I kinda liked what Cary Williams said the other day about missing OTAs so he could be around for his daughter, so he could be a good father. It was refreshing. Honest too. But perhaps he should have quit while he was ahead. Because today, Williams was grilled by Mike Missanelli about missing OTAs to go to his daughter’s dance recital and so he could pick out sconces and other modern luxuries for his new house. It quickly became one of the most surreal athlete interviews you will ever hear. Williams, playing the role of the spoiled athlete, didn’t back down, and Missanelli, playing the role of the working-man Eagles fan, kept pressing. To the excerpt machine!
You seem surprised about the fans’ reaction.
“I’m not surprised at all. I really don’t care, truthfully, if you want me to be honest. I feel like the NFL, teams hold player captive over the OTAs. They say it’s not, but it’s mandatory, you know what I’m saying?”
How do you think the organization feels about you feeling that way?
“I really don’t care. I told them what the situation was and we had a communication and that’s what it was.”
You know that your profession is unique, that you don’t have the same leeway to do what other people do…
“Sure I have the same leeway, because it’s still my life.”
“We don’t have a long offseason, sir. So if I sacrificed a couple weeks here or there, to me I don’t see the big deal, because at the end of the day I’m still focused on my family. And at the end of the day, those are the people that make me happy, man. And I’m trying to make my daughter happy.
But you do have a bigger offseason than the regular working man, don’t you think?
“Do you think we take days off?
No, you’re working out, but it’s not like you’re punching the clock and doing eight hours a day and sweatin’ and toilin’, you know what I’m saying?
“So that’s what you’re doing, you sweatin’ and toilin’ for eight hours?”
No, because I have a relaxing job where I don’t do anything. I’m stealing money here being a sports talk host. But I’m talking about the average guy who goes out there and grinds it out for $35,000 a year.
“I’m sorry. I respect those guys. We grind the same way they grind. It’s just a different type of grind.”
You went with the house thing and the sconces, and I don’t think people related to that.
“Well I’m sorry people don’t relate to that either. That’s my personal life and that’s my personal decision. Like I said, I can’t do that during the season. Can you work on a house during the season if you was in the league? No, you can’t. Can you tell a builder what you want there? No, you can’t during the season. You have to go back and forth to look at that. I don’t have off days like that, sir. Like I said, when it’s the offseason and it’s not mandatory, I choose what I want to do and what I don’t want to do.”
Wouldn’t you like to be popular with the fan bases? Does that matter to you at all?
“To be honest with you, no, it don’t matter, at all. You always gonna have people who say something negative about you and feel a negative way about you, whether you do things the right way or you do things the wrong way. You know what I mean? You always going to have critics.”
“If you was in my shoes, I guarantee you people would handle the situation totally different.”
If I was in your shoes, I got to be honest with you, if I was in your shoes I would have come to camp. But that’s just me.
[I hushed silence befell the air. Missanelli has just landed a blow from which I'm not sure Williams can recover.]
“OK, and I’ve done that for the last four years. Like I said, it’s a different point in my life, and that’s just it– either you accept it or you don’t. If people or organizations want to hold non-mandatory things like OTAs over peoples’ heads, I feel it’s not right. Make it mandatory situation so I could come. I’ve been to every mandatory situation, so I’m trying to figure out why am I seen as a bad guy… because I take my family seriously, because of that? Or do I have three or four baby mamas and I don’t have no news for ya’ll to go… it turns into something where oh he’s picking out sconces. No, I just named a few things that I was doing in that home. Those were the first things that came into my head at the time. Then I’m supposed to respect the media and then they come at me like I’m some type of idiot, or say he was looking up sconces. Oh he’s doing this. Like it was something that was so frivolous or something that was not even important, but if you have ever had a house built, you would understand how important it is.”
“I don’t have to explain myself. If it’s not mandatory, I don’t have to be there. That’s it.”
For who? For what?