It’s not as though last night’s NFC Championship game between San Francisco and hosts Seattle was an uninteresting affair unworthy of analysis (or in some quarters, celebration). But can you remember the last time a game of such magnitude, of such ferocity on both sides, was nearly overshadowed by a 25 second postgame interview? To be more specific, the shy and retiring Seahawks CB Richard Sherman went thermonuclear on Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews (aka America’s Sweetheart For Dudes With Super Generic Standards), and within seconds, sports scribes and civilians alike lit up the modern Algonquin roundtable that is Twitter with comments ranging from calling Sherman unclassy to well, much, much worse.
In short, there were no shortage of hysterical responses to Sherman’s hysterical response. After the dust has cleared, Forbes’ Tommy Tomlinson resisted the urge to quip, “Bart Scott thinks Richard Sherman oughta dial it down”, instead suggesting, “if you stick a microphone in a football player’s face seconds after he made a huge play to send his team to the Super Bowl, you shouldn’t be surprised if he’s a little amped up.”
Ninety-nine percent of on-field interviews are boring and useless. The TV networks do them anyway for the 1 percent of the time they get a moment like Richard Sherman.
As a reporter and writer, that raw emotion — whatever form it takes — is exactly what I hope for. That’s why media people fight for access to locker rooms. After players and coaches cool off, most of them turn into Crash Davis, reading from the book of cliches.
But we — the media, and fans in general — don’t know what we want. We rip athletes for giving us boring quotes. But if they say what they actually feel, we rip them for spouting off or showing a lack of class.
It’s like we want them to be thinking, Well, that was a fine contest, and jolly good that we won. Which NO athlete is EVER thinking.
As a side note: Richard Sherman also called out Skip Bayless on Bayless’ own show, which trumps pretty much anything bad that Richard Sherman has done in his life.