For the better part of a day I’ve thought about ESPN and Suzy Kolber’s emotional ambush last night of Mark Ingram, the NFL first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints and former University of Alabama running back.
Last night during ESPN’s draft coverage, just moments after Ingram was selected, Kolber hit the younger Ingram with this:
“(Your dad) sent me an email. I just want to read you a little bit. ‘Son, first of all, I’d like to congratulate you for being a great person and accomplishing your dream of being drafted. … You have made me a proud father. I am so proud of the young man you have become.’
“What would you like to say to your dad?”
Ingram reacted as one would expected. He cried, then he bawled, cried, composed himself, and answered.
Here’s what I think about Kolber’s tactic. I think the question was OK, but the email should have first been read to Ingram off camera. The way it was presented was emotional manipulation for the sake of good TV. I always hoped Kolber would be above such deliberate drama.
Kolber made a bad decision. She used a fragile personal relationship during a highly emotional moment for professional gain.
Here’s the clip. Fast forward to the 3:10 mark to see Kolber’s question.
Find Dave Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.