Richard Sherman and Erin Andrews

Immediately following the Seattle Seahawks NFC championship game victory over the San Francisco 49ers on January 19, 2014, Erin Andrews interviewed Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. Here is the interview.

Sherman has been widely and viciously attacked for his over-the-top rant.

A little context

  • Sherman had just completed the biggest game of his life.
  • He had just made the biggest play in that game.
  • His team had just advanced to the Super Bowl.
  • Sherman is a very emotional, loud, trash-talking player. This is well known.
  • After the final play of consequence (not including the kneel downs), Sherman was pushed in the face by Michael Crabtree.
  • I think it is a safe assumption that Crabtree and Sherman were jawing at each other for the entire game.
  • So, after all this, Erin Andrews and her producers at Fox decide to get Sherman live on camera immediately after the final gun sounds.

A few questions

  • Was the end result not predictable?
  • Was it not understood that he would be emotional with tons of adrenaline flowing?
  • Did Fox hope that he would say something loud and perhaps over the line? Or at least near the line?
  • If Fox truly didn’t want this to happen, were they stupid enough to not expect it?
  • Could they have recorded the segment and aired it 30 seconds later if it was appropriate?
  • Could they have waited 10 minutes to interview Sherman?
  • Were there not other players available for comment?

My Take

Sherman is a human being. He is not a robot. To expect him to complete this game one second and flip the switch to non-game mode the next second is stupid and naïve.

We want our football players to be aggressive. They have to be aggressive to be employed at the NFL level. We want them to rise to the occasion at the most important and most stressful times. Is it fair to expect these same players to be aggressive, violent AND to be subdued immediately following a game?

The analogy I would draw is some of the new ‘targetting’ rules in the NFL. We want defensive backs to be aggressive and not give up receptions or big plays, but if a receiver lowers his head 6 inches, they are supposed to hold up and not complete the hit they have been making their whole lives. Again, these are people not robots.

I am not a Seahawks fan. I am a long suffering Lions fan. I had not dog in the race in the NFC title game, but I think Sherman was fine and is being wrongly criticized. If you are angry for what happened, blame Fox and Erin Andrews. Although, I think Andrews handled the outburst as well as possibly could be expected of her. But, she truly only has herself and anybody in the Fox booth to blame.

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