Sunday, January 23rd, 2011
Mastering the Post Game Interview
OK sports clients, were you watching NFC game tonight? I won’t get into the play-by-play, or even ask who you wanted to win. However, I will ask, did you watch the post game interviews and were you taking notes on what everyone did well, and how they positioned themselves?
Let’s do a quick review:
- Clay Matthews: Nice interview, great eye contact, happy about the results without gloating or saying anything arrogant. He fumbled a little on the question about his thoughts about the “Cutler-less 2nd half.” He talked about how the Packer defense was “putting it on him early and often so that’s probably why he wasn’t able to finish the game.” While that might be true, it’s better left unsaid by the opponent. Better to not be proud of hurting a man to the point where he can’t play anymore. Yes, that’s the nature of the game, but still not necessarily a public bragging moment to be seized.
- Charles Woodson: Genuine excitement, humility, good eye contact and relaxed. Charles handled the Cutler question much better, “it must have been pretty serious for him to not finish the game, but we couldn’t worry about that. We needed to get out there regardless of who they had…” He focused on the Packer game and results, without putting a dig on the Bears.
- Donald Driver: Another solid interview, genuine smile and humility. All three players needed to take off their hats for the interview so they could be seen by the fans at home. Something about a ball cap makes the athlete want to pull it low so they almost need x-ray vision to see the reporter (Bradshaw), because the bill is in the way.
- Lovie Smith: One word: Class! Lovie acknowledged the disappointment in the loss, and still made it a point of complimenting the players who stood out, including recognizing the boost the team got when Caleb Hainie replaced Cutler in the second half. He showed incredible sportsmanship, class, dignity and respect for both the Packers, Cutler, and the rest of the team.
Overall rules of thumb:
- Name dropping is a good thing: Everyone wants a “shout out” if it’s complimentary. Mention who did well, and if you have time, what they did.
- Acknowledge the team effort regardless of win or loss. What did the team, as a whole do well?
- If you’re on the losing side, it’s ok to point out one or two things you see as obvious challenges encountered during the game, but don’t give the laundry list. Not even in an abnormally poor performance.
- Take your hat, helmet, sun glasses off before the interview. We want to see you!
UPDATE: POST JETS STEELERS:
- Rex Ryan followed the rules of thumb, acknowledging the Jets played a good half but the Steelers played a good game. He complimented the team, and let the fans know they are going to come back again next year because they “want it.” Classy to do the interview following the loss. He was visibly disappointed, but showed dignity.
- Now let’s talk about the headphone slam at the end of the game. Tisk, tisk. Sportsmanship is key to “off field” opportunities. Keep your cool, even in your worst hour.
- Hats off to Mike Tomlin for keeping it short and sweet and being the youngest (not to mention my age) coach to ever make it to the Super Bowl twice.
- Great quote from Rashard Mendenhall. Nice game synopsis, upbeat, energetic, and complimentary to all.
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