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“I told you we were going to do it. We won. We’re going all the way. That’s what I’M talking about,“ shouted and slurred the drunken fan outside the United Center after a recent Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup playoff victory.

Of course our local TV station was right there to capture that live bit of integrity and they put a microphone right in front of him to chronicle that pearl of fandom. Gotta love their pursuit of a story.

I DO hope that the viewing audience does not consider this guy to be representative of ALL Blackhawks fans.

Sure, we yell and scream and yes we support our team but, that brief sound bite irked me on three levels.

1) “I told you.” Dontcha just hate when people say this, not just in reference to sports, but in general. Dear inebriated idiot, actually you neither told me nor the enrapt viewing audience anything. Nor did the fact that you may have told anybody at all have anything to do with the outcome of the game. You are the kind of fan that really embarrasses our team.

2) “We won. We’re going all the way.” OK, this fan surely went “all the way” on alcohol consumption, but again, he had nothing to do with the victory in any way, shape or form. To say WE and put himself as a part of the collective victory collaboration is unfounded.

Yes, I know you are excited, but including yourself in the equation by say “WE won” as if you were a vital part of the accomplishment is annoying. The Blackhawks team won. They won. We cheered is all. Perhaps that makes me a language snob and if so, so be it.

3) Who invented the phrase, “That’s what I’M talking about?” (To get the full effect of the obnoxiousness of it you have to emphasize the “I” as if it is very important that we are reminded that it is always what YOU are talking about.)

Let me give you an example of how annoying this seemingly innocuous phrase can be. When I was coaching youth sports, my daughter’s 9-10 year old softball team was facing an opponent with “one of those” coaches. A young girl on their team got what was likely the first base hit of her life.

As she stood proudly on first base, “that coach” bellows, “That’s what I’M talking about.” The girl look mystified. Here she thought it was something good SHE had done, and now it was what ”that coach” was talking about. Get the picture? (BTW, all our coaches and team congratulated her in the traditional manner after the inning. “Nice hit.” “Way to go.”)

So, this is not to say that all fans are like that. The majority of fans are loud, without being boisterous; loyal without being obnoxious; passionate without being disrespectful.

In fact, after the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup on Monday, a large throng of fans celebrated, for the most part, in as orderly a fashion as one could hope. See this photo to witness the festive scene.

wirgley cup fans

Oh, sure, there are some bad fans (like the one in this article’s cover photo).

But, TV people, please don’t give them a stage for their ignorance.
Focus on the good. Focus on the fun. Focus on the REAL fan.


Speaking Of Sports.

Now I like a good sports interview as much as the next fanatic and this is the season to get one. The Stanley Cup Playoffs in ice hockey and the NBA Finals in basketball are under way and in full swing. (AND, each are exciting as heck, so far.)

Lately though, the art of the post-game interview has diminished. Most all of the players sit at the dais just waiting for the interviews to end and the lack of any worthwhile questions is glaringly obvious. Cliché questions are answered with cliché replies:

When did you know you had the game won?
When the horn blew and the game was over.

What was the reason you won tonight’s game?
We scored more goals than the other team.

What do you expect in the next game from this team?
We expect them to come out and play hard.

Your team gave up 175 points this game, what do you have to do next game to correct this?
We need to play better defense.

Wow, there’s some things I never thought of about during the game I just watched. Score more points and you will win. Play better defense and the other team won’t score as many points. Incredible insight. These and many more astute observations you can get from these post-game interviews.

I’m not gonna lie, I get hooked into watching these things and on rare occasion, there is something noteworthy, but for the most part, not.

Now, the new wave of interviews are these damned sidelines reporters. Actually, it’s not THAT new of a phenomenon to have a sidelines reporter. Jim Lampley is widely credited with being the first sidelines reporter for ABC back in 1974. Here’s an interesting article on Deadspin about Lampley’s spin on the experience:

As I watch the sideline reporters in these hockey and basketball playoffs, one thing stands out to me. One would think in the course of human events that the process may have “evolved” over the years into something better. It has not. It’s now a distraction from the game rather than an adjunct to the event.

These days, sideline reporters actually stick microphones in the faces of coaches DURING THE GAME. Right after time outs, a time or two in the game and they will ask inane questions like:

Your team just gave up a goal there on a power play. What are your thoughts on that?
We have to stop that one.

So THAT’s the secret!

So, here’s three quotes. One is real. Wedwand readers, guess which one is an actual quote from a post game interview:

A) I wanted to win this one for all the loyal fans of Phoenix.
B) I just wanted to make sure I was really hydrated.
C) In the end, I was the man and that’s why we won.

On a final note, here’s what the pioneer of sideline reporting, Jim Lampley has to say about those sidelines interviews: “I’d get rid of them entirely.”

Sidelines reporters (SLR’s) dread interviewing San Antonio Spurs Head Coach, Gregg Popovich during a game. Here’s a couple of examples why:

SLR: “Paul how happy were you with the shot selection even though they came back?”
Coach Pop: “Happy? Happy’s not a word we think about in a game … I don’t know how to judge happy. We’re in the middle of a contest, nobody’s happy. “

SLR: You 4-23 shooting tonight what’s the problem
“Well, it didn’t go in the hole.”

You can go to Youtube and find other examples of how Coach Pop frankly answers questions DURING a game.

The 1988 baseball movie Bull Durham has an interesting take on how a player should approach the interview process. (Disclaimer: for mature audiences only.)

TRIVIA ANSWER: The REAL quote is “B”. Cleveland Cavaliers new sensation guard, Matthew Dellavedova answered this on Sunday after the game when asked if his game preparation changed now that he was a starter:
“My preparation really didn’t change that much, I just wanted to make sure I was really hydrated, That was probably the main thing.”

Cover Photo: Right after Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith logged 29 minute of ice time in a hard earned 2-1 victory tonight,they stuck a microphone in his face.