4) Listen, learn and watch: This is the advice from former pro Bowl Packers’ cornerback Al Harris. Pick a polished veteran and study how they handle the media. Ask them whom in the media they can trust. Al said that when he was in Philadelphia at a time when things were bad (a long losing streak) there was an informal gag order that came from the head coach. The media was having a field day with every comment from the players and were spinning things in a way where guys were calling each other out via the media. It got really ugly! The more you say, the better chance you have of putting your foot in your mouth. Pick a polished veteran and study them.
5) Take some advice from Crash Davis: Crash is the mythical catcher in the movie Bull Durham who works hard to coach up his rising super star pitcher. In one classic scene, he sits him down and has him write down some boring clichés. First round picks and QBs are going to have to talk to the media. As Belichick tells his players; “If we win, say little, and when we lose say even less.” It is helpful for young players to know what they are going to say before they say it. If you are a boring or inarticulate communicator the media won’t come back to you anyway. The clichés are boring but if you deliver them with confidence, consistency and even a little passion the reporters will keep coming back. After all, they are just looking for a sound bite so they can do their job.
They will never admit it but the vast majority of front office people read sites like this, their local paper and listen to their sports talk radio. If a player says something stupid, they will know right away. If they continuously see a players name in the paper, on twitter and/or TV, they may even fear he is getting to cozy with the media. For the paranoid type of GMs and head coaches, whom there are many, talking too much could be a way to buying your own ticket out of town.
Follow me on Twitter: @Jackbechta
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