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      Smack Zone — Bryce Harper

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      Great Moments in Stupid Sports Question History

      Today is Ask a Stupid Question Day. We know. Itโ€™s a stupid holiday. But hey, America! Actually, it was created in the 1980s by teachers to encourage more kids to ask questions in class. (So, itโ€™s legit. Bet you feel bad for talking smack about it. Ha! Whoโ€™s stupid now? Huh? Donโ€™t answer that.) The actual Ask a Stupid Question Day is supposed to be on Sept. 28, but they celebrate it on the final school day of September. Again, that seems kind of stupid. What was wrong with Sept. 28? It was a perfectly good Monday. Why do you hate Mondays, America? Donโ€™t answer that. Anyway, sports and stupid questions go together like coffee and cream, like white on rice, like cold on ice. The two weeks of hype leading up to the Super Bowl are fertile ground for stupid questions. It most infamously gave us the twisted tale of the guy who supposedly asked Doug Williams how long he had been a black quarterback (or did it? Hereโ€™s the actual story in Snopes). But sports reporters donโ€™t need a big event like the Super Bowl to drop a stupid bomb. The occasion can be as innocuous as a trip to Green Bay to face the Packers. Actual question once asked of Bucs coach Tony Dungy before such a trip: โ€œCoach, do you like cheese?โ€ Stupid is as stupid does, right? It's OK, though. Stupid questions will always make great fodder for satirical essays. Oh, we know itโ€™s not easy coming up with brilliant ways to get athletes and coaches to make brilliant comments. Most questions reporters ask are vanilla and lame. In fact, good, reasonable questions often elicit the worst answers. So, today, we celebrate the stupid questions in sports.ย These questions, in particular, made history.

      1. We begin with one of our personal favorites: the great Allen Iverson .
      [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGDBR2L5kzI] 2. Another all-time great: After a long rant about how bad his team had played in a loss, Colts coach Jim Mora was asked about his prospects for the AFC playoffs. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwq7BYOnDrM] 3. Sometimes there is no question too stupid -- or intelligent -- to draw an interview subject out of his shell. Here is the quintessential pointed answer by a coach who knows how to stay on topic: [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agZKF7U5s8A] 4. Before young Bryce Harper became famous for getting choked in the dugout by a hyper-angry relief pitcher, he was a 19-year-old phenom doing phenomenal things. He once was asked if he would celebrate one of those phenomenal things by drinking a beer. At age 19. He was asked that on camera. In front of a whole bunch of people. Ask a stupid question ... [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dF5NcRvVxk&w=854&h=480] 5. Then, there is the post-game blow-up of all time. Hal McRae, then managing the Royals, always felt bad about this explosion afterward. But he left NO DOUBT about how he felt about stupid questions that day. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kamDqL-AGzI&w=854&h=480] Happy Ask a Stupid Question Day! Remember, there ARE no stupid questions. Only stupid reporters, and hot-headed athletes and coaches who have no patience for stupidity.

      The Nats are a Clown Team, Bro

      [caption id="attachment_1128" align="alignright" width="300"]Papelbon: Papelbon: "Hey, bro, run that out!" Harper: "Hey, bro, F you!" Papelbon: "No, bro, F you!" And then they danced.[/caption] So, the Washington Nationals' star player didn'tย exactly bust it down the line on a can-o-corn pop-out late in yet another disappointing chapter in what was supposed to be their year. It's Bryce Harper, dude. He's going to be the National League's MVP this year -- and many more years in the future. Surely, he can jog one out here and there? Um, no. That's not the way it's done. That's a BS way to play the game, and anybody who knows baseball knows that. Cubs manager Joe Maddon, during his time with the Rays, was known to pull dudes on the spot for not busting it down the first-base line. You going to argue with Joe Ma about the unwritten rules of the game? Hustle is mandatory, and you'd think a manager like Matt Williams, who was known to be a hard-ass as a player, would want more from his young leader. And maybe Williams might have said something later. But ... Then, recently acquired closer Jonathan Papelbon decided to "show leadership." Bad idea. Remember Harper's snide response to a reporter's question a few years ago? "That's a clown question, bro." You know what? The Nationals are now perceived as a clown team, bro. That's a reflection of Williams, certainly, but at some point the superstar needs to step up and stop acting like a nonchalant kid. This piece for Fox Sports by former pitcher C.J. Nitkowski sums up the feeling around baseball: Players Overwhelmingly Support Papelbon. That said, Papelbon was an idiot (it came naturally, we're sure, based on his Red Sox history). He acknowledged later that it wasn't his place to admonish Harper in that spot, that it's Williams' job to do that. And oh, this: Stop choking dudes, Pap. Too late, though. Washington's collapse was completeย last week when the Mets clinched the NL East. This is the fallout. And it ain't pretty.