What's worth reporting?
November, 3, 2008
Bryan Curtis enunciates something I've been thinking for a long time: Most of the stuff that reporters get in those postgame interviews isn't worth printing. Money quotes:
You see, in our noisy national sports bar, it's unclear what an athlete would possibly have to add. By the 1950s, the New York Daily News sportswriter Dick Young had begun the tradition of trudging down to the locker room to collect quotes after the game. Young wanted to enrich his columns with journalistic detail -- this in a period when many writers relied on press-box deep thoughts and perhaps a chat with the team publicist.
These days, every game is instantly dissected by TV announcers, radio commentators, writers, bloggers and the former stars who sit on ESPN sets waiting to pontificate -- the jury of peers that the former New York Times columnist Robert Lipsyte calls the "jockocracy." Every play has been chewed over, or will be chewed over, and the athlete back in the locker room knows that. He knows that his remarks will likely be ignored, unless of course he should slip up and say something colorful. It is therefore in his interest to say nothing at all: "We came together as a team.