Who else gets thoroughly annoyed and, frankly, disgusted listening to professional athletes’ post-game interviews when they can’t even speak clearly or correctly? These are allegedly college graduates who had to have taken a few English classes and likely a public speaking course to graduate. Now, I’m not expecting perfect enunciation and pronunciation, but I do expect to be able to understand what the athlete is saying.
I’m going to focus on the NFL because I hate basketball and rarely have issues like this with MLB and NHL. In fact, the NHL has the best commentators and speaking athletes around. Even with those cute Canadian accents, eh?
Back to football. Perhaps if these individuals majored in, oh, anything other than communications (what a huge twist of irony, don’tcha think?!), then, perhaps, we might understand them without closed captioning or a translator. In my opinion, Shannon Sharpe should be the poster child for “What the fuck did he say!?”
Now this isn’t to say that all NFL players are stup, er, communications majors who sound like they have a mouthful of marshmallows. (Oh, speaking of marshmallows, when my kids were little, I would keep a bag of large marshmallows by the phone so when they interrupted me, which was often, I would stuff a marshmallow into their mouths and be able to finish my phone call. But I digress.)
In fact, many current and former NFL players are well spoken and highly educated. Here’s a small sampling in list form because I like lists:
- Ryan Fitzpatrick graduated from Harvard with a degree in economics.
- Drew Brees earned his degree in industrial management from Purdue and was named Sports Illustrated’s 2010 2nd smartest NFL player (behind Ryan Fitzpatrick).
- Andrew Luck graduated from Stanford with a degree in architectural design.
- Richard Sherman (yeah, I was surprised too) attended Stanford on an academic scholarship after graduating high school with a 4.2 GPA and #2 in his entire class.
- Benjamin Watson attended both Duke and Georgia, majored in finance, and is a twice-published author.
- Jacob Tamme graduated from Kentucky with a 3.82 GPA and earned a master’s degree in business administration.
- Alex Smith graduated from Utah in only two years with a degree in economics. He also attended graduate school.
- Steve Young graduated from BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School with a J.D..
- Cris Collinsworth also earned a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati Law School.
- Carson Wentz attended North Dakota State where he carried a 4.0 GPA.
On a side note, athletes who have retired and who are color commentators during live games should be forced to go through the concussion protocol before being hired (ahem Troy Aikman, anyone?) Just like the actual announcer, these commentator sidekicks should be interesting. There’s nothing worse than being forced to watch a game with boring commentary (ahem, yawn, Dan Fouts, anyone?) I was surprised at how eloquent and interesting Tony Romo is as an announcer because I didn’t care for him as a player.
The same should be said for sideline reporters. Now, as female, I appreciate the increase in female commentators and interviewers in professional sports but not if they’re just there to be the “token” female. I am thoroughly sick and tired of stupid questions like, “Hey coach, what do your players need to do during the break?” Um, play better, you moron?! “
Anyway, folks, there’s my $.02. For now.