05.16.09

There’s No Cheering (or Chair-Throwing) In The Press Box

Posted in Hockey, Sports TV, The Law at 3:55 am by

Spend a night out at, say, an Allman Brothers Band show, and not only do you miss out on an amusing hockey incident, but everybody’s already worked over the only point or joke to make. Neverthless, the story still needs posting, and I do swear on my journalistic ethics that I came up with the headline before seeing older tweets from @cupofchowdah or @puckdaddy. From the Los Angeles Times, via @mirtle:

Ducks General Manager Bob Murray was interviewed by Detroit police Thursday night but was not charged after a woman working as a TV stage manager at Joe Louis Arena said he hit her in the left chest, arm and shoulder with a chair after the Ducks’ 4-3 loss to the Red Wings in Game 7 of the teams’ second-round playoff series, according to an Internet report Friday.

The website, MyFoxDetroit.com, which is affiliated with Detroit TV station WJBK, said Rachel Paris, 55, was hit by the bar stool-like seat thrown by “an upset and angry Murray” in the press box. The cramped facility is shared by writers, broadcasters and TV crews. Those who work there use elevated seats to reach the elevated work table.

The website also said Paris, who wouldn’t disclose which media outlet employed her during the game, believed Murray vented his frustration at her because she had been rooting for the Red Wings.

“I was taken to the boards by Bob Murray and survived the hit. I felt like I was cross-checked and I didn’t even have the puck,” Paris told the website, which said she declined to file a formal complaint.

Murray denied throwing the chair at Paris.

“It was a complete accident,” he told The Times on Friday. “I’ve spoken with her and cleared it all up.”

A TV station person rooting for the team? Shocking, shocking stuff. That said, if you are a team employee and they stash you in the press box rather than a suite, you are also expected to keep your lack of neutrality to yourself, be it verbal or (allegedly) furniture-assaultive.

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