The anatomy of hard-hitting journalism with questions about lunch.
I’d been waiting two weeks to ask the question. Last week I had to sit out press day sick. It killed me. The query would have to wait. I was dying to ask Doug Marrone what he does on a Saturday after a football game.
Yeah, that does sound a little weird. Why would anyone want to know that? Then again, consider the usual sports reporter question:
“Doug, what does this mean to your team? Going and winning two games in the league for the first time in a long time, beating a top 25 team, winning on the road, all those things…”
“How tough is it for the team to keep emotions grounded in this very up and down season?”
“With Cincinnati being one of those teams that SU hasn’t beaten in a while, how big is it for you guys to go out there and take the same mindset you’ve had against some of these other teams?”
These are all real questions asked of Doug Marrone, Delone Carter, and Derrell Smith within the past few days. My apologies to pull back the curtain to the hard-hitting world of sports journalism, but there it is. You don’t even have to actually ask anything specific.
“Coach can you talk about [insert team/coach/player]?”
In fact, last week “Coach, the defense really played well against West Virginia” actually posed as a question.
So, this week I was ready. The flow of a press conference usually goes something like this:
1) Newspaper beat reporter asks a few questions.
2) TV guys get to ask their hard-hitters.
3) Student media is nervously allowed to emit peeps and squeaks that may or may not be understood as a question.
So I let about ten minutes of this nonsense roll before I dropped the hammer.
“I know, coach, you’re in here early Sunday morning back and watching the game tape. What about Saturday night after you’ve gone to The Varsity? Are you with your family taking some time away from football?”
And then, the mother of all answers. The Post-Standard ran with it. Our friends at Nunes Magician had fun with it. What an incredible news day in Syracuse. Doug Marrone is a fan of bologna and cheese sandwiches. He really is just like the rest of us!
Thus, a story was born. Welcome to sports journalism. A world where questions don’t have to really be questions at all. Full or partial male nudity is perfectly acceptable during a locker room interview. Where cold cuts, dairy and bread are news items.
If only I’d asked the follow up of “Mayo, mustard, or both coach?” or “I’d bet my non-existent salary you’re totally a potato bread guy.”
THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW!
Mistakenly, I got too brazen. I should’ve stopped there. But I also asked Marrone what he thought of his passing game against West Virginia (Ryan Nassib completed only five passes). Was he happy with the grounded aerial attack? “Obviously not.”
DUMB, DUMB, DUMB COUZENS. Stick to questions about food.
Oh, and in non-headline news, Cincinnati quarterback Zach Collaros may be out for Saturday’s game. But that’s not what you read The Fizz for, is it? More on Bob Casullo’s sleep habits soon.
Posted: Mike Couzens