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The sideline reporter

in glhf

Zechs rails on post-game interviews in this column:

Anyone who carried on watching the TSL stream yesterday after the matches were complete should know what I’m getting at. It’s awkward for all concerned, most of all the interviewer – I’m loathe to use the word ‘journalist’ to describe Waxangel’s performance. His impression of The Big Lebowski-cum-interviwer was fairly useless, but, in his defence, what the hell do you ask in that situation? “How are you feeling?” is about as trite as you can get, but the immediacy of the post-match interview means that nobody really has the time to analyse the games and ask meaningful questions.

Sunday’s performance couldn’t overshadow the excellent matches, but it definitely made a good argument for the NASL system. Most people want to see the players’ reactions, but giving everyone time to stop and think leads to far better interviews.

These are lessons that could and should have been learned long ago, but the media in general seems intent on continuing with these farces. Any football fan can attest to the pure banality of a post-match interview with a player. Managers sometimes offer a bit more entertainment because they’ve been analysing the game for the past 90 minutes, not focusing on performing. But the players generally offer little more than “we played well/they played well” depending on the result.

Strangely, I think a commenter gets it right:

I think the problem with these interviews is much more the interviewer and not the interviewee – even artosis had trouble coming up with good questions at the gsl. Having someone ask insightful and interesting questions is key to a good interview, but of course this is easier said than done.

Bad sideline reporters are the worst, and they’re bad because they’ve decided what to ask before the game even started. I think interviews are great when done well, but that requires someone to be dedicated to the task of simply watching and analyzing the match, and not being involved with any other facet of the production, so they can ask great questions when they’re called on to do so. Hmmm…kinda like what I did in the Starcraft series I produced back in February…too bad nobody watched…(sadface)

Play-by-play commentators can’t fill this role, because they’ve been generally caught up in a tunnel vision sort of perspective all match. Color commentators might be better suited, but the optimal scenario is someone who hasn’t had to say anything all match. Picking someone to interview that also hasn’t been singularly focused on picks or rocket-jumping all match is crucial as well.