The most precious commodity in sports? Honesty. The real, sincere, vulnerable, painful, inside stuff. It reveals itself rarely, most often in unguarded moments. Sometimes it results, ridiculously, in an apology. The silliest scenario is this cycle: Athlete or coach says something truthful, gets pilloried for his or her candor—How dare you say how you really feel!—and is forced to express regret in a hastily arranged statement.
That's why sports figures seldom let the truth out, preferring to duck behind clichés and banalities. It's one reason why the maddening catchall "It is what it is" has become a silly substitute for any real insight. The truth? The truth is not worth the risk.