Interviews, context and the real Stefon Diggs

“It’s not always the word.  It’s the context in which the word is said.”

-Chris Rock

Often words get misconstrued.

Anyone who has ever felt tongue-tied in a moment of pressure can relate.  Probably not as much as multi-million athletes or movie stars whose words can cost them their careers but pressure nonetheless.

In this day and age of rampant miscommunication and soundbites gone awry, I’d like to present an example of how the context of an interview can change our entire perception of a person who resides squarely in the public eye.

Picture if you will, a talented young, African-American wide receiver put on the spot.  With sixty-plus thousand fans screaming behind him, he has just scored a game-winning touchdown, a walk-off score that will forever live in Minnesota folklore.

His life will never be the same.  A microphone is suddenly shoved in his face.

A 24-year old Stefon Diggs has dreamed of this moment for as long as he can remember.  That’s when ESPN reporter Josina Anderson asks Diggs how he’s feeling.

Here are two clips of the very same interview and you tell me if you can spot the difference.

Here’s video one, the shortened version, which many of us saw.

This clip is posted to YouTube entitled “Damn That Shit Feel Good.”  Had we not seen the play or paid attention to the game, we would see a football player, perhaps unaware of his surroundings, taken aback by the moment, paying brief homage to his faith and then cursing not once but twice.

How disrespectful!

You probably didn’t get the greatest first impression of Stefon Diggs if you had never before heard him speak.

Now pay attention to the entire interview… and see if you’re not moved.

Here we find a young man who has been humbled by his faith and the years of hard work he has dedicated to his craft.  After seeing the entire interview, have you changed your perception of the man… and perhaps even of yourself?

We watched a lot of good football this weekend.  It is because of plays like this, made by players like this, that we gravitate towards sports at their highest level.  It’s because of soundbites like these that we form our own opinions of players, quite often incorrectly.

The media, in all its forms, has the power to shape public perception.  We, as consumers, have the power to digest them in the manner they are distributed.

I’m not here to tell you Stefon Diggs is a good guy.  I’m just saying you might want to listen to the entire story before you jump to any conclusions.

14 thoughts on “Interviews, context and the real Stefon Diggs

  1. Not seeing the hubbub, nor have I yet heard of any. Although the latter is more poignant, I don’t see any negative perception issue with the first clip either. What am I missing?

  2. What he should have said,

    “Marcus (Bill Buckner) Williams, THANK YOU for WHIFFING that easy tackle so badly”

    Diggs’ shit may feel good, but his now infamous catch falls into NFL lore like this…

    The Immaculate Reception
    The Catch
    The WHIFF

  3. This is indicative of the crap level of American journalism in general. Everything gets chopped up and taken out of context.

    The real question here is when did ESPN start letting pre-op trannies so sideline interviews?

  4. Donny C…

    I was waiting on a few other people to respond before chiming in with a follow-up.

    My point is simple. I get that networks have limited time to report their news. We’re a nation of soundbites. Channels have advertising dollars to sell and money to make. Better get to that State Farm commercial quick.

    But some things can’t be encapsulated in a quip or a slogan.

    For me, that second, lengthier interview really lets me see who Diggs is. I well up watching him walk off, seeing how this kid achieved his goals on the highest level, driven to tears.

    I guess I just wish networks would show us more of that other than the occasional dunk, home run or punch thrown.

    What is it they say? Wish in one hand and shit in another and seeing which one fills up first, right?

  5. Bleed…

    Marcus Williams, the rookie safety who “whiffed” on that play was actually second on the Saints in tackles this season.

    We’ll see how the kid responds.

    It’s gonna be a long off-season for him. I betcha he doesn’t watch the Super Bowl.

  6. ESPN remains a damn joke when it comes to journalistic integrity. On a good day day they couldn’t spot a newsworthy story from dried up fecal matter.

    In the case of Steffon Diggs what was really so special about his story? There are likely other stories out there similar to his but because of a game day exploit his has come to the fore.

    The NFC championship game will be a battle of wills and between two quarterbacks looking to make a name for themselves in the postseason. Who’d have imagined Case Keenum and Nick Foles at the top of that heap at this point of postseason ?

  7. Once again Rev you have separated yourself from all the pretenders. It is so easy to criticize someone when ignorant of the facts. The trouble with the media is there is just too much of it. Wasn’t it David Byrne who said ” you talk so much,but you’re not saying anything”. Quality over quantity, that’s why I keep coming back to the Chump.
    Cheers my friend!

  8. One of ’em’s going to the Super Bowl, Al. There’s no two ways about it.

    I’m happy to see Keenum make the most of his opportunity. After the season he’s had, I can’t believe there’s even a question of bringing back either Bridgewater or Bradford over him.

  9. Chris, we are certainly a nation of sound bites and quick vid clips, all contorted and reformatted into debate fodder. What can get the most eyeballs or ears, regardless of what actually happened, was intended, etc. Taking things out of context is the next great thing we’ve invented…producing “hot-take” news stories out of nowhere, from nothing.

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