Heather Cox: ESPN Reporter Not to Blame for Rose Bowl Interview Mishap

Ethan GrantAnalyst IJanuary 2, 2013

Jan 1, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal head coach David Shaw is interviewed by ESPN anchor Heather Cox after winning the 2013 Rose Bowl game against Wisconsin Badgers 20-14 at the Rose Bowl.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's Heather Cox had an unfortunate situation after the Rose Bowl on New Year's night. During an interview with the winning coach—Stanford's David Shaw—the process of communication was ruined after a Rose Bowl official pulled Shaw away from Cox and towards the trophy presentation.

Cox followed the snub with a crystal clear, "Are you kidding?," as the truck left her microphone on a second too long.

Despite the frustration in Cox's voice after losing out on doing her job, the moment of weakness caught on the mic was unfortunate and should not reflect on the reporter in a negative light.

After Stanford's thrilling 20-14 win over Wisconsin in the first of five BCS bowl games during the college football's pinnacle season, Shaw and Cox found themselves on camera for the standard procedure of a three to four question interview.

But a Rose Bowl official apparent forget the contractual obligation for the winning coach and his ESPN counterpart, where the network pays a check with a large amount of zeros for the rights to grab the winning coach after the game is over.

As you can expect, the fallout from the 15 second blunder has left some people taking sides.

Reporters have mostly come to the aid of Cox, especially the ESPN variety. Jemele Hill offered her support for Cox on Twitter, claiming that's not the only phrase she would have used if put in the same situation.

Keeping it real...if that was me, instead of Heather Cox, I would have dropped a curse word instead of .... twitter.com/jemelehill/sta…

— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) January 2, 2013

That's no surprise, as ESPN usually looks out for its own. Others weren't so friendly about the situation, including people like SBNation's Luke Zimmermann:

That's not the interview Heather Cox needed, but it was the interview she deserved.

— Luke Zimmermann (@lukezim) January 2, 2013

Check Twitter after an ESPN interview—no matter the time or the place. Reaction is mixed at best, since coaches are disinterested in giving gravy answers and the questions that are being asked are more lobbed than a slow-pitch softball in a 65-and-up league.

Still, the coaches are briefed on the possibilities of having to do an interview and Cox was simply put in a bad situation. As Brent Musburger notes on the broadcast, there was a lack of communication between the Rose Bowl and ESPN—simple as that.

It might be beating a dead horse, but Cox was caught in a moment of weakness after being in a routine. Forgive her for the outburst and apparent sense of entitlement. Be glad that you didn't have to listen to mindless questions followed by even more mindless answers of how the victory occurred.

Unless, of course, post-game interviews are your thing.

If that's the case, start drafting your letter to the Rose Bowl committee ASAP.


Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.