I’ve had the tremendous opportunity of conversing with many of the most interesting and compelling interview subjects in the world of sports. Across the spectrum in the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, college football, college basketball and much much more. Most player interviews are terrible, but these were great.Unless otherwise noted, these coach and player interviews are pretty much all exclusive.
It was impossible for me to truly rank these 1-10, as you’ll find most fascinating whichever game or personality you are Unless otherwise noted, these coach and player interviews are pretty much all exclusive. ost into.
And besides, narrowing years of work down to ten coach and player interviews subjects was difficult enough. Click on the title in bold to read the whole interview feature.
“Harrison’s a freshman,” Williams said.
“And I get sick and I don’t mean to jump on anybody, but after the first game we play, and he had six turnovers or four turnovers or something like that, and ESPN does a special on how great he is. And then he struggled a little bit and ESPN did something to me that was very embarrassing to me today – put up that that a kid’s 1,175 in field-goal percentage in the country; that’s just ridiculous. And then somebody says, ‘Well, if he hadn’t have gone 0-for 12 against Minnesota, I’m sure he’d be in the top 1,000.’
Now I’m not getting on you, but that’s sick. If you’ve got enough balls to make somebody a big hero like that than admit you were wrong instead of start picking on a kid. Now I had to get that off my chest. But to answer your question.”
Every newspaper in the Carolinas picked up on this and one of them changed the word “balls” to “gumption.” Yes, I found that wrong and unintentionally funny as well.
When interviewing him, you can’t really do Q & A with this 1985 Chicago Bears and Texas Longhorns legend.
He’s too smart and interesting for that.
Instead, the process is like a more sophisticated word association exercise. And the end result resembles the feeling of playing a radio controlled boat game at an amusement park. You put an effort in towards steering the vessel in the direction you want, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get to your intended destination. And even if you do, it won’t be via your intended path.
About halfway through part one of this interview, the extremely attractive PR/Special Events Director of the Hall of Fame politely interrupts us to remind McMichael that he must join the others and take the scheduled enshrinement class photo. The appearance of this 9-9.5/10 elicits a classic “If I wasn’t married”….etc. etc. etc. line that was truly a “you had to be there” kind of moment.
And Mongo ends this flirtatious overture by telling himself, her, and I guess me since I happened to be there, where his priorities truly are these days. Full of pride, he proclaims that his two-year-old daughter is in charge these days.
In part two Mongo told me the primary reason he got into wrestling was to again experience the transcendent thrill that accompanies walking out of the tunnel and hearing the crowd, anxious to bestow adoration upon him, roar in approval from his appearance.:
“Oh, there ain’t no drug like that. When you walk out of that tunnel baby, there’s nothing in this f***ing world like that adrenaline rush,” McMichael said.
“Lawrence Taylor won’t find it in a pipe. No one’s going to get it filling up their vanity in a bathroom like Roethlisberger. And that battle fatigue guys go through after you can’t play no more, and your career is over, until you come out of the fog with the hairs standing up on the back of you neck- that’s what that is. And it’s like a drug.”
This was a wonderful 15 minute conversation, as most chats with Artest usually are, and the conversation went back to an infamous Sporting News article.
“You need to research better, ya’ll take the easy way out, y’all woke up, you ate your breakfast, got an email and just read and that was it, you got to research more…The message was, I know you heard about all the shootings in Chicago and all that stuff ,so you’re a little out of touch, but I’ll bring you back in touch, the message was being able to relate to those people so when they see a Ron Artest, they see a guy who plays basketball. To the young kid they probably think I’m untouchable, invisible, but I’m not invisible, so we’re going to Detroit, Chicago, L.A., all the roughest neighborhoods, share our stories and work collectively with the youth- that’s the research you have to do,” the Laker stated.
So who is Fanhouse college football writer Clay Travis? Well, the guy who asked St. Tebow at his final SEC Media Day if he 1.) was a virgin and 2.) indeed saving himself for marriage. Travis also wrote a pretty forward-thinking piece on Cam Newton a month or so ago. In our email conversation I asked him about “Man: The Book,” a tome he authored and how a generation of effeminate men showed up:
“Ultimately, it’s the triumph of men who think like this, “A woman would like me more if…
If you’re a single man, once you allow a woman’s thinking to dictate your decision-making you become a pussy. Women don’t want men to be like them. The men who have the most sex don’t even think about what women want. That makes women want them.”
One of the unwritten rules of basketball is to never speak the actual specifics of on-the-court trash talk (yes, Charlie Villanueva broke those law). Turner didn’t say exactly what the Illini said to him. But he did whine to the media about it.
At Big Ten Media Day, I recorded 40+ minutes with H to the Izzo, but only asked three questions. We’ll have more on this in the upcoming year, but here’s the gist of it from our podcast. Indeed, I felt like we were BFF that day.
If Kenny came to you and said do you want Manny Ramirez yes or no?
“I don’t know, because Manny hasn’t played in the big leagues in a little while. If Kenny asked me do you want Manny? I’m going to say because they’re going to being him in anyway (laughs). And I want to see how Jerry Reinsdorf confronts the hair, it’s ain’t going to be my f***ing department. I want to see that.
When asked if Manny is a defensive liability…
Don’t talk to me about Manny, I didn’t even see Manny in spring training, and we played against him everyday. You give me Manny when he was with Boston? Hey I’d take the limo (myself) to go pick him up. I haven’t seen Manny in a long time, maybe the scouts got a better idea than I have.
“I feel like when I answer this question and I begin to expound on it, somebody in this group is going to insert the words of a certain player in my mouth and it’s going to come out on tv and I’m going to be like ‘did I say that name?’ You can ask it in all different ways, but the answer to the question is still going to be: it does me no good to speak on it, and the main reason quite frankly is, this team needs to be focused on who’s going to battle for them today, not who’s walking through the door tomorrow.”
Burish was asked at the Blackhawks fan convention “What do you do when a fan approaches you and tries to make out with you?” Burish half-jokingly (okay, probably not jokingly at all) responded, “What does she look like?”
In order to finish response Burish had to first preface his response “Is this G, PG, PG-13, Is this X? You need to direct me where to go.” The panel host, WGN’s Steve Cochran, responded “Given the high amount of 11-year olds and Grandmothers here, let’s go with PG for now.”
“There’s some crazy female fans, you see them when you’re on the road, but I have to give some of these girls some credit, because they know what time you’re getting in. I don’t know what time practice is half the time, but they know. They know what time I’m getting in, they know where practice is. They know things about my Mom, my sister that I don’t even know. But whatever, it’s cool, it’s funny. These girls aren’t doing any harm, they’re not disrespecting anybody. Except for the ones that are knocking down your door at 4 in the morning,” Burish said regarding the stalkers and drunken groupies of the hockey world.
“It’s bizarre. I was at the Cubs game yesterday with my sister and some of her friends, and the whole game people would come up and they want pictures and autographs. And as I walked out, the whole section behind us stood up and started clapping,” Burish reported.
“Obviously, my sister told me you’re not that cool. Don’t start thinking you’re sweet here. But you walk down the street and people stop. You go out for dinner and people are all around. And it’s really cool. More so because it wasn’t like this two years ago, it wasn’t a big deal.”
“And now, this team and these guys are a big deal around town. And I’m excited because it’s a fun group to be around, and the guys in this room worked hard and they deserve it, and they’re enjoying it,” Burish articulated.
A Fulbright scholar, author and MBA, Banks has appeared on the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB)