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Sunday, September 8, 2013

I got to interview Browns OL Garrett Gilkey!

This season marks a ton of changes and new faces for the Cleveland Browns. It's also the first season that I've had a legit title: Official Fan Reporter for www.nflfemale.com.  Yeah, I've been a tweeter and a blogger for years, but this season I'm on a mission - to cover the Browns with class, intelligence, and joy.  And the new guys running the show in Berea are changing the way they do things by really embracing fans and media alike.

I've been in communication with a few of the folks at the Browns and expressed an interest in interviewing one of the players. They were open to it and we have been working on lining up a time where I could talk to either Phil Taylor or Garret Gilkey. Yeah, those were the two guys I was most interested in talking to.  Phil, because he'll be playing nose tackle in the new defense and I think will be critical to the success of the D-Line. And Gilkey because he'll be replacing Jason Pinkston at right guard and will also be critical to the success of the O-Line.  Opposing defenses are going to see Gilkey - Cousins in their new spots and key on them as the path to get to QB Brandon Weeden.

With road games and scheduling issues the last two weeks, I had begun to fear that we just wouldn't be able to line anything up.  Then Thursday, as I was driving home from work, my phone rings...  "Hi Kate, this is Rob McBurnett from the Browns.  I have Garrett here.  Did you still want to talk to him?"  YIKES!  Oh Yes I said... give me a minute to get off the road!  I've done many things while driving - most not very smart - but there was just no way I could do my first phone interview while driving! So I parked, grabbed my notebook out of the briefcase, took a deep breath and off we went.

I've interviewed players and sports figures before on my internet radio show.  Don Cockroft, LeCharles Bentley, Sam Amico - ok, I'll stop name dropping now - and those were easy. I have a list of questions, I listen to their answers, and I let the interview go in whatever direction appeals to me at the time.  But this one was different. For this, I spent hours pouring over internet articles about Gilkey, made countless lists of questions, organized and reorganized them, and in general just obsessed as only I can do... In my defense, this was
a phone interview that would most likely be 5-7 minutes, I had to have clear questions and a plan. I couldn't just go off in any direction because I might not get all of my questions in. And I had to be able to write fastly and furiously.  (Is that a word? "Fastly?") I could barely read my own writing when I was done but I must say, Garrett Gilkey was a very easy interview. He answered all of my questions and we were on the phone for over 15 minutes!  He was professional and charming.  So a special thanks to GG for making my first "reporter interview" so easy.

Now the hard part.... writing it up!  I've never had to do that before.  If you wanted to know about an interview I had conducted, I'd just send you a link to the podcast. Easy as pie.  My biggest fear is that I've misrepresented something he said.  So.  Here's a link to my article on www.nflfemale.com.  Do not attribute anything to Garrett as a direct quote.  I tried to remember as best I could and, overall, I hope he comes across to you the same way he did to me....  A man of faith who knows how to be fierce on the football field.  And before you ask, NO I did not ask him about his long hair!  I may be a chick, but this is about FOOTBALL!  :)

Respectfully Submitted,

Cleveland Kate

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