Friday, November 09, 2012
Heather Cox interview
Although BC hasn't been in the national spotlight much this season, most Eagle fans would probably recognize ESPN's Heather Cox for her work on ABC/ESPN's Saturday night games. Although we couldn't get too specific or turn her interview into an opportunity to bash Spaz, I did want to get her take on approaching coaches on the "hot seat" and how to navigate a halftime interview when the subject doesn't want to talk. My questions and her answers follow.
1. Notre Dame is the main draw on Saturday, where the BC narrative is more focused on the struggles and possible final days of Frank Spaziani. When you have your pregame meetings and interviews with a coach and staff on the "hot seat" do you ask about the job pressure?
Heather Cox: Absolutely. We are sensitive to the situation but certainly address any pressures. More often than not, in the situation you describe, the coach actually brings up the pressures before we do. It isn't a big pink elephant in the room. It is almost always addressed and when it is, our goal is to discuss it with compassion and sensitivity without any judgment or bias.
2. Notre Dame is a heavy favorite on Saturday. Most of BC's games have not been close. If a game becomes lopsided do you try to shift your sideline reporting from information to more storytelling and entertainment in hopes of keeping the viewers engaged?
Heather Cox: The way we announce the broadcast and the tone and technique does change based on the score of the game. A game with a close score will be very specific to the action, the calls and reports will be tight and succinct and always looking forward. If the score gets out of hand, we tend to talk bigger picture, national landscape and do more story telling. At that point, we aren't as concerned about calling each specific play and will trend toward a more conversational approach to calling the game.
3. When doing sideline reporting you have to interview the coaches before and after halftime. If you know a coach is not a particularly good quote do you change the type of questions you ask?
Heather Cox: I definitely alter my approach based on the coach and his personality and demeanor. However, that doesn't mean I will avoid a question because I know the coach won't like it. If I believe a subject matter needs to be covered, I will always ask the question. A perfect example of that was with Bill Snyder last week when Collin Klein didn't return to the game. I know that Bill Snyder doesn't discuss injuries and keeps everything very close to the chest. But I would not being doing my job if I didn't ask about his Heisman hopeful's health. I can't avoid a topic just because I think the coach might not like it.
4. There will probably be a few heroes from past BC upsets of Notre Dame in attendance on Saturday. Are there any names that you know of now that Eagle fans can look forward to?
Heather Cox: As of now, no word on past greats attending the game. But I am sure as we get closer to kick, we will hear who is planning to attend. It is always fun in games like this to see who comes back to support his alma mater.