24/7 sports coverage is a beautiful thing. The camera catches amazing plays that last forever, as well as some epic meltdowns.
Whether it is Jim Mora’s “Playoffs?!!” tirade that is now forever a part of the NFL lexicon or Hal McRae throwing a stapler at reporters, these cringe-worthy moments will be remembered long after many of sports’ greatest records are broken.
Warning: Some of these speeches contain profanity.
Hal McRae’s locker room tirade
Dear Hal McRae,
You chose to coach the 1992 Kansas City Royals. You knew this would not be easy.
In this post-game press conference, McRae starts off calm, but a simple question about game management sends the Kansas City Royals skipper into profanity-laden tirade that he tops by hurling everything on his desk at nearby reporters. The cameraman in this situation was smart, picking up the confused looks and laughter of several in the room.
NFL QB Jim Everett on why not to call him a girl’s name
Not so much a speech but a call to war, former NFL quarterback confronts a baby-faced Jim Rome in the early days of ESPN 2. Yes, Jim Rome was always annoying, even in 1994. Watch this, laugh, repeat, send it to friends. Wake up in the middle of night and watch it on your iPhone. You will become a better person.
The Speech Barry Bonds gave after “Breaking” Hank Aaron’s Home Run Record
This speech could have been a lot shorter. Bonds could have said, “Hey there fans. I am the guy Willie “Mays” Hayes in Major League was based on, I have my own recliner in the locker room, I (allegedly) used performance enhancing drugs, and I just took away Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record, a record that stood as a testament to perseverance and hard work.” That would be a fine speech, albeit still given in Barry Bonds unusually high pitched voice. Instead, Barry Bonds left this steaming pile of poo to baseball history. I’m not bitter. Promise.
Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame Speech
Oh hello there. I’m Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player who ever lived, and I’m still bitter. Jordan takes shots at the Chicago Bulls organization and particularly their GM, Jerry Krause, the man who also helped Michael Jordan make his early 1990s foray into minor league baseball. He’s the best player ever, and he manages to come off as a jerk in his own hall of fame speech. Michael Jordan doesn’t like you.
The Ramblings of 1980s Minnesota Vikings Coach Jerry Burns
The ‘ol timey ramblings of a madman! Jerry Burns coached the Minnesota Vikings for six seasons in the late 1980s, but he is best remembered for this profanity-laden tirade in the pre-tirade era. The Vikings didn’t suck under his tenure (they made the playoffs in 3 of his 6 seasons) — I’d hate to see Burns truly angry.
Any locker-room speech given by Bruce Boudreau
HBO’s NHL 24/7 series has given amazing insight to how NHL teams work, but the series also gave us insight into Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau inability to give a motivating speech. Boudreau rambles like a drunk uncle at his team in between periods, dropping f-bombs and repeating horrible sports clichés in this speech captured in the series.
Bill Murray’s South Atlantic League Hall of Fame Induction Speech
Bill Murray is well known for his love of sports, with the South Atlantic League, a minor league baseball league, inducting him into their Hall of Fame in 2012. I adore Bill Murray, and I’m sure this is supposed to be funny, but it comes off as a bizarre mix of ironic hipster culture and old man humor.
Mike Schmidt’s Retirement Speech
An 18 year career. 548 home runs. Three MVP awards. A thirty-second retirement speech filled with crying. The Philadelphia Phillies third baseman and 1980s portrait of manhood went into retirement like a blubbering three-year old. I’ll give him a half a pass; Schmidt made up for it in his 1995 Hall of Fame Speech. This great moment shows how hard it is for even the toughest out there to let go of something they love.
Dave Wills’ Explosion Professional Wrestling Love
Best known as the “It’s still real to me” speech, professional wrestling fan Dave Wills gives a heart-wrenching speech about his love for the sport and the battered bodies of his heroes to a group of Terry Funk and Harley Race. Honestly, this could make it on a “best” speech list, but the backdrop high school gymnasium and crying sends it straight to the “worst of” category.
Top image via NWharry/Flickr.