The Weekly Quill — The Powell Pressure Presser

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QI Conducts the Shadow FOMC Press Conference

Mic drops are fun to witness, not experience. Outside politics, and what fun is that, nowhere in the annals of TV history are there more cringe-worthy examples than sports conferences starring the not-so-fair sex. Perhaps it’s the hot-headedness of it all, the overflowing testosterone and, oftentimes, the reality of defeat. In some cases, though, the quotes are simply, and highly, amusing.

In 2014, Johnny Manziel found himself waiting three hours at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The 2012 Heisman-Trophy winning quarter back was battling quite the bad boy rap. At long last, with #BeforeManzielGetsDrafted trending on Twitter, the Cleveland Browns put him out of his misery. While the rest may be history, the press conference he attended in Browns’ regalia will live on forever, and to his credit. To one enterprising reporter’s question asking Manziel he thought he could lure LeBron James back to Cleveland, he dryly replied, “I don’t think I can do that.”

Eight years earlier, headed into the 2006 NBA Finals, QI friend Corby Davidson, who is renowned for the bombs he can drop, posited the following of the eminent Shaquille O’Neal: “Let’s just say that snake bit your mom right here, right on the chest area, would you be willing to suck the venom out to win the title?” (Lord, let me count the ways!) To this, the 7’1”, soon-to-be four-times NBA champion responded with aplomb, “No, but I would with your wife.”

The moment following 2011’s Sylvania 300 in New Hampshire was born not of snark, but rather idiocy. NASCAR legend Tony Stewart had just played role reversal with the driver in front of him running out of gas with only two laps to go. One year earlier, that same driver had ripped past him as Stewart ran out of gas with that same short distance to the checkered flag. The press was abuzz with the serendipity of it all, hence the collective shock at the first question lobbed to the victor: How did he know it was time to make his move to take the lead? What strategy and technique had been used? Without batting an eye, Stewart replied, “I planned it for 280-some-odd laps. I knew he was going to run out of fuel right at that moment, and as opposed to just driving through him and running over him, it just seemed like it may have been an easier option just to turn left and drive around him. So I guess that was my strategy all along. I knew kinda that’s what we were going to do. I just had to wait for the opportunity.”

While lacking in the sarcasm, few would argue that the Saturday Night Massacre was the press conference for the ages. February 25, 1989 marked the day Jerry Jones broke the price barrier, paying $140 million for the Dallas Cowboys, the first time in U.S. history any sports team fetched more than $100 million. At $5.5 billion today, the team is the world’s most valuable franchise. Without a doubt, Jones’ hands on approach paid off. He was true to his word when he said, “I intend to have a complete understanding of contracts, jocks, socks, and TV contracts. There’s no way I can look in the mirror if I don’t understand anything about this business.” Looking back on his insane success in 2017, Jones tapped a rare humble vein: “It was like stringing a tightrope from the Empire State Building to the next tallest building in New York and then starting your ass off on that tightrope with no net down there. You have to make this thing work.” And so, love him or hate him, he did.

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