviewee: Dennis Green
After the Arizona Cardinals blew a seemingly insurmountable lead to the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, Dennis Green gives a speech that makes General Patton look like Droopy Dog by comparison.
The phrase "They are who we thought they were!" will live in the souls of men, long after our civilization is buried under dirt.
“I’m a Man. I’m 40!”
Interviewee: Mike Gundy
Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy goes berserk on a local sports writer for publishing a story about the team's depth-chart shuffle at quarterback.
It's hard to tell if this guy is defending his athletes, performing for recruits or simply peaking on a 24-ounce can of Four Lokos.
Either way, this is one of the greatest sports rants in postgame presser history.