Toronto FC held its annual media day today, and if you're a reporter the news was all good.
Today we picked up our stadium passes, got reacquainted with people we hadn't seen since last season (not everyone has the budget/desire to cover games in South Carolina and L.A.), and learn about this year's pre- and post-game protocol.
Most of the changes don't affect day-to-day coverage, so I won't bore you with them here, but the team has added something to its post-game routine that all of us will notice.
If you've been watching sports highlight shows the last few years then you've probably grown used to seeing an Ottawa Senators post-game ritual that's part press conference and part spinning class. Instead of meeting the media in the locker room after hitting the showers, players would conduct interviews in the exercise room, pedalling stationary bikes.
I don't know if the practice caught on around the league, but clearly Brendan Shanahan wasn't a big fan.
Haven't seen the Sens on the bikes in a while, which makes me think they've abandoned the practice.
Anyway, this year TFC's picking up where the Sens left off, moving post-game player interviews to the stationary bikes in the strength and conditioning room.
Great news for those of us in the newspaper business.
As we discussed earlier this week, an athlete who loves a long shower or a post-game, pre-interview rubdown can wreak havoc with deadlines. Sometimes the one player you want to talk to after the game is the one guy you can't find because he either leaves early or arrives late.
This new policy makes life easier for us because it puts all of the players in the same place at the same time. No more deadlines jeopardized by stragglers.
Thank you, TFC strength and conditioning coach Paul Winsper, for looking out for the media.
Strangely, when I asked Winsper about his rationale behind changing the post-game ritual, he rattled on about all this technical stuff that had nothing to do with me or my precious deadlines. He talked about strength, circulation and recovery; crazy stuff like that.
It confused me. As a sportswriter, I know that everything is always about me and my colleagues.
But the more he talked the less he mentioned us.
Instead he said the post game ice bath will constrict players' blood vessels, and a quick switch to warm water will open them back up, causing fresh blood to rush into their muscles and flush out any toxins.
After that, a special carbohydrate drink will quickly restore energy to depleted muscles, and a few minutes on the bike will engorge those muscles again with oxygen-rich blood.
The whole process, he said, is designed to aid recovery. The more thorough the recovery, the fewer injuries and the sooner the players can return to high intensity training.
And the increased media availability?
Just a byproduct.
Kind of like lactic acid, I guess.
But I think he was just saying that.
Deep inside, he knows it all about us.
I mean, it is....isn't it?
-- Morgan Campbell