Posted on: August 15th, 2012 by Jen Mueller

One of the most enjoyable part of my job as a reporter for ROOT Sports is a walk-off interview.  Getting to talk to a player seconds after the game ends and tapping into the real-time emotion is a thrill for me as a fan.

I’ve been part of many memorable post game interviews and several that involved shaving cream pies – but none can top last night’s interview with Eric Thames.  He drove in the winning run for the Mariners in the bottom of the 9th inning against Tampa.  It was the first career walk-off hit for him, and catcher John Jaso thought that deserved recognition and ‘celebration’ in the form of a shaving cream pie during our live interview.


Workplace Communication Tips, Talk Sporty to Me Blog

Jen Mueller and Eric Thames post game on ROOT Sports


Workplace Communication Tips, Talk Sporty to Me Blog

John Jaso making his approach. ‘Pie’ in hand.

Workplace Communication Tips, Talk Sporty to Me Blog

Here it comes!

Workplace Communication Tips

“My mouth was open!” he tells me during the interview.


You can see the full video here on 

What made this interview fun was the way Thames reacted to the element of surprise.  As you might guess, it’s very distracting to get hit with a pie in the face when you’re not expecting it.  While Eric was momentarily stunned, he was very genuine in his response to what the experience was like.  It would have been easy for him to walk away and head into the clubhouse to get the shaving cream out of his nose, eyes and mouth.  Instead, he just rolled with it and it turned into a fun experience for himself and the fans.

It’s very unlikely that you have to deal with pie-in-the-face conversation in your office.  But how do you handle the element of surprise in a conversation?  Do you roll with it, or shut down?  Are you worried about finding the perfect thing to say? Or do you take the Eric Thames approach and admit that your mouth and ears are now full of shaving cream?

Those are just a few thoughts for your week, and a chance to share a great piece of video with your coworkers. As for me, I’m off to another Mariners game, and with any luck, another walk-off interview.


Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, helps business professionals understand the sports conversations that happen every day at work.  Jen’s practical approach helps professionals join sports conversations, sound intelligent, and understand how their communication skills can make ’em or break ’em in business.  Her conversation strategy comes from her 12 years of experience as a sports broadcaster.  Jen is available to speak for keynotes, presentations and workshops.  Contact for more information and read more at