11 Best Gems From Martellus & Michael Bennett’s ESPN Mag Interview
Every once in a while, despite the PR Alcatraz that is the NFL, players will manage to emerge with their unfiltered thoughts and opinions about life in the league. It's always enthralling because the NFL is a greater enigma than any of the other major professional sports leagues in America, and the owners and commissioner hold so much power that even the most outspoken players bite their tongues when speaking of them.
No one wants to spend their entire lives training to become a world class athlete just to be blackballed from the only league in the world worth playing for. I guess you can't blame them for that.
That's why Mina Kimes' profile of Michael and Martellus Bennett for ESPN The Magazine is so juicy, and feels so forbidden. The two brothers, just 16 months apart in age, have had very successful NFL careers; the former as a defensive end that's currently with the Seattle Seahawks and the latter as a tight end that was traded to the New England Patriots in the 2016 off season.
Kimes details her three days with the brothers, both of whom possess a loud free-spirited energy and a strong disinterest in political correctness that leaves those around them a little unsettled; if not intrigued. The entire piece is very much worth the read, as it relays not only their biting commentary on life in the NFL but also their surprisingly heartwarming relationship as brothers and best friends who literally finish each other's sentences.
But this SportsGrid after all, and while we do love ourselves a tearjerker from time to time, we obviously couldn't help but zero in on the gems that the brothers dropped throughout the story. The Bennetts don't just lack filters. They also happen to be hilariously peculiar.
Here are 11 of the most quotable lines from Kimes' interview with Michael and Martellus Bennett:
1. "I don't eat American chocolate..." - Michael
This is uttered by Michael, to himself, as he circles a table of expensive sweets at lunch. It's simultaneously the most pretentious and the most admirable quote about chocolate that I've ever read.
2. "When I ask the brothers what they would collect if they were as wealthy as the Cowboys' owner, they respond at the same time and without skipping a beat: 'People.' "
Oh my god this is horrifying but like also...it make me kind of love them? Yes it's unsettling, for sure. But I can imagine that if you spend enough time around Jerry Jones, the idea of collecting people starts to seem reasonable.
3. "[Michael] runs a foundation that promotes healthy eating, and he has a garden in Hawaii. I ask him what he grows there... Martellus leans over and interrupts: 'DEEZ NUTS!' "
4. " 'It was never one-on-one," Martellus says. 'If you fought Michael, I'd appear out of the smoke like Batman.' "
There's never been a cooler way to describe tag-teaming people in a fight. I love these guys so much already.
5. On Brock Osweiler:
"Michael: 'I've got more sacks than he's got touchdowns.' (This is accurate.)
Martellus: 'I've caught more balls than he's completed.' (Also accurate.)"
This is the part where they just start openly talking shit about other people in the NFL, which as I intimated before, never happens. And not only did they rattle these lines off in the middle of casual conversation, they weren't even exaggerating. The perfect burn.
6. On J.J. Watt:
"Martellus: 'Corny. Half of the NFL is corny, though.'
Michael: 'People love J.J. Watt, but they don't really like J.J. Watt, know what I'm saying?' "
If this isn't exactly how you feel about J.J. Watt, then you're lying. The Bennetts are the true voice of the people.
7. On Eli Manning:
"Martellus: 'Eli? He's cool. He's like a normal white guy you see at the park trying to teach his kids how to play soccer and you know he can't really play soccer himself.' "
::insert cry-laughing emoji face here::
8. On Sam Bradford:
Michael: 'The greatest quarterback in the NFL.'
Martellus: 'Vicious. Competitive.'
Michael: 'A real Joe Montana.' "
Are these two the next Key & Peele? What's happening? Anyone who knows anything about me knows that sarcasm is my greatest weapon, and they just nail it with this one. Screw Sam Bradford, for real.
9. "In the NBA, LeBron James, Chris Paul ... they're at the forefront...There's no Peyton Manning standing up for the rest of the players. He's a great player, but what has he done for the league?" - Michael
Oh, shit just took a turn for the serious. But I'm including this quote because it's so rare that anyone involved in the NFL says anything unflattering about Peyton Manning. It's not even an indictment on the guy, it's just an acknowledgement that maybe he shouldn't have been the face of the league for as long as he was.
10. "In Frozen, there's not one black character in Arendelle. I don't even know where Arendelle is, but there's gotta be a black person somewhere. One of us made it over there, goddamn it." -Martellus
I would listen to Martellus Bennett review Disney movies until the end of time. That is not hyperbole. I'm dead serious.
11. " 'The game on Sunday is just like the week before. But I might go home and my daughter don't like purple no more -- she likes blue...I'd rather be a great dad and an OK football player instead of being a great football player and a sh---y-ass dad.' " -Martellus
Any guy who realizes that his daughter switching her favorite color over night has the potential to be more catastrophic than anything that happens in an NFL game is a guy who just understands life.
Bravo, Bennett brothers. You may be off your goddamn rockers, but that's one of the best interviews I've read in a while.
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