11 Things NOT to Do in a Sports Press Conference

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2015

11 Things NOT to Do in a Sports Press Conference

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    Anytime athletes or coaches are forced to talk to the media, it can always go one of two ways—boring or entertaining.

    Now, I'm not saying that boring is a bad thing, as it's usually people just giving the standard answer to a reporter's question, saying the same cliche stuff that fans have heard for years about playing hard and yada yada yada.

    However, the entertaining route usually leaves us wondering what is wrong with the person being interviewed, as he or she breaks the unwritten rules of what to say while talking in a public forum.

    After seeing some of the things athletes and coaches have done, we figured a list of things NOT to do during a sports press conference might help them out, so I hope they pay close attention.

Admit That You Don't Want to Be There

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    Athletes might say some interesting things while in the heat of the moment, but hearing someone be in such a grouchy mood after a victory isn't something too expected from fans and media.

    When Serena Williams looked physically and mentally drained after defeating her sister Venus in this year's U.S. Open, though, she didn't beat around the bush on how she was feeling—she didn't want to be there.

    Not the wisest PR move by the 21-time Grand Slam champ, but funny nonetheless.

Have a Slip of the Tongue

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    In an age when everyone has camera phones and social media to post videos to, it's critical for every sports figure to be 100 percent on top of his or her game while standing in front of a microphone.

    It's too bad Denver Broncos general manager and executive vice president John Elway forgot that crucial detail while announcing the team firing former head coach John Fox.

    Stepping up confidently, Elway brashly thanked John Elway, though, having a major slip of the tongue that caused a few chuckles among media members in the audience.

    So much for being sincere in letting a guy go, huh?

Awkwardly Sit There in Pain

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    If there's one thing that is really awkward, it's hearing another person agonize in pain—remember that video of the grape stomper who moaned after falling, and we all had to listen to her? Awful.

    Now imagine that feeling at a press conference where an athlete is in so much pain that he or she can't even sit up to answer simple questions, while covering his or her face—for three minutes.

    Maybe just rain check it next time and give reporters a statement instead, yeah?

Dress Up

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    Sure, it's always fun to slip into a costume and act in a role other than yourself once in awhile, but before a press conference isn't the best time to do it.

    After all, these people are supposed to be professionals.

    No matter—boxer Tyson Fury pulled this little stunt last week prior to his fight against Wladimir Klitschko, making me wonder if he's all there mentally to really try to earn the heavyweight belt from Klitschko.

    Maybe he has been knocked upside the head one too many times?

Bring Up Sexual Innuendos

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    We might want to think that our favorite athletes are grown ups, but, let's be honest, deep down they're nothing but big kids who get paid a lot of money to play a sport for a living.

    So anytime there's anything that might be remotely funny to a 13-year-old boy, they'll find a way to completely lose it.

    Yes, even if that's the simplest of words and is a man's first name.

    Whether learning about it in school, talking to your parents about it or having it accidentally be brought up in a sports press conference, sex is awkward—and usually leads to laughing.

Not Actually Answer a Single Question

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    No joke, this press conference with Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra lasted exactly 14 seconds, which begins the second he sits down to when he's smugly giving a thumbs-up exiting the stage.

    That's just insane.

    The entire point of a press conference is to get info and analysis from coaches and players, not just see what they're wearing before they head back to the locker room with their team.

    On the other hand, props to Spo for winning the Shortest Presser Award.

Repeat Yourself Over…and Over…and over

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    In all honesty, I could have just titled this slide, "Anything that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick does," because he's the absolute worst at press conferences.

    Seemingly groggy, uninspired and definitely limited, Belichick doesn't offer up too much info for reporters to hear—which has to be highly annoying.

    Never one to tip his hand, Belichick has mastered the repetitive press conference like a robot, and it's no way for anyone to be entertained.

Throw a Tantrum

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    I've said it a million times before; no one wants to talk to the media after a big loss, but, unfortunately, that's part of the territory.

    When doing it, keeping calm is the way to go, resisting the temptation of allowing emotions to overtake one's response.

    In former NFL head coach Dennis Green's case, he failed miserably, not only throwing a tantrum after his team allowed the Chicago Bears to come back during a Monday Night Football game years ago, but, because of it, supplied one of the biggest blowups ever seen at the podium.

Verbally Attack a Reporter

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    Whatever you do, keep your cool.

    Though answering a reporter's question can be exhausting and one of the last things a coach or athlete wants to do following a loss, it comes with the territory of being in major sports.

    Sure, it'd be great to just go off and yell at everyone for asking a question the coach or player doesn't like, but never, under any circumstance, should the subject yell at a reporter as if he or she was a child.

    It's twice as bad when it happens following a story already written, too—who says people in sports don't pay attention to the media?

Try Too Hard to Get Your Point Across

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    Allen Iverson's famous rant about practice in 2002 broke so many press conference rules, it's not even funny.

    On top of putting himself above the team—which is understandable because he was one of the top five players in the league at the time—A.I. tried way too hard to try to convince reporters that he didn't do anything wrong by missing practice.

    It was almost as if Iverson thought he could convince everyone else he was right by just emphasizing the whole practice thing—which didn't work.

    We get it, Allen, you didn't like to practice, but you don't really need to say it more than 20 times to prove it to us.

Get into a Fight

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    Seeing John Calipari and John Chaney fight during Coach Cal's press conference back in 1994 is one of the most famous instances of two guys wanting to fight, but there have been a few others, too.

    Whether an athlete or coach is dealing with a reporter who's asking dumb questions or an athlete is dealing with unruly media, there's never any reason for a fight—otherwise the video will forever live in infamy as this one between two great coaches does.

    The only place that can sort of get away with this is UFC—and that's only because it's almost expected to happen there.

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