Leave Ellis Lankster alone

As most of you know, we’ve got a soft spot for NFL players with connections to West Virginia University.

One guy to whom we’ve taken a shine this year is cornerback Ellis Lankster, an undersized seventh-round pick who made the team in Buffalo, thanks in part to a two-interception performance during a preseason game against the Bears.

So we’re reluctant to give Lankster a hard time for his post-game media comments from that game.  But several of you have sent the video to us, and the e-mails will continue until we post something about it.

Clearly, the kid was nervous.  And we hope that he’ll have plenty of opportunities to hone his press skills via a long and successful NFL career.

That said, did we laugh a little at his broken lawnmower/Miss South Carolina routine?  Sure.  But if, as it appears, the kid has some type of speech impediment, why didn’t the Bills’ P.R. staff strongly advise against a trip to the podium?  Why not simply get quotes from him in the locker room?

79 responses to “Leave Ellis Lankster alone

  1. Wow. I actually feel bad for the guy. It’s tough watching someone throw up all over their shoes like that.

  2. well he did say “yes, sir” to the media. he’ll get over that.
    like, um… i wish he had had a sense of urgency to get off the doggone podium.
    taco bill should go into audio too.

  3. So like um so like um so like um Is anybody really like um stupid like um enough to like um try to get a like um education o whatev at WV like um U?

  4. So that is an example of a college graduate from West Virginia University.
    Isn’t communications and proficiency in English reuirements to enter the University?!! They ought to be requirements to graduate.
    What is with the Middle Eastern headgear?
    “Like um” for cornerbacks ought to be banned just like “stick um”.

  5. He’d better never call one of those 1-800 lines – he’ll spend his entire salary on one call.

  6. I felt really bad for that young man, the team should have never put that guy in the position they did with the post-game interview. He’s a rookie for God’s sakes, and nervous enough about just making the team let alone stand in front of a microphone with a bunch of reporters throwing questions at him.
    Clealry he has a stuttering problem of sorts, and as it seems this kid may stick around for a while, could the Bills, like um, get this kid some, like um, speech therapy?

  7. Yes, please, let’s leave this kid, alone. He clearly has a stuttering issue, exacerbated by public speaking.
    Great smile. Courageous kid! Don’t even know who he is, but I wish him all the best.

  8. Sounds like Bobby Boucher.
    I feel bad for the kid.
    He seems like a real nice guy saying “yes, sir” at every opportunity. He was really nervous and/or has an actual speech problem, which shouldn’t be made fun of.

  9. If you’re going to make fun of the guy for anything, make fun of that logo behind him. (yes, I’m an angry Bills fan)

  10. Listen,
    The kid has a speech problem. It’s easy for people to laugh because not many people have a stuttering issue. But imagine having a very tough time doing one of the most innate and vital things to do in life, talk.
    The fact he got up there, and was polite, is all that matters.
    I suffer from a similar problem, and believe it it’s not fun. Also it’s not because he’s stupid, or went to WVU.
    Darren Sproles has the same problem.
    Hopefully he gets speech therapy and becomes a good NFL player.

  11. clearly he has a stuttering issue. this shouldn’t be posted for all the yay-hoos to make fun of. stuttering does not equal unintelligent, and people should try to restrain themselves.
    advice to the young man. stay out of these situations. give interviews to print writers who understand your issue and won’t write “like um”. develop a relationship with one of the writers next time you get 2 INTs and ask him off the record if he can clean up your stuttering in print. There was a Phins player who had this problem and fans never knew it.

  12. Brutal. Half of me feels bad for the kid. The other 3/4 of me thinks; “What the hell kind of education are they giving at WVU???”
    WVU ought to be the one embarassed for their failure to educate/prepare this kid for his life after football.

  13. Clearly that was a piss-poor job of editing to take advantage of a nervous kid. Maybe he really did say “like um” a couple of times, but it was lamely overdone.
    Whoever did it might want to invest in a better video editing program.

  14. billsfantx says:
    September 9, 2009 10:33 AM
    Pick on Miss SC because she’s stupid, but why pick on a guy with a stuttering problem?
    ——————————-
    So we should pick on stupid people for being stupid but not stutterererers for stuttering? Or are you really just saying we shouldn’t pick on Bills stutterers because you’re a Bills fan?
    BTW, how cruel is it that the word ‘stutterer’ has repeating sounds in it?

