Erin Andrews has been a sportscaster and journalist long enough to separate the fluff from the unfeigned. She caught Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman in the latter just moments after his end-of-the-game play punched Seattle’s ticket to their second Super Bowl appearance.
So you’ll have to excuse Sherman for his in-your-face, bombastic reaction, which got mixed reviews and some heavy duty Internet play, according to USA Today on Monday.
Late in the game Sunday, Sherman tipped a pass for the Niners’ Michael Crabtree, a bit of a loudmouth in his own right, setting up the interception by Sherman’s teammate Malcolm Smith that ended the game.
Of course, a twitter war ensued between Sherman and Crabtree, which lasted into the night:
Film don't lie... @nflnetwork @espn pull up the tape of that game and show me where this guy is the best? #fake #fake #fake – Michael Crabtree @KingCrab15
Sherman shot back with:
A lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of a sheep. – Richard Sherman @RSherman_25
Sherman has since apologized for his harsh rebukes of “an individual,” says ESPN.
But the social media nonsense aside, Andrews was able to reel in Sherman just seconds after his game-clinching play. He was fervent and raw. And it certainly showed.
“Richard Let me ask you… the final play. Take me through it,” said Andrews.
Sherman yelled in response: “I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you gonna get. Don’t you ever talk about me.”
“Who was talking about you?” Andrews asks.
“Crabtree!” bawls Sherman back. “Don’t you open your mouth about the best or I’m gonna shut it for you real quick. LOB!”
Of course, LOB standing for the Legion of Boom – the nickname for Seattle’s defense. Andrews started to ask Sherman more, but the network cut back to the studio, reportedly because they were afraid that Sherman would curse.
The brief interview went viral, but many reacted with negative commentary and backlash against Sherman, saying how poorly he handled himself and pointing out that his personal need for vindication took away from the moment.
Andrews didn’t see it that way.
“I don’t want this to look like I was upset with him, [or that] I was frightened or threatened, we all like Richard Sherman a lot at Fox,” Andrews said. “At that moment I saw how crazy it was going to blow up, and I wanted to make sure people knew it wasn’t a situation where I’m a victim and he acted like an idiot.”
Andrews said the pair enjoyed a giant hug moments before.
“He looked up, realized it was me and he gave me this giant bear hug because he was so excited … And he hugged me so hard I hit my chin on his pads. It was a raw, passionate, candid moment. That’s how pumped he was,” Andrews said.
“You expect these guys to play like maniacs and animals for 60 minutes,” she said. “And then 90 seconds after he makes a career-defining, game-changing play, I’m gonna be mad because he’s not giving me a cliché answer, ‘That’s what Seahawks football is all about and that’s what we came to do and we practice for those situations.’ No you don’t. That was awesome. That was so awesome. And I loved it.”