Monday, April 11, 2011

The questions that never get asked

The Dispatch takes a swing at a season-wrapup interview with Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson, and it goes about as well as could be expected for a team that underachieved and a general manager who graduated from law school.

Interviews like this are somewhat tough.  It was conducted by a beat writer in between periods of the final game of the season against Buffalo.  Not exactly ideal conditions to probe the many "WTF?" questions facing this franchise.  There was lots of other activity going on, deadlines to meet, etc.  So I'll give the Dispatch a pass on this one.

For my money, the softballs tossed at Howson by Fox Sports Ohio revealed more interesting responses.  (And wouldn't you know, FSO didn't post the interview on their website.  Come on, FSO - you have good content on your it for people to watch after the game is over!)

Regardless,  I still have yet to hear anyone ask Howson two simple, open-ended questions that could provide context and insight to everything that Howson does as the personnel "ninja" for the team:
  1. Describe your ideal NHL team, specifically with regards to style of play and roster composition.
  2. Assess the current Blue Jackets roster against that ideal.
It's not rocket science.  I want to know Howson's vision.  To date, no one has asked him what that vision is.  Without that understanding, how can we appreciate anything that he's doing to improve the club?

Heck, I'll even take just the first question.  Get me a straight answer to that, and I'll do the math on the CBJ roster side of things.

It's moments like these that I almost wish I had media credentials...just to ask the questions that are crying out to be asked.


  1. I really was unimpressed by the Dispatch Q&A. It felt like there was an underlying agenda in those questions, and it wasn't one that actually tried to give answers to the fans so much as to hammer on the interviewer's biases.

    I have to admit, I'd really love to hear the answers to the questions you're posing, too.

  2. As much as I have criticized the Dispatch in the past, I'll give them a pass on this one because of the circumstances of the interview. I mean, in between periods of a game in progress? How much time do you think they had to prepare? I'm guessing that they had to pull questions out of their rear on the spot.

    Now, if the CBJ had given them the heads up in advance that said interview was coming (which is very possible, but it sure doesn't read like it), I'd have a very different view.

  3. I admit, I can't guarantee anything about how the Dispatch handles their interview requests, but I know from my experience that when other writers have asked for an interview with a member of the Jackets' front office, they were given at least a day or two of lead time.

    There's also the fact that unless Scott Howson decided to suddenly walk down press row and ask "Hey, want to talk to me?", the Dispatch indeed REQUESTED that interview. Even if there wasn't much lead time, I would have thought that they'd have prepared a little more before asking for it.

  4. Fair enough, I'm just going off of the fact that FSO got an intermission interview during the game as well. Seemed like Howson was making the rounds. Whether that was announced to media in advance, who knows?


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