Michael Kasdan gathers a Top Ten video playlist of classic sports rants from the NBA, MLB, NFL, and college sports.
NBA, NFL and college coaches and players who speak to the media after embarrassing losses or incidents are often not at their best. They fret. They rage. They go on and on, with the frustration boiling over and on full display. But at the same time, often this same moment is their best, because of refreshing frankness and honesty. (In baseball, rants often follow ejections. These are just raw displays of anger and frustration that bubbles over in the heat of the moment.)
But enough talking. “Let’s go to the videotape.”
From the outrageous to the sublime, we present the classic sports rages from over the years.
1. The Allen Iverson “We’re Talking About Practice” Rant
One of the most beloved and well-known all-time rants. Allen Iverson questioning why on earth we are talking about practice. “Not a game. Practice.”
2. Rick Pitino’s Reality Check: “Larry Bird Is Not Walking Through That Door”
Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans. Kevin McHale is not walking through that door, and Robert Parish is not walking through that door. And if you expect them to walk through that door, they’re going to be gray and old.
NCAA Basketball and Football
3. Barry Hinson Rips His Southern Illinois Salukis After Loss
After a loss to Murray State, Southern Illinois Coach Barry Hinson covers it all. Starting with complaining that he has “got a bunch of momma’s boys right now,” and getting angrier from there, Hinson’s subject matter ranges from the tax code to his his wife’s basketball abilities.
“(Guard) Marcus (Fillyaw) was absolutely awful, that’s about as PG-rated as I can say it. He was awful. Our guards are awful. Our three starting guards had one assist and and seven turnovers. They must think it’s a tax credit. It’s unbelievable how our starting guards played. And let’s talk about our big men: 2 for 11. My wife — my wife! — can score more than two buckets on 11 shots, because I know my wife will at least shot fake one time.”
4. David Bennett’s Bizarre Cats and Dogs Presser
Treasured for its strangeness, Coach David Bennett beseeches his team to be more like dogs (“DAWGS”) – rather than cats (“meow, looking in the mirror, do I look good?”)
Major and Minor League Baseball
5. The George Brett “Pine Tar Incident”
6. Phil Wellman’s Ejection Where He Completely Loses It
Braves minor league manager absolutely loses it following his ejection. From making piles of dirt, to throwing the bases, to doing the worm on the infield grass.
“It’s obviously not my proudest moment,” says Wellman, 50, of his June 1, 2007, meltdown, “but it was the moment caught on tape. I’ve never run from it. It is what it is, and I can’t lie about it because it’s right there on video for all to see.
The National Football League
7. Dennis Green’s “They Are What We Thought They Were” Presser
Losing and frustrated NFL coaches give memorable press conferences.
After blowing a 20 point lead to the Chicago Bears, Cardinals Coach, Dennis Green, goes off.
8. Jim Mora’s “We Couldn’t Do Diddly Poo” Rant
Well, what happened was, that second game, we got our ass kicked. In the second half, we just got our ass totally kicked. We couldn’t do diddly 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 sucked. The second half, we sucked. We couldn’t stop the run. Every time they got the ball, they went down and got points. We got our ass totally kicked in the second half – that’s what it boiled down to. It was a horseshit performance in the second half. Horseshit. I’m totally embarrassed and totally ashamed. Coaching did a horrible job. The players did a horrible job. We got our ass kicked in that second half. It sucked. It stunk.
9. Mora Redux: The “Playoffs? PLAYOFFS?!” Rant
What’s that? Ah — Playoffs? Don’t talk about — playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game! Another game.
10. The Herman Edwards “You Play. To Win. The Game” Speech
Herm Edwards delivers an oft-quoted classic in his sing-song cadence, “Hello! You PLAY to WIN the GAME!”
Photo Credit: Associated Press/Julia Cortez