So, I have no class on Fridays. I woke up at a cool noon, checked Twitter/Facebook for an hour — my normal morning routine of a high school girl addicted to Social Networking. By the time I was up and at ’em, Ryan Braun was giving his first press conference since winning his appeal against a positive drug test that would’ve suspended him 50 games this season.
I normally hate press conferences. Seriously, I want to be a sports journalist and I can’t stand them. What athlete who just gave up a game winning home run or hit a buzzer-beater to make it to the Final Four, wants to walk out of the arena or stadium and get grilled by a bunch of people who type on a computer for a living? I play in a Division III lacrosse game and the first thing I want to do is head over to our team tailgate with my family. I’d rather not chat it up with random people who are on-edge because of their deadlines. Why not hold a press conference the day after a game, so that athletes can have some time to gather their thoughts? You’d probably get better, more knowledgeable responses once they have time to sleep on it. Eh, It’ll never happen — the fans and writers would never have it, I’ll stop now (if you catch me at a press conference in a few years, which you will, bring a crow).
Normally when I watch a press conference (rarely) I try to decipher how much what the athlete is saying is purely PR responses that he/she has been coached to say. After catching Braun’s, I think he spoke from his heart. He didn’t cry, didn’t seem to be a prepared robot like Tiger Woods after his public apology, and even cracked a few jokes on the way while maintaining a serious tone when exploring the entire process of his appeal. For once, I wouldn’t rather be in Academic Writing than watch a press conference.
I’m not a speech expert, but surely I know that Braun had help from lawyers and PR people to write his opening statement and coached him on how to speak today. But I felt like I could shake Braun’s hand after he was done, look him in the eye, ask him, “Was that you up there?”, and he’d say yes and still be able to look himself in the mirror. I believed him.
Could I, the naive 20-year-old who refused to believe someone stole my iPod, have been fooled? Easily. (Lin alert) Jeremy Lin does a press conference and I believe every word he says because I know he hasn’t had time to be schooled, marred by the PR machine.
I guess I just can’t wait until someone, years from now goes back and investigates this whole scandal to see if I’m right or not. Make sure you tune in because I might need the money.