Despite being the offseason, College Football has been thrust into the headlines thanks to some good old fashion verbal fisticuffs between Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban. Jimbo’s press conference response to Saban’s accusations that the Texas A&M recruiting class was bought will go down in history as a classic. Still, is it one of the ten greatest angry rants in sport’s history? Not even close. It was fun to listen to the conference, but there are a lot better ones out there. Here is my Top Ten Angry Rants.
Honorable Mention: Allen Iverson on practice.
This is perhaps the most iconic press conference of all time, but I don’t know that it fits into the angry mold. Even as I write this, I question whether or not I should place it at the top just because “we’re talking practice, man”- a line that never gets old. As a teacher and a coach, I have gotten so much out of this.
Number 10: Ryan Leaf “Leaf me Alone”
I won’t go as far as to say that I feel for Ryan on this one. No one in NFL history is more maligned, perhaps deservedly so, than Ryan Leaf; still, we have all had bad days. No one wants to have someone come up and start asking them questions about how bad they sucked and why they sucked so bad. Still, you can’t go off on a team employee like that. Thankfully for Leaf, people came and rescued him after a few yelled comments. You have to wonder if Leaf would have hit the reporter if there hadn’t been intervention. Based on a day where Leaf completed more passes to the other team than his own, he probably would have missed hitting that Charger too.
Number 9: Basically any Muhammed Ali Conference.
Very few people can be as crafty with words at the champ. He just had a way of getting under people’s skin, promoting himself, and convincing himself that he could win. Personally, I hate listening to trash talk and think it should be confined to WWE interviews, yet I can’t get enough of Ali. I almost went with his pre-George Foreman fight interview, but chose the Ali-Frasier conference. All I can say is the poor guy in the middle. I might have put this one higher, but by the end, I couldn’t hear a word that was being said. Regardless, Ali never disappointed with his left jab or his verbal jab.
Number 8: Jim Calhoun gives solid advice:
I have to admit, no one has ever asked me if I feel like I should give money back as a teacher. I assume that most people assume that I don’t have anything to give. Still, I agree with Jim-”not a dime back”. He negotiated the salary, and it was fair for the market of the day. I won’t say that Calhoun was ever really patient about the whole affair, but his “are you really that stupid” question to the reporter couldn’t get any better. Only it did. The reporter actually said, “Yes, I am.” This is a moment that everyone wishes they get just once in their life; Calhoun got it on national tv. But, it didn’t stop there. “You want some advice…Shut up.” Then, he basically offers to meet him in the parking lot. Things would settle down after a little more shouting, which kept this from climbing higher in the rankings.
Number 7: Jeff Walz “You’re a loser”:
For those of you that follow Women’s Basketball, Jeff Walz is an icon. He gives an amazing press conference night in and night out. He can flat out coach and has led Louisville to numerous winning records. I wish that more people were aware of him because his analysis of sports today is spot on: everyone’s a winner. AAU is killing the competitiveness of basketball players today. My daughter was told to just go out and look athletic and you’ll get a scholarship, regardless of the score. She actually had a coach that told her team not to cry when they lost as “it’s just a game; we have another later today”. Jeff Walz blasts that mentality perfectly. After his team lost two games at a holiday tournament, he said it as it is, “we’re losers”. How about the Friendship Bracket where you go to get games when you lose? “You’re a loser”. Preach it Jeff.
Number 6: Mike Gundy defends his player:
This is another one where I can get behind. Mike, I salute you for defending your kid. The media feels safe and free in their critique of kids. Yes, the kid didn’t perform. Yes, the kid was criticized in print by a person that wouldn’t last two minutes in one of Gundy’s practices. Yes, Gundy basically said, “I’m a man. I’m 40.” Come get a piece of me you sniveling coward. I wish more coaches would defend their players like this.
Number 5: Conor McGregor in every conference:
For this one, I could have gone McGregor-Aldo; Conor grabbing Jose’s belt is a classic moment of MMA. I could have gone McGregor-Mayweather; Conor definitely got played on this one, but it is a little too profane for this site. I went with the hostilities between Conor and Khabib. Most of Conor’s rants are a mix of showmanship and just being flat out mentally unhinged; his feud with Khabib, though, goes to pure hate on both sides. Conor pretty much insults Khabib’s country, his religion, his family, and probably even the man’s breakfast cereal. After calling Khabib a rat and bragging about how he beat up Khabib’s bus, Conor got his lunch handed to him and got beat up in the ring by Khabib’s entourage.
Number 4: Kevin Borseth on rebounding:
To quote Miley Cyrus, the boy “came in like a wrecking ball”, and he didn’t slow down. The best part, I’m not sure who he is mad at. Is his ire at his team? Yep. Is he mad at the officials? I think so. Is he mad at statisticians for not fudging the stats? Probably. He’s wondering if his players feel bad about their performance; shoot, I feel disappointed in myself, and I wasn’t on the court. I’m ready to run through a brick wall for this guy and to say I’m sorry for letting him down. Every staff meeting should start like this. All of my kids would be valedictorians.
Number 3: Hal Mcrae on stupid questions:
I don’t know where to start with this one. Yes, I do. Stupid questions. Hal, I get it; someone asks you a really dumb question that insults your ability to do your job or your overall ability. I’m a teacher; trust me- I GET IT. There are times when I would love to run over to my desk and start whipping things against the wall. I was especially impressed with his 360 toss of the phone. Still, I think that I am going to avoid trying this method as I kind of want to avoid getting fired. I’m not sure if the best part of the whole thing is that Mcrae ends it with “put that in your pipe and smoke it” or that he kept his job.
Number 2: Bobby Knight in every conference:
Just like McGregor and Ali, you could really pick anything from Bob Knight’s career. The guy just had a way with words and with those he deemed stupid, which included a large part of the population. I think that all of us secretly loved Knight because he said what we have always wanted to say. Take the instance above where he shows up to a press conference after it was announced that he wasn’t coming. In classic Knight fashion, he insults an official, takes over the conference, and somehow walks away with impunity.
Number 1: Don Cheaney “I’m going to kick your [NSFW]”: https://vimeo.com/212279505
What can you say? You lose a game and then hear how the other coach complained about the officiating. The only logical thing to do is to bust up the coach’s press conference and threaten to kick his behind. Of course, you can’t look all talk, so you have to actually go after the other coach. Honestly, I’m surprised that this doesn’t happen more. This definitely hits number one as the only one where two people almost throw hands.
In the end, I loved Jimbo’s comments to Saban, but his conference was tame when compared to this list.