All these little courtside chats during the NBA playoffs got me thinking, “What if the person being interviewed and the interviewee really spoke what they were thinking?”
Nowadays, it’s one cliché after another as a sports reporter throws out the same basic questions.
Reporter:: “What did coach say in the locker room at half time that made you come out here and turn the game around?”
Translated: “Why were you getting your booty beat in the second quarter but you are now up by 20 in the third quarter?”
Player’s typical response: “He told us the game was still within our reach and that if we pulled more defensive stops and drove to the basket more, the game was ours.”
What player really wants to say: “Coach basically told us that if we didn’t win this game we were just a bunch of sissies and would probably be traded.”
Question: “What are you doing differently this game?” (Only asked when the team who lost last time is now winning.)
Translated: “You guys lost last time out. Have you put a curse on your opponents this game?”
Player’s typical response: “We are running down the court more, playing better defense and building momentum.”
What player really wants to say: “If (insert name of a player you don’t really like) could hit the broad side of a barn, we would have won. I don’t know why coach didn’t play (insert name of a favorite player here). At least he can make baskets.
Question: “(Insert name of team’s best player here) has three fouls and we are still in the first quarter. Are you going to change your game?”
Translated: “Such stupid mistakes on the part of (insert same name here) are costing you big time.
Player’s typical response: “We’ve got a lot of depth on our bench. (Insert name of non-starter here) can come into the game and take over, score some points and grab some rebounds.
What player really wants to say: “The refs don’t know their heads from their (expletive.) There is no way that last call was anywhere near a foul.”
Question: “You have the home court advantage in this series, what does that mean to you?”
Translated: “Every other reporter asks this question, so I have to”
Player’s typical response: “The hometown crowds are always great. We feel the energy from them. We want to win for them.
What player really wants to say: First, it means I get to sleep in my own bed. Second, we aren’t usually booed by the hometown audience, unless we do something really stupid. And, I hate away games and those people who shake those sticks when I try to make free throws.
Really listen to the next courtside interview between a reporter and player. Keep a running tab on the number of clichés. When the game is over, add the score for both teams.
Were there more clichés than points scored? Probably.