Overreaction Wednesday: Vocal Athletes GTFO

31 10 2012

By Kleinz 57

For those of you who actually bothered to turn away from the Sunday Night game and check the status of Prince Fielder’s self-immolation act, you might’ve been lucky enough to see Tigers ace Justin Verlander yuk it up with FOX Sports perennials Tim McCarver and Joe Buck. After several minutes of skirting around the fact that the Tigers have been utter cow turds as of late, Buck asked Verlander how much he was hoping for another crack at the Giants lineup the following Monday (SPOILERS: they didn’t get another chance). The right-hander provided a few canned responses to the effect of ‘taking things one day at a time.’ But then, dear readers, something wonderful happened. Verlander continued: “I know that’s kind of a cliche.”

Hold. The. Phone.

Granted, roughly 78.6% of all statistics are bullshit, but 90% of any sideline interview or call to the dugout or finals press conference is filled with athletes spouting the most banal, vapid, contrived nonsense you’ve already heard approximately 1,500 times over. And reporters don’t seem capable of sitting down and thinking about whether or not TEAM X hypothetically “stepping it up tonight” tells us anything useful. No. The bullshit train keeps chugging along.

For my own sanity, and in the off chance that SportsCenter’s got a Mike Spoelstra press conference on repeat, I’ve coped with this tidal wave of verbal diarrhea by categorizing said fecal matter into 3 magical groups:

1. “Bubonic Vague”

We all know this bastard. It’s that incomprehensible string of blase half-thoughts. ‘We just couldn’t get it done tonight.’ ‘We’ve worked as a team all year, you know.’ Basketball, football, baseball, soccer, cricket, yacht racing. You name it, some mind numbing cro magnon has probably spewed something like that to a room full of reporters.

The worst is some hellish variant of ‘We just played the game the right way.’ Because the losing team just clearly had never seen a 4th quarter spread offense before.

Die the worst of deaths, fucko.

2. “Angels in the Outfield: Based on a True Story”

We here at the Off Duty Mime are accepting of all religions and beliefs. (Except Pastafarians; those guys are assholes.) Faith is a completely healthy part of a person’s life. It’s also a HUGE athletic advantage apparently, because so many games depend on the strength and support of ‘my lord and savior Jesus Christ.’ Sometimes the Stanley Cup has nothing to do with stamina, strength, hand-eye coordination or plain dumb luck. ‘Tis ordaaaaaaained.

Honestly, God must be rooting for half the AFC at this point. I’m not poking fun here. What I’m saying is let’s clue everyone in on what is clearly the greatest Hail Mary pass of all; it only takes a little worship, dawg. SOMEONE GET ANDY REID A LARGE PRINT BIBLE STAT!

3. “The Denny”

Yes, 90% of the time, you’re likely getting one of the aforementioned skull fuckings. If you’re lucky, though, Christmas comes early.

By now, even my mother is semi-aware of Denny Green’s 2006 musings on concepts like  ‘ass crowning’ and ‘off-the-hook letting.’ It was glorious in the same way that a dog licking its own ass is cyclical. The high-intensity, high-pressure coverage of the NFL seems especially prone to inducing these kinds of press conferences.

Minesota’s very own Jerry Burns:

More recently, Bart Scott can’t wait:

Derek Anderson is annoyed:

This isn’t just a football thing, though. See: Allen Iverson’s epic non-answer:

Just for kicks, one of THE BEST interviews in sports/entertainment:

Scripted endings or not, those are real audience laughs, folks.

* * * * *

Be honest with yourself. Nobody loved the insightful commentary or robust zest for life of Chad OchoJohnsoGivesoCrap. Back when the dude was still relevant, he caught bomb passes and made the opposing secondary look dumb. I’m pretty sure not even Terrell Owens’ mother cared for him, and he had loads of talent. But when you lose that skill, you’re just a cocky human zit (also see: Terrell Owens).

To anyone remotely offended by my suggestion that athletes learn to STFU, think of it this way. Sports stars regularly have monster trucks backed up into their Cabo six-stories loaded with cash and Hennessy and boobs. They’re being paid to win games, not wax political on the presidency or gay marriage. That means no more delusional Obama rants, Tim Thomas. That means no more attention-whoring “lifestyle” choices, Brian Wilson. That means no more, well, whatever the hell it is you’ve been doing, Clay Matthews. I’m even talking to you, Chris Kluwe. It’s wonderful you’re sticking up for an underrepresented demographic, but was the Playgirl photo shoot really necessary? No. No, it wasn’t. This has clearly turned into a distraction from the game for you. I can tell because these last few weeks you’ve punted like Abe Vigoda.

In fairness, this likely wouldn’t happen if press conferences weren’t held in the first place, forcing athletes and player personnel to say stupid shit. If you put a microphone next to a cow’s mouth, there’s a good chance he’s gonna moo into it. Of course, the masses will always wanna know why their team didn’t three-peat the NBA Finals, so that’s being a tad idealistic, and this is too little too late. Our best bet is to hope for more of Justin Verlander’s epiphanies of self-awareness. Because maybe, just maybe, athletes will start to realize the shit they squirt out has all the educational value of this.

 That, or you know, they could just GTFO.

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