Having fun with the media?What if Neuheisel is
caught in a lie?
Malamute, Posted 11 February 2003
Members of the media are desperate for story ideas—their
editors as vicious as the NCAA—and they will do anything short of plagiarism to
invent one. Since most media members are one standard deviation shy of a normal IQ, it
takes a collection of their minds to proffer a half-credible idea.
Editor: Maybe you should put a line with a loop at the end through that last
So…Rick Neuheisel, who was seen in the San Francisco
Airport on Sunday, said he had been golfing with some fraternity brothers in
the Bay area after cutting short a skiing trip to Sun Valley. That sighting
sparked another round of rumors concerning Neuheisel and the head-coaching job
with the 49ers, which led to a spate of stories published in major newspapers,
as well as providing subject matter for talk radio. It was too much of a
coincidence for the story-starved media, and who can blame them for running
with an editor-placating story about Neuheisel and the 49ers’ job.
And then Slick Rick returns to Seattle and, on Monday,
issues a five-paragraph release stating he isn’t interested in the 49ers’ job.
"I want to respond to
the speculation that I am a candidate for the head coaching position with the
San Francisco 49ers. I have not been contacted by anyone from the 49ers
organization about the position.
"I want to reiterate what I have said in the past. I am the football coach at
the University of Washington
and I am very happy with my position and I am not interested in coaching
What’s the explanation for his behavior: that is, cutting
short a skiing trip with his family to play golf with frat buddies in the Bay
area, where rumors are swirling about his coaching future with the 49ers?
One explanation says that Neueheisel is having some fun
with a media that has been on his case since he took the Huskies’ head-coaching
job in 1999. Thinly disguised in each Neu-diatribe are references to
his “bloated” salary and his untoward behavior, in that he’s pushed the
envelope with the NCAA and its picayunish rules. The Neuheisel persona fits a
long-standing media stereotype--just watch All My Children--and Neuheisel knows it.
So he’s baiting them with
each vacant head-coaching job--for which he’s ostensibly a candidate--and each
As he lays each rumor to rest concerning his departure
from Washington, media members become less credible.
Is Neuheisel playing games with the media or, just back
from Sun Valley, is he snowing Husky AD Barbara Hedges?
A second explanation says that Neuheisel is not being
candid about Sunday's foray into the Bay area. According to Hugh Millen's (KJR)
sources, Neuheisel interviewed for the 49ers' job on Sunday.
The Chicago Tribune also reported that Neuheisel
met with San Francisco General Manager Terry Donahue on Sunday night.
Maybe both explanations are
correct. After all, it's de rigueur for a talented person to interview for a
job that might become more challenging and tell a white lie to one's boss, and
then again, it's fun to keep the media dangling with a soft-shoe act mixed with
jabberwocky, so why not show up for an impromptu golf game in the Bay Area and,
out of curiosity, dispassionately interview with Donahue to perplex the
paparazzi? If he turns down the job or Donahue nixes him, he makes the
rumor-mongering media look foolish, while satisfying one's natural urges for a
So, what if Neuheisel should
be caught in a lie? No problem. Everyone does that, even presidents of the
United States, and members of the media when they pontificate about their
alleged objectivity. Of course, in the case of a "lie," the media will attempt
to hold Neuheisel to their usual double standard, one for guys they like and
another for guys they hate. They're all of the same mindset, and there's not
that many of them.
I still say that Neuheisel
won't leave Washington to become a 49er--and my editor doesn't need to strike