Will Leitch: Do away with “those pressers”

Will Leitch
April12/ 2016

Will LeitchWill Leitch with SportsOnEarth.com is my “favorite national sportswriter”… and NOT because, yes, Will is also a Cardinals’ fan… which he is.

Will was one of the founders of Deadspin which is owned by Gawker…. but he left them long before “the Hulk Hogan thing”.  Good thing, huh.  No clue what Will’s “politics” is.  Well, actually I DO have “a clue”.  Since I “like him” that oughta give you a clue too.

Like me, Will is unencumbered by an editor / publisher’s thumb on his SEND key.  Believe me that makes a big difference in being able to be honest with one’s readers….

I never read anyone else’s columns before I write mine on a “just happened” event in sports.  Unless their column IS the event.  After I’ve posted mine I will usually see what others are saying about the “whatever it was”.   If it is a national event I will usually check what Will said about it.   We are usually sorta kinda on the same wave length.

Obviously Will had something to say about Jordan Spieth “on Sunday at The Masters”.   Yes, he draws the obvious comparison to CAM because…. its “obvious”.

Will questions the need for / value / purpose of these clichéd  “tell us what it felt like when….”.   I agree.  They are universally inane and insult the collective intelligence of everyone involved.

Tommy John has his “surgery”.  Chase Utley now has his “slide rule”.   Why not CAM / Jordan have their “no more stoopid presser”.

I will add…. if “they” do do away with’em; I insist “they” also do away with the even more inane….. “sideline rErin Andrewseporterette grabs coach at halftime to ask stoopid question”.    Those are the interview equivalent of “waterboarding” to have to watch /listen to.  I can’t imagine how tedious they are to a coach.   Their only purpose must be to meet some Title IX requirement for reporterettes being on-air.

Who is the ubiquitous “they” that would have the power to do away with either of these?

Here’s what Will Leitch says about …….



Questioning the Utility of a Presser

Will Leitch Will Leitch
April 11, 2016


I’ve got a confession to make to you.

I am a professional sportswriter, and I’ve interviewed hundreds of athletes in my life. I’ve interviewed athletes for several days over several months, I’ve interviewed athletes as they’ve fallen asleep in the back of an SUV, I’ve interviewed athletes for one minute a day for 15 consecutive days, I’ve even interviewed athletes while doing shots in the back of a Lower East Side bar while said athlete sucked down Mandarin Absolutes and Red Bulls. But here’s something I’ve never done: I’ve never asked a question at a press conference.

This is a ridiculous confession for a professional sportswriter to make because, in many ways, press conferences are the only time most people see any of their favorite athletes answer questions in the first place. The postgame press conference has become part of sporting lore, where athletes theoretically face the music or, more likely of late, play around with their cute kid. The postgame press conference is such a staple of how we experience sports that you can actually simulate it in a video game.

I’m not sure I can make a strong argument for the utility of an institution that can be so easily simulated in a video game. There’s even a “heartwarming” question that requests the (fictional) athlete to talk about his connection to a (fictional) childhood friend who (fictionally) died earlier that year. The (fictional) athlete is then instructed to tell a (fictional) anecdote about all the (fictional) good times they had together. The questions have the same cadence, pivots and transitions; they’re Mad Libs questions: simply add in your proper nouns and statistics.

And I think that’s why I never ask a question. The setting is so artificial, so obviously constructed for dramatic moments — or moments of confrontation, a tripe so warmed over that the video game interview actually has the player frustratingly snap, “Write whatever y’all want!” at the assembled press core — that press conferences are not so much interviews as they are players following their assigned roles. It feels like Kabuki. It feels like everybody’s pretending.



Quirky News

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