Yesterday we showed you a highly entertaining publicity stunt by Will Ferrell in which he played all nine positions on the baseball diamond for 10 different Major League Baseball teams in spring training, taking a helicopter to different parks across the country. The stunt was organized by the MLB and HBO to raise money for a cancer awareness project and worked exceptionally well, gaining national attention and raising over one million bucks for charity.
Naturally, everybody loved it because it was humorous, all in good fun, and for a great cause…everybody, except for John Madden, that is. Madden went off on Ferrell to KCBS in San Francisco, because he believes that Ferrell made a mockery of the hard work put in by the players to get where they are:
“That’s a lack of respect. That’s a lack of respect for the game and a [lack of] respect for what players have to do to get where they are.”
Madden then elaborated on a similar experience he once had when NBA star Rick Barry wanted to pull a similar stunt while Madden was coaching the Raiders:
“I’m in training camp in Santa Rosa. Rick Barry comes walking by and he was playing for the Warriors at that time. He was a friend of Al Davis’ and he said he was going to go in and suit up and go out on the field and practice, to fool Al. I swear this is true. Jack Tatum and George Atkinson walked by and I said, look, if this guy comes out on the field, he’s live bait and I want you to go after him the way you would go after any other player that plays on another team. I said, go ahead and dress, but we’re going to treat you like a football player and not like an NBA player.”
This is a pretty ridiculous take, especially when you consider that many players had a good time with it themselves:
— Scott Kazmir (@scottkazmir19) March 12, 2015
— HBO (@HBO) March 12, 2015
Just another reminder that somebody will get mad at anything.