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Portis Drops 30 G's

(By Jonathan Newton - TWP)

People were buzzing about Clinton Portis's post-game press conference yesterday. Did you see it? Thoughts? He was calm, measured, deliberate; took about five shots at the media without smiling. Some folks inside and outside the press box thought he appeared combative, almost vindictive.

"Why does Portis seem so bitter?" asked the thread on Extreme Skins. "I would like to see more of the goofier side that I am used to."

"An almost uncomfortable postgame news conference, in which the media laughed at his remarks and Portis did not," is how Mike Wise described it. "Instead, standing there unsmiling, he appeared to have a refrain in his brain: 'You think I'm done, don't you? Don't you!?' "

I'm not sure I completely agree. No comedian worth the price of admission laughs at his own punchlines. Sure, C.P. was playing the part of the spiteful veteran out to prove the doubters wrong, but the media virtually asked him to play that part, with questions about "doomsayers" and "sending a message" and the like. He's smart enough to know this game could have gone either way, and if the Skins don't win that coin flip in overtime, the media isn't fawning. But his actual words were the same words he's been spouting since camp began.

Here's another reason I don't think he was actually bitter or upset; seconds after he left the podium after this supposedly uncomfortable press conference, I asked him about his brand-new five-figure wardrobe:

Yesterday, if you didn't see, he was wearing designer jeans, a designer t-shirt, a black-and-white checkered lid and some gold Creative Recs sneakers decorated with bronze chains. Sorry I don't have a photo, but you can find them pretty easily on the Creative Recs site. Early in training camp, Portis had told me he was going to throw away all his clothes and accessories and buy an entirely new wardrobe, so I asked him whether he had delivered on that promise.

"Yeah, but my closet's not ready, so I can't pull it out," he said. "This is still a brand new outfit, though. But my closet's not ready, so I can't get to my entourage of clothing."

He had to run to a radio interview, so I just asked how much money he had spent on this "entourage of clothing."

"Probably about 20 G's," he said. "Matter of fact, about 30. Because I've got 10 new suits coming in next week."

Maybe you had to be there, but these were not the words of a bitter, spiteful man. These were the words of a man who had just rushed for 98 yards and a TD in a rewarding win, and who also had $30,000 of new clothes en route to fill up his new closet.

Here are the quotes that got people all bothered:

On whether this will shut up the doubters: "It don't shut 'em up, man. You know, we need the doomsayers. We're 1-0 going into Philly next week, and we need the negativity. We need nobody to jump on our bandwagon. We don't need nobody to say the Redskins are the greatest team all of a sudden. Continue to leave us at the bottom of the barrel, continue to doubt us. Me and my teammates gel together and stick together and have the determination to come through. We're better than most of y'all think."

On whether he was running with a chip on his shoulder [a Q/A that was omitted from the team's official transcript]: "I'll be running with a chip on my shoulder from now on. If I don't, I'm gonna get that pat on the shoulder from you, and then you're gonna go behind my back and say 'Get rid of him.' So I'm gonna continue to run with a chip on my shoulder [laughter]. It's cool. I mean, I've got a chip for you anyway. [more laughter]

On splitting carries with Ladell Betts: "You know, there's never been a problem between me and Ladell since I've been here. The media want to blow it up and make it a big problem all of a sudden, since Ladell had a spectacular year and I got hurt. Me and Ladell, we're gonna stay watching out for each other."

On whether he was tired in overtime: "I felt good. You might have thought I was tired. A lot of people might have felt I was tired."

On whether he sent a message that we make too much of the preseason: "I ain't trying to send a message to nobody. What I did today helped my team win, and that's what I want to continue to do, week in and week out. The message is, 'When I'm on the field, I'm gonna give you what I've got.' "

Ok, maybe he was a little bitter.

PS: C.P's mom cooked for some of the guys on Saturday night. Chris Samuels seemed to suggest that the meal might have been the secret weapon. More on this later, for sure.

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 10, 2007; 9:33 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: From the FedEx Field Lots, Part I


Good time for Clinton to update the closet, the new season of Creative Rec's are money.

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | September 10, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

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