Being a sports reporter is the greatest job in the world. I imagine. It’s the one job in journalism where actually interviewing someone isn’t required. I mean think about it, if you were just starting out as a political reporter, what do you think your chances are of landing an interview with Pres. Bush or Howard Dean? Unless, you know, you were starting out at Fox in the President’s case or NPR in Dean’s case?
But if you’re just some kid straight out of Podunk Univ. and you get a job with a weekly paper in New York, what are your chances of landing an interview with a member or coach of the Yankees, Mets, Knicks or Rangers? Again, next to nil. But here’s the beauty about it; if you’re a sports reporter you can make up an interview and nobody will ever know you didn’t get an exclusive. How can this be possible? Simple.
No matter what the sport or what the situation, no matter whether it’s college level or professional, a sports interview is merely a matter of filling in the blanks. So, as part of my never-ending quest to improve the lives of everyone, I hereby offer-almost completely free of charge-an all-inclusive sports interview template. Any reporter anywhere can simply fill in the name of any coach or player and by slightly modifying the answers to fit the occasion, make it look as though he actually conducted an interview with everyone from Phil Jackson to your local high school baseball star.
Q: What do you think about [insert team name here] chances today?
Well, we came to play, but it’s going to be a real battle out there. We both want it and it’s just going to come down to who wants it more.
Q: Why do you think you lost today?
They wanted it more. They came to play and we simply left it in the locker room.
Q: Will [insert star athlete’s name] be ready to go today?
He’s always ready to go. This game is in his blood and it would take an act of God to keep him off the [court, field, etc.]. He’s a professional [applicable even when discussing an amateur athlete] and that means playing hurt. He came to play.
Q: What made the difference today in your coming away with a W?
We came to play. We just wanted it more, that’s all.
Q: [Opposing team name] is on roll. What’s your strategy for dealing with their momentum?
Every game is different. Momentum means nothing because the season is taken one game at a time. We came to play. That’s our strategy.
Q: There are rumors circulating that your job is on the line if you don’t win today. How do you deal with that?
I don’t. My job is to [coach, manage, etc.] this team. When I start thinking about rumors, then it’s time for me to quit.
Q: How are you going to handle [temperamental player’s name]?
He’s an adult and he’s an athlete. I don’t have to handle him, I just have to make sure he’s ready to play. And he came to play, I can tell you that.
Q: What are your chances for going all the way this year?
On paper we’re as good as anyone else. It just comes down to staying healthy and keeping focused. I don’t make predictions, but I can tell you this. We’ll be competitive.
Q: Why do you think you fell short of the playoffs this year?
One word. Injuries. You can’t reach the next level if you don’t stay healthy.
Q: You’ve got a shot at breaking [insert former player’s name] record. Is that a distraction?
Individual records mean nothing without that ring. I’d trade every record I have for a championship.
Q: Can you come back from that injury that sidelined you last season?
I’ve been working with one of the best personal trainers around. I’ve never been stronger or felt heathier. I’m ready to play.
Q: What about those rumors that this will be your last season?
I’ll make that decision at the end of the year. Right now I’m just focusing on this season.