Several stories noted Rory McIlroy's comments after spraining his ankle during a "kickabout" in late 2013.
Here's the full transcript from the March, 2014 WGC Cadillac Championship:
Q. When you went over in that game of associated football, was it a worry?
RORY McILROY: No, it wasn't a worry. It was a worry, I went over on it, and I went to net and I shouldn't have went to net either; I was standing up about half an hour and it really hurt. It was fine. I stayed off it for a week and it was okay.
Q. Did you ban yourself from playing now?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, sort of‑‑ probably not a good idea to play anymore (smiling).
McIlroy's silly ways earned him a free pass from Fleet Street.
Kevin Garside for The Independent:
McIlroy was engaged in nothing more than downtime, the kind that prevents him going mad as a result of the demands associated with the goldfish bowl in which he is required to spend his working life.
He was unlucky, that’s all. Clearly, if he hadn’t played, he wouldn’t be injured. But take that argument to its logical conclusion and he would never leave his house.
Two weeks before The Open at St. Andrews with his game in top form? I'm fine with house arrest.
Ewan Murray for The Guardian:
Would Jack Nicklaus, or Woods, have stopped playing other sports? The answer is of course no. Woods, his former coach Hank Haney revealed in a detailed account of the 14-times major winner’s character, would be more prone to dangerous expeditions with navy seals.
Nicklaus’s downtime was more quietly spent. He, though, lived in an era and environment far detached from the global superstar of 2015 where every move is closely monitored. In an endearing attempt to defy such interest, McIlroy makes it his business to try to lead as normal a life as possible. It is what makes him such enjoyable company.
He attended a Neil Diamond concert in Belfast last week with friends he has retained since childhood. Rather than being criticised for the supposed recklessness of his Saturday pursuits, McIlroy should be credited with continuing to behave like every other 26-year-old would like to.
No 26-year-old I know would be caught dead at a Neil Diamond concert. But I'm sure the Sweet Caroline singalong was fun.
James Corrigan of The Telegraph sounded the least enthused about McIlroy's injury.
Predictably, question marks flashed across the internet as to why he was playing football so soon before a major. It is not the first time McIlroy has injured himself in a kickabout. In December 2013, he sprained his ankle, but was only sidelined for a week. But when asked soon after whether he would ban himself from playing he replied: “Yeah, sort of - probably not a good idea to play anymore.”
However, McIlroy has always expressed his wish “to live as normal a life as possible” and his down-to-earth attitude is regarded as one of his charms. Alas, it seems his desire to stay real will come at a huge cost.