By: Patrick Larson
Fresh off qualifying for his third Olympic games, Matt Centrowitz is talkin' his shit again. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you shouldn’t be surprised by Centro’s self-confidence on social media or his willingness to clap back at anyone that chooses to come at him. This was on full display a few months ago with the now notorious “beef” between Centro and the boys of Oregon. And what came of that shit talking? Well, maybe one of the most anticipated Olympic Trials finals that lived up to all the hype as Cole Hocker outkicked Centro in the final 100m. While many people dismissed the beef as frivolous or a distraction, I’m a firm believer that had “your move, centro” not taken place there wouldn’t have been nearly as much excitement around the men’s 1500m.
So, who is Centro’s latest beef with? This might come as a surprise, but its none other than the fan-favorite Craig Engels. Centro took to his Instagram today and channeled some serious Michael Jordan “I took that personally” energy.
I’ll be honest, I had just assumed that any previous chirping between Centro and Engels was all in good fun, especially seeing as though they were both former teammates with the Nike Oregon Project. Who knows what is happening behind the scenes between these two, but clearly Centro had grievances to air and he did it in the best Centro knows how: through Instagram.
Centro came out swinging in his first IG story saying “funny that everyone who was talking shit all year will be on the couch watching this summer.”
I had to go drink a glass of milk after reading this spicy statement by the reigning Olympic gold medalist.
He didn’t slow down on the next two posts where he went into detail about how he stacks up to Craig Engels in terms of accomplishments. While it's undisputed that Centro has more accolades on paper, he does have four years on Engels who is still 27 years old.
Finally in his last post, Centro talked through his relationship with the other athletes and how he chooses to handle any shit talking that takes place. When he said “I didn’t get into track to make friends,” I couldn’t help but be reminded me of the infamous quote from Charles Barkley: “I’m an athlete, not a role model.”
I’m all for this type of chirping between athletes. Unlike the inauthentic rivalry between Wesfly and Tinman Elite in which WesFly CEO is essentially riding the coattails of Tinman to elevate his profile, this rivalry between Engels and Centro seems really genuine and authentic. If there is anything we’ve come to learn from Centro, it’s that when he voices something on social media, he means it.
For anyone looking to chirp Centro about his running or even his Fortnite playing, I’ve got one piece of advice: If you come at the king, you best not miss.