By now you’ve surely heard about the debacle at the Chicago Fire’s official press conference unveiling Bastian Schweinsteiger as their new signing. In what was supposed to be a moment of triumph and a booming statement of intent for a club that has had little to brag about in recent years, one reporter completely wrecked the news cycle by asking Schweinsteiger if he felt he could win the World Cup with the Fire.
The incident was met with predictable backlash followed by, hilariously, backlash to the backlash. The important thing here is that we all had fun and learned some important lessons. (Namely: do some due diligence ahead of a press conference, or, failing that, let other people ask the questions.)
Sensing a potentially priceless interview opportunity, The Telegraph lept into action and caught up with the reporter at the center of the controversy. Derek Henkle, a video reporter for Agence France Presse, said he intended to ask about the Fire’s ability to claim major trophies with Schweinsteiger on the payroll. He also said he obviously meant the Club World Cup. Obviously.
“As a general assignment video reporter, I was seeking facts at a press conference. I get that I named the wrong trophy and greatly appreciate Schweinsteiger attempting to clean up the question for me. It was a classy move. “
Henkle also copped to not being overly familiar with soccer.
“My question missed its mark, but it has allowed me to become better educated on the ins and outs of soccer. I may have been one of the only general assignment guys in the room – but I believe, like a lot of Chicago, that Bastian Schweinsteiger’s arrival presents an amazing opportunity for those of us who want to experience soccer to more fully embrace the sport. I report on everything ranging from presidential politics to science – and I’m the first to admit that I don’t know everything, but I do ask.”
He tied off his reflection with something of a non-apology apology. “I’m truly sorry if I offended anyone,” Henkle demurred. I’m not sure whether an actual apology was required of Henkle, but I’m supremely confident that “sorry if you were offended” is never a useful thing to offer.
Meanwhile, the Fire appear to be undeterred in their quest for the impossible dream: triumph at Russia 2018.