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How to handle being Gundied.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by goplayintramurals, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. New reporter, three months on the job.

    Long story short, the team I cover wins their huge rivalry game after losing three of their last four. I go to talk to the quarterback that gained 361 yards rushing and scored four touchdowns, and the head coach tells me I can only talk to the right tackle or the center. After letting him know politely that this wasn't ideal, he flips out on me, get in my face and informs me that "He's got a team to run, no one gives a damn about the offensive line" and goes on to essentially blame the paper for his team's crappy run up to this point.

    So the question is, how the hell do you deal with something like that? I basically told him it wasn't my job to run his team, and that I had a job to do and a story to write. At that point an assistant coach came and separated us (I wasn't screaming, he was). Oh snap.
  2. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Guy sounds like a douche. I'd have told him, "I'll definitely talk to the right tackle, so long as I get to speak with the guy who ran for 361 yards, too."

    I've never been in that situation, thankfully, so I don't have any previous experience to relay. I'd give the coach a call on Monday or shoot him an e-mail, asking to forget the problem. If he continues to blame the newspaper for his team's poor play, cut down the coverage if you can.

    Like I said, I've never been in this situation, so I'm not sure those suggestions would work. Maybe to get the job done, you've got to cater to him for a bit until you develop a trust with him. It's a bitch, but sometimes that's how these things work. And the guy was probably just frustrated.

    And from my experience, the offensive line usually gives great quotes and are very, very willing to speak because they are the most overlooked players on the team.
  3. Agree with Mike in that I would have said, "I see your point, I'd love to talk to the tackle - right after I talk to the QB."

    Let them know you're listening to them but stick to your guns.
  4. Actually the tackle is a great kid...I did a huge feature on him in the preseason. I'd actually planned on grabbing a quote from him (you don't get 360+ yards without some blocking am I right?), but Coach pretty much just blew a gasket as soon as I mentioned the quarterback's name and proceeded to inform his kids that they wouldn't be speaking to me in the forseeable future.

    It's not so much the getting screamed at part that bugs me, we all know that some coaches have that tough-guy image going on...its more that A) I'm basically being told how to do my job and what to print by a guy who threw a shovel pass from his own 45 down by 7 with 2 seconds to play and B) the fact that I have to deal with him next week.
  5. Make sure you get this rectified before the next game.
  6. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Really, the longer you wait before taking care of this situation, the more awkward it will be.

    By the way, what did you end up doing about the story?
  7. Got a quote from the opposing coach about how they had a tough time stopping the quarterback and got an opposing player. Noted in the story that Coach Turdomatic did not make himself or his players available for comment and went from there
  8. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    That's a good way to get the job done. I'm guessing you were asked to leave before you could talk to the tackle or the center, right?
  9. Stone Cane

    Stone Cane Member

    when bully coaches tried to pull this crap to me when i covered preps, i just quoted them exactly

    "Coach Turdomatic refused to comment on the game, saying only, 'You have to talk to my right tackle or you can't talk to the quarterback."

    parents and ADs generally will take care of the rest
  10. Oh, but of course. It was more or less a culmination of issues starting with some misconduct by said quarterback that went unpunished that we ran a story on. It's spiraled out of control from there, and it's taken on a life of its own. It's kind of sad really, it was a huge win for them as far as postseason hopes were concerned. He pretty much put a giant boot in his and his team's collective asses because he had a chip on his shoulder.
  11. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    That blows. I think you've got to be the bigger person here, if only because the coach will directly effect your work. Whereas your coverage or lack thereof of his team, probably doesn't mean dick to him.
  12. plus, he's a man. he's 40.

    how can i compete?
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