1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Ref Bashing

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SoSueMe, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Okay, so a coach rant's about poor officiating after a game — an important playoff game.

    As an impartial observer, yes, there was one bad call. It led to a score that ultimately won the game.

    However, said coach goes bananas over the whole series thus far. Every question I asked, the coach turned it into a rant against the ref.

    How much/many of his quotes do you run in the story?

    Keep in mind, I'm going through the game sheets just to get numbers to run (i.e. how many penalties and what they amounted to and if they led to goals).

    And no, this isn't a ploy by the coach to "rally the troops" or "change the officiating" because the issue won't go to press until after the next game, which could be the elimination game, which makes his comments still relevant.
  2. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    I'd use the one or two relavent to the call that altered the game. Presume you'll be doing a wrapup of the series after it's all said and done, and if he chooses to make officiating the reason why they lost, the others might come into play then.
    Is officiating the difference in the series or are they being beaten by a better team? Presumably, you'll have an opinion or a column to write and you could use them in that context too.
  3. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    Print what you feel neccesary. No one can justly answer this unless they are there, know the entire situation. The more crucial and closer the game, the more it warrants the comments.
    I did cover a college hoops game earlier this year...second conference game, huge rivals...team A wins by 2 points after a strange series of events in the end where when it's over team B coach follows the refs off the court yelling about the bogus call, then calls the conference commissioner to protest these refs.
    I talk to him after the game, he gave me about 12 minutes worth of quotes on the refs. I kept trying to give him some outs so that not every quote would be ref bashing, but he turned it all back to the refs. Me: Stock question about some players 30 point game. Him: It would have been 40 had the refs not blew the game, etc...
    Since team B was the team we primarily cover, the story was a lot of him bashing the refs.

    Hopefully you recorded all that, as I did, because if it gets him in trouble, he may want to try to blame you. Not saying he will, ust he may. You never know what a coach thinks. Heck, we had a football coach who has gone 3-27 over the last three years try to blame his firing on our coverage. Yeah coach, thanks for trying, but your lack of wins speaks for itself.
  4. villageidiot

    villageidiot Member

    Good point. Just curious how long after an interview you usually save the quotes on tape?
  5. skippy05

    skippy05 Member

    I usually save tape for about a week after the story runs. As for the ref quote, if it's just sour grapes on the coach's part, I tend to leave it out. No need to start a situation as a result of a coach blowing off steam immediately after a game. However, if the coach talks about nothing else but the refs, even if it's not legitimate, I run it. Apparently, he feels strong enough about it to run it. If it's a legitimate bad call, I think it should be addressed, but you have to be careful. I've seen a lot of writers talk about bad calls and readers assume it's the reporter trying to make judgements. Make sure the readers know it's the coach making the judgement. I try to stay away from comments like "an obvious bad call" or "the ref made the wrong call." I'll use the coach's comments and will maybe say something about the crowd going crazy about the officiating at a certain point.
  6. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    I save it as long as possible. I still have that one on tape.
    Most stuff I erase about a week after it runsif not a day or two. Nice thing about these modern digital recorders is you can keep a lot of crap on them before you have to worry about erasing.
    The flip side is, if you have a really good coversation you want to keep forever it's a pain on some to transfer it to another medium (tape, disk, etc).
    Some people are probably thinking why would I want to keep any of it. I had a conversation with Ken Caminiti when he went back to Houston. I had been told he wasn't too media friendly, and wasn't a great quote. After a minute or two, though, I asked him something about how he felt his perception was with fans/kids, etc. Don't remember the exact question, but it sparked him and he went on a bout a five minute highly emotional chat about how he saw himself as a loser. How he failed the Padres in the playoffs. How certain decisions had changed his life, etc... He was real down on himself and viewed the return to Houston as a fresh start.
    I wish I coulda read between the lines then, as I had kept that tape for a while.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page