A unique take on the interactions between players and the media
After an interesting day of questions and answers at media day, I couldn't help but think about some of the more memorable moments I've had with the media while I played. What's even more interesting to me is that now I am a full-time media personality. So I know what it's like from both sides and I realize that both have jobs that must be done. I didn't always like the line of questioning that I received, but ultimately everyone in media is after content any way they can get it.
During my playing days, I always felt comfortable with my ability to talk with the media. Answering questions even after tough losses was an aspect of being a professional that I took a great deal of pride in.
When a player is willing to stand in there and take the hard questions for the team, that's saying something. But sometimes a person will ask questions that leave you scratching your head.
For example, I remember a reporter asked me "LaVar on the play that you jumped over the guy to make the tackle explain to me how you jumped over him?"
I'm laughing right now. Initially I didn't think it was a horrible question, so here's what I said: "You know what buddy, that's a good question. Well I just figured the guy was going to try and hit my legs so I jumped and it worked."
Question asked, Question answered right? Wrong! Now here's where he loses me. The reporter follows up with "but LaVar how exactly did you jump over him?" So I asked him, "Did you not hear me or was I not clear?"
The reporter tells me "I heard you I just needed to know how did you do it?" So I'm still entertaining a question I felt I answered and I replied " well..... I jumped."
The man asked me again "I understand that you jumped but how did you jump over him?"
Well needless to say the public relations director politely told him I had answered the question and it was time for a new one.
This was a funny memory for me because still to this day I'm not sure what it was that he wanted me to say.
To his defense, as a media person now, if I had said something that was worthy of national news, like 'I put springs in my shoes that allowed me to jump high enough to clear players,' then he would've been the one who asked the question, but in my mind I felt as though I answered his question.
Here's another example of a question that already has an answer. I remember being asked the question after a practice "Wow that Brandon Jacobs is a very big man. I saw you guys collide on the goal line, how did it feel to hit him? Did it hurt?"
Keep in mind I have a gash over my eye from that very hit and dry blood on my face, helmet pads and my jersey.
I said to the reporter "Did it hurt? Did you really just ask me did it hurt to hit a man that big?" "Yes! Yes it hurt!" I laughed while I was answering but I was thinking to myself "Did this guy just ask 'Did it hurt?' "
What's so interesting to me is now, as a member of the media, those are questions that I would most likely ask a player. Why? Because although I would've made it clear that I knew that jumping was how it happened or that it did indeed hurt to hit a man so big, I understand now that it's important to hear the player's answer to have perspective on what happened through their eyes, which makes a whole lot of sense even though I thought these two stories were too funny.
These came to mind when I was thinking about all the questions that these players would be fielding on media day at the Super Bowl. Hope you all enjoyed.
| February 1, 2011; 9:54 PM ET
Tags: Super Bowl, media
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Posted by: RedCherokee | February 2, 2011 12:57 AM | Report abuse