Funny development at 49ers’ headquarters:
The local media was three questions into their conference call with Patrick Willis when an obviously distracted Willis said he had to go because ESPN wanted to interview him.
To his credit, the 49ers’ PR staffer who was present politely asked Willis to tell ESPN to wait and to finish the interview with the local writers. At this point, an ESPN producer got on the phone and said that Willis had to hang up.
It should be noted that there is no love loss between local media outlets and ESPN. We see them as the bullies on the block who like to throw their weight around, and who often poach stories from the smaller outlets and pawn them off as their own.
So when the ESPN producer cut into the interview, he was shouted down by the dozen or so of us on the other end. The most vociferous was the 49ers’ web director who tore into the guy from ESPN like a bulldog on a steak, explaining to him in plain terms that ESPN would get to interview Willis when his current interview was over. It was great.
So the interview continued uninterrupted for five minutes or so until everyone here had asked their question. ESPN was forced to wait patiently – just as they should have in the first place.
-- Matt Barrows