Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Now Let's Stop Down Your Day For Some Not News.....

I really hate press conferences. They waste more sports time than almost any other activity.

There are some occasions where a press conference makes sense, but
teams seem to live in some chimerical world where fans are actually interested in every possible thing an athlete has to say (which is often little).

The latest offender? The University of Oklahoma.

They announced a press-conference yesterday where superstar basketball man Blake Griffin would declare his intentions next year.

Let's see,
he's the current player of the year and he's widely considered to be one of the top picks in the draft ensuring him millions of dollars.

Hmmmm. What is he going to pick?

So then Griffin does what we all knew he was going to do and declares for the draft. He says how much he has enjoyed college, but is ready for a bigger challenge....stop me if you've heard this before.

I don't need to stop down for a press conference to tell me what I already know. Griffin cou
ld have easily released a statement saying everything he needed to say. And the media's time would not have been wasted.

As a fan of the sport that is sports, I'd like to give a simple little guide to press confere
nces. Please feel free to add your own personal comments if you feel a detail needs to be included.

Okay for press conference:
A s
ports legend retires: When Shaq retires, I'm fine with a press conference. It's the end of an era for the NBA. Same goes with a Peyton Manning or Martin Brodeur. The team changes significantly when they leave.

On th
e flip side, I don't need to see a press conference if Stephon Marbury decides to retire.
A shocking announcement is made: Michael Jordan retiring for the first time falls into the category. Ricky Williams up and leaving football shocked us all. Magic Johnson announcing he has the HIV. Those are worth a press conference.

Th
e team gets a new major player: whether it's through the draft or free-agency, big signings excite the fans and they want to meet their new superstar. I don't need a press-conference for a backup left guard, but I'd like to see the number one draft pick. Of course if the team in question is the Oakland Raiders, the number one draft pick may end up being the backup guard.

That's really all you need a press conference for. I guess some people might like the weekly conference that involves a game where the tight lipped coach begrudgingly gives information as media members attempt to word questions in a way that will trap the coach into either telling the truth o
r lying through his teeth. It occasionally gives us some audio gold when a coach blows up at a media question.

All the other press conferences are unneeded. Here are some particularly bad abusers of the uneeded press gathering:

A high school athlete announcing his college choice: High school football playe
rs are out of control with this issue. I'm tired of seeing some 17 year old kid call a press conference where he starts playing three card monte with some hats until he finally puts one on as his family cheers. I played high school football, can I dick around with some hats at a press conference? Completely uneeded.

An athlete announcing something we all already knew: See Blake Griffin. I don't need to hear a 20 minute conference that I could probably repeat out loud without even attending.

Corporate deals: Jerry Jones is particularly bad at this. I don't need to hear a press conference about a corporate partnership which will bring in more money to the already rich owner. That's just plain annoying.

Sports figures have leeway right now to call press conferences whenever they see fit. But maybe they should read The Boy Who Cried Wolf once or twice because if they keep abusing the media gatherings, they may find out that no one shows up in the future.

I bet my sports heart would go on.

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