G Richie Incognito
November 26, 2008
"First off, I want to apologize to all of the fans out there. It's been a frustrating year. I really didn't mean to offend anyone by the words I said. Judging by the feeling of the Dome, a lot of people were offended and I fired a lot of people up and I just want to apologize. There are frustrated fans out there and we're not giving them much to cheer about and we're just as frustrated. It was wrong what I said. I said, ‘they don't know how to cheer or when to cheer,' which is definitely wrong. We're not giving them much to cheer about, so I apologize to any fans. In that quote, I kind of rambled on a little bit and those words were taken and they were put on blast. I did say it. I'll be a man and be the first to say that I said it, but I apologize and I really want to just put this behind me. We can't really have any more distractions. We're trying to win some more ball games here to keep (Coach Jim) Haslett and I think that's where our focus needs to be."
(On his meeting with Head Coach Jim Haslett)
"I just talked with coach (Jim Haslett). Coach said ‘It's time to pay the piper. You have to go down there and make an apology,' which I felt was in line. It was. It stirred some people up and an apology is in order. I guess it's me just being frustrated, mostly. Like I said before, I made the quote about the Bears' fans coming in and being excited and I kind of trailed off and those words were left out there."
(On if he was surprised at the extent to which his comments were taken)
"Yes and no. Understandably so. We're a 2-9 team and you have some unproven guy on the team saying the fans don't know how to cheer or when to cheer, so obviously it's going to stir up some controversy. Some of the stuff got taken to lengths. For me personally, I loved it. The atmosphere in the Dome was great. Boo me, do whatever you want, get me fired up. I thrive in a negative environment like that. I love playing in opposing stadiums with the fans yelling at you. I get hyped up and I play better that way, but it's a distraction to everybody on this team. I really appreciate our fans' support. I really do not want to take a shot at them. It was a deal where I talked a little too much. I should have kept my lip tight at the end of the comment."
(On if he thinks that the louder the fans are the better)
"The louder they are, the better I like it. The more excitement around it, the better. I think if you ask any football player that. We put a lot of time and preparation into what we do and then to go out on Sunday and go out and play for a win, it takes a lot of excitement. It takes a lot of support and a lot of excitement. That's all. I came back with my rebuttal and that's all. I was trying to incite a little fire and we got it. We got a little fired up, but it's just too far and it's time to move on."
(On if he thinks he needs to go about changing how he does things)
"Not one bit. I've been playing at a high level all season. Should I not have said what I said? Yes, definitely, but as far as my mental preparation and my day to day preparation and my game day preparation, I'm not going to change one thing."