**Disclaimer: If you are or aren’t an avid NY Giants fan or hater, you may or may not enjoy the following article. Read at your own risk.**
I love reporting. I love meeting random strangers and then interviewing them. It’s like a drug. Very addicting. My aim is to be very authentic and so if a story doesn’t require a lot of background info, I prefer to go into the interview very spontaneously. I don’t discuss in detail ahead of time the exact questions I’ll ask…one, because if the person I’m interviewing is so obsessed with what they have to say to me, they either freak themselves out or they sound too rehearsed. And two, because sometimes I don’t even know the specific questions I’ll ask. Luckily, it comes very natural to be inquisitive by nature and (pat on the back) I’ve done pretty well so far at it. One thing I always do, however, is get the person’s name and title on camera before we start the interview and ask them to look at me *not* the camera. To ease any lingering tension as they step into the spotlight, I often jokingly remind them “as hard as it is to look at me, try to do it anyways” (that’s pretty funny, right?)…well, last summer I got the chance again to head out to the Giants training camp right here in Albany. It was my second year going to the camp and I was looking forward to it because not often do I get to report on sports. While I like the idea of sports, I’m not a sports fanatic by any means and am not that knowledgable about sports in general… unless we’re talking hockey. Don’t get me started. I love the
My football-loving photographer lets me know when we get there that we’ll be interviewing the players themselves as he was able to get us press access. This should be fun, I thought! Not because, well, they’re the freakin’ NY Giants but because I have no idea one player that plays on the team. I wasted the drive over checking out the local and national news on my phone instead of a Google crash course on Giants and football. I mean, I don’t even get football. I can never see where the football is. I forget which way the players are supposed to be running. I cringe when I see these GIANT (no pun intended) men gladly running straight into each other. How is that sportsmanlike?! I like watching it, don’t get me wrong. It’s just harder to understand. At least with hockey it’s pretty easy to follow. Really hot guys with great bodies fight each other…um, I mean, athletes with missing teeth skate around and slap a puck around the rink until it eventually lands in the net either by sheer luck or a stupid move from the other team.
I think to myself I can’t admit that I don’t know any one on the Giants team. I know there’s someone famous on the team. His name slips my mind but I need to interview him so I can put it on my demo reel and one day someone somewhere will be impressed. Touchdown! My photographer sets up in the corner outside the dining hall they’ll be coming to eat breakfast at before practice. I confess to him that I really don’t know all that much about football. He doesn’t look shocked but promises to help me out with names, stats and topics. Then they start to come. Some of the biggest boys I’ve ever seen in my life. Thank goodness I wore my 3″ heels, now I can at least look them in the chest, I mean, eyes. I proceed to go find my victims. I later found out you’re supposed to go through their handler. Maybe that’s why they seemed so surprised I was going in for the kill on my own. It worked to my advantage though. I didn’t give them time to say no. I just marched them to our corner set-up and went for it.
Out of habit, I went with the first question I always start with.
“First and last name, please?” I asked this shy, lanky lad in front of me while wondering if he’s the waterboy.
“Um, Eli Manning,” he responds hesitantly as if I’m kidding around with him.
Oops. I recognize that name. He’s some famous football player. I keep going.
“And your official title?”
“…quarterback for the NY Giants?!” He lets out a bewildered laugh.
I can feel my photographer laughing behind me.
I want to smack myself upside the head with the microphone. Correction: that brick wall by us sounds better. I continue on with the interview and realize I won’t be able to make this package about the upcoming season because I don’t know anything about the upcoming season. So I start questioning him about his love of the game, growing up and when he realized he wanted to play football, and other personal questions. I realized while I was a fool for not preparing myself for this interview like I should have, I’m getting to talk to him about his personal life something which he didn’t seem to talk about often.
I eventually let him go and continue to interview the other players. This time letting my photographer point out the player by name and then relaying important facts to me about them. But I like the personal route I mistakenly stumbled upon with Mr. Manning and take that stance with most of the other players. And one of my last interviews made the entire trip worth it.
After the interview, he leaned toward me and whispered, “I have to ask you…is that your real eye color?”
I wonder if my sparkling green eyes somehow turned a different color during the interview. I assure him they are mine and they are real.
“Your eyes are so intense and beautiful, I could hardly look into them while you were interviewing me. I didn’t want you to think I was avoiding looking at you.”
I now scream like a football fanatic whenever Jonathan Goff’s name is mentioned during a game…I may never let myself forget a rookie mistake out on the field, but my eyes never forget a compliment!