Made the mistake of listening to Mike Francesa on WFAN as I drove home today. Man, this is a broadcaster who truly turns my stomach. Knows everything. Listens to no one. Talks as if he’s coached 20 yearsâ€”as opposed to the reality: Sitting on his rear, binging on Frito’s, spewing nonsense into a microphone.
Anyhow, Francesa and one of the station’s employees were discussing Super Bowl Media Day, and all the inane questions that were asked. They were particularly hard on the reporter who wanted to know about Willie Parker’s tattoo. “There are so many dumb things asked,” Francesa said. “Blah, blah, blah, blah …”
So here’s the thing: Whoever asked Willie Parker about his tattsâ€”hats off, bro.
It’s easy and mindless to show up at a big sports media event and spew the standard, expected drivel about “what’s your motivation?” and “can you talk about Kurt Warner’s revival?” and all the crap of that ilk. Yet the way to get a true storyâ€”to really find somethingâ€”is to ask the questions that no one else has the balls to throw out there. Maybe Willie Parker’s tattoo is for a dead relative. Maybe it’s to signify his love of Jimmy Carter. Maybe it’s just an ugly design. Who knows? But the only way to get something different from an otherwise brain-dead gathering is to reach outside the box.
On the down side, morons like Francesa might rip you.
On the bright side, you might snag a great piece.
** A side note. Six or seven years ago I went with Jesse Orosco to San Diego’s Lego World for a profile. We walked around the park and stumbled upon a Jessica Simpson concert. There were about 200 people there, and she could actually sing. Time, alas, has not treated the ol’ sista well …