My Norm Chow story: I, the jury

            It’s always strange to be on the other side of the table.

            By that I mean being the guy who is the subject of an interview. Many times I’ve been interviewed by news outlets, but seldom was I a small part of the story. 


Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News

Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News

   This time, the phone interview was conducted by Stephen Tsai, a respected sports writer for the Honolulu Star Advertiser. He had seen a column I had written for last Sunday’s paper about coach Norm Chow’s 0-8 record at Hawaii.

            In the story Chow wryly noted, “I’m way too old for this.”

            Tsai, doing his due diligence, called to ask if I had taken Chow’s comments comment seriously. Apparently that quote became a big deal in Hawaii. I told him no, Norm had said it in good humor and wasn’t complaining. I’ve heard Chow say the same thing when he was an assistant at Utah. It’s just a self-deprecating expression when things aren’t going well.

            I didn’t realize until later on Tuesday that a radio station in Hawaii had tried to reach me via Twitter to address Chow’s comments. The whole thing sort of caught me off guard. I took Chow’s comments lightly, but apparently some Warrior fans didn’t think it was appropriate.

            All I can say is that it’s easy to see why coaches seldom offer more than bland, guarded quotes. They’re afraid if they show any sense of humor, someone will take it the wrong way.

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  1. Mark Freckleton

    I am hardly a pundit or a celebrity, but I once got quoted in the UCLA Daily Bruin regarding a planned strike of instructors at the university. The article quoted half of what I said in a way that made me look naive and unaware. The fallout was that my wife lost a child care client who felt I was a running dog lackey of the Bourgeoisie (the client was a Maoist). Bottom line, giving interviews is always risky business, and that’s why only a limited number of people can ever run for public office.

  2. Farid

    As a reporter for a newspaper, I always try to properly include a quote within a story. That said, we can’t always tell what a interviewee means by their words. Parts of an interview–or of a sentence–ending up on the “cutting room floor” as it were and to us we didn’t change the person’s meaning at all. But there are times we get it wrong and when that happens, any responsible reporter should feel devastated.

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