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Rossi: He's got the look (when it comes to questions)

Penguins/NHL Videos

Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010

I learned something about myself during this last road trip. Apparently, I am worth the price of admission during media scrums.

This came to my admission a couple of times during conversations with various folks while in Nashville, St. Louis and Tampa. To paraphrase those chats: Easy to tell is when I disapprove of a colleague's question, easier to tell is when I'm particularly pleased with one of my own.

Having considered that point I've decided to name my go-to moves.

The Roll n'Sigh: "Roll" is for the eye roll that I apparently don't hide at all, and "sigh" is for the audible sigh that accompanies the eye roll if a question particularly bugs me.

Can't say I'm proud of this behavior, or that I was aware until this week just how much I do it. Clearly I was shocked when one of the newest Penguins reported he has spotted the Roll n'Sigh "a lot," and a veteran player said it was all he could do sometimes "not to laugh."

Those responses generated a SpitSlapper, but I'll save that move for another column.

Consensus about the Roll n'Sigh is I come off looking quite agitated that anybody but me would dare ask a question. Those that know me best probably aren't surprised.

The Tilt-a-Pause: This is the name for the mannerisms I'm told accompany my questions. However, before providing a description it is helpful to know that I make habit of scribbling in my reporter notebook words I should avoid while asking questions, and words I could use to entice a response. I picked up this trick during former coach Michel Therrien's tenure.

"Tilt" is for the slight right leaning of my head while asking the question, "pause" is for the delay as I'm looking at the notebook for words to avoid/choose. (Actually, now the look on coach Dan Bylsma's face after I've finished my question makes a lot more sense.)

I'm told the "Tilt-a-Pause" is more exaggerated during questions that I seem to figure are sharp - lately ones about the status of injured center Jordan Staal or the goaltending situation. (This would explain another look on Bylsma's face lately.)

The weather on that road trip was unseasonably warm, even for Tampa - perfect, considering I was feeling the heat from self-awareness.




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