Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Time for the Media to walk out on Tortorella

Today's mandatory media briefing with Rangers head coach John Tortorella lasted all of 68 seconds.  These daily NHL mandated get togethers  were a joke during the Ottawa/NYR series.  They were no better in the 2nd round and now in the Conference Final they continue to be a complete waste of every one's time.

Here is the transcript of today's epic exchange.

Q. The guys you brought up, how do you use them, not in the series, but what is the thought behind having them up here?

COACH TORTORELLA: Just have players ready to play in case we run into injuries.

Q. What has been the key do you think of your strong recent third periods?

COACH TORTORELLA: Staying with it.

Q. Being aggressive?

COACH TORTORELLA: Staying with it.

Q. John, if you've got a guy who is not going offensively that you know can. What has historically been your tactic? Do you talk to him? Do you just ride it out?

COACH TORTORELLA: Depends on the player. Depends on the player, depends on the situation. It's a question that I can't answer because it all depends on the situation.

Q. So if I asked you about Ryan Callahan?

COACH TORTORELLA: I won't answer.

John Tortorella is behaving in a completely childish and unprofessional manor.  It is just that simple.  I know and admire John as a coach but this is an embarrassment to both him personally, the Rangers and the NHL.

Like it or not, the media is the conduit to the fans.  If you treat the media this way you are snubbing and disrespecting the fans of the game.  That is unacceptable.

Tortorella is clearly still angry over the fines he was forced to pay this season for his public opinions and the words he used to express himself, many of them of the four letter variety.  He always tells his players to let things go and be professional.  To have restraint and skate away from situations which could hurt the team.  The coach needs to listen to his own advice.

Every question from the media is not going to be an award winner.  There will be some dumb ones.  Show some professionalism and answer as politely as you can and move on to the next questions.  Refusing to answer any questions about players, their health, systems, situations and general tactics is out of line.  Those questions are legitimate and are top of mind with the fans.  That's who you are really answering to.  The fans.

John's boss Glen Sather needs to step in and help his coach here.  If Glen can't impart his experiences and more help is needed then dip into the massive Ranger budget and get him some anger management help.

Below is a link to a USA today story about how the Yankees handle their media training with the players and coaches.  It is enlightened and realistic.  The Yankees face far more scrutiny every day than the Ranger coach faces in an entire season.  If they can find a way to professionally deal with the media I'm sure John Tortorella can too.

Or he can continue the angry child routine which has been soooo worth while for everyone involved.
It might be time for the media to get up and walk out when he takes the podium.  He is under the impression they are wasting his time while the fact is he is wasting all of ours and thumbing his nose at the fans in the process.

See you at the rink.


Anonymous said...

I have to disagree, to me, the media is being lame with their whining about Tortorella. He doesn't bullspit you with lies, misdirection or lazy cliches.
Yeah he could play the game more, but his primary responsibilities, coaching histeam to win playoffgames, are at their critical stages right now.
These days, so much of what happens in front of cameras is fluff, politically correct, or self-serving. I appreciate his approach.

Anonymous said...

100 percent on Mr. Brown. Just Dont bother showing up. He clearly doesn't have anything to say so don't ask and don't write anything. He's a petulant arrogant child. Sensfan4ever.

william Peace said...

I see nothing wrong with what Tortorella is doing r.e. the press. His job is to coach the players and do everything in his power to help the team win. He is simply not playing the game others coaches do with the press. As a fan, I have no interest in what the coach or players have to say. Most of what is said is little more than meaningless cliches. I have one interest--the game.

Jake said...

It's important to remember that Tortorella did speak his mind before for interviews..but he got fined a huge amount for a coach.

You are saying this is an embarrassment to the NHL, that's exactly what Tortorella is trying to do. All this is a message being sent over and over to the NHL about the fine.

Anonymous said...

"Conduit to the fans" thats hilarious! Most of the media is a conduit for page-clicks and false controversies.

Torts is more interesting now than when he was telling the world how player X gave 110%.

The 'conduit' might be just fine with having shit flow through it, but the 'fan' at the business end of that conduit prefers CONTENT over nonsense.

Anonymous said...

I have waiting and wishing for a day where John come in, looks around and sees an empty press room, where all the pressmen get together and say 'let send an example, nobody show up.' imagine the backlash it would create when all the fans of the Rangers wait to get something and realize the media themselves aren't going to waste their time with Torts anymore. He is an embarrassment to the sport, and he like it that's the problem. The more we let him feed his little child mentality the more he gets to rule the sandbox. Ignore him and he will go away, and if they win the cup, don't even bother with a post game interview. Let him know how the fans can be just as complacent as he is.
Well said Deaner.
(ps next playoffs please don't let Bob Cole take your spot on play by play lol)

Kurtman said...

