Scott Says: Foreign reporter mistakes Coach K's 'drunk as a skunk' joke

sfowler@charlotteobserver.comAugust 10, 2012 

— When you make a joke to an international audience – even a pretty good one – you run the risk of being misinterpreted.

That happened to U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski Friday night following his team’s 26-point win over Argentina. In the press conference, a TV reporter from America asked, given this team of superstars: “How much coaching is really involved?”

You could tell Coach K was irritated a little by the question, but he defused it with humor.

“None,” he said. “You got it. Absolutely none. I’m out every night with my family, drunk as a skunk. Wait until you see me tonight. I’ll get in at 6 a.m., and you all are invited to come out with me. We just roll out the damn ball and that’s it. You got it. I don’t know how you figured that out.”

Most of the room laughed. Then, five minutes later, a foreign reporter started a question to Kevin Durant like this: “Kevin, Coach K says he has been going out drinking a lot. What have you …”

Krzyzewski interrupted him then, telling the reporter he had been joking. “Oh, sorry,” the reporter said. “I didn’t catch the irony.”

I thought that was funny, too. The guy knows the word “irony” but didn’t get the joke about “drunk as a skunk”?

•  As the Olympics wind down, organizers are preparing for Sunday’s closing ceremonies. They will be quite the musical celebration – the Spice Girls will climb on top of black taxi cabs for a singing reunion.

George Michael, Annie Lennox, One Direction, the Pet Shop Boys and part of the Monty Python comedy troupe will also appear. As with the opening ceremonies, some comedic bits have been woven into the evening.

•  Local update: Former Duke star Shannon Rowbury was sixth in the 1,500-meter final Friday night, the highest U.S. finish in the event. Two Turkish runners went 1-2.

Also, Durham Riverside high graduate Megan Hodge will play for the U.S. in the women’s volleyball gold-medal game Saturday. And Duke diver Nick McCrory advanced from the preliminaries to the semifinals of 10-meter platform diving by finishing eighth. McCrory’s event ends Saturday.

•  At most Olympic venues, an explanatory video runs before the game about the rules so fans understand what they’re watching. This is useful in something like team handball or water polo.

But to hear it carefully enunciated before the U.S.-Argentina basketball game Friday – “A layup is a high-percentage, basic shot worth two points” was part of the narration – was humorous.

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