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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Mudbugs show ugly side

The Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs fell 4-1 to Wichita in Game 3 of the Central Hockey League's playoffs on Thursday, and presumably fell off the face of the earth.

Assistant Sports Editor Roy Lang made the drive up to Wichita to cover the series and no one from the Mudbugs spoke with him following the game. Not even after he waited for more than an hour.

CHL rules state that the locker rooms are to be open to media 10 minutes after games are completed. It looks like the Mudbugs are above the league rules.

The behavior of head coach Scott Muscutt and his team is childish and rude. Especially after Roy drove the eight-plus hours to cover the team. You'd think a team as "classy" as the Mudbugs are would pay him a little courtesy.

For an organization that prides itself on being one of the best in all of minor league hockey, this action (or rather inaction) is atypical. Even at home, technically reporters aren't allowed in the Mudbugs locker room. The team's former media relations guys/announcers Steve Mears and Brandon Walker would ask which players the media wanted to interview, then duck in the room to grab said player.

If the Mudbugs are a professional team, they'd speak with the media. That's a part of the job. These are grown men after all. You'd think they'd act like it, instead of like a bunch of 5-year-olds.

11 Comments:

Blogger Donna said...

Part of Scott Muscutt's job is to keep his team focused on their goals. If he, as the head coach, determines that a post-game meeting is necessary, so be it. No matter how much Roy Lang whines, he is still only a local sports columnist. He is not above the team. There is a Director of Media Relations to whom he can express his displeasure instead of bashing the coach, team, and organization in print and online. Looks like you have the five-year-old covering the Mudbugs, not coaching the Mudbugs.

5:17 PM  
Blogger bugzFAN said...

thats bull. Roy Lang has done an unbelievable amount for this hockey team. Just because the team hasn't shown up in the post season, don't take it out on the media.

6:47 PM  
Blogger bugzFAN said...

I disagree, Roy Lang and the times hava done nothing but great things for the bugs, the coverage we receive is better than any in the league. Just because we are getting our teeth kicked in, that doesn't mean he should take it out on the media that does so much for them.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Brian, grab your pacifier and blankie and go whine in a corner somewheres. You suck! If Roy's crying about it too, take him with you.

7:09 PM  
Blogger kelli said...

Donna I disagree if it the league's rule the the lockerroom is suppossed to be open for media access after the game then it should be. Anyone who does not follow the league rules should be subject to discipline by the league. The rules are not set to be used at any one team's convenience. Every team in this league has had a game where they didn't want to have to deal with the press afterward but that is part of being a 'professional' sports team. You have have to deal with the press and the fans on both good days and bad days. If a team meeting was needed then it could have easily been done as soon as the regulated press time had been completed. And no matter how bad things are going it is vitally important for any 'professional' organization to do all that it can to keep the local media happy. The Mudbugs are fortunate to have local media that devotes time to covering thier events. Not every team in the league is that lucky.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Brian Vernellis said...

There's two things I take issue with Muscutt refusing to talk with the media.

One, it's a part of his job. I assume Donna that you are a loyal Mudbugs fan that has paid a lot of money for tickets, jerseys, souvenirs, etc. For someone who has invested so much money and time into the team, wouldn't you want to know what your coach is thinking?

Two, it's also about accountability. When you screw up at work, you are held accountable for your actions. Muscutt is a public figure, whether he likes it or not. Part of the job in being a public figure is standing before the media and answering questions - in good times and bad.

If Muscutt stuck his out of the locker room and said, "No comment," that's one thing. But, he didn't even do that. All the media needs is five minutes of his time after a game for a quote or two.

You think a coach in the NFL, the NBA, the NHL or major league baseball would pull this? If the Mudbugs want to be considered a professional sports franchise, then act like it.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

Wouldn't I want to know what Muscutt is thinking? No. I want to see it on the ice. Anyone could have predicted the quotes from him that night. "We need to keep putting the shots on goal, etc..."
And as far as accountability, he is accountable to Rob Walker and John Madden. When the Times starts paying his salary, then he can be accountable to whatever reporter you send over. Justin Scholtes is the Director of Media Relations for the Mudbugs... you could have gotten a "no comment" from him. But of course, Roy didn't want to write up a "no comment." He'd rather make more of an issue that he was slighted by Muscutt. So much, that it's now on a blog in Corpus Christi, posted on a Mudbugs fan message board, and of course here. And no, this isn't uncommon for a professional sports franchise. Many coaches have nights where they don't talk to the media. (Bobby Cox immediately comes to mind.) However, the difference is the PR person for the team will field questions, and in this case, that wasn't good enough for the reporter.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Brian Vernellis said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Brian Vernellis said...

Donna-

You're right. Sometimes coaches in other sports don't talk to reporters. I've been rebuffed by high school coaches a couple of times following games.

But, even if a coach like Bobby Cox, doesn't speak with the media at least players are made available. At least the players in the locker room will talk with the press. Some of the players may not talk, so you find another player who will.

His quotes may have been predictable following the loss, but Muscutt also gives predictable quotes after wins. "We played our style of hockey," is constantly mentioned after wins. Does that mean we the media shouldn't talk to him after wins too?

If you're a reporter, you try to get as much feedback as possible from the people involved in the game. That's one of the first things they teach in Journalism school. Quotes provide depth to a story. I've never seen a PR person provide quotes for a game story because he doesn't have a direct input to the game. The PR person isn't on the ice or behind the bench, so how relevant would his comments be about a game he didn't play in?

11:27 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I dont think muscutt held the players away from the media just to keep them from talking. I think the players were getting a tongue lashing for not showing up to play the caliber of game they have played the better part of the regular season. If I was Roy, I would be a little upset that I waited an hour with no results, but I doubt it was because muscutt just didnt want to talk to him. Remember last season when madden gave the locker room a "chat" that turned the season around? Well, Muscutt's post game remarks on Wednesday must have opened some eyes because the Bugs came out and finally solved Horrell and tied the series and are bringing it back home.

11:35 AM  
Blogger BugDoug said...

Brian, Roy Lang is a big boy and I see he blogs here too. Did he ask you to whine for him?

6:52 AM  

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