  15. For some reason my initial post isn’t up yet, or I didn’t submit it correctly…
    Listen,
    It’s easy to laugh at someone like this, because not many people suffer from a speech problem. Especially one to this extent.
    Imagine having a really tough time doing one of the most innate and vital things to do in life, talk.
    I suffer from a similar issue, and it’s not fun. It definitely isn’t because he’s stupid or because he went to WVU.
    The fact that he went up there, and was polite, is all that matters.
    Darren Sproles has the same problem.
    Hopefully the kid gets speech therapy, and becomes a good NFL player someday.

  16. For everyone that is getting on this kids back congratulate you self for being an ass!!!! The Kid was nervous like I am sure most of us have been in our lives he even probably new he was going to be nervous getting up there and did it any way and had manors to go along with it. We are to busy bringing him down when we should be congratulaing him on going through with a dream that I am sure most of had at one time.

  17. That’s just F’d up to post here. I thought this was a serious Football Website, not a TMZ/KSK/Mr. Irrelevant type site.
    I don’t think it was a stuttering problem, but more of a Public Speaking thing. HE’s a 7th round draft pick. He’s just trying to make the team. Not like the 1st rounders who do 10 tv/radio interviews a day and pay a speech coach to practice to speak publicly. He was polite and cordial.
    Florio – You have or are approaching your cynicisim peake here.

  18. On another note, Lankster reminds me a little bit of Kenyon Martin when he was an NBA rookie. He had a tic or something… Pretty noticeable. He’d crank his head to the side and make a smacking sound with his mouth mid-sentence. These things are correctable, and I’m sure young Ellis will improve with his speaking.

  19. I am with you 99 percent of the time Florio, however this as low as I have seen you go. He was respectful and trying you you had to make fun of him. Keep chasing the thugs and leave this guy alone.
    further
    “So we’re reluctant to give Lankster a hard time for his post-game media comments from that game. But several of you have sent the video to us, and the e-mails will continue until we post something about it.”
    That is like saying “Some of the guys were thinking of jumping off a bridge, so I am going to join them.”
    If you want to make fun of him man up and do it, don’t blame it on you emails.

  20. Every sorry-assed individual in that entire Bills P.R. department ought to be canned with extreme prejudice. To run that poor kid out in front of the media like they did is unconscionable. Why not go ahead and go to the kid’s house & kick his dog, maybe smack his mother around, while they’re at it?

  21. Stuttering has NOTHING to do with how smart you are so all the lame jokes about his education are the ones who look stupid. “Um” is the most commonly-used word in Public Speaking classes and many can’t get through a speech/interview/what-have-you without uttering it.
    The guy was respectful, answered the questions, and was professional. I’d much rather hear 100 interviews from Lanksder than 10 from a guy like TO.

  22. I’d have to believe that his inability to fluently communicate effects his ability on the field, and drastically effects perceptions of his potential. Think of what he has overcome already.
    The guy may end up as a superstar football player once his impediments are overcome or compensated. His manners and eagerness were quite refreshing, even if it was otherwise difficult to watch.

  23. Which proves you don’t have to be Einstein to play football. Leave the podium to the public speakers and let the football players play football.
    How is this “Breaking News”, or part of the Rumor Mill?

  24. It could be he has a speech impairment or it could be that he was still extremely excited over the great game he had and was nervous to speak to the media. Either way, seems like he is a respectful and humble individual, who I will be cheering for to succeed.

  25. Isn’t it saddening that our country has a leader attempting to push thru an unneeded and communisitic health care plan, yet has absolutely no problem with a frighteningly high number of this country’s citizens not being able to formulate simple, coherent sentences???
    Good grief?!?!?

  26. Quit being so sensitive people. It was funny. Florio has always put humor on this site. That was not just funny, it was f-cking hilarious. Yes sir, like um, like um, like um Worst Vagina, like um, like um, like um, like um Mountainqueers.

  27. I feel like a complete ass, but i’m sure you too billsfan11 can see the humor in the fact that you posted the same thing twice…right?

  28. This is the result of the wonderful education you receive at WVU.
    If you don’t end up a thug (Chris Henry), or a crazy-thug (Pacman Jones) or a crazy-traitor-thug (Rich Rodriguez), you end up with at the very least a worthless diploma and a 50-word vocabulary.
    That John Denver was full of sh!t.

