Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Pump down the volume

I snuck out of work a few minutes early last night (shhh, don't e-mail my boss), hoping to catch the final bit of football from Week 4.

I made it home with less than a minute left, which means I saw two kneeldowns, the coaches' handshake and the "we made the plays" postgame interview.

That got me thinking about interviews. Is the American public really dumb enough to be enthralled by the halftime and postgame interviews with athletes and coaches? Has there ever been anything meaningful said in one of these interviews? Please e-mail me immediately (with proof) if these soundbites actually add value to the broadcast.

It's a contractual obligation for a coach to hear things like, "Tell us how you're winning right now" and "How do you stop their offense in the second half?" It's a moral imperative for these coaches to respond in Madden-esque master of the obvious format.

Joe Gibbs snubbed the halftime chitchat in his first game back as Redskins coach after 12 years in NASCAR, and sadly, there was no ripple effect. We still have these wastes of airtime.

We know the coaches hate these things, so maybe the competition committee can negotiate a buyout from this deal. And if you TV execs are upset over it, just think of it like this: that's another 15-second commercial you can sell to help recuperate the $89 gazillion dollars you paid for the broadcast rights to the NFL.

I was actually forced to watch ESPN last night to find out what happened in the game. Steve "Say hello to my little friend" Berthiume actually was insightful on the Ravens-Chiefs game . . . well, about as insightful as an idiot ESPN anchor can be these days.

And then I switched to ESPNEWS, where there were no dumb questions asked by reporters in the postgame news conference. That's probably because most of those questions were asked by print reporters rather than TV people. None of those "How does it feel to win?" or "How much did those two touchdowns and 150 yards rushing help?" questions.

For the love of football people everywhere, ban the interviews! Use the time for more highlights and analysis. There are 37 people in each network studio these days, so let them earn their money.

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