For the most part, post-game interviews are nothing special. They are chock full of clichés like, “my team gave 100% out there, today”, “they’re a good team on the other side of the field – I have respect for them”, and of course, “I just want to thank God, first and foremost”. Coaches and players simply say all the right things about what happened on the field and how it impacts their play in the future. But every once in a while, when the final whistle is blown, we see something like what happened after this year’s NFC Championship Game with Richard Sherman.
Sherman, the cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks, has certainly stolen the spotlight as we approach Super Bowl XLVIII. Let’s take a look at 10 of the best post-game outbursts in football, starting with Sherman himself.
10 Richard Sherman – San Francisco vs. Seattle 2014 NFC Championship Game
Seattle owes Sherman, at least in part, for sealing the win over San Francisco and propelling them to Super Bowl XLVIII against Denver. It was Sherman who tipped the ball away from intended receiver Michael Crabtree toward Malcolm Smith in the end zone. But his celebration after the fact has garnered national attention.
Erin Andrews interviewed the cornerback after the game, but could barely get a word in throughout Sherman’s brief tirade. “Don’t you open your mouth about the best, or I’m going to shut it for you real quick,” Sherman shouted in reference to Crabtree. To top it off, he called Crabtree a “sorry receiver”, which didn’t help matters. Poor Andrews looked startled but kept it together as Sherman stormed off.
Sherman has since apologized for his rant, but it looks like no press is bad press. He may potentially collect thousands as his agent says endorsement interest has skyrocketed since.
9 Bart Scott – New York Jets vs. New England Patriots, 2010 Divisional Round Playoffs
Just three years ago, Scott went off in a post-game interview with Sal Paolantonio on the field. New York had just upset their rivals New England in the Divisional Round after the Jets were creamed 45-3 by the Patriots only a month earlier in the regular season. Unlike Sherman, Scott’s interview was a bit more tasteful because clearly he was excited to show “all the non-believers” what the Jets could do.
While Scott is best known for his now trademarked phrase, “Can’t Wait!”, we liked how he enthusiastically flaps his arms, pretending to fly in like a Jet-bird at the start of the interview.
8 Kellen Winslow – Tennessee Volunteers vs. University of Miami 2003 Regular Season
Before making it into the NFL, where he went on to play for the Browns, Bucs, Seahawks, Pats and Jets, Kellen Winslow was a tight end for the Hurricanes. In this game, a young Winslow launched into the spotlight for his actions on and off the field. Winslow blocked two defenders, injuring Corey Campbell, and stood over Campbell nonchalantly while the Volunteer lay in pain. His unsportsmanlike attitude emerged in the post-game interview: “If I didn’t hurt him, he’d hurt me. They were gunning for my legs. I’m gonna come right back at them. I’m a f*cking solider [sic].” Needless to say Winslow was regretful, apologizing for his meltdown.
7 Terrell Owens – New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys, 2007 Divisional Round Playoffs
Terrell Owens' long and illustrious career hasn’t been without its share of controversy, from his disruptive time with the Eagles to his overdose in 2006. And of course there were all the fines for his excessive celebrations. And there was the time he spit in an Atlanta Falcons player’s face… When it comes to Owens, his career has certainly been muddled by these instances.
However, one of his most well-known moments was his post-game cry while playing for Dallas. Owens got choked up about the media and fans blaming Tony Romo for the Cowboys’ losses. “It’s my quarterback,” Owen managed to get out between sniffles, before reprimanding everyone for holding Romo solely responsible. The game can bring out a lot of emotions, but for the most part, players tend to keep it together come interview time, making Owens' tears that much more shocking.
6 Jim Mora – Indianapolis Colts vs. San Francisco 49ers, 2001 Regular Season
“That was a disgraceful performance, in my opinion. We threw it away,” was just the start of the legendary coach’s rant about his Indianapolis Colts. His brutal honesty didn’t stop there. Mora knocked the offense for their five turnovers – saying it might even be a record – and when an interviewer at the post-game press conference mentioned the playoffs, Mora scoffed at it. He just wanted to win the next game. Mora was probably disappointed then, as the Colts went on to lose two more and didn’t make the post-season after two straight years of heading to the playoffs.
5 Dennis Green – Chicago Bears vs. Arizona Cardinals, 2006 Regular Season
This post-game tirade is more legendary than the coach, even making its way into a hilarious Coors Light commercial. As much as the beer company poked fun at Green, it’s safe to say the Cardinals coach flipped out big time. “They are what we thought they were and we let them off the hook!” yelled Green at the media. The Cardinals lost at home by just one point, and their defeat fueled a profanity-laced meltdown at the press conference.
Green stormed off at the end, maybe because he recognized that neither the game nor the interview were good for his career. If so, he’d have been right – Green was canned at the season’s end after Arizona finished 5-11 overall. Green didn’t go on to coach in the NFL or NCAA again.
4 Derek Anderson – Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers, 2010 Regular Season
Just a few years after the Dennis Green incident, a moment caught on film during a regular season loss spawned a terrible tirade from Derek Anderson after the game. When a reporter questioned the quarterback about “what was so funny?” as he was seen smiling and laughing with his team down 18 points in the fourth, Anderson lost it on him. He refused to say what he was speaking about. Instead he said that he was giving his all, and that obviously, no one wants to be embarrassed on Monday Night Football. The reporter’s persistence quickly escalated the situation, with Anderson shouting at him until finally leaving the press conference.
3 Mike Gundy – Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys, 2007 Regular Season
The only thing better than a hilarious commercial mocking the situation, is two hilarious commercials mocking the situation. Gundy was spoofed not only by the same Coors Light ads that made fun of Green, but in a Toyota car commercial as well. So what happened to bring on his three-minute rant heard across the nation?
Coach Mike Gundy ripped apart Jenni Carlson’s article in The Oklahoman which speculated as to why starting quarterback Bobby Reid was relegated to the second-string. Gundy’s “I’m a man! I’m 40!” has followed him ever since. And while many, including the OSU athletic director, stood behind Gundy’s rampage on the paper, Reid has come out as saying it was one of the worst things to ever happen to him. He felt it was insincere and portrayed him as weak, and that if the coach really supported him, he would have made him starter again.
Gundy has been head coach at OSU since 2005 and his team won the Big 12 Championship in 2011. He also won Coach of the Year in 2010. And Reid? Reid remained undrafted in the 2010 NFL draft.
2 Herm Edwards – Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets, 2002 Regular Season
“You play to win the game!” was made famous by Herm Edwards in an interview while coach of the New York Jets. The Jets were 2-5 on the season, but the magic words in his post-game sound-off must have turned things around for them as they went on to win their next four. What’s more, Edwards’ phrase has caught on as a popular expression in the league. Modern NFL players and coaches are more likely to use it as a cliché in uninteresting post-game interviews; we like to think coach Edwards did it best, though.
1 Ryan Leaf – San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 1998 Regular Season
Fact: Leaf was drafted second to just Peyton Manning in the 1998 season by the Chargers. His career effectively ended within three years and now he’s in prison, while Manning is a future hall-of-famer heading to Super Bowl XLVIII.
Unlike Manning, Leaf’s career was marred by not just injury and poor performance, but his arrogant and unprofessional behavior; like the time he was fined for yelling at GM Bobby Beathard or the time he lost it on a Chargers fan. The media complained about him, fans complained about him and even players complained about him. However, one of his more infamous outbursts was when he shouted, “Just fucking don’t talk to me, all right? Knock it off!” at a San Diego Union-Tribune reporter after a game. He was restrained by a teammate while the reporter sat stunned.