  29. “So we’re reluctant to give Lankster a hard time for his post-game media comments from that game. But several of you have sent the video to us, and the e-mails will continue until we post something about it.”
    So, even though this isn’t news at all, you cave to the emails. Poor journalism and poor taste. I hope the kid does very well in the NFL. Then, I hope that all the media people, including yourself, will stop making a spectacle of a kid with a speech impediment. Again, poor taste.

  30. Sorry Bills fans. If the most prolific rusher in NFL history can take criticism for his diction, this ham-n-egger of a future Home Depot employee certainly can.

  31. Didn’t Bo Jackson also have a dramatic stuttering problem? I thought I remembered him saying that in an interview. Anyway, the point is Bo got over it just fine and I’m sure this kid will as well.
    Now for anyone taking the Bills PR dept to task over letting him get in front of a microphone.. Shut up.
    The kid’s been dealing with this his whole life. Ya think he’s never been made fun of before? Ya think he doesn’t know he stutters? He had a 2 INT game. It’s his RIGHT to be in front of the microphones. It’s his RIGHT to get some airtime for having a great game. If you think he’s too delicate to handle a little internet ribbing, you’ve never met kids before. This guy’s been dealing with it his whole life. Don’t try to take away his spot in front of the cameras just because you think he might be made fun of.

  32. I’m really amazed people are saying “this is what a West Virginia education gets you.” Its a speech-impediment, its what he was born with. Should we rip into Ivy League schools because they didn’t teach deaf people listening skills?

  33. What a seemingly sweet, polite young man, who is obviously not used to speaking to the media at this level. He was clearly overwhelmed, yet maintained his smile and got through it. Kudos to him for his effort. I do not think it is West Virginia’s “fault” that he was unable to form a “coherent” sentence. He obviously has a speech impediment and was scared to death at the same time. Like others have stated, I would much rather listen to him than a T.O, Ochocinco, or other babbling brooks who clearly think it should be all about THEM.

  34. It was funny, but after the first couple of times, I felt bad for the guy. That piece shows nothing about his intelligence. Nothing at all. He stutters or he was nervous. How many smart people are weird or can’t even communicate with people? I don’t know if he’s smart, but you could take the smoothest talker, put him up there in front of the lights and cameras, and they will fall apart.
    And Hauschild, yea, you’re an idiot. Let’s also tie your stupidity in linking a communication problem in that scenario to the President’s health care plan. In fact, you might want to go back to school to learn how to spell “through.” If you’re going to comment on someone’s ability to formulate a sentence, you might want to make sure that your comment is free of spelling errors.

  35. Why are people making fun of him and WVU for this? Stuttering does not mean a low IQ. He obviously is a better person than the majority of posters to this story.

  36. I’m glad there are so many perfect a-holes here that have to get on this kid. Clearly he has a stuttering issue but he got up there as best as he could and was genuine and polite and did his best to get thru his nervousness. The kid is in the NFL which is more than 99.9% of you wannabes will ever do. Go back in your mom’s basement and click over to your favorite internet porn site…… back in the hole you came out of.

  37. He’s on top of the world right now! I’m sure he’s been made of before now and probably has handled it. He made it to the opening day roster, is going to make much loot, and gets to play football for a living (at least for a while) = good for him!!
    HOWEVER, that “hitler hates T.O.” video is funny as hell! Go back and watch that, it’s okay to laugh at that……..unless, you’re a Bills fan I guess….

  38. I remember making fun of a kid for stuttering. In elementary school.
    It actually wasn’t that bad, and most of the posts here have been supporting the kid. One of the worst comments was Florio’s.

  39. at first i was suprised by how many likes etc..but this guy was really humble and respectful calling the reporters sir so. seems like a class act.

  40. Damn…….I’ll admit it was painful to watch, makes one feel bad for the guy….But it seems he has a speech impediment, that combined with nervousness might have exasperated the situation when he got to the podium…..He had a good game, and deserved to be at the podium….If he has a speech impairment, I doubt if anyone is more aware of it than him, so as far as that goes, he dererves kudos for having the balls to get up there……

  41. Yea its not edited, I heard it live – And does the Bills PR department really have to screen all 80 players to see what they will act like in front of a podium?
    And is it their place to discriminate against a guy and not let him speak to the media? And im sure they didnt exactly drag him up there kicking and screaming.
    This is good for him, cause it will likely lead him to finally get the help he needs to treat this problem, too bad his college didnt help him with this unfortunate speech impediment.

