I'll be the first to admit that I have a pretty cool job. I get paid to talk about sports. We are granted unbelievable access to some of your favorite players. But sometimes, that access is not so cool and it can make doing this job as tough as trying to crack the safe code at Fort Knox. Case and point, Sunday's Broncos loss to the Raiders.
As the media, our job is to bring you closer to the players. The interviews we conduct with players and coaches are played on television so you can better understand what went well, and what went wrong.. Sometimes when things go wrong, really wrong (like a 20-19 loss to the rival Raiders) the players zip their lips. That was the case on Sunday. Many players opted not to talk to the media which can be VERY FRUSTRATING because we have a job to do, regardless of a win or loss.
The NFL asks all its players to make themselves available to the media. Just a few moments to answer some questions... I'll admit, some are good, some are not so good (I have been guilty of asking both). But the fact remains, you can measure the true character of a man (player in this case) in how he handles adversity. Kyle Orton, Dan Graham, Brian Dawkins and Vonnie Holliday all are very gracious with their time regardless of the score. They all are stand-up players who end up coming off looking like pro's pros because they answer the question honestly, critically and professionally. Those four did just that after a tough loss to Oakland.
As for the silent types (I won't name names) they are the true losers in the situation. Yes, we don't get the interview that our viewers expect. But the player loses out on a chance to show his true character. I understand it's tough to put your heart and soul into a game for 60 minutes only to have it come crashing down in a matter of seconds. I understand it's tough to take a moment for self-reflection with cameras rolling on your every word just minutes after the heartbreak. But, that's the job you signed up for. It's the job that pays you millions of dollars. It's what you get paid to do!...
I get paid to be there win or lose. Anybody can put on a smile and talk after a win. That's the fun part of their job. That's the fun part of my job. I appreciate the player who can be a pro during AND after the game.