Sunday, April 29, 2007

Yeah, ESPN, buzz off!! In the strongest of terms!!

It seems the guys over at the San Francisco Chronicle and the Sacramento Bee might find themselves on ESPN's shit list (along with such notables as the guys at Deadspin and Jason Whitlock). From Kevin Lynch of San Francisco Chronicle's Niners Turf Blog:

The 49ers public relations staff got Willis on a conference call about five minutes after his selection. About three questions in, a producer from ESPN broke into the call, saying they wanted to take Willis away for an interview. He encountered an angry group of reporters who wanted to finish the conference call, before bowing to all-mighty ESPN. The media was backed up by the P.R. staff.

When the (ESPN) producer persisted, a 49ers staffer told him to buzz off in the strongest of terms.

Booyeah!! That's right ESPN, Buzz Off!! We're first!! Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your powerful sports words will never hurt me!!

The story was corroborated by the Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows:

The local media was three questions into their conference call with Patrick Willis when an obviously distracted Willis said he had to go because ESPN wanted to interview him.

To his credit, the 49ers’ PR staffer who was present politely asked Willis to tell ESPN to wait and to finish the interview with the local writers. At this point, an ESPN producer got on the phone and said that Willis had to hang up.

It should be noted that there is no love loss between local media outlets and ESPN. We see them as the bullies on the block who like to throw their weight around, and who often poach stories from the smaller outlets and pawn them off as their own.

So when the ESPN producer cut into the interview, he was shouted down by the dozen or so of us on the other end. The most vociferous was the 49ers’ web director who tore into the guy from ESPN like a bulldog on a steak, explaining to him in plain terms that ESPN would get to interview Willis when his current interview was over. It was great.

So the interview continued uninterrupted for five minutes or so until everyone here had asked their question. ESPN was forced to wait patiently – just as they should have in the first place.

It's nice to hear that Northern California sportswriters are mad as hell, and they're just not taking it anymore. Although, I have to wonder, who will ESPN steal the BALCO stories from now?


the butler said...

I wonder what exactly the "bulldog on a steak" guy said...

"You Mickey Mouse molesting son of a whore! What's the matter, not big time enough to interrupt Quinn's interview, huh? You sorry sack of Dumbo shit!!!"

Run Up The Score said...

That's funny, I actually know someone who works in that PR department.

And, uh, not the guy who made that video.