Current Events: Confidence and Personality

A football player gave very enthusiastic answers to questions after he made a great play. I guess it made some people uncomfortable. I didn’t see the game, because I don’t watch that sport where heavyset millionaires aggressively hug one another, but it was a whole big thing and everyone had a strong opinion about the vigor of his answers to those questions. I chatted with someone Monday morning about it at masters. This person’s opinion was the player’s response made him look like an idiot. I disagree. Look at the context, of course he was fired up at the time. Are we expecting football players to come off the thrill of a big play and moments later be ready for completely calm and collected Q and A? Not realistic. More than that, people watch the sport at that level for entertainment. Nothing could be more entertaining than some honest and enthusiastic answers to dull questions. We want sports to be exciting and dynamic so why do we get so flustered when an athlete has an actual personality? 

I’ve watched a few ESPN 30 for 30s while riding the trainer and they are great. My favorites are “The U” about a rowdy generation of football players at the University of Miami and “Roll Tide / War Eagle” about the magnificent rivalry between the Alabama and Auburn football programs. Normally football is pretty dull for me but the big personalities and exciting conflict made football interesting in these films. In so many interviews we hear the same dull, sterilized generic comments from athletes. I salute anyone who actually has something interesting to say.

In our sport I can only think of a few big personalities. I look at Macca and Starky as two who are not afraid to speak clearly and express their self belief. In an interview with Rev3 before Florida Starky got asked a question about bike strategy and he got mad. It was a question he’d heard many times before and his response was genuine and intense. Apparently it was a little too much honesty because the video was taken down shortly thereafter.

I don’t think pro athletes should just go spouting off any old thing at any time in any way they please but I think we should recalibrate our expectations. Currently it seems being ‘professional’ means being bland and boring. From my view, bland and boring athletes don’t make our sport more interesting and they certainly don’t do much good for their sponsors. Champions believe in themselves. Don’t label an athlete arrogant or brash if they clearly express their self belief. Let’s allow and encourage big personalities and clear talkers. Let’s get fired up for some good rivalries. We are still obsessed with the Dave Scott v Mark Allen rivalry and that was from the eighties! The eighties! I’m from the eighties and we haven’t had a rivalry that good since then. If you are a dull and boring person who wants to make a case defending bland and boring please go ahead and leave a comment below. No judgement. 


Since most of us are riding away on our trainers searching for something to watch the Gold Guys asked if I’d share my professional opinion on some of our options from Netflix Streaming:

Jack Reacher: they accidentally put a real movie on streaming once in a while. Jack Reacher was a perfect trainer movie. Lots of beat downs. Tom Cruise is not annoying in this movie. A

The Last Stand: Arnold Schwarzenegger is an old sheriff who shoots some bad guys. Not that great. That said, I haven’t watched the climactic showdown yet. Maybe it will redeem the whole operation. Watched the first hour one ride but haven’t been bothered to finish it yet. C

ESPN 30 for 30: Great stuff! Top picks: The U, Roll Tide / War Eagle, You Don’t Know Bo. A+

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3 Responses to Current Events: Confidence and Personality

  1. Isaac says:

    Never looked at it that way…this was a good read. Showed me a different way to look at that interview post game. It’s true we look to them for entertainment and that’s what we got. It’s up to us too see things a bit different, than what is just on the surface.

  2. Luis Oliveira says:

    You’re right, of course. I could hardly believe when Steve Stenzel said you’re a pro triathlete, as your mock rivalry was/is really funny and you are so genuine. That said, it’s hopeless. Sportspeople talk like idiots because sports are more and more business like and business people, as we know, talk like idiots. There’s even a book about it. Actually, some of the more idiotic cliches from business language come direct from sports. How long, really, until we see the opposite and jocks start to talk about “synergies” and “scalabilty” on post game interviews?

  3. Shelbi Patterson says:

    That is nice

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