Notice how the only people who seem to be bothered by his behavior towards the media, is the media? As a fan I don't really care about the answers to the majority of the lame questions reporters ask, and I think he is perfectly within his rights not to answer them. He is paid to COACH HOCKEY, not answer questions from reporters.
As many other people have mentioned, it seems every time he does "play the game" with the media, he tells his opinion and gets hit with a fine from the NHL. Give the guy a break. I'd much rather have a coach who gets his team to win games, than one who spends a half hour on a press conference after each game.

Anonymous said...

So he's criticized if he speaks his mind and then he's criticized when he doesn't, sounds like a bunch of hypocrites to me, do him a favor and don't show up, he is trying to keep the media off his team's back, sorry but he's respected by his boys and that's all that matters, not the writers not the opposing fans(haters)

Anonymous said...

I 100% agree. Torts has a responsibility to sell the game. He's the head coach of the team in the biggest media market in the league in the Conference Finals. Also, for as much as he hates the media, the hypocrite will jump at a job on the TSN panel when he is eventually fired by the Rangers and he WILL eventually be fired.

Anonymous said...

Whose your boss? I want to write him an email ask him to have you stop whining. Geez. I'll bring the cheese next time if you'd let me know.

Torts does his job well, damn well I should say. You could learn a lesson about that.

As a paying customer, I don't blame him. Heck, I'd be crazy NOT to do the same thing If I were in his shoes.

Getcha shinebox son, don't wanna hear no mo'.

Anonymous said...

Dean Brown, umadbro? Still upset that your Sens lost to the Rangers?

Regarding today's press conference --- how exactly would you have liked him to answer the questions? The first question, like so many others that have been asked this postseason, is stupid. Every playoff team adds players to its taxi squad once the minor league team's season is done. The second and third questions were answered succinctly yet truthfully. This team does not change its style at all, unless it's behind with time running out.

The fourth question is idiotic insofar as of course the answer depends on the player. And regarding the follow-up question, what business is it of anyone's what the coach says to one of his players?

So go ahead, you hack, and encourage your media pals who think you're soooooooooo important to the fans' knowledge and understanding of sports to just walk out. Or not show up at all. Won't affect the outcome of the games one tiny bit.

Anonymous said...

Dude...let it go. I am a Rangers fan and I've tried to watch as many Torts post game press conferences as I can and for the most part he's been fine. He lauds his players who play well and protects his players who don't. And given the season that the team has had it seems to work just fine.

If you don't like his style then that's perfectly acceptable but continuing to harp on it or call for a boycott makes you look like the idiot and not him.

Anonymous said...

When Torts did speak his mind he was slapped with a ridiculous fine. If you want him to speak freely then he needs to know he wont get punished for it. This isnt him lashing back at the fans or the media but simply at the NHL. There is a poll at a very popular rangersblog site that the fans voted on whether or not his actions bother them and only 1.87% said they are bothered by his actions with the media. This sounds like its simply the media angry at him for making it harder for you to do your job. No one else but you, the media seems to mind.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but you are dead wrong. I could care less if he sticks around and helps the media do their jobs for them. He'd be thrilled to walk in, see an empty room and be able to go back to doing what he's paid to do, which is coach the team. As a Rangers fan, I want him focused on the next game, not answering why he called a timeout at a particular time in the game. You guys in the media are the biggest bunch of whiners and lazy too.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think that Torts or Rangers fans would care if the media didn't show up for his press conference? He would be overjoyed.

This behavior is entirely intentional and the intent is twofold. As a few have pointed out, he was fined for speaking his mind and these interviews are a big middle finger aimed squarely at Bettman and the league office. If you are going to fine me for speaking my mind, then I am not going to speak. I respect that Torts isn't just another Yes Man.

The other goal of these interviews has been pointed out by some people who have worked with Torts in Tampa, as well as observant onlookers today. Torts is distracting the media. He is taking focus off of whatever player isn't doing well, or whatever part of the Rangers game that is faltering, and putting it on him. No distractions for his team. The Rangers go 0 for 8 on the powerplay, and your story is about Torts giving a 20 second presser. Mission accomplished.

Finally, don't pretend that you speak for the fans. We do not feel snubbed or disrespected. If anything, we have MORE respect for Torts. A poll this week on a popular Rangers blog asked whether fans were bothered by Torts interactions with the media. 1,445 fans voted. Only 1.87% said they were bothers. Wow.

Dean Brown said...

to the anonymous writer who wanted to know why the Ottawa media does'nt come up with more "dirt" on players and rummors about their actions and lifestyles off the ice. You cited a few players individually so I could not post your comments. The answer to your question is easy. Mainstream media can not chase those stories because of laws regarding libel, slander and defamation. You legally can not write of broadcast things of that nature unless you have absolute facts which would stand up in court because you would absolutely be sued.

Anonymous said...

The media is not a conduit to the fans. Your job (especially in sports) is becoming obsolete and pretty darn useless. I can watch the interview after the game and I don't need your questions either. There can be 1 independent moderator to select and ask questions from twitter. All the media does is jump on something and make a huge fuss over the smallest thing. I can form my own's just hockey. You people need to get over yourselves. Your less and less important with each passing day. Consider finding a new career, you're pretty bad at this one anyway

Dean Brown said...

