How To Interview Professional Athletes

Fellow UCLA homie, Russell Westbrook is hella surly, especially after losses. Shooting 29% from deep will do that to you. If you ever get a chance to interview him after a(nother) Laker loss, follow this reporter’s three-step formula—stroke his ego, stroke his ego, stroke his ego.

Watch from 2:17-3:05.

The Ripple Effects of College Sports’ Name, Image, and Likeness Ruling

Excellent University of North Carolina case study detailing the wide ranging impact of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to let college athletes receive money for their “name, image, and likeness”. The main take-away is that alumni donations that used to go to athletic departments are going directly to a few star football and basketball players through “collectives”. One result is a glaring economic divide between teammates. Another is ever greater financial hardship for minor sports, many which are on life-support.

As always, the top comments from readers are interesting.

  • “I find it interesting that athletic directors and. coaches who rake in mega million dollars for themselves and billions for the schools, find it somehow disconcerting when the players, who generate the wealth for the system, make a couple hundred thousand. The player who makes $300,000 is somehow preventing that same $300,000 from going to the swim team? — funny that we don’t hear that argument when $5 million goes to the head football coach.”
  • “A lot of hand wringing over athletes getting their fair market value. I say: if coaches get paid, athletes should too. Oh, other sports may die out? Let colleges can dip into their endowment, tv rights, donations, etc. If they can find a way to pay coaches $10,000,000 a year, they can find a way to keep their swimming program.”

Postscript.

What I Learned From Watching The World Cup

  1. It’s Kylian, not Killian.
  2. It really is a “beautiful game” when five one touch passes end in a Di María goal for the ages.
  3. The best leaders sublimate their egos for the greater good. Macron should never have inserted himself into the French players post-game funk.
  4. Only seven months until the Women’s 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Mike Leach

“After a loss to Oklahoma State in 2007, Leach said of his defense: ‘The entire first half we got hit in the mouth and acted like somebody took our lunch money. All we wanted to do was have pouty expressions on our face until somebody dabbed our little tears off and made us (expletive) feel better. And then we’d go out there and try harder once our mommies told us we were OK.'”

Kyrie ‘Apologizes’ Again

Or tries. Maybe he should hire me to oversee his public relations. Here’s what I would’ve had him read.

“When I said the earth was flat, you thought I was joking, but I wasn’t. That should of been a sign. The year I spent in college, I rarely went to class. Who needs Earth Science or Twentieth Century History in the League? Employ me to quarterback your professional basketball team at your own risk.”

I Tutored The NFL’s Single-Game Receiving Record Holder

It’s 1985 and I’m a UCLA graduate student making big bucks working for the athletic department as a tutor for “Intro to Western Civilization”.

I was helping a potpourri of athletes including an Olympic gymnast from Mexico, a female swimmer (too attractive, hard to concentrate), a future NBA all-star, and a handful of football players. One of whom was the star wide receiver. The others, including Flipper Anderson from New Jersey, were having moderate success in his shadow.

In an effort to build rapport, I asked them what they planned to do after graduating. I almost lost Flipper right out of the gate. He chuckled at my stupidity. “Play in the league man.”

Inside, I marveled at his swagger. He was so slight, Chris Rock-like, maybe 165 pounds soaking wet. No way in the world I thought, just another out-of-touch athlete. But there was one thing I couldn’t see that first night in the athletic office. He was a serious burner.

Not only did he play ten years in the NFL, he still holds the record for the most receiving yards in a single game. 336 yards. The story is detailed here.

Never judge a book by its cover.