Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Wynalda's Interviewers Want 16 Minutes


"John Mayes is a loser. I'm going to punch him in the face to show him how big a loser he is."

Pretty strong words, huh? Sounds like I'm pissed off, eh? Well, how about now:

"(Jokingly) John Mayes is a loser. I'm going to punch him in the face to show him how big a loser he is."

Big difference, wouldn't you say? No, I'm not some dirty old man that has a crush on Jessica Simpson who can't spell her boyfriend's name. Well, maybe I am, but that's not the point. The point is that when you write words, those words stand on their own. That's something the writer of the now infamous "Beers With Wynalda" interview didn't understand, and his partner seems clueless about even after the fact as evidenced here. This is my favorite part:

Truthfully, the only good thing to come out of that comment is the national attention the interview got as a result of it.) Rome knows Wynalda, and Rome knew, or should have known, that Wynalda was speaking in jest; it was a tongue in cheek comment that would not be taken literally by anyone, except perhaps by someone with insecurities. Rome, in his usual way, kicked Wynalda when he knew ESPN had Wynalda by the balls. But I beg my fellow soccer fans, do not let this sideshow for the other 80% get in the way of the rest of this epic interview.

At this point, I would like to address a couple of things. First, I am truly sorry that ESPN chose to suspend and fine Eric when he stood up to Rome. I wish it never happened. Actually, I’m even sorrier that ESPN doesn’t pay the same “respect” to Rome as they did to Wynalda. We all know Rome deserves it, but this is for another article. Suffice it to say that in this corporate world, ESPN did what other single-minded corporations do…bow to the “almighty dollar.”


No, Rome didn't know Wynalda was speaking in jest. He had no way of knowing. Adding "(jokingly)" or "(in jest)" is what you do to convey to your reader that the person being interviewed wasn't being serious. This is a technique used everywhere from the NY Times to Maxim Magazine. Acknowledging the fact that Wynalda was in fact joking now makes the situation worse. The interviewer came out and said everything was 100% on the record:

Nothing was fabricated within this sit down on March 24 in Tampa. In fact, the interview was recorded. Wynalda has been known to share his boisterous opinions on the air as was witnessed firsthand by many Americans during his coverage for ABC during the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

When FFCinPCB sat down with Wynalda, it was unknown what direction the interview would take. However, questions were asked and answers were given in an honest straight-forward manner by Wynalda which lead the interview in the direction it ultimately went.


Now, if this is the case, Wynalda went on the record [in his comments] about Jim Rome and was serious about it. The friend of the interviewer says he was joking. If that's the case, then it needs to be specified.

So why wasn't it? The reason is American soccer fans take what Jim Rome says about the sport very personally. The interviewer took what Wynalda said in jest and thought "Hell Yah!". He then ran with it. Insinuating the comment was anything less than a complete slam on Rome would have diminished it's effect. The author just didn't take into account what that would mean to Wynalda if it ever got out beyond the tight-knit US soccer community.

It's too bad. The "Beers With" idea was a good concept. Good luck getting anyone important to ever do another one. This is what separates journalists from bloggers like myself. Granted, this blog may evolve and I may be doing interviews myself someday. If that ever were to happen, I would have a lot more to consider before I put digital pen to digital paper when publishing comments.


Odds and ends:

* Wells Thompson won the "best debut" poll by a landslide. There's a new poll up, so go vote.

* I'm redesigning my T-shirt shop to be more associated with this blog. I hope to have it back up and running this week.

* Juan Pablo Angel appears to be on his way to Red Bull New York. There's one more DP slot being used up. I believe a prerequisite for any Revolution DP signing is all the slots being filled on the teams with deep pockets so the Revs can't be outbidded. I'm hoping Man U win the league this year so Giggs and Scholes don't feel obligated to return and then they give MLS a shot. Both can still motor around the pitch.

5 Comments:

john said...

Come on! Do you honestly think Wynalda wanted Jim Rome to suck his ****? No?

Do you think he was joking about that, but not the club comment?

Give me a break.

D said...

This is what separates journalists from bloggers like myself. Granted, this blog may evolve and I may be doing interviews myself someday. If that ever were to happen, I would have a lot more to consider before I put digital pen to digital paper when publishing comments.

No, it really isn't. Journalists and Bloggers can decide if they want to act ethically or not. Some journalists are professional, some are hacks. Some bloggers are good about watching things, and others are hacks. It's a matter of choice, not a matter of medium.

D said...

Quick addendum: In no way am I suggesting anything about this site. I am suggesting things about other sites that may or may not have run interviews.

James said...

Perhaps if a person read the head and intro in context... they might realize this would be done just as if Joe Fan got a chance to talk about the stuff in American Soccer that many fans had on their minds.

It wasnt "Getting Sloshed With..."... and it wasnt " Eric spills his hit list.."

When I first read it, the offending passage made very little impression; my initial take was : "Yeah, EVERYONE agrees with THAT!"

James said...

By the way... at least this article isnt as ridiculous as Canales' take on it.
Everyone should step back, clear their minds, and read it as it was obviously meant to be read.

another point... SOME journo's did. Foxsports put Waldo as #1 hero in their heroes and villains.

Also several blogs on print media media sites got it right, as well.

What happened to Eric as a result was unfortunate.. and ESPN should find a way to give back the fine as a performance bonus as they well may do.

Certainly they didnt mind naming the site on the SportsCenter apology so everyone could read it.. and Rome had no problem naming the site phonetically so his knuckledragger listeners could find it.. So you tell me what the END result of the interviews was.

Read the Forums on it... how many who thought Waldo was a putz changed their minds after that.

... and "no one will ever do that again".

How do you know? How do you know they ever did before this?

I dont... never happened to me. But I got to read the results from some guy that it DID happen to.