Men’s basketball: FIFA accusations, ‘suckoffs,’ stolen chairs, pinball, display Badgers’ looseness

first_imgThere’s several levels to measure a team’s demeanor: uptight, comfortable, loose to name a few.Now, there’s a new category called the 2014-15 Wisconsin men’s basketball team. This Badgers team has displayed a next-level looseness the entire season, and that relaxed attitude reached its pinnacle Tuesday afternoon at the Kohl Center media room.It didn’t matter that it wasn’t the general crew of local reporters. The national media was in attendance, with journalists like Brian Hamilton from Sports Illustrated along with Jeff Goodman and Pedro Gomez of ESPN.And with the horde of media present, the cameras rolling and the biggest game of their lives four days away, the Badgers shone brighter than the lights on the 11 cameras in the room.It started around the 11-minute mark of the news conference when senior forward Frank Kaminsky got a question about how fifth-year senior Josh Gasser became dubbed “Captain American”. After Kaminsky takes credit for the nickname, sophomore forward Nigel Hayes leans back in his chair in a sort of shock that his teammate apparently didn’t properly attribute the idea back to him.“Wowwwww,” Hayes said. The first of many laughs the press corps would experience.A few minutes later, it’s junior forward Sam Dekker complaining that someone took the Final Four chair he took from last year’s event in Arlington, Texas he had been using in Madison.Dekker’s plea for someone with information about the whereabouts of the chair ended with a public service announcement.“If someone has my Final Four chair, send it to me.”More laughs.Then, Hayes, known for his “Nigel Burgundy” routine throughout last year’s tournament, gets a question about the creation of shirts with words like “catawampus,” which he immortalized earlier this tournament while testing a stenographer.“I haven’t even got a shirt yet though,” Hayes said. “Seeing that there wouldn’t even be a shirt without me saying those things. But that’s neither here nor there.“I’m not going to say I deserve any royalties or anything like that.”A question about who the best FIFA player on the team sparked outrage and mutiny. The three players at the podium not named Kaminsky kept knocking him down a peg on the team rankings.That’s when Kaminsky had enough.Channeling his inner ‘tank’, Kaminsky jokingly flung the red BadgerMax sitting in front of him on the dais, and all of a sudden, the 7-footer had been reduced to sitting underneath the table like a child refusing to eat his vegetables.Frank threw his BadgerMax off the podium when the guys accused him of being the fifth-worst FIFA player on the team— Badger Herald Sports (@BHeraldSports) March 31, 2015This didn’t happen before Hayes interrupted and insisted the Badgers are a Super Smash Bros. gaming squad, saying “all we care about is our suckoffs.”Warning, @marchmadness media: Be careful if you ask @BadgerMBB’s Frank Kaminsky about his video games.— Wisconsin On BTN (@WisconsinOnBTN) March 31, 2015Excuse me, Mr. Hayes? “Suckoffs” is allegedly a phrase used to describe when a player using the character Kirby inhales his opponent and then releases them off the edge of the map.The four stooges weren’t to be outdone by their coach, however.Following the players’ news conference, Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan picked up right where his players left off, claiming he could start a reality show with the amount of personality his team exudes.He’d keep 15 percent of the profit, he said.That somehow transitioned into him telling the fable of how he was the No. 1 pinball player in the state of Pennsylvania in the 60’s.“I could freeze flippers better than anybody,” he said.Ryan said he would make one dime last two to three hours on the same machine. Ryan, who is making his second-straight trip to the Final Four, also saw the connection between his player’s competitiveness in video games to the way they are on the court.“We’re all competitors,” Ryan said. “Anybody that plays a sport, and you find other ways to compete.”His players distinguish the time where fooling around is acceptable and when it’s time to get serious, he said.“It’s like being a kid again, being around them,” Ryan said. “But when we get on the floor or we do anything basketball-wise, I never have to worry about ’em. They can separate.”last_img read more