Plenty was made about New York Rangers Coach John Tortorella's remarkably curt presser after a loss to the Devils in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Fans ate it up because it was rather hilarious to watch go down and the media criticized him because answering questions is part of the job description of an NHL coach. Torts being so short makes others' jobs much more difficult.
Yahoo!'s Puck Daddy has a clip today from Tortorella joining Bob Costas on his NBCSN show to discuss the now infamous presser.
Wyshynski ends by asking the question, "do you cut Tortorella a break that he's just not emotionally cut out for this stuff? Or do you wonder how 29 other coaches in the NHL avoid these blowups, while Tortorella has become infamous for them?"
Personally, I think you cut him a little bit of a break, but dude shouldn't get a free pass just because it doesn't come easily to him.
The point I found most interesting -- and as someone who has been in reporter scrums following games and can attest to -- is that there are at times some really bad questions asked. And often times from people who have written quite negative things about said interviewee in the past as well.
Torts says there needs to be some accountability on the side of the reporters, which I think is a good point. But how? That's the tougher question in my mind. Especially in the Internet age, if a reporter writes something completely offbase, inflammatory, and often laughable, it's more likely to get talked about/seen/pageviews.
Is there a checks and balance for that kind of thing? I don't have an answer.
Also, in the current cable TV news situation, the scrums and pressers aren't strictly the domain of the reporters grinding out their stories any longer. They are televised theatre, an extension of the game that continues the narrative through until the next one.
The fact that Torts is the head coach on a good hockey team in New York City certainly puts a microscope on anything he says as well. I don't believe he gets a total break, but it's easier to see where he's coming from.