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Should I use this quote?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Batman, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Covered a soccer game tonight where the local team won, but got six yellow cards in the process. The other team had none. One of the yellow cards was on the coach (he was berating the refs the whole game and deserved it), and two were on their best offensive player (hard foul, followed by a shouting match with the guy he fouled; the fouled player did not get carded).
    So, after the game I asked the coach about all of the cards. Trying to get a sense of why he thought there were so many on his team and the effect they had on the game, if any. He answered by calling the refs biased, saying they were afraid to call a lot of fouls on the visiting teams. This game was at the coach's home field, and all of the refs are from this town.
    Now, if I use this quote this coach is sure to get reprimanded and possibly fined by the state association. The yellow card he got was not his first this season for yelling at refs, and from talking to a few of them I know he's already got a reputation as a whiner. As soon as he finished that quote, he goes "and you can put that in there." I asked if he was sure, and he said yes, adding, "I'll probably get a phone call tomorrow anyway."
    I also asked the player who got the soft red card why there were so many cards on his team, and he gave a less controversial answer that also called out the refs a little.

    Soooo...the dilemma is, how many of you would use the coach's quote? It might have been some frustration, and the part of me that has a heart doesn't want to get this guy fined if I can use the player's quote. Part of me says fuck it, though. I gave him a chance to take it back and he didn't.
  2. Really? You're asking if you should use a good quote?
  3. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    My take on it is: He said it, use it.

    And I'd add in there the "and you can put that in there."

    Your job is to report what happens, not protect the coach from himself.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    i would mention both the coach and the player's quotes. A coach or player by itself blaming the refs isn't much, but both doing so indicates a team cares about whining instead of playing.
  5. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    Absolutely use it.
  6. beardpuller

    beardpuller Active Member

    After he said "and you can put that in there," you pretty much have to put that in there. For some reason, he wants you to, whether that's smart of him or not. You are a reporter, not this guy's PR consultant.
  7. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I don't think you have to use it, but if the story goes that way, and it helps paint the picture, put it the fuck in there. It's not your job to worry about the coach's reputation or wallet.
  8. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Except do you get suspicious that he's so insistent you use it?

    I say feel free to use it, but really, high school coaches bitching about referees isn't really all that presses-stopping.
  9. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    That's the dilemma. Was he just blowing off steam, or was he really pissed off about it. Just finished my gamer, and here's what I ended up writing. I put it at the end of the story, because the cards really didn't affect the outcome of the game (the guy's team won, after all). They were more like a juicy detail. The names have been changed to protect ... well, me, from outing myself...

    The Cornholers' ego also took a beating from the referees. They were called for six yellow cards, including one on Podunk coach Dick Blowhard for a constant, gamelong barrage of criticism toward the officials. Joe Blow drew a double yellow and an ejection 10 minutes into the second half. Blow took Jimmy Gottanstd down with a hard foul for the first yellow, then got the second when the two started jawing back and forth. Gottanstd was not carded -- and neither was Faraway High for the entire game.
    "I said I'd come back for him," Blow said sheepishly.
    While some of the Cornholers' fouls and cards were well-deserved, Blow said he was given the impression by the officials that the game would be called looser than it was because of the muddy conditions.
    "At the beginning of the second half, he said the field was muddy and they were going to try to keep it under control. But after I got my cards, it was a catastrophe," Blow said.
    Blowhard took it a step further.
    "I think it's a little bit of us losing our cool and a little bit of the refs being biased," he said, noting that the officiating crew was from Podunk. "I think they go out of their way to avoid looking biased, and they won't call anything on visiting teams."
  10. beardpuller

    beardpuller Active Member

    Batman, I think you handled it well.
  11. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I think you're fine, chief. But I'd expect a phone call from Mrs. Gottanstd.
  12. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    I tend to tread lightly with HS coaches bitching about the refs, since many of them are blowhards with all the media savvy of a turnip. I tend to let them vent without burning them in print, as opposed to a D-I college coach or pro coach, whose comments about officiating would absolutely be fair game.

    BUT ... in this instance, the coach indicated that he knew what he was doing, he was aware of the consequences of his actions, and he was OK with you using the quote.

    So I say use it, and let God sort 'em out.

    If it were just run-of-the-mill bitching about a run-of-the-mill bad call, I might leave it out, too. But six yellow cards is pretty substantial, no? I've not covered soccer before, but I'd assume it is.
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