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Would You Ask Why?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pete Incaviglia, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    Here's the situation:
    Team I cover loses after melting down late in the game. It was an awful effort.

    I wait outside the lockerroom and hear the coach going insane.

    He comes out and says "No comment tonight okay guys? And no printing that (rant you heard when standing in the hall). Oh, and no talking to the players."

    I say "Can I ask why?"

    He goes apeshit, bat crazy. I mean every other word is fuck, yelling at me, asking if I'm stupid. On and on.

    I couldn't care less. I just looked at him and said, after he stopped, "I just have a job to do. I need to write a 400 word story minimum and I can't really do that without a comment from someone."

    He goes off again and I start packing up and say to no one, "I'm just trying to do my job."

    Finally he says "OK. Five minutes."

    I get the interview (for me and, unfortunately for the other too scared to speak up, too)

    I mean, was I wrong to ask "why" in the first place? Do you press on when a coach or player says "no comment"?
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Why ask why?
  3. Fuck no, you weren't wrong. The only thing you did wrong was to question yourself on here. You did the right thing. Hold your head up and stand your ground.
  4. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I knew this line would show. Just not that fast. Nice work Doc.
  5. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    It was the first time this ever happened in eight years for me. And this guy is a coach with A LOT of experience. I was just thinking to myself "Is this first time he's been questioned?" And if so, who the hell was covering him before?
  6. ondeadline

    ondeadline Well-Known Member

    After all that, I'd be tempted to report the lockerroom rant.
  7. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    Not wrong at all. Especially when it's a coach (I assume this is high school. Leave the players alone). You're doing your job. He should do his, which in this case is to speak for the team. Also, it sets a tone for your relationship going forward, i.e. you won't tolerate being ignored.
  8. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    'why' is usually the best question you can ask
  9. Obviously no one has "trained" him, so it's your job.

    I wouldn't take the tirade personally, though. Obviously he was pissed off about something else and took it out on you. Just stand your ground and wait for him to mellow out.

    I've had this happen to me plenty of times: cops, mayors, families of the deceased. If you handle it like a pro and wait it out without smarting off, they'll usually mellow out, apologize and give you more than you need.

    You did the right thing.
  10. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    Man, I don't know if I'd be able to keep my composure if a high-school coach began screaming at me. I'd likely throw at least a few well-placed expletives his way in return.

    I mean, shit, who the hell does he think he is? Bill Friggin Parcells?
  11. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I can't say what it was for fear of outing, but it wasn't high school.

    Anyway, I was the last to leave the room and he was still there, pretty pissed. I just said, sincerely, "Thanks again. I wasn't trying to be a dick. I was trying to do my job. Seriously, thanks for the time. I appreciate it."

    We then shook hands. So I'm hoping it's done and over with.
  12. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    fuck that douchebag, you should have printed what he said.
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