The Ohio State Buckeyes dispatched with the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday in their first game of the truncated 2020 Big Ten football season. For Nebraska, things started out really well but they eventually lost control of the situation and things got out of hand.
You could make the case that the same thing played out in the Ohio State postgame presser between some of the reporters.
Quarterback Justin Fields started taking questions from reporters via Zoom during the postgame press conference, and there were a couple of hiccups with people hearing one another and one or two reporters getting bumped off the call. Normal Zoom stuff. Fields was asked what it was like to get back out on the field, what it was like to play in front of an empty home stadium. and to offer some insight from the game itself. Also very normal press conference stuff. Towards the end of the presser, Cleveland.com sports columnist Doug Lesmerises asked Fields if he was “better than last year, and if so, how?” Fields answered the question honestly and then his portion of the press conference wrapped up.
— tommy J??☄️? (@sadboytomm) October 24, 2020
At this point, we start hearing the Columbus 610AM radio station broadcast as they banter while waiting for head coach Ryan Day to show up. Apparently, they forgot to mute themselves on the Zoom call and their broadcast could be heard in the presser, which was awkward when the co-hosts immediately started lampooning Lesmerises’s question.
“What do you expect him to say? No?,” one of the co-hosts is heard saying. Based on this tweet, it appears that the people talking are Matt McCoy, Jeff Logan, and Bill Conley.
Buckeyes putting the finishing touches for an opening day win… Taking the air shortly with @loganjeff34 and @CoachBillConley on the Best Buckeye Coverage postgame on @610wtvnnews. Have a comment, or question.. Tweet me. #Buckeyes
— Matt McCoy (@MattMcCoyRadio) October 24, 2020
Either they realized the mistake or the host stepped in, because the broadcast was quickly muted but the damage was done. And Lesmerises couldn’t resist taking a shot back.
“Can I shout out the Big Ten Network, who has no idea how this job operates,” says Lesmerises. “Hey Big Ten Network, sometimes you ask a question to get a good answer. You wanna go head-to-head on asking questions anytime, I’m here.”
During some chit-chat, it’s pointed out to Doug that it was not the Big Ten Network folks but 610AM, and Doug redirects his ire.
“610…anytime…question-asking competition. You know where I am.”
At that point, cooler heads prevail and, after a very long and awkward silence, Ryan Day appears and the press conference continues as normal.
For what it’s worth, Lesmerises makes a good point. Of course, Fields probably isn’t going to say “No, I’ve regressed.” But the way he answers a question like that has the potential to make for a solid quote or interesting follow-up. Understanding how a Heisman hopeful like Fields sees his progression is something worth exploring. And frankly, it’s a much more interesting question than the generic boilerplate stuff we usually hear at these pressers.
All of that said, we’re not entirely sure what a question-asking competition might look or sound like, but we kinda want to see find out. Make it happen, 610AM.