Dennis Green’s raving post game press conference following his Cardinals’ Monday Night Football collapse to the Bears in 2006 has become one of the most iconic coaching moments in NFL history. From “The Bears are who we thought they were!” to “You wanna crown ‘em, then their ass,” his quotes have been joyfully parroted by fans for years.
Now, ahead of the Bears-Cardinals Week 13 matchup this year, the Cardinals released a video as part of their “Folktales” series, going behind the scenes of that epic rant.
“I can’t even tell you what that locker room was like after the game,” said former Cardinals defensive end Bertrand Berry in the video. “It was one of the more bizarre locker rooms that I’ve ever seen.
“(Green) had his shirt undone. His shirt was untucked, and he didn’t have a hat on. Those were two things that you never saw with Denny. You never saw him without a hat and you never saw his shirt untucked.”
Aside from his unusual disheveled appearance, Green was also unusually angry.
“He was kicking this green Gatorade cup,” said Berry. “You know those green Gatorade paper cups? He was just kicking this one on the ground.
“It was eerily quiet, I’ll never forget it. And he said, ‘I don’t want anybody saying anything to the media when I get in there. Because when my ass gets in there, I’m gonna go apes—.’”
But at least initially, Green did not go bananas. It took one question about the Cardinals’ six turnovers, and what Green saw from the Bears to allow his defense to shut them down.
The rest, as they say, was history.
“When he pauses, we better shut this down, we better not let another question keep this thing going,” Cardinals SVP of media relations Mark Dalton remembered thinking at the time. It was Dalton who said “Thanks, coach,” right after the diatribe to abruptly end the press conference.
“As I look back I don’t think we were going to get another question,” said Dalton. “Because looking around the room there were just a lot of jaws on the floor.”
At the time, reporters and players alike knew that was going to be a video clip for the ages.
“The rare use of ‘bulls–, bulls–,’ back to back— you don’t see that very often in a press conference,” said Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic.
“We knew it was an instant classic that’s for sure,” said Karlos Dansby, former Cardinals linebacker.
“To hear him talk like that, for him to be so angry— like he literally sat there and kicked that cup for at least five minutes,” said Berry.
A few days later, the rage had apparently not subsided for Green.
“We met again Wednesday and the first thing he said in the team meeting, he said, ‘I wish I could lock the defense in a room with the offense and let you guys go at it,’” said Berry. “He was so upset at the offense. I think that was one of the few times that he had taken a side.”
Green died in 2016, so we can’t know what his thoughts are about his tirade now. But Dalton said, from his perspective, it didn’t seem like Green regretted it.
“He never really seemed like he would’ve done it much differently,” Dalton said. “Ultimately it became a beer commercial and he leaned into it.”