I would like to note that I think this is outstanding feedback. I have had to reject through moderation only 2 comments. One for legal issues and the other for language and personal attacks. Overall it appears many don't agree with me (which is fine), but the comments have been mostly civil and just some good opinions both ways. I like it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

You write "He always tells his players to let things go and be professional. To have restraint and skate away from situations which could hurt the team. The coach needs to listen to his own advice."

However, that's exactly what he's doing. By not saying anything he's not creating a story, a story that could distract the team. Esp the question about getting Callahan's offense going- how does it benefit the team to say anything to that, effectively saying that as a coach you are disappointed with your Captain's offensive play.

Anonymous said...

As a Rangers fan, I have zero problem whatsoever with Torts' dealings with the media. You want to blame someone for this, blame the clown running the NHL who fined him for calling a spade a spade in regards to the league's preferred franchise-you know, the guys who utterly humiliated themselves against Philly. I don't blame Torts one bit for ignoring and blowing off the media.

Anonymous said...

So blocking Sean Avery's posts is a "legal issue" now?! Great. Just Byfuglien great!!

Carry on.

Frank C said...

The amount of whining the media has been doing regarding Torts is beyond laughable.

You act as if he's the only person to develop your story around. The players input and bytes are much more intriguing and important to the game than Tortorella's.

It's not like Callahan, Lundqvist, Richards etc., are snubbing the questions, they are the ones who actually play the game; they're the focal points.

Anonymous said...

Every blogger makes the EXACT same observation: "John is disrespecting the fans by disrespecting the media."

The flaw to this logic is that, according to a recent poll, only 2% of Rangers fans have a problem with the way he is acting. 98% isn't bad.

John's responsibility is to the NY Rangers and their fans first, not bitter bloggers in Canada with no team of their own to cover.

QueensBee said...

Somehow I think you'd be just fine with it if he were coaching the Senators in the EC finals right now, but since his team beat yours, you're bitter. You have no more Sens-related hockey stuff to write about, so you're just throwing your sour grapes around. Grow up. He's paid to coach his team to win games, and he's done that. He's also said that if the media are all over him, they're leaving his players alone. If you don't like him, fine, but all of this "he doesn't play well in the sandbox - get rid of him" crap is pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Boring. Next topic. Talk to the players. Get over yourself. Boring. Blah blah blah

Anonymous said...

I completely disagree with your comments Mr. Brown. As an avid hockey fan, I don't care how a coach or a player treats the media. I see the media treat players and coaches unfair all the time. In fact, it's almost refreshing to see the media on the receiving end for a change. And when you really think about this, Tortorella is not doing anything that bad. He is only being short with the media... big deal.... When I hear media people complaining about the Rangers' coach, it proves that the media feels entitled and doesn't appreciate the fan or the sport.

The biggest joke of your post is the idea that the media is the conduit to the fans. This proves, above all else, the pedestal that media puts themselves on. As a fan, i have my own connection to my teams that doesn't require the inclusion of media. I watch, I cheer, I cry and I celebrate my team. I don't need the media.

Anonymous said...

This post reads like a little child crying because he's not getting everything handed to him. No answers given in the way "Dean Brown" wants them... almost as poor as your broadcasts.

Dean Brown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dean Brown said...

Just a few points of clarification based on some of the responses. The "I don't need the media to follow my team". This points out that some of these people don't actually know where they information they get comes from. They say they watch their team. Watching the games on TV is media. Fans can’t be at practices or at all the games so the information they get on twitter, blogs and social media in fact comes from the media. You are getting your info from the media whether you realize it or not. The media is the only conduit to the fans like it or not since the average fan is not permitted to ask questions of coaches or players other than twitter. The idea of not having media ask the coach questions but rather just have a moderator ask John questions tweeted by fans is laughable. If you think Tortorella is going agree to take twitter questions it only shows how little you know about John. Also the premise that I wrote this blog because it has impacted me doing my job is incorrect. I have no connection to this in any way. I do not write for a newspaper, I am not broadcasting this series and I do not have a talk show. It has no impact on me personally. These are just my observations and opinions. Lastly, while Ranger fans understandably have no problem with what their coach is doing, the macro view is damaging to the NHL as a whole. During the playoffs there is more non-traditional media coverage and non-traditional hockey viewers, listeners and readers. The impression they get of our league is that it is bush league when they see behavior like this. It’s not what our league needs. All of us, who earn a living from the NHL, have a responsibility in some degree to help sell the game. It might be OK in NY with the Rangers, but when Torts loses this job and is trying to get another one, his ability to deal with the media is a part of the hiring criteria for virtually every other team in the NHL. Every coach gets fired at some point and John will someday be in that spot again. It would also be the ultimate in hypocrisy if John were to re-join TSN as a studio panelist when he is next unemployed.