Monday, April 1, 2013

The arrogance of the ESPN "in-game" coach's interview

Let us say this about the "in-game" ESPN coach's interview.

It's unnecessary. It's also annoying.

You're a coach and you're in the NCAA Tournament. Timeout. Tap, tap, tap. "Coach. Interview time." Your first thought?

"Now?" was Joanne P. McCallie. The Duke coach endured her first in-game interview on Sunday, as her Blue Devils weathered Nebraska at the Constant Center.

Like all coaches, McCallie had gotten the head's up from ESPN. "They told me about it; I was fully aware, and of course, we want to do anything we can to promote women's basketball," she said. "But when it came during the game. .... Now? Now? It was just funny."

McCallie credited ESPN for its part in covering women's basketball, noting, "As coaches, we agree to many, many things. I was amazed, and I don't know why I was so amazed. You're in this mode; you're coaching in game mode and then they said, 'Interview,' and I was like 'Now?!' "

The in-game interview is a new tactic by ESPN for college women's basketball; , it's a common one during WNBA telecasts. And while McCallie was certainly good-natured about it, we're not as high on the idea.

Indeed, we credit ESPN for providing the  complete NCAA Tournament -- though we're still stumped as to why UConn's second-round game needed to be on both ESPN2 and ESPNU for a half last week when three other games deserved air time on at least one of their networks. But ESPN also has an arrogance to its coverage; does anyone believe a coach wants to deliver analysis in game? Is this another attempt by ESPN to say we're ESPN and you're not?

When you're interrupting actual competition to talk to coaches, we wonder what will be next. Will Holly Rowe be asked to take her mic to the UConn bench and sit alongside Stephanie Dolson and Bria Hartley in game?

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