I Wish I Got Austrian TV

It’s easy to make the media horde at Redskins Park look enormous; lord knows I’ve been guilty of it myself. And, numerically, it does tend to be a pretty substantial group, but by this point in the season they’ve all become fairly familiar. Even the guys I don’t know by name or haven’t spoken to, I recognize and can usually associate with a particularly network or publication.

So when new people show up, they tend to stand out, especially when they’re carrying unfamiliar microphones and speaking with European accents.


This is Hanno Settele, correspondent for Austrian national public service broadcaster ORF (it’s short for Österreichischer Rundfunk, and not to be confused with the airport in Norfolk, Virginia), alongside his cameraman. They were in open locker room today, interviewing players and having them record greetings to the Austrian audience.

I caught the beginning of Jim Zorn’s greeting, but didn’t know what was going on in time to tape the end. My notes on the beginning read “Hi, everybody,” and Barry Svrluga‘s went only a bit further, adding “I’m Jim Zorn, coach of the Washington Redskins. I’m the head coach.” It definitely went on from there, but I’ve asked around and haven’t been able to find a recording of it.

My recorder was running, though, when Settele approached Fred Smoot and explained who he was with.


Smoot, of course, was enthused. “All right!” he said. “Hey, I’m Dutch!”

Settele held out the microphone and said, “Take this microphone and say something really nice to our audience.” As if Fred Smoot was going to turn down that opportunity. Here, then, is Fred Smoot’s international message of friendship:

“Well I just wanna say to the Austrian viewers that I’m a Washington Redskin, the United States capital. I appreciate y’all trying to learn our game. I know it’s not easy – what y’all call football over there I know is soccer, but we play a great game of football over here.”

He gestures at Ryan Plackemeier. “This is my guy German, I’m Dutch, this is the European corner right here.” At Shaun Suisham now. “He’s Canadian but, y’know, we’ve got different strokes for different folks. Everybody’s playing our game, and thank y’all for checking in.”

When Settele approached Chris Cooley, he explained patiently that this was for Austria, not Australia, and laughed to show that he was just kidding. No one else laughed, although Colt Brennan happily took him through the Austria/Australia bit from Dumb and Dumber, which Settele found amusing.

Settele seemed genuinely happy to be in an NFL locker room. “We’re having a big double-header this week,” he explained to me. “Of course we show this game, and we asked if there was any time to check in here, and I’m here for the first time, which is great. We show ten regular season games and of course the whole playoffs. But the problem is most of the games start around 1:00 at night our time.”

Well, I said enthusiastically, this game starts much later, so that should be better, right?

“This is even worse. It’s at 2:30 in the morning.” He shook his head sadly, although whether at the late start time or my lousy judgment of time zones I don’t know.

I wish I had both the Zorn and Cooley greetings, though. If any of you out there have fancy satellite packages with ORF on them, record the game broadcast so we can check it out.


5 Responses

  1. “Austria huh? Well let’s put another another shrimp on the barbee!”

  2. Hi,
    why don’t you contact Hanno Settele at our ORF office in Washington, DC directly???

  3. Did just that this morning. Thanks!

  4. Here we go, short clip

    the redskinblog on ORF television

  5. Good Morning,

    Iam from austria and have saved yesterdays game for viewing today, if you need something from the game, any interview or something else, just say it, i will see what i can do for you.

    PS: Your game is really hard to learn ;)

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