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The dumbest question you've ever asked/heard

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mizzougrad96, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    I can't remember dumb questions, per se, but I do hate listening to my questions while I'm transcribing because there are times when I go on and on and one explaining my question before asking it. That usually happens when I have no idea what to ask and hope in my incessant rambling I'll say something coherent.
  2. Was working on a preview for a D-1 football team for one of those newsstand preview mags. First time ever talking to the team's coach, who was still relatively new to his gig. Coach had just landed his first national-attention grabber of a recruit, a QB is now an NFL backup.

    After introductions and brief pleasantries, I have a horrible brain cramp and decide to ask him how the recruit looked in spring practice. "He wasn't here for spring practice. He's still in high school," said the coach, in an annoyed tone.

    Needless to say, the rest of the interview wasn't exactly spectacular.
  3. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    At least you didn't ask about a kid who was dead.
  4. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I put a dead girl in the box score once. Car crash before the season, team keeps her on the roster in the program as a memorial, attribute a stat to No. 3 instead of No. 13, receive lots bemused and upset phone calls the next day.
  5. I really had to work hard to shorten my questions. When I heard them while transcribing i was really surprised how long they were. Very short, simple questions always get better answers than long, rambling ones.
  6. I don't remember anything incredibly dumb I've asked, but I've wanted to kill our desk guy for asking every coach who calls in whether or not it was a conference game. I finally told him to stop asking them and just ask me beforehand so it didn't look like we didn't know who was in what league.
  7. Lynn_Hoppes

    Lynn_Hoppes Member

    OK, longtime listener, not-that-often caller:

    True story when I first got to Orlando.

    I'm not the hottest when it comes to sports knowledge, and most people know that about me.

    I got this call from the PR person:

    "How many credentials do you need for the Masters this year?"

    I responded: "Where is it being held?"

    The person said: "It's always held in Augusta, Ga."

    The funny thing was even after my question, I didn't realize how stupid it was until someone in my office told me.

    Release the hounds.
  8. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member


    I was in a newsroom when Charles Pierce was walking through with a high-ranking member of the editorial staff. I said hi, and Charles and I made small talk for a few seconds. Said high-ranking member of the editorial staff said 'How do you two know each other?' and I explained I was once on "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" when Charles was a panelist.

    Said high-ranking member of the editorial staff then said "What's 'Wait Wait Don't Tell Me?'"
  9. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    I still can't talk about the worst question I ever asked. It was almost three years ago, and I haven't gotten over it.

    Second: NHL draft the year Vancouver took Ryan Kesler. I said to Brian Burke, "You must really like this guy."

    Burke: "No, I hate him. That's why I took him in the first round."
  10. Me to Iowa State sports information worker:
    "Where is Coach McCarthy's press conference being held?" (The problem being I was looking for Dan McCarney's presser.)

    I know I've got another one, a real bad one. I can remember the horror I felt, but I'll be damned if I can't remember the question. I'll have to think about that one.

    Some jagoff from some alternative weekly to a Wisconsin basketball player about his reverse layup during the game:
    "Do you have a name for that move?"
  11. Schottey

    Schottey Guest

    So, I'm interviewing Michael Oher a few years back after the Ravens had just lost to the Vikings. Normally, I went with whichever team won...but I REALLY wanted some Oher soundbites for my radio show.

    He had played LT for the Ravens for the first time in his career (after starting at RT) and I wanted to ask him about the transition. So, being "cute" I said something along the lines of..."How has this move to the blind side been?"

    The second the words "blind side" game out of my mouth, Oher was pissed, swore at me, and said "I'm not talking about that damned movie." Now, mind you, I hadn't actually said anything (nor planned to say anything) about the movie...just the mention of it set him off.

    The rest of the interview was one-word answers and scowls.

    I was completely "blindsided" by his reaction...
  12. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    I do that too. I hate listening to myself when transcribing quotes. Although I'd like to think I've gotten a lot better at not being so long-winded.
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