22 Brief Thoughts About That Richard Sherman InterviewTommy Tomlinson, Forbes
1. So the Seahawks beat the 49ers to go to the Super Bowl, and Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman made the game-saving play, and Erin Andrews interviewed him on the field immediately after the game, and he hollered like a crazy person.
2. Within seconds people on social media were calling him a fool, a thug, a classless jerk and many worse things.
3. Sherman is black, and so of course there was an undercurrent of race to some — OK, a lot — of the discussion.
4. Sherman graduated second in his class in high school and also graduated from Stanford. So not only is he not a fool, odds are he’s smarter than you and me.
5. His degree from Stanford was in communications … which might explain why, while he seemed to be hollering like a crazy person, he didn’t curse and looked into the camera the whole time.
6. In other words, he might have just been auditioning for the WWE.
7. Maybe 15 minutes later, when Sherman sat down with the Fox NFL guys, he was calm and funny.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. So: Did you watch the game?
15. Did you see the two most physical teams in football beat each other half to death? Did you see all the brutal hits? Did you see all the players who couldn’t get up after the play? Did you see all those guys who had to be helped off the field?
16. Did you see NaVorro Bowman, the stud linebacker for the 49ers, wreck his knee when a Seattle player fell on it? I’m not sure how you could’ve missed it — Fox must have shown the replay 20 times.
17. (I understand that it was a big play — Bowman recovered a fumble at the goal line, although the refs called it the other way. It deserved another look. But still: Can’t you crop out Bowman’s crumpled knee, or put a black bar over it, or something? After one or two replays, isn’t it just injury porn?)
18. Anyway: That was the kind of game it was. Rough and angry and so violent that at times it was hard to watch.
19. This, of course, is part of the attraction of football. And part of the reason so many players leave the sport crippled and concussed.
20. Richard Sherman made the big play Sunday. His team is going to the Super Bowl.
21. More important, he survived the carnage.
22. It seems to me that the only proper response to surviving something like that is to holler like a crazy person.