Why The Media Should Boycott John Tortorella
5/18/2012 1:00:00 PM
John Tortorella is a New York Ranger but he's acted like a clown to date so far in the playoffs.
His post-game news conferences last for 30 seconds. If they go a minute long, something odd has happened.
It's insulting, it's embarrassing and I don't know why the NHL allows it.
It's league policy for teams to speak to the media. What "Torts" is doing isn't speaking to the media. It's a stupid little loophole he thinks he's found and the NHL has once again shown it has no spine.
There are theories on why Tortorella is acting this way. The first is that he's a bully who doesn't like talking to the media; the second is he's trying to create an "us versus the world" mentality with his team.
I don't think it's either of those options, I think it's both. Tortorella is known for being prickly at times with media. There are cases where it's deserved, if you ask a stupid question, you deserve the response that follows.
But what he's doing in the playoffs goes beyond that. It's insulting and pathetic. I also think it's misguided.
There have been numerous coaches over the years who tried to deflect attention away from their players onto themselves as a way to keep them focused. Tortorella has stumbled upon one way to do that but I'd recommend the Joe Torre method.
Torre was infamous among reporters for doing the exact opposite of what Tortorella is doing now. He'd tire reporters out by talking and giving long-winded answers. This would allow his players to either calm down or leave the ballpark away from the prying eyes and microphones of the media because they were tied up with Torre.
If you're trying to shield your players, that's the route I'd take.
It's what I'd suggest Tortorella do if I was the NHL. There is no other professional sports league that would allow this to happen, but then again, this is Gary Bettman's NHL.
The really unfortunate part about Tortorella's faux news conferences is he's actually an insightful guy. Normally, if you ask him a thoughtful question you'll get a thoughtful answer in response.
But that's not what we're getting now and it's not what hockey fans are seeing.
If the NHL is wondering why even after its first round spike in attention, why it's still struggling to gain traction in the United States market place here's a good reason why. Every time the league makes news; it's for the wrong reasons. It's for a fight gone badly, a concussion or an ugly hit. Now it's because Tortorella is acting like a jerk, in a way no other sports league would tolerate. The league is arrogant and out of touch.
Why should anyone respect you, when you give none to your media partners?
Lastly, I don't know why the media sit there and take it. Do they enjoy being made to look like a fool?
There are many pro athletes and coaches who have a certain disdain for talking to the media. Believe me, it's not always fun for us either.
I'd like to see the media boycott Tortorella and his joke news conferences. The media has better things to do than to sit there and let Tortorella act like a fool.
If they do continue to go, I'd like for someone to ask why he's so hostile to a profession that gave him a home after he was fired by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He doesn't have to become best friends with the media, just show a little respect.