Sports coverage in 2020 has taken on a completely new dynamic with locker rooms closed off and interviews conducted via Zoom instead.
While many reporters are likely waiting to go back to the way things were, one former player believes the Zoom interview may be here to stay.
Fox Sports announcer Jonathan Vilma, who played 10 seasons in the NFL with the Jets and Saints, believes that the players have been more comfortable in conducting interviews virtually, and adds that he thinks it has even led to players being more open.
“It’s been fine,” he said in an interview with Front Office Sports. “I think the players enjoy it more. The coaches enjoy it more because you don’t have to be dragged from your normal routine to go and talk with guys like us. They’re able to do it from their phone. I get the sense that guys are a lot more relaxed. They seem more open to talking and sharing time with us.”
Because of this, Vilma believes that when the world finally puts COVID behind us, Zoom interviews will still be a thing, although he said it will be a hybrid of access from pre-COVID times.
“I can still see [the media] going to practice, and being able to be on the sidelines before the game,’ he said. “But I could still see the Zoom interviews happening.”
Vilma added: “I think that the access has evolved because there’s the value to it since you need access to make good TV,” he said. “But we have to recognize where we are in this world. There are real life things outside of football that are upon us. So, I think it’s going to evolve into a hybrid situation.”