He knows his identity as “the dumb guy,” but Barstool Chicago’s “White Sox Dave” is confident he could hold his own in a UFC press conference.
By his own admission (as well as the re-enforcement from his boss, Dave Portnoy) Dave Williams isn’t the strongest speaker and, more bluntly speaking, isn’t exactly the type of guy his boss would want showing up to a debate in his absence. Williams feels that a lot of the label he’s been given is warranted, but feels it’s a touch on the exaggerated side.
“I know I’m not a good speaker,” Williams said. “I’m not shy about that. Funny enough, I speak into a microphone for a job, but I think that’s kind of the charm that we have is that idiots like me can succeed while not actually being good at what we do, if that makes sense, and I don’t care, I’ll lean into that. It’s weird because everybody who meets me in real life is like, ‘You’re not really like what you come off on the internet.’ I’m like, ‘You mean I’m a normal human?’ Because that’s how I think of myself, just a normal, everyday schmo.”
Despite throwing his hand up at the sound of the whistle and owning his lack of skill in turning thoughts to words, Williams always seems to be the first to go at it with Snake Draft guests, co-workers who doubt his fastball, and celebrities with questionable sports allegiances.
The closest thing to a UFC press conference Williams has faced has been with co-worker and former NHL star Ryan Whitney in past snake drafts. Williams may not have been able to crack the code on winning the war of words with Whitney, but it’s never deterred him.
“With Whitney it’s difficult, because there’s nothing I can say to Whitney,” Williams said. “He’s got all the money in the world, he’s played a professional sport, 6’4”, he’s funny, everybody loves him. There’s not an ounce of weakness I can attack like a parasite. I don’t know him well enough where I could find that stuff. I want to find that stuff so badly so that I can go at him with it. He’s so witty that it’s tough to go spar with him over words, but if I had the ability I would have no problem doing it.”
Call it blind confidence, call it Ryan Whitney preparation, but despite owning his lack of public speaking skill, Williams feels he would excel at the pre-fight microphone wars UFC stars are used to.
“I would be all for the trash talk,” Williams said. “Part of what makes the UFC great is the pageantry before and after the fight, and following the whole soap opera. There’s nobody off the top of my head that I’m like, ‘Whoa, don’t get in a war of words with him.’ But the whole trash talk vibe as a whole is something I kind of enjoy.”
The key for Williams would be authenticity and authenticity alone. If he didn’t have actual bad blood or criticism for his opponents, the fans would be in for a lot of crickets from the White Sox Dave microphone.
“I don’t like people forcing it,” Williams said. “If I were in UFC, I wouldn’t be forcing the trash talk. I think that if you force it, it comes off a little cringeworthy.”
Despite the fact that we’ll never see White Sox Dave in the same seats at a presser as Conor McGregor, Israel Adesanya or Nate Diaz, Williams himself will tell you it’s still one hell of a way to get yourself ready for a pay-per-view fight.
“I’m not looking forward to that as much as the actual fight itself, but it’s a good primer,” Williams said. “A good pregame to get the juices flowing for the fights.”
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