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Old 02-24-2010, 07:17 PM   #1
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Default Harris: At least Tomlin never walked on media

Harris: At least Tomlin never walked on media
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_668449.html
By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin stormed out of a news conference, angered by rumors swirling around the South Side that he missed one of USC safety Taylor Mays' practices during last month's Senior Bowl to grab a bite to eat.

''I was hungry because I missed breakfast,'' Tomlin snapped at reporters. ''You wanna know what I had for lunch? I tried the crab cakes, but they gave me heartburn.''

Imagine the reaction around town if sports imitated life and Tomlin really had pulled a Mayor Luke Ravenstahl when the line of questioning became heated during the 2009 NFL season, as the fictitious scenario above highlights.

Ravenstahl walked out of his news conference last week when reporters wanted to know his whereabouts. At issue was whether the mayor was needed to sign paperwork that would extend the emergency he declared as a result of the snowstorm earlier this month. Rumors had him in New Orleans celebrating Mardi Gras, a week after leaving the city prior to the storm to celebrate his birthday at Seven Springs.

Public Safety director Michael Huss ended up signing the extension of the declaration. When reporters pressed Ravenstahl on his whereabouts, the mayor left miffed.

Contrast this with Tomlin's relationship with the media. During the Steelers' recently completed 9-7 campaign, Tomlin, having ample opportunity to blow his stack with certain reporters, always treated members of the press with civility and a minimum of sarcasm.

The Steelers' endured a five-game losing streak, with Tomlin bearing a large brunt of the criticism.

Through all the tough questions, Tomlin, whose weekly news conferences are televised live, put on a happy face and never allowed any anger he may have been feeling to surface.

For the final question of his final news conference of the season, Tomlin was asked to describe his level of accountability as the Steelers missed the playoffs a year after winning Super Bowl XLIII.

''I accept responsibility for everything that's on tape,'' said Tomlin, who stuck around for the end of his news conference.

I understand the mayor of Pittsburgh's responsibilities are a lot more serious than those of the coach of the Steelers. Some, however, would suggest that Tomlin has a much higher profile than Ravenstahl does.

Mind you, I'm not trying to equate the importance of a football coach with that of a politician. But the two positions have a lot more in common than you might think, according to public relations expert Alan Caruba.

''Both jobs come with widely understood responsibilities,'' said Caruba, the New Jersey-based professional whose clients have included leading corporations and trade associations. ''Public figures are called public figures because the public expects them to respond to reasonable questions. As a public servant, particularly as the mayor of Pittsburgh, he does, in fact, need to be available and accessible, particularly in the case of a blizzard.

''Obviously, the mayor failed to do that. Walking out of a news conference is always an extremely bad idea.''

Frankly, I was amazed at how well Tomlin contained his anger toward the local media in 2009. It was the first time in his three seasons with the Steelers that Tomlin was subjected to close media scrutiny for losing games; reporters were curious to see how he would handle the negative publicity.

Tomlin is a master at not answering a question to a reporter's satisfaction, but he's never walked out of a news conference because he didn't like a question.

NFL coaches are paid to take the blame. They understand that in the court of public opinion, players win games but coaches lose them.

Caruba said he would advise Ravenstahl to conduct another news conference to apologize for walking out and ''try to put matters straight again'' with local residents.

''That's how the game is played in sports, politics and the world of business. If the man at the top cannot accept responsibility, there's a strong likelihood he will be replaced at some point,'' Caruba said.

''When the mayor is not in town, it's almost like the coach being missing from the sideline. It's as if they played a game and the coach didn't show up. The good news is the mayor is not the coach of a Pittsburgh sports team, because he probably wouldn't last very long.''
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: Harris: At least Tomlin never walked on media

He should not apologize for anything! Mays sucks and maybee he knows this better than any media scab. Besides why the hell should a coach ever apologize to the FN media. They really have no outcome whatsoever on what goes on behind the scenes or in the locker room!
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Harris: At least Tomlin never walked on media

I don't get it? what's the big deal about missing Taylor Mays' practice? It's probably on tape anyway along with every game he's ever played at USC.

The man was hungry.. is he supposed to sit there watching players all day without eating? LOL.. let the man grab a crab cake for christ sake!
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Harris: At least Tomlin never walked on media

LOl Mike you did the right thing.

Mays is a piece of shit. I would of not attended any of his practises.
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Harris: At least Tomlin never walked on media

Quote:
Imagine the reaction around town if sports imitated life and Tomlin really had pulled a Mayor Luke Ravenstahl when the line of questioning became heated during the 2009 NFL season, as the fictitious scenario above highlights.
I hope this isn't the common reaction to this story or Tomlin is about to get a lot of undeserved heat.
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: Harris: At least Tomlin never walked on media

Apparently, some people got Fs in reading comprehension...
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: Harris: At least Tomlin never walked on media

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Originally Posted by X-Terminator View Post
Apparently, some people got Fs in reading comprehension...
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Harris: At least Tomlin never walked on media

This once again proves my point, any American media outlet sucks, just saying. So what if he didn't go to a practice, theres more fish in the sea. I don't see this as a big deal and it probably is on tape so he can view it.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Harris: At least Tomlin never walked on media

Isn't the purpose of the scout to go to the practices and for the coach to watch film?
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Harris: At least Tomlin never walked on media

I do not agree with much of anything said here, except that Tomlin shows class at all times. But don't compare him to a Politician. That to me is like comparing an honest businessman to a common thief. Because to me there is no such thing as an HONEST POLITICIAN!!! The ones who are honest quit because they can't live with who they'd have to become. DON'T GET ME STARTED!!!
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