Reporting Jeff Riger
By: Jeff Riger
One thing that I have learned from working in sports radio over the last decade is that everybody loves a blow up! How many times have you watched the Tigers get smoked and stuck around to watch the postgame show? Why? Because you hope that Jim Leyland explodes and shares the same passion that you have for the team.
There is a reason that people can recite famous lines immediately from coaches who have yelled, screamed and whined after a tough loss. From Jim Mora yelling “playoffs” to Dennis Green saying “they were who we thought they were” there is nothing better than a coach losing it after a loss. In fact every game I cover, I hope it happens. As great as it is on TV, it’s just as effective and entertaining on the radio. It gives everybody something to talk about. Not that it matters, but my personal favorite was when Tommy Lasorda was asked about Dave Kingman? If you have no clue what I’m talking about, look it up, it’s worth a watch or 15.
So when I heard that Rangers coach John Tortorella was miffed after a 3-2 loss to the Devils on Wednesday I had to watch his postgame presser right away. The whole process lasted exactly 1 minute and 18 seconds and Tortorella said absolutely nothing. He was obviously upset about the loss and decided to take it out on the media and fans by holding back what he really thought about the game.
The coach was asked about letting the game slip away and what went wrong? Tortorella responded “a number of things.” Tortorella was then asked about limiting the ice time of his star forward Marion Gaborik or what his team needs to better to win? The head coach refused to answer anything.
Now that you have watched it, I have to say how disgusting I think this is. It’s not the media’s fault that the Rangers blew game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final. Answer the damn questions John!
Being a head coach is not just coaching. There are many things a coach is responsible for and considering the money that these guys make, there is no reason all of those responsibilities should not be completed. It’s no secret that most coaches and athletes despise speaking to the media but it’s a part of it all. Tortorella, due to his unprofessionalism gave the reporters that cover his team nothing to write about and his fans no explanation as to why the Rangers might have lost the game.
The purpose of press conferences and interview sessions are to get the teams and players messages and thoughts out there. Fans cheer, buy jerseys, attend games and basically pay everybody’s salaries. Don’t they deserve this much? Tortorella robbed everybody of that on Wednesday night due to his childish behavior.
I believe Tortorella should be fined for this classless act and hopefully in the future he can get past his ego and actually perform the actual responsibilities that go along with the job. Luckily for the head coach, game 3 of the series is tomorrow in Jersey.
I’m not sure that I will watch the game, but I will definitely watch the media session that follows. What about you?