A Nation of Spin Doctors Should not Hold Us Back

Trains of Thought

"Well, I'm just happy to be here. I'm going to take it one game at a time, and the good Lord willing things will work out. You know, a friend of mine once said that this is a simple game: you throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains. Think about that." Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh

When it comes to dealing with the media, we are a nation of spin doctors. Afraid that our words will be twisted beyond repair, we never say what we mean. So we say as little as possible and adhere to a common code: Never admit anything. Always keep 'em guessing. Shun the exposure.

After all, the media is searching for controversy, right? It will take anything it can get. Stretching the facts isn't out of the question--sensationalism sells papers and gets people talking. Isn't that what newspapers want to do?

Hell, if The Crimson ever called me up, I'd be wary, and I'm supposed to know what's going on down here.

As a reporter--and particularly a sports reporter--I run into this situation nearly every day. Harvard Athletics employs only three slick-talking professional spin doctors, and uses them to shield only the senior athletic department officials, so all the coaches and athletes are on their own.

How do they manage in the face of our constant harassment? By saying as little as possible. Don't exult too much after a win. Don't admit to despondence after a loss. Don't be too colorful. Don't give them the satisfaction.

Which is why this weekend was a little surprising.

New Haven has always been a target of derision, but Saturday night it became a source of comedy after the Harvard men's hockey team demolished Yale, 12-1, in one of the more notable shellackings of the modern era.

After that game, the Crimson locker room churned out some of the best quotes of the season. Our intrepid columnist, Darren Kilfara, reported some of the highlights in yesterday's paper:

"They parted like the Red Sea!"--Junior Cory Gustafson, on how the Yale defense helped him to the first of his two goals.

"I guess nobody wants to talk to me about my game-winning assist...same old, same old...Alright!"--sophomore Peter McLaughlin, playfully looking for a little media coverage and then getting some.

"Waaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!"--Junior Steve Martins, Metallica T-shirt on, obviously enjoying himself.

"I've gotta score before Christmas."--Junior Perry (two-assists-tonight-but-I-still-haven't-scored-th is-year) Cohagan, greedy to get some action for himself.

"Are you still worried about our five-on-five play? Huh? I want to know!"--Coach Ronn Tomassoni, as happy as the coach ever allows himself to be.

Full of emotion, humor, zest, truth...quotable beauties like these do not cross our path very often. If you, the reader, are tired of hearing how "this loss is really a positive for us," then believe me when I tell you that we at The Crimson drown in it.