Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Darned If You Do...Darned If You Don't

This afternoon I heard a national ESPN radio host say that Nick Saban has lost all credibility with how he's handled the Alabama thing...even if he stays in Miami.

Made me realize...there is no acceptable answer a coach can give to questions about whether he's looking at other jobs.

-If the coach answers honestly, suggesting there may be an interest, he is fried by the media and likely fired by his team (see Jim Mora).

-If the coach tries to straddle the line and be even a bit coy, he's ripped for not giving a straight answer (see Charlie Weisz).

-If the coach says "the right thing" and insists he's staying put no matter what, then he's butchered by the media for lying to us while looking at other options (see Nick Saban).

So what's a coach to do? He can't say "no comment," because that would just incite more speculation. But if he gives any kind of answer....it's second-guessed and ridiculed by the wonderful world of the media.

The media thinks they have a right to know the truth at all times...just because they ask the question. But I don't think that's fair. They put a guy on the spot and if he doesn't flat out, categorically deny everything....if he leaves even an ounce of wiggle room....we harass him for not being truthful.

If it were me...since no answer seems to be good enough...I think I'd give gibberish a try.

Reporter: "Coach, can you respond to the rumors that you've been approached for the State University coaching job?"

Coach: "Thirty three. Baseball. Goat's milk and roller skates."

An answer like that simply gives the job-change-rumor mongerers no fuel. It would, however, spark secondary rumors that said coach is nutty as a fruitcake.

Further proof that the sports media (and probably the mainstream media too) exists only to question, critique, and second-guess. There is no reporting going on....at least not reporting of the truth, because it's rarely interesting enough for us.


At 1/03/2007 02:41:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

The media constantly wants it both ways, a menage a trois of information whoring in which on one hand, they want a big story; and in the other, in lieu of the big story, criticize the person for not giving them the big story.

For instance, the media slut-darlings Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears. Everyone wants to catch them doing something bad, and it's pure paydirt when they do--they'll even trump up a non-story like, "Britney was sleeping in public in Vegas!" Gasp! Scandal! But when they don't do anything, you've got the "Well, geez, that's just boring. I thought these people were stars."

And I sometimes wonder, if I were the media, would I be the same way? Your job is to find something, anything. I've always thought that if I ran a newspaper, I'd have people searching for real news, and in lieu of it, would find something less slutty to report, like maybe some good deeds in the community or something. I don't know--but selling papers, running a business--you've got to use these celebrities and big names for all they're worth, unfortunately.

The worst of the bunch, I feel, is Dan Patrick. He's the ultimate media apologist, especially concerning himself. When anyone calls him out, he's always got some sort of "reasoned" defense that always, in my mind, contradicts himself. If you ever listen to defending himself, notice how many things he'll concede as his faults as if that doesn't directly contradict what he's saying.

For instance, he'll interview a guy on his show, and he'll ask some stupid question like, "Who's the better player...X or Y?" Players usually don't answer for obvious reasons. He will then chide them for not answering. When they do answer, he then puts it into the record as something the guy said as if he was harboring those thoughts all his life. "Player G says Player Y is better." Then sometimes there will be controversy, and Player G is derided for his "statement." And people will say, "Dan, you would have been all over him if he didn't answer." And Patrick always says, "He didn't have to answer!"

Media...what can you do?

At 1/03/2007 10:40:00 PM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

Well, I can choose to be glad I'm not one of them...and that I'm not someone who ever has to deal with them much.

And that is what I do.


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