I already told you about one suggestion of mine to improve the quality of game broadcasts earlier this week. In case you missed it, my hope is that broadcasts allow the opportunity for the viewer to mute the microphone of a particular broadcaster, while still receiving sound from the rest of the telecast. That would be an awesome addition. Now another aspect of game telecasts that’s been killing me since it became the standard for nationally televised games are the in-game coach and manager interviews. I CANNOT STAND THOSE. I despise the 5th inning interview with the manager on ESPN and FOX. I cringe at the after-quarter interviews on TNT and ESPN. I abhor the halftime interviews with football coaches on all the networks. What brought this up and possessed me to write about it today was a post-third quarter interview on ESPN with Gregg Popovich. Pop reluctantly answered questions, Ric Bucher uncomfortably delivered them. It was about as awkward as David Wells in tights. Problem is this is more the norm than the unusual when it comes to in-game interviews.
So allow me to outline what is so horrific about these interviews and why all sports broadcasts need to end this practice. First of all, as previously mentioned, these are the most uncomfortable interviews you could possibly find. The coaches and managers all want to get back in the game, and they don’t offer anything other than crappy cliches. The broadcasters don’t want to ask questions because they know they’re completely intruding. They’re all the same; both parties act strictly out of contractual obligation. It’s like getting ex’s together for a reunion every single time.
Next, and most importantly, these interviews take all the natural competition feel out of games and make them seem like nothing but overly produced television productions. Rather than just letting both teams finish competing in their games, we have to have coaches hear from reporters DURING games asking them questions. What’s next, letting fans call plays? Why not just have a sideline reporter ask a quarterback why he threw the pass after an interception? How about pulling LeBron over to the mic to explain why he missed a jumpshot? Feel my drift? Why do we need in-game questions? They’re completely intrusive and completely unnecessary. They really ruin games for me. It just reminds why the travel rule is lax and why timeouts allow teams to take the ball out near their opponents baskets in basketball — to make it more exciting for TV.
If we continue at the rate we’re going, games will no longer be just games, but they’ll be complete television productions. I mean why even have guys play and coaches coach if we’re just going to ask questions in the middle of games? Why not just go to scripted ballgames so you can write the outcomes? Why not just televise wrestling? As far as I’m concerned, the field and court is a sacred place where TV broadcasters should not be intruding WHILE games are going on. That’s just going too far. It’s a trend that started because one network got the toy first, and then all of them decided they had to have it too. I’d like to see some of these networks realize how unauthentic and horrific these interviews look and actually get rid of them. Please, please, please get rid of the in-game interviews. I can’t take them.