Mike Reiss has his Patriots Mailbag for the week posted, and I thought this question and answer was of interest, as Reiss gives us a glimpse of what his day-to-day routine is like:
Mike, could you take your loyal readers through a typical day in the life of a Patriot beat writer? I think you would find we are very interested in what goes on as you interact with coaches, players, owners etc over at Patriot headquarters – from access to the locker rooms, interview rooms and common areas, not only on game day but also on practices days. I have heard, for example, you can never approach players engrossed in their daily domino games or when they are on their cell phones. What challenges do you face and how does the team react to you. I know you try to be fair and balanced, but I am sure they don’t always take it that way, how do they react? Any such information might be fun to read.
A: This will be a tough one to wrap into an answer that is just a few hundred words, Frank. During the season, I’d start by saying that I usually try to read a variety of articles in the morning, then I head to the stadium for Bill Belichick’s 10:45 a.m. press conference. That usually lasts until 11:10. Then we have locker room access until 11:55. In terms of how to “work” a locker room, I think it’s what most would expect. You treat the players the way you’d want to be treated. Sometimes there are uncomfortable moments, because players can take exception to some questions, or the reporters can take exception to perhaps not being treated with respect. It can go both ways. One uncomfortable moment for me last year came when a player pulled me aside from his locker because I wrote that he didn’t like. We hashed it out. We do not approach players at the game table, or when they’re talking on the cell phone, but usually when they are at their locker either passing time, or perhaps dressing for practice. That time from 11:10-11:55 is generally our only contact with players. We go to see a portion of practice around 1 p.m., and then we come back to write, blog etc. A regular day could include re-watching a game, making other calls etc. But that’s sort of a general snapshot.