Blog Entry

Sigh: Sports writers foiled again

Posted on: June 15, 2010 9:18 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2010 9:23 pm
 
When you’ve got a controversy brewing on the team you cover and if the recipient of that controversy isn’t around – or isn’t talking – the next step as a beat reporter is to ask the opinions of his colleagues.

For instance, “So and so isn’t here, but what do you think about his a) desire to not play for your team this season; b) positive drug test; or c) run-in at the local strip club?” More often than not, you’ll get answers, and even if they’re the generic “We support our teammate and we don’t know much more than what’s in the police report” statements, that’s enough to write what we in the business call “a folo.”

The Boston Herald tried to do that today in regards to Patriots Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins and his desire not to sign his restricted free agent tender. But, as the title of the Herald's blog post says, “Ho, hum, nothing to see here.”

Obviously, New England coach Bill Belichick decided not to give his opinion on the matter, but we had two other beautiful side-steps of the issue. One player, guard Stephen Neal, said he didn’t know much about the situation, because he doesn’t have cable TV or the Internet. Read that part again. No cable TV, no Internet, no comment. Another, NT Vince Wilfork, seemed to grow agitated at the repeated attempts of questioners.

“What don’t you understand?” Wilfork said. “I’m not going to touch that. If you’re going to sit here and talk about that all day, I’m outta here. I’m not going to touch that.”

Even stranger? Just about every football writer knows that if you need good, solid, smart, thoughtful quotes from players who rarely say no to an interview request, you go to the offensive line. It's a double shot to the stomach when the guards, tackles and centers blow off your questions.

Mankins touched on the issue briefly Monday when he told ESPN Boston that there was “no way” he would sign his tender offer of $3.26 million.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl .



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