Handling the media and giving interviews is another part of an athlete's and coach's job. Aside from on the field performance, athletes and coaches (generally) know how they interact and participate with the media can and will go a long way to determining their public perception.
There are many in the sports world who avoid confrontation or slip-ups through the media. Some athletes are so meticulous that it is nearly impossible to get any sort of interesting soundbite.
And then there are these ten individuals who forever changed their public persona and, in many cases, their credibility due to a filter malfunction during an interview.
Not all of these ten interview subjects were demeaning or derogatory, but their comments are etched in stone and some have yet to recover.
The setting was the All-Century team announcement at prior to Game 2 of the 1999 World Series. It was Pete Rose's first time back in a big league ballpark in nearly a decade. The response was warm and the tension was low. That was until Jim Gray put a microphone in front of Pete Rose.
Gray made no bones about going right after Rose regarding his current status in baseball and whether he was willing to admit to gambling on the game. Rose shook off the question and called Gray inappropriate.
Now, the Rose interview itself wasn't so damaging but the end result was. That fall, Gray was notably shamed by Yankees outfielder Chad Curtis who had just hit a walkoff home run in Game 3. Curtis chastised Gray and ignored the NBC reporter altogether.
Gray's career never truly recovered as he became a target of scorn and condescension by athletes in numerous sports.
During a Monday Night Football appearance, ESPN Suzy Kolber approached the Hall of Fame quarterback to discuss the Jets, the Jets all-time team and the current game.
However, Namath had no such interest in the interview. He famously told Kolber that he wanted to kiss her during an obviously intoxicated rant.
Weeks later, Namath acknowledged his drinking problems and checked into an out-patient alcohol program.
Reggie Jackson arrived in New York prior to the 1977 season to get the Yankees over the hump after losing in the 1976 World Series.
During Spring Training, Jackson gave a now famous interview with SPORT magazine in which he was quoted as saying ""This team, it all flows from me. I'm the straw that stirs the drink. Maybe I should say me and Munson, but he can only stir it bad."
The quote created a rift in the Yankees clubhouse especially with former catcher and team captain Thurmon Munson. Jackson continually denied the quote and said he was taken out of context. Nevertheless, the quote created tension that would hang over the Yankees clubhouse until the team won a title that fall.
Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter entered the big leagues around the same time and their talents, position and rise to stardom brought them very close.
But in 2001, A-Rod took a shot across the bow at Jeter by stating, "Jeter's been blessed with great talent around him" and "he's never had to lead."
"You go into New York, you wanna stop Bernie [Williams] and [Paul] O'Neill," A-Rod was quoted as saying. "You never say, 'Don't let Derek beat you.' He's never your concern."
That burned Jeter and their relationship became frosty from there on out, including through 2007 when during a Spring Training interview A-Rod finally acknowledged the two were not longer friends.
Things appear to have warmed in recent years, but A-Rod's quote left a dark cloud and tension over the left side of the Yankees infield.
It was one step to get back into the public eye following months of solitude and obscurity. Tiger Woods granted five minute interviews to both ESPN and The Golf Channel. It was an attempt to clear the air and expand upon a sterile public statement that initiated his return.
Instead of greater clarity, Tiger left more questions than answers that did not leave him in better favor with golf fans and the greater sports loving world. Tiger came across has a guy with still more to hide.
The wheels were already coming off for Stephon Marbury, but this 2007 interview on CBS New York's Mike'd Up exposed Marbury as a babbling fool.
In later years, Marbury acknowledged a dependency on behavioral stabilizing drugs. In this interview, he came across like a man off his meds, including calling his wife his "better ho" on live television.
After a 38-second beating of Lou Savarese in 2000, Mike Tyson uttered a phrase that will live on in all circles of crazy athletes. When prompted by Jim Gray about Lennox Lewis, Tyson erupted about how he was "coming for Lewis" and how he wanted to "eat his children".
It was another comment that made us realize just how out to lunch Tyson had become.
John Rocker's career in Major League Baseball lasted only five seasons, but in that short time he surely made his presence known. The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets were furious rivals during the late-1990s and in the first Sports Illustrated of the new millenium, Rocker turned his filter off and let loose on New York City.
"It's the most hectic, nerve-racking city. 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 queer 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."
"You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?"
Not only was Rocker's career permanently overcast by his comments, but his social critique brought the ire of New York residents and the commissioner's office alike.
Never before or since has an athlete so wildly gone on record with such disparaging comments. Rocker's career and personal life took all the blowback.
It was the interview that erupted the steroid scandal in baseball. He sat down with 60 Minutes' Mike Wallace and talked about the rampant culture of steroids and named numerous big league starts in his book Juiced that were guilty of steroid use.
The interview, which occurred in February 2005, prompted Congressional hearings regarding steroids in baseball, giving us now the now infamous moments of Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro.
The interview set off the firestorm of steroid coverage and witch hunts that absorbed baseball for the better part of four years.
The interviews came just weeks apart, Alex Rodriguez in December 2007 and Roger in January 2008. Both were under the gun of steroid accusations lobbied by Jose Canseco.
Clemens was in the middle of a hotly contest lawsuit with former trainer Brian McNamee while A-Rod sought out to clear his name. Both went on the record on 60 Minutes categorically stating that neither ever took steroids.
Two-plus years later and almost no one believes the story Clemens is still selling while A-Rod has come clean about his PED past.