Sports press conferences are usually extremely boring. Most coaches and athletes would rather get a root canal than sit around before or after a game answering stupid questions from reporters. Moreover, the reporters know they are unlikely to get any real insights from the coaches and athletes. The only reason they hold these press conferences is so that reporters can gather meaningless quotes that somehow makes them seem more credible.
However, not all sports press conferences are boring. Every once in a while—usually after a horrible performance—a player will have a total meltdown, or a coach will go on an epic rant. And when that happens, sports press conferences aren’t boring. When that happens, they’re actually more exciting than the game.
Today, we’re going to count down the 15 greatest sports press conferences of all time. Some are funny, some of uncomfortable. Some are filled with rage, some are simply absurd. But they’re all entertaining. So take a look.
Mike Singletary took over as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers when the team fired Mike Nolan on October 20, 2008. Six days later, after he sent tight end Vernon Davis to the locker room with 10 minutes left to play in his first game, Singletary went on an epic rant in the about selfish players in the postgame press conference.
Today, Vernon Davis is still with the 49ers. Mike Singletary, obviously, is not.
15. Mike Singletary Rips Vernon Davis (2008)
For you youngsters, it's easy to just assume that Mike Ditka is a surly old-timey football guy who doesn't like the way the whippersnappers do things nowadays. And in fact, that is probably true to a certain extent. But it's important to remember that Ditka was always surly and prone to angry rants. This one here—following a New Orleans Saints practice in 1999—just happens to be one of his best. (You have to respect the reporters who actually had the balls to ask him why he's in such a bad mood.)
14. Next! (1999)
"Not one, not two, not...okay, two."
At the time this introductory "press conference" made everyone's blood boil. Now it just gives us a good laugh. Because time—and Miami losing—heals all wounds.
13. Big Three Welcoming Party (2010)
A Gregg Popovich press conference is always must-see TV, but it's not because the San Antonio Spurs coach is prone to rants and meltdowns. It's because of the way Popovich mixes his droll sarcasm with brutal honesty—like he does here, prior to Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat.
12. Coaches Are Sick Puppies (2013)
On February 13, 1994, Temple basketball coach John Chaney interrupted the post-game press conference of then-UMass coach John Calipari and rightfully called him out for being unfair and disrespectful to the referees. And if he had left it at that, he would have gone down in history as a folk hero who spoke truth to Calipari's slimy college hoops power.
Chaney didn't leave it at that, thought. Instead, he ran up to the podium and attacked him, saying "I'll kill you!" several times.
The two have since patched things up, and have even joked about that night. But Chaney's reputation was never quite the same, and he says he can't walk down the street without somebody yelling "I'll kill you!"
11. Chaney v. Calipari (1994)
On September 6, 2011, nobody even knew there was a school called Coastal Carolina University, let alone that they had a Division I FCS football team called—I kid you not—the Chanticleers. However, after head coach David Bennett's AMAZING analogy about cats and dogs at a press conference on Wednesday, September 7, everybody had heard of Coastal Carolina.
That's good PR.
10. Cats & Dogs (2011)
In 2007, sports columnist named Jenni Carlson wrote an article claiming OSU coach Mike Gundy had benched QB Bobby Reid because he was soft and coddled by his mother. Gundy responded with one of the most epic rants of all time, attacking Carlson, defending Reid, and uttering the now-famous phrase, "I'M A MAN! I'M FORTY!"
The irony, of course, was that while Carlson's article got some key facts wrong, the basic claim was true. According to Reid himself, he did get benched because Gundy thought he was soft. In fact, Reid thinks Gundy or one of the other OSU coaches talked to somebody in the media about Reid and got burned, so Gundy put on this grand show to cover his butt.
Whatever the reason for the rant, though, it was still an all-time classic.
9. I'm a Man! (2007)
In 2010, after the Lakers won their second straight championship, Ron Artest—or Metta World Peace, or whatever the hell he calls himself now—gave one of the most entertaining post-game press conferences of all time. The guy came out to the microphone table, shouted "I GOT WHEATIES," chastised the media for not being excited enough, and threatened to leave.
The man was high on life. Or something.
8. I Got Wheaties! (2010)
Bobby Knight is probably best known as the college hoops coach who threw chairs across the floor and choked his players. However, at a press conference during the 1993 NCAA Tournament, Knight proved he has mad improvisational comedy skills, too. A reporter asked him a question about "next year," and Knight went into a whole fortune teller bit that had everyone in attendance cracking up.
7. Bob Knight Predicts the Future (1993)
After losing to the Cleveland Browns in Week 8 of the 2002 NFL season, Jets coach Herm Edwards was in no mood to talk to the media. However, he was still contractually obligated to do so, and the result was one of the greatest coach meltdowns in NFL history.
Hell, they even used it in a Coors Light commercial.
6. You Play to Win the Game (2002)
Honestly, who saw this coming? Terrell Owens had done nothing in his career to suggest he was a big "team player," and yet after the Cowboys lost to the Giants in the divisional round of the playoffs—thanks in no small part to a 201-yard, one touchdown, one interception, 64.7 QB rating performance by Romo—there was Owens, crying and defending his quarterback.
It was soweird.
5. T.O. Sheds Tears for Romo (2008)
On January 22, 2002, at a press conference to hype the upcoming Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight in 2002, Lewis and Tyson decided that the didn't actually want to wait to get into the ring. So instead they (and their entourages) just fought right there. Then, after everybody was separated, a member of the media called Tyson and animal, to which Tyson replied with a string of vile slurs.
(Read more about it and see the uncensored video here.)
4. Tyson v. Lewis (2002)
Let me tell you, nobody saw this coming. Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green was normally a pretty soft spoken guy. However, on October 16, 2006, after his team suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, Green just lost it.
The result was another memorable press conference quote.
3. They Are Who We Thought They Were! (2006)
At number two we have another epic NFL coach rant that got turned into a Coors Light commercial. On November 25, 2001, Jim Mora's Indianapolis Colts turned the ball over five times in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Then, at the post-game press conference, a reported actually asked Mora about the 4-6 Colts maybe making the playoffs, and the coach just could not handle it.
2. Playoffs?!?! (2001)
Was there every any doubt? Of course Allen Ivesons's famous "practice" rant following a playoff loss to the Celtics in 2002 takes the number one spot. If there was a sports press conference Hall of Fame, this would be the first induction.