There are always those reporters that you’re going to want to see get kicked in the head or fed their own mike just for being so annoying, and Jim Gray is certainly at the top of that most notorious list. The guy just doesn’t seem to realize how annoying he is or even how tactless he can be. It’s one thing to celebrate a win and ask someone how they’re feeling but when it comes to talking to an athlete after a loss it pays to have some sense of decency and let the person have their dignity.
Jim Gray wouldn’t know about that.
Let’s just put this out there, the world of sports reporting is tough. You have to be on the ball all the time, you need to be able to conduct an interview on the spot, and you need to be able to remember every question that you should be asking an athlete whether it’s before or after the game or in the studio. It’s also important to remember that the athlete is an individual and will respond to your questions the way they see fit. If you start asking questions that sound personal and tend to get them to shut down then chances are you’re not bothering to gauge their reaction.
Jim Gray just plows ahead with his questions and doesn’t really seem to bother worrying over what he’s saying. The lack of sensitivity that this man gives to his interviewees is appalling really. As a sports reporter you don’t have to be the friend of every athlete that sits down for an interview, but you do have to treat them in a friendly manner. It doesn’t matter if they’re the biggest blowhard in their sport, it’s important to get an interview that is as unbiased and professional as possible.
At this point in his career I wouldn’t feel comfortable sending Jim Gray out to question a little league coach playing for their regional championships. Chances are he’d offend the guy and somehow cause the team to lose. Bad reporting can leave a mark on coaches an athletes alike, even if it fades. It’s just one more detractor that person didn’t need.
The worst part about this kind of reporting is that it’s lazy. He doesn’t ask any really in-depth questions, he doesn’t bother really asking about things that athletes and coaches would like to discuss. He goes as general as he can most times and states the obvious so very often that many people would love to smack him upside the back of head and tell him to just be quiet. If he can contribute anything useful to the conversation then don’t talk at all.
And yet he still has a job. Someone up in the front office still likes him apparently and thinks he’s doing a good job. Or he has some sort of job security that says he can’t just be replaced at a moment’s notice. A tenure like that in a job like this is something that needs to be abolished quickly if it does exist. Seasoned pro or not he needs to change his routine or move on.