Mike Kueber's Blog

January 21, 2014

Richard Sherman goes off

Filed under: Culture,Sports — