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Nigel Hayes Must Be Stopped

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I don't mean on the court. I mean his ascendance to the role of America's Sweetheart.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

I can deal with a lot of things when it comes to Wisconsin Badgers basketball.  As an enlightened adult male, I elect to not watch the Badgers play their games because I don't know why anyone would spend time observing something they publicly loathe.

So I can deal with their glacially slow pace.  I can deal with Bo Ryan, their vampire of a head coach, losing his mind and spitting and shouting at referees or whatever.  I can deal with Frank Kaminsky looking like he was genetically engineered to be named Frank Kaminsky.  I can deal with Sam Dekker's ridiculous haircut.  I can deal with all of these things because while I know they exist, I'm not regularly exposing my brain to the red and white radiation of watching them live.

What I can't deal with is Nigel Hayes.

Not as a basketball player.  I mean I can't deal with his newfound role as media darling.

First, the Badgers discovered that stenographers and shorthand typewriters exist.  I don't know how they didn't discover this last year during their Final Four run, but whatever.  This led to Hayes deciding to get cute with his media appearance before UW's game against Oregon.  I don't know why everyone decided that Nigel Hayes openly telling everyone that he was going out of his way to screw with the stenographer was cute when it's pretty much just being mean to someone that's trying to do a job, but that's what happened.

By itself, this was not a big deal.  While it got a lot of publicity, it falls into the category of "things the Badgers do," and since I don't like UW, I was able to let it slide into the ether.

Then yesterday happened.  Hayes was back at his hilarious role as "guy who messes with stenographers," and this time he was doing it with the assistance of the NCAA moderator.  It's official, this has become "a thing," and it's going to be unavoidable as long as the Badgers stay in the NCAA tournament.  This was only compounded when Hayes forgot that the microphone in front of him was on, even though he had just talked into it.

So, great.  Nigel Hayes is now that adorable goofball that uses his enjoyment of random facts and trivia to screw with honest, hardworking stenographers and also forgets that he has live hot microphones in front of him and tells his friends how attractive he finds nearby women.  As if this wasn't enough, Hayes is also taking selfies in front of Kobe Bryant's locker room at Staples Center, presumably using a very ridiculous selfie stick/paddle.

Selfie sticks that aren't being used by Tyler Breeze are the worst.

North Carolina, I've never asked you for much.  But please end this reign of terror tonight.  I can deal with the Badgers when they're confined to a basketball court when I don't have to watch the game.  I can't deal with a constant bombardment of Badgers on social media as they use what passes for goofball charm to win over reporters.

Go Heels.