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Sports Authority

Mazurek: Control your children

| Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The following are quotations from Stephen Curry’s post-game press conference on May 27, 2015, after his Golden State Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals to advance to the NBA Finals.

“Steph, when you talk to the Rick Barry’s and the forty years ago championship team, what did you learn from the…”

“Wooohheayyy.”

“When it was just you guys, was it…”

“Yahhhhh yah, I feel best.”

No, Stephen Curry wasn’t drunk. Instead, his two year old daughter, Riley Curry, decided she was going to answer the questions for him.

Since that press conference (which garnered more than six million views on YouTube), Riley’s career has taken off. A video of her doing the “Nae Nae” at a birthday party tallied another two million views and the camera locks onto her every time her dad makes a shot. Her agent must be so proud.

However, society pays a price for Riley’s Curry’s fame. Children of other famous athletes, fearful of missing out on the attention, have joined in on press conference antics.

Recently, Cooper Arrieta saw fit to upstage his father Jake Arrieta’s Cy Young acceptance interview by making faces and offering sterling commentary such as “Maybe that was a firefly” and “I’m gonna pull my hair off.”

This is all well and good if you’re looking for new reality show ideas, but as a Cubs fan, I actually wanted to hear Papa Arrieta’s thoughts on winning arguably the most hotly-contested Cy Young in history.

Now, I am not saying children shouldn’t be allowed at press conferences. Riley and Cooper are objectively cute and their antics could help draw in fans who would otherwise go to “Honey Boo Boo” for their daily intake of that stuff. Besides, professional athletes are ridiculously busy, and who I am to begrudge any parent from spending time with their offspring? It’s just an added bonus the players don’t actually have to talk to their kids during the press conference, and the cameras capturing the kids’ every move will make a great video Christmas card for free. (I clearly have parenting down already.)  

However, certain steps need to be taken to protect the viewing public from inane shenanigans.

Thus, I propose whenever an athlete wants to bring his or her child into an interview, a series of tests should be administered to determine whether the child will be admitted or not.

The first test will be to hold a microphone up to the child. If the child punches, kicks, eats or touches the microphone in any manner more violent than a gentle stroke, the child shall not be admitted into the interview.

The second test will be whether or not the child is able to sit in their parent’s lap for four consecutive minutes without forcing the parent to put them down.

The third and most important is the test of cuteness. As I mentioned above, I am not completely immune to the charm of these kids, and I believe cuteness is indeed a necessity for all children in press conferences. For instance, Derrick Rose Jr., age three, with an oversized Bulls hat: yes. LeBron James Jr., age 11, not so much.

These three simple rules provide the fans with the best of both possible worlds. The players can have the opportunity to increase their child’s brand, and the fans get to see their idols as upstanding family men.

Granted there will be skeptics. And certainly some sports children will not pass these three tests, but it has been done before.

Tim Duncan’s press conference following the Spurs’ 2014 NBA title featured not one, but two children. And though nothing the NBA accomplishes at this point should be surprising, his kids passes all three tests with flying colors, proving that your children will never respect you unless you have five NBA championships.

So to the Stephen Currys of the world: You may be able to facilitate the best fast break in the NBA. You may shoot over 40 percent from 3-point range, but until you can control your child in a press conference, there is work to be done.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Marek Mazurek

Marek is a senior history major and is a former resident of Carroll Hall. He has lived in Mishawaka or South Bend for all 21 years of his life and covers Notre Dame football and men's basketball. He has loads of hand-eye coordination but lacks the height to be any good. Marek is also a proud esports supporter.

Contact Marek