Vikings' Henderson gets answers on how to ask questions

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 20, 2013 - 7:53 AM

Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson was among those who took part in an NFL workshop on writing and interviewing.

hide

Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson said he had a new appreciation of what writers go through after the journalism boot camp.

Photo: Photo courtesy of JEN SCUTERI and NFL,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Four words you never thought you’d see together?

Try these: “print journalism” and “boot camp.”

Twenty-three former and current NFL players took part in “The NFL Sports Journalism and Communications Boot Camp” at Bowling Green State University in Ohio last week. Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson was one of them and for three days, he basically lived the life of a print journalist, except for the Marriott points and the $4 million he will earn over the next two years, of course.

“It’s not as easy as it looks,” Henderson said. “It’s long days. We hit it pretty hard last Tuesday, so you knew you were in a boot camp.”

As part of the program, Henderson and the pack of jackals, er, “journalists” conducted mock interviews with Bowling Green football coach Dave Clawson and Toledo Mud Hens General Manager Joe Napoli. They wrote a news story off their interview with Napoli and covered a Mud Hens home game. They had two hours to write a column on one of five topics they had to choose from. Then they had to condense the column into a two-minute opinion piece for radio.

First, the interviews. How’d that go, Erin?

“We prepared the questions for [Clawson] the night before,” Henderson said. “I started out asking him about spring ball and recruiting and what a player could expect from him as a head coach.”

Then?

“I snuck in a question about a possible quarterback controversy because they got more than one out here who has a chance,” Henderson said. “I asked him, point blank, who the starting quarterback is going to be. He kind of chuckled and ignored me.”

Been there, done that, big fella.

Sports and tragedy

Henderson was one of only three NFL players under contract to take part in the boot camp. Four former Vikings — Ralph Brown, Byron Chamberlain, Denard Walker and Ellis Wyms — also participated, as did former NFL linebacker Jay Foreman of Eden Prairie.

The instructors included Associated Press NFL writer Barry Wilner, longtime Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Steelers reporter Ed Bouchette, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King and former NFL-players-turned-journalists Solomon Wilcots (CBS, NFL Network) and Matt Bowen (Chicago Tribune).

Now, about that column, Erin?

“There were topics like, ‘Is Chip Kelly going to be a success in the NFL?’ but I wanted to choose something that would take me out of my comfort zone,” Henderson said. “So I chose the topic, ‘Should we discontinue sporting events after tragic events like the Boston Marathon bombing?’ ”

And?

“I didn’t feel we should cancel anything,” Henderson said. “As tragic as that was, you can’t give the people who commit terrorist attacks any more power over us than they already have. Going on with sporting events sends a message that no matter what happens, we’re always going to get back up.”

Henderson had two hours to write that in 500 to 800 words.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 2 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 11
Milwaukee - WP: Y. Gallardo 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: D. Price 0
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 5 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 4
Washington - WP: T. Roark 4 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Hand 3
Oakland - LP: J. Hammel 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 8
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Wilson 5 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 7
LA Angels - LP: G. Richards 3 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: K. Gausman 4
Seattle - LP: F. Hernandez 0 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 2
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 7
Toronto - WP: M. Buehrle 6 FINAL
Boston - LP: B. Workman 1
Colorado - WP: R. Scahill 6 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: W. Wright 4
NY Yankees - LP: H. Kuroda 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 3
Minnesota - LP: P. Hughes 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 3
Atlanta - LP: D. Hale 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: J. Howell 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: J. Hahn 12
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Toronto FC 0 FINAL
D.C. 3
Colorado 0 FINAL
New England 3
Vancouver FC 0 FINAL
Chicago 0
Red Bull New York 1 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 1
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Edmonton 8/8/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Hamilton 8/8/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/9/14 6:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close