  42. How did Ellis Lankster’s speech impediment turn into an attack on WVU? And to all the posters commenting on how a degree there is worthless, that is completely untrue. Your college experience is what you make of it. I’d love to compare some of your first year salaries to mine, assuming all of these negative posts are coming from graduates of”prestigious” universities. In the end, I guess everyone will continue to bash WVU because of stereotypes, and we’ll all continue to be proud and shout LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS!!!!

  43. I especially like Florio’s part in this one.. He named the post “Leave Ellis Lankster alone” and then posted the guy’s interview here, knowing damn well what was going to happen.
    Nice try, Mike. But you can’t take the high road on this one.

  44. yeah, come on. Quit making fun of the kid. He was drafted to play football not give interviews. I know that its easy for us to post comments because no one sees us but put me in front of a bunch of people and live cameras and I too would be stuttering and stammering like a fool. Im glad the kid had a good game and made the team. Interviews will come with time.

  45. VoxVeritas
    Bob Nelson
    Kevin from Philly
    jimicos
    Hauschild
    Jack in the Jack
    toothpick
    all equal terrible people…

  46. As a Dolphins fan with a deep seeded hatred for the Bills…
    I really feel bad for this kid. I think it is probably worth posting, but I wish you didnt because it put me in a bad mood.

  47. jeff w,
    You question what kind of education someone gets at WVU, yet you say half of you feels one way, while 3/4’s of you feels another way???
    What kid of education did YOU get?
    Unless you have 125% of a body…

  48. “The great individual is the one who does a thing for the first time.” — Alexander Smith

  49. Hey………..ButchD…..Umm……before you leave anymore idiotic comments……He was born in Alabama…..Just to set the record straight…….Not a Bills or WVU fan, but don’t be so stupid as to post comments that make you look stupid……Ok Bozo?….. If your life is that pathetic, it’s not his fault…….

  50. Jeff W says:
    September 9, 2009 10:51 AM
    Brutal. Half of me feels bad for the kid. The other 3/4 of me thinks; “What the hell kind of education are they giving at WVU???”
    WVU ought to be the one embarassed for their failure to educate/prepare this kid for his life after football.
    and what the hell does the other 1/8th of you think?(I THINK my math is correct. After all, I’m an Arizona State drop out, you can’t expect much)
    Anyways, that was torture to watch. I could only watch about the first 25 seconds. And what kind of A-hole douchebag writes captions for that? That’s a very nice way to book yourself a one way non-stop ticket to hell.
    What a nice guy. He’s now a guy I will keep an eye on on Sundays. Best of luck.

  51. Hauschild says:
    September 9, 2009 11:37 AM
    Isn’t it saddening that our country has a leader attempting to push thru an unneeded and communisitic health care plan, yet has absolutely no problem with a frighteningly high number of this country’s citizens not being able to formulate simple, coherent sentences???
    Good grief?!?!?
    YOU MEAN LIKE OUR LAST PRESIDENT? WHY ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE ON PFT. LEAVE YOU MORON

  52. hauschild,
    normally i’d say stick to football as this is a football site but i can’t resist saying that you are not only a moron but illiterate as well.

  53. This is absurd.
    I am one of those “terrible” people that made fun of this kid for going to WVU. I did this not because I think it’s funny he has this issue, but because I hate that damn school. (I use “school” loosely. It’s more like a foster home).
    Those of you who are going out of their way to defend/patronize him are just as pathetic. This kid grew up outside of Mobile with a speech impediment… he isn’t going to read anything on here that he hasn’t already heard a thousand times. He’s a man. If he hasn’t already learned to ignore what people say than it’s too late.
    I wish this kid well not because he has an issue and I pity him, but because he is young man playing the game he loves and doing so as an underdog.

  54. INISHUL says:
    September 9, 2009 1:34 PM
    VoxVeritas
    Bob Nelson
    Kevin from Philly
    jimicos
    Hauschild
    Jack in the Jack
    toothpick
    all equal terrible people…
    ——————————
    Show me where I mocked this kid, you ignorant prick. Repost it.

  55. Hahah yes I did post twice, which here, is ironic.
    I’m new to the site, well being a member that is, and wasn’t sure if my first comment went through.
    Everyone needs to stop making fun of Lankster. Period. Not even that I’m mad about it, but it’s shows that the people who are making fun of him are actually the stupid immature ones.
    Wish Ellis the best of the luck.

  56. Oh come on – it’s pretty apparent that the kid was just nervous, not afflicted with a speech impediment. He seemed fine after the one reporter got him to laugh.

  57. Not an expert here but I saw no evidence of lack of intelligence or choice of a poor college. Public speaking is tough combined with a stuttering/tic issues. Give the guy a break.
    I do think the team needs to get him some help and keep him out of those situations.

  58. “don’t be so stupid as to post comments that make you look stupid”
    Physician, heal thyself.

  59. toothpick says:
    September 9, 2009 3:40 PM
    This is absurd.
    I am one of those “terrible” people that made fun of this kid for going to WVU. I did this not because I think it’s funny he has this issue, but because I hate that damn school. (I use “school” loosely. It’s more like a foster home).
    Those of you who are going out of their way to defend/patronize him are just as pathetic. This kid grew up outside of Mobile with a speech impediment… he isn’t going to read anything on here that he hasn’t already heard a thousand times. He’s a man. If he hasn’t already learned to ignore what people say than it’s too late.
    I wish this kid well not because he has an issue and I pity him, but because he is young man playing the game he loves and doing so as an underdog.
    ———————
    Make up your mind. Is he a kid or a man. Just another unitelligent post where someone defeats their own point while they try to make it.

  60. Kidekk says:
    September 9, 2009 5:40 PM
    Just another unitelligent post where someone defeats their own point while they try to make it.
    —————————–
    i⋅ro⋅ny1 [ahy-ruh-nee, ahy-er-]: the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning.

  61. jimicos says:
    September 9, 2009 6:23 PM
    Kidekk says:
    September 9, 2009 5:40 PM
    Just another unitelligent post where someone defeats their own point while they try to make it.
    —————————–
    i⋅ro⋅ny1 [ahy-ruh-nee, ahy-er-]: the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning.
    ————————
    Wasn’t very itelligent of me, was it?

  62. Kidekk says:
    September 9, 2009 6:53 PM
    Wasn’t very itelligent of me, was it?
    —————————–
    Nope. But it sure was ionic.

  63. While his speech is interesting, the worst part is the tv station didn’t spell Lankster’s name correctly (Lanksder).

  64. Jeff W says:
    September 9, 2009 10:51 AM
    Brutal. Half of me feels bad for the kid. The other 3/4 of me thinks; “What the hell kind of education are they giving at WVU???”
    WVU ought to be the one embarassed for their failure to educate/prepare this kid for his life after football.
    ——————————————
    Well all 5/4ths of you must lack basic comprehension and reason skills on top of the obvious lack of basic math skills.
    You might as well ask why WVU doesn’t turn lifelong paraplegics into Olympic sprinters in two years as well.

  65. yeah that WVU education does suck and only produces losers, like:
    Charles Vest – President of MIT from 1990 through 2004
    John Chambers – President and CEO of Cisco Systems
    Robert Reynolds – Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Fidelity Investments
    Gen. Bantz J. Craddock – 4 star General and former Commander of U.S. European Command, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commanding officer of Allied Command Operations
    Robert H. Foglesong – 4 star general and former Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe

  66. “hat said, did we laugh a little at his broken lawnmower/Miss South Carolina routine? Sure. But if, as it appears, the kid has some type of speech impediment, why didn’t the Bills’ P.R. staff strongly advise against a trip to the podium?”
    Mike, your comment makes me sick. By the same rationale, maybe everyone with any sort of impediment or disability should avoid social interaction.
    I give Lankster props for courageously going out there despite his stutter, knowing that there will be bullies like some idiot commenters here who pick on him for something he can’t help.

  67. Kevin from Philly says: September 9, 2009 10:31 AM
    He’d better never call one of those 1-800 lines – he’ll spend his entire salary on one call.
    ————————————-
    It doesn’t cost money to call a 1-800 number dummy.

  68. He really didn’t seem that nervous to me. If you take away the like ums, he answered their questions. Non-stutterers think that stuttering is caused by being nervous. It’s not. Nervousness can increase speech difficulty, but this like um stutter most likely happens in his everyday speech. For many stutterers, getting up to speak is terrifying. Couple that with a non-stutterers typical fear of public speaking, and you have a mental nightmare. I only hope that he is a very good player, and he talks about his stuttering publicly to shed some light on the issue. If he does this, all of the experts that talk about how nevous he is could actually find out what a struggle it is. Not many people know anything about stuttering and it is a shame. It should be discussed in elementary school so kids learn about it earlier. Maybe there can be some adult classes for all that think it’s a comedy show.

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