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TAMPA, Fla. – I freely admit one of the things I’m not that great at is the postgame interview. There is a trend in the sports writing business now to do away with the “game story” and replace them all with “How this happened” or “Why that happened” analytical-style pieces that are mostly all just the same boilerplate stuff as the tried and true newspaper game story of yore.
As much as sportswriters like to think they are reinventing the wheel with “Why/how this/that happened” pieces instead of the tried and true game story, they aren’t. They still are left standing there in the dressing room, trying to get words from athletes as to why or how something just happened in a game, when it’s either a) obvious to anyone who saw the game or b) nobody has any real idea.
I want to include the two postgame audio clips I did in the Avs locker room from last night’s 7-1 loss to Tampa Bay as to why/how most of them are awful and nobody learns anything new and they are just a form or drudgery for all involved.
A team loses a 7-1 game, and your job is to go up to the players on that team and – about five minutes after the final horn has sounded – ask the players why it happened. Most of the interviews are as awful as the two I have for you here, with Semyon Varlamov and Nikita Zadorov. To their credit, they answered my awful questions the best they could.
In my own defense, what was I supposed to ask? A team loses by six goals. There are no salient questions. The only one I should have asked is: what happened out there that went wrong? Instead, I tried to hem and haw and sound like I was concerned and sympathetic, and while I was trying to sound concerned and sympathetic, that’s not really what my job is – so the whole thing is kind of a charade.
I analyzed what I know went wrong in my “takeaways” piece from last night. The quotes from the players are usually just redundancy on to what everybody already knew. So, yes, the game story should rightfully be excised from the world. That said, the “why/how this happened” pieces about a game are also redundant.
I do want to hear from players after a game, and I do believe the vast majority of fans of their teams do too. That’s why we still go to the games and bring those things to you.
Feel free to offer suggestions of new ways to ask questions to players after a game. I’m dead serious. Win or lose, how should we ask different questions? The floor is yours. I doubt there will be any groundbreaking new solutions, but you never know.
In the meantime, here is the audio from my two brief interludes with Varly and Zads from last night: