The New York Yankees want their players to act more like Russell Wilson and less like Cam Newton in post-game interviews, and that’s not totally surprising.
According to ESPN reporter Andrew Marchand, the Yankees compared clips of Newton and Wilson taking questions from reporters after the quarterbacks’ respective Super Bowl losses during spring training. The team showed the clips to their pitchers and catchers to “portray the right and wrong way to act,” according to Marchand.
The differences are obvious. Wilson sat the podium after his Super Bowl XLIX loss and took the blame for the final-minute interception.
Newton, hood on his head, answered one question with more than a few words after Super Bowl 50 and then got up after less than 3 minutes and left the podium.
Whether the Yankees included every nuance of Newton’s post-game news conference is unclear, but it may not have mattered for the point they were probably trying to get across.
New York sports media is known to pounce on any misstep, and treating a post-game interview the way Newton did would be fodder for the merciless sports sections in the Big Apple. It’s a headache the franchise with 27 World Series titles would like to avoid if it could.
I also get why PR departments would like their players to act like Wilson with reporters. I’ve covered Wilson in some capacity, more or less, for the past six years. He answers every question with a smile, but he never fills up your notebook.
I don’t remember ever walking away from a Wilson press conference saying, “Man, that was a money quote.” He says a lot of things without actually saying much, and no news is good news for most PR departments.
Newton, on the other hand, is almost always going to give you something to write about, whether it’s good, bad or indifferent. He may roll his eyes at the same question he’s heard one hundred times, but ask a good question and you’re likely to get a good response from Newton.
What the Yankees are doing will not change Newton, though. He doubled-down on his post-game behavior in an exit interview at Bank of America Stadium following the Super Bowl.
He furthered that later in the week when he posted an Instagram picture wearing a t-shirt reading “I Win My Way.”