For the past three days Eric and Arif have been reporting on the 2012 Minnesota Vikings Training Camp from lovely Mankato, Minnesota. Now, it is my turn. Actually, it was supposed to be a tag-team of me and Kyle, but my wingman is limping and unable to travel right now, so I'm here alone.
This was not supposed to happen.
I was supposed to have Kyle, who I've come to think of as the little brother I never had, here enabling us to cover considerably more territory. My plan was that I would give him the stuff I thought
was boring uninteresting deadly dull he would cover well so I could focus on some player interviews and talking with fans--I'm told that's "management".
Well, that plan, along with the DN reader meet-n-greet that we wanted to have, crashed and burned and had to be identified by dental records.
The last three days you've had stellar, professional reporting. Now you have an irritable introvert who has to summon the courage to ask someone for an interview in order to have someone to talk to. Yeah, it's gonna be different.
Another way it will be different is that...well, have you noticed that the players seem to say the same thing most of the time when talking with the media? You could have one heck of a drinking game if you drank every time somebody said they, "want to play at a high level," chug, or "just want to compete for the starting job," chug, or "I'm feeling really good about my body, healthiest I've been in the NFL," chug, or, "I've really worked on my focus,"chug, or, "we're ready to win games now" finish the bottle. And another Diet Coke is gone, just like that.
Seems like if you don't want to hear just a string of hackneyed sports cliches and pat responses, then you have to ask something that there isn't a ready cliche or stock answer for. I'd rather have a conversation with a player than simply interrogate them to get my bullet points. But, mostly, when I get nervous, like I am now, I say strange awkward things.
Oh, and, it seems like the fan perspective deserves some time too. If you see me, say hello. I'll be the shy pale person awkwardly trying to conduct an interview.
Everybody talks and, hopefully, a few of them will talk to me.