Interviews such as that of the Seahawks’ Sherman need a little context

When Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman “went nuts” on Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews, as she would later explain, I was probably like millions of other viewers of the NFC Championship game Sunday left wondering “WTF?”

Sherman tipped a pass from San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick that allowed Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith to grab the game-clutching interception, sending the Seattle team to face Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII. Sherman later explained the adrenalin-amped outburst with Andrews holding onto her mike had as much to do with an off-field slight by 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree as it did with any particular on-field action. To Andrews the raging comments Sherman made was pure gold.

Said Andrews: “He lost his mind and it was awesome for once, you know?”

Forget for the moment that I thought I had been tele-ported to a WWE match. With a little perspective — even counting Sherman’s claim that he is the best at his position in the NFL — I get it as a sports fan and as a journalist. Not as the former that I agree with him.

Thankfully I interviewed very few athletes during my career as a journalist. That isn’t due to any bias but the run-of-the-mill sports-related interview is usually nothing more than a coach-inspired cliche fest. Of course some cliches, like the old north Texas high school coach who told a TV reporter after a severe loss: “They beat us like a rented mule,” will always have a spot in my heart as a classic. But these days the trite bite usually is what you hear from everyone who plays sports from Pop Warner to the pros. What Andrews did not have to say, it gets old as hell.

Ir calls to mind my time as a courthouse reporter covering a spat between the local commissioners court and what could be best identified as a “Christian identity” militia type. “The Rev” always had some kind of nugget that otherwise made those Monday mornings at the courthouse snooze time.

“You wear women’s underwear,” the Rev. W.N. Otwell told the commissioners, who told him his group would need a permit to parade along with some Ku Kluxers on the courthouse grounds. This was a week or so after I had been visited by a man who described himself as “the Exalted Cyclops” of his Klan group.

A reporter doesn’t want rage aimed toward themselves, of course. That can get quite dangerous in a hurry. And though Andrews may have protested that she wasn’t scared. I think from the look that she first exhibited indicated she might just pee her pants on TV. It’s okay to be scared Erin, it can keep you alive. I think she handled herself well. And now with some perspective I understand Rasta Man’s outburst too. It was ill-advised but you can understand things when get way over the top. And despite what some high-and-mighty f**ks might think, sometimes an outburst can get you through the intricate problems that cloud your head occasionally. Such exhibitions shouldn’t be a chance an easy chance to rid a valued employee so they can hire one or more wet-behind-the-ears kids on the (way) cheap.

That’s all I have to say about that. Such a great line, Forrest.