Let me be completely transparent here...I'm a HUGE Ohio State Buckeyes fan, so the big win over Texas ("Bevo--the Other White Meat!") Saturday was thrilling. So forgive me for indulging in a little post-game revelry.
As impressive as Ohio State QB Troy Smith was on the field, he really stood out in a quick sideline interview after the game that was a perfect example of how to play defense when talking to the media.
The ABC reporter asked Smith about his last-second decision to throw deep to his #1 wide receiver in one-on-one coverage--here's where Smith gets a broadcast Heisman. He said, "Well, Coach Tressel had a great game plan, and I really appreciate the confidence he has in me and my teammates...but the credit should go to my offensive line, they gave me plenty of time out there today."
A less savvy guy would have given away his team's strategy. The Buckeye QB deflected the question by sticking to his script and avoiding a slip of the tongue. Somebody in Columbus made sure this young man was well coached on and off the field.
The lesson? Don't be baited by the media into blurting out a spontaneous response when a measured, consistent message will protect your interests. Make sure you control the interview and you'll score a touchdown every time.