Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bob Lobel: Belichick vs Carroll and the Super Bowl Media Circus

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

There have been hundreds of press conferences over the years.

From the Olympics in Sarajevo, to Lake Placid and being in the locker room a week before they became the Miracle on Ice. 


From the America's Cup in Newport, RI with the Australians, to the Curtis Strange US open and then the Ryder Cup at the Country Club in Brookline where Justin Leonard, wearing one of those horrible shirts/uniforms, rammed in a putt for the cup on 17.   

That only scratches the surface of places and memories… Only the surface! 

There was one, however, that really sticks out, and during these Super Bowl interviews with Pete Carroll, it always comes to mind. Bill Parcells delivered the answer to a question I never heard asked before or since. 

Rumor has it that a newspaper guy from Pawtucket spoke up in the post game conversation. Parcells, then coach of the Patriots, was asked if he had “outcoached” the Jets coach, who happened to be Pete Carroll and, ironically, would eventually replace Parcells here in New England. Asking a coach like Parcells a question that disparages the opposing coach is like building a fire and then adding gasoline.

"What kind of a dumb ass question is that?” Parcells said. 

He again referred to the questioner as a “dumb ass.” Of course, every  reporter was so happy that he or she didn’t ask that question and then immediately looked to see who did. It was a predictable reaction. 

We hadn’t seen that reporter before and, truthfully, haven’t seen him again. 

So that brings us to Pete Carroll. What did we miss in judging him as a coach? He doesn't seem any different. Belichick hasn’t changed and we witness his prowess as a head coach. Like Parcells, his driving force is fear based. Equating Pete with fear does not compute. 

Pete is about love.

Bill (either one) is about  fear. So that stark contrast seems to be the most intriguing part of this game. Not Brady versus Russell, but coach against coach. 

I want to add a little sidebar that says everything you need to know about media day:

When the press comes into the building there is a lot of mooing. Not booing, but mooing. 

It’s a cattle call. Literally! 

So the players of one team (they take turns) sit on raised podiums and the 2,000 or so media can ask anyone questions. Marshawn Lynch has been fined over the past year, thousands of dollars, for refusing to talk after or before games.

Fast forward to media day in Glendale. He announce that he will answer every question the same way:  “I'm here so I wont get fined.” 

And that’s exactly what he did. Every single time! 

So I ask you, the ones that are served by the 5th estate, isn’t it a stupid day run by a league, knee deep in public relations? Better things to do,  although riding it out with this blizzard and not being at media day makes me the stupid one!

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