Pity The Fool Who Asks Mr. T A Question When He Or She Has Someplace To Be
Of the incalucable number of qualities possessed by the cultural institution that is Mr. T, arguably the most salient is the man’s inexhaustible reservoir of energy. He’s as close to a perpetual motion machine as the world will likely ever know—and that makes him, among other things, a fantastic interview. Last week Richard Deitsch invited the Flavorwave Oven pitchman into the SI audio engineering studio / broom closet to record the latest edition of his “Inside Sports Illustrated” podcast. To ease into the conversation, Deitsch started with a simple, standard prompt: “Give us a sense of how big a sports fan you are.”
And then the man born Laurence Tureaud did just that.
T charged headlong into a breathless 3:27 overture that touched on his family support structure, old-timely adages, the role of sports in the lives of corruptible youths, members of the Bears, the Blackhawks, and the LA Rams’ Fearsome Foursome, his high school curriculum, childhood promises, academic limitations, “the rough sports,” and the ethical and attitudinal erosion occurring in professional athletics. He then punctuated it with a satisfied “so that’s sort of my story.”
That single response represents more than 10% of the podcast’s runtime, and yet it’s just one of the many examples of T’s formidable oratorical endurance found in the conversation. You can listen to the entirety of it, which hits on Wrestlemania, Rocky, and more, here.
Then spend the rest of the day imagining a world in which Mr. T exists as Neil deGrasse Tyson’s astrophysicist foil.