Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was the subject of ESPN’s Sunday Conversation on Sportscenter this weekend. Colleen Dominguez – sportscaster and journalist (wink) – drew the interviewing duties and turned in a piece worthy of Ron Burgandy’s Rip the Lid Off It series.
Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett reacts to a call and appeals to line judge Ron Marinucci (107) during the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The interview starts a bit slow. Dominguez opens with a well-worn Tony Romo bromide: “Tony is 1-6 in win-or-go-home games. To what do you attribute that?” I tore up this canard in a recent post, and Garrett handled it much the same way. What else you got, Colleen?
“So if you could be 14-2, and the two losses were to the Giants, would you take that?” Um, yes please? The interview is getting a bit goofy, but at least it’s still vaguely about football. Where are you going with this, Colleen?
"“People on Twitter are talking about you. And so during the Hall of Fame game they were talking about you. And do you know what they were saying? This is what they were talking about: How much you look like Brody on Homeland… Have you ever been told you look like Brody on Homeland?”"
Now we’re talking! Thank you, ESPN! Thank you for continuing to add richness and texture to our NFL viewing experience!
Dominguez is in a tough spot here. Watching her interview, it was clear she hasn’t seen any Cowboys games the past two years… It’s likely she can’t name 10 players on the current roster… It’s possible she didn’t even know who Garrett was before she took the story assignment. This isn’t really about her, though – producing feature interviews for ESPN is great work if you can get it. More power to her. Now, who’s the moron who hired her?
Yeah, the Sunday Conversation segment is open to calculated fluff. This wasn’t supposed to be a hard-hitting football piece, even though Linda Cohn’s intro kinda set it up that way. We get intentional fluff, though. But this piece is part of the reason why more and more men are turning off ESPN – the line between sports journalism and TMZ celebrity gossip has been blurred to the point that ESPN’s sports coverage just isn’t very interesting.
Maybe the producers are to blame. Dominguez is a handsome woman, sure, but the producer cut to her 12 times in this 3-minute interview. Production note: Multiple cuts to Colleen looking thoughtful during Garrett’s responses. We know what sports fans want – we’re ESPN.
Maybe the dearth of on-air talent is to blame. There are only so many Dan LeBatards and Colin Cowherds, and there’s a ton of air time to be filled in today’s world of 24-hour sports coverage. So by necessity, the 3rd, 4th and 5th stringers get a lot of play time.
Whatever the reason Dominguez works for ESPN – and she’s been there since 2004 – her employment helps to define that network. This is what ESPN has become, and Dominguez’s final question to Garrett captured the essence perfectly:
"“How would Brody do coaching the Dallas Cowboys?”"
So Dominguez closes by asking an NFL head coach how well he thinks a fictional TV character could perform in his place. This is ESPN: Pop culture and sports collide, resulting in a cutsie-pie goo of inanity.
Garrett answered diplomatically; to his credit, he was a gentleman throughout. The truth is, Homeland’s Brody wouldn’t last long as an NFL head coach in the ESPN era of sporting news. Part of a head coach’s job is dealing with the press, and anyone who’s seen Homeland knows Nicolas Brody has no patience for fools.