Preseason football is only one week away. But for those of us who eat, drink and sleep pigskin 365 days a year, football season is never really over.
Football is a passionate sport for passionate fans and nobody is more fanatical about the sport than its head coaches. Over the years, many of football’s more charismatic coaches have lost their tempers in not-so-gracious fashion after frustrating losses.
To ease those of you into this football season, sportschump.net hereby celebrates the greatest post-game rants of recent memory. We honor those coaches who have created moments for us to enjoy for all eternity and look forward to the rants to come. If you don’t already know these tirades verbatim, perhaps you need a refresher course. Click on the links, pump up the volume and enjoy. They’re guaranteed to lift your spirits. Just don’t go banging on any podiums or cursing out random members of the media afterwards.
Mike Singletary – San Francisco 49ers, 2008
Memorable quote: “I want winners!”
Background: San Francisco’s Vernon Davis had just received a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the waning moments against the Seahawks. Head coach Mike Singletary was not pleased. Not only did he pull Davis off the field for his error in judgment, he sent him to the showers. Coaches rarely single out players by name but Singletary had no qualms making an example out of Davis.
Why It’s Classic: This was Mike Singletary’s first game as an NFL head coach and it didn’t take him long to take his rightful place among the greatest rants of all time. In one glorious sound bite, Singletary’s bravado shone through and reminded us of his fervor as a player. During the conference, Coach Singletary told reporters he’d rather line up with ten players and receive penalties all the way down the field than play with eleven who put themselves before the good of the team. Singletary never openly apologized for his actions, making it clear that there was a new sheriff in town.
Herm Edwards – New York Jets, 2002
Memorable Quote: “You play to win the game!”
Background: After an embarrassing loss to the Cleveland Browns, the Jets ran their record to a dismal 2-5. After the game, one reporter rubbed Herm the wrong way, questioning his team’s ability to win. Bad choice.
Why It’s Classic: Many coaches have had little patience for the media and Herm Edwards is no exception. He is on the list of head coaches you do not want to run into in a dark alley. Edwards’s retort to this ill-timed question is unmistakably directed at the reporter who questioned his team’s mettle. Not only does Herm repeat the line that made him famous, the second time around he leans into it with feeling. His voice reverberates throughout the press room in an unquestioned rant for the ages. No word as to whether the reporter immediately wet his pants following the altercation.
Mike Gundy – Oklahoma State Cowboys, 2007
Memorable Quote: “I’m a MAN! I’m 40!!”
Background: A local newspaper reporter had written an article speculating why Gundy’s quarterback Bobby Reid had lost his starting position. Gundy did not take to this lightly.
Why It’s Classic: Gundy’s rant was not short-lived. He went on for minutes, shouting at the reporter, pointing fingers and questioning her integrity as a journalist. He called the story inaccurate, then told the reporter she couldn’t be a mother because no parent could ever be so critical of a teenager. He even called the editor who printed the article garbage. Gundy’s face turned as orange as his shirt. Simply put, it’s a modern classic.
Jim Mora – Indianapolis Colts, 2001
Memorable Quote: “Playoffs?!?”
Background: Mora’s Colts had just lost to the 49ers and their record was a mediocre 4-6. Mora opened his press conference explaining how poorly his team had performed moments earlier. Then one reporter made the mistake of asking Mora about Indianapolis’ post-season’s chances.
Why It’s Classic: With one simple word, Mora’s place is forever etched in sports infamy. You are simply not a football fan unless you’ve churned up a Jim Mora impression at least once when a friend mentioned the word ‘playoffs.’ Mora’s high-pitched rant, raised eyebrow and look of disbelief at the reporter who had the nerve to ask such a question supplants him firmly in sound-bite history. Despite many beer commercial’s efforts to destroy Mora’s sacred rant, it remains one of the most entertaining moments in sports.
Dennis Green – Arizona Cardinals, 2006
Memorable Quote: “The Bears are who we THOUGHT they were!”
Background: One fateful Monday night during the 2006 season, Denny Green’s Arizona Cardinals held a late, three touchdown lead against the favored Chicago Bears. The Cardinals then relinquished that advantage in a matter of minutes. What followed was one of the more memorable off-field moments in football history.
Why It’s Classic: Giving up a huge lead is enough to make even the most even-tempered coach lose his marbles, and that’s just what Green did on live television. Doing his best Khrushchev impression, Green banged on his podium so hard, the microphone nearly fell to the floor. Green brought expressions like “crown their ass” and “let ‘em off the hook” into our vernacular, hurling enough profanity to offend Quentin Tarantino. Green then stormed out of the conference room, turning his back on the media who knew better than to ask another question. Repeatedly replaying the Green press conference this week might just make waiting for football season that much more enjoyable.