AFTER listening to yet another vapid, meaningless sports interview, I am now convinced that professional athletes get interview tips from politicians.
Please just give it
to me straight
How many times do I have to hear the same tired, cliched phrases that don't always even answer an interviewee's question? "I'm just going out there, doing the job they paid me to do, trying to contribute in whatever way I can. Bottom line is, I want to win."
Think about that one a moment.
And for that matter, how lame are interviewers' questions? "Boy, Roger, you sure tossed a gem today. How do you feel after pitching a two-hitter?"
Excuse me? How does he feel? Are you kidding me? Do you really think the audience is even remotely interested in how Roger Clemens feels?
And what if he answered honestly? "Well, Stu, to tell you the truth, I'm tired. And thirsty. Those mosquitoes were eating me alive out there. And I think I've got a cold coming on, because my throat is a little sore."
So, fed up with this ridiculous dance called the post-game interview that sours so many post-game shows in all sports at all times, I've composed what I like to call "Real Interview." It's what happens when players stop being nice and start being real:
MIKE JONES sank two free throws to win the game with no time left on the clock. Our venerable Stu caught up with him just after the game. "Mike, what was going through your mind with those free throws?"
"What was going through my mind? 'Sink the damn free throws' was going through my mind! First I thought, 'Hey, I need to sink this free throw.' And I sank it. Then I thought, 'I need to sink this free throw, too.' And I sank that one, too. Let me ask you something. Do you eat paint chips regularly?"
Or how about this age-old question: "Mike, you dumped in 32 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. ... I gotta ask you, what was the difference between last night's game and tonight's?"
"Well, off the top of my head, I'd say 20 points and five rebounds. Stu, did you know that if you take my stats from last game and subtract them from tonight's, that will give you the difference? It's called math."
And finally, after a heart-breaking loss, Stu asks, "Mike, you guys battled all night but came up short. What do you have to do to win?"
"Stu, if you ask me one more dumb question, I am going to give you an enema with that microphone. Now, I realize that your mother used drugs, you sniff glue like some people take vitamin C, and you are, well, an idiot.
"But if I have to tell you what needs to happen for us to win a game, then I really just pray that God has mercy on you. As most of humanity is aware, in order for a team to win, it must score more points than its opponent. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to join my teammates, and we're going to point at you, make fun of you and laugh."
At this juncture, Mike does as he promised while Stu turns to the camera.
"All right Mike, and good luck to you! Well, there you have it, folks. Back to you, Jim."
Let's hope that if Stu has any more questions, he washes that microphone thoroughly.
"Press Box" rotates among the Star-Bulletin staff and appears every Sunday. Jason Seaborn can be reached at email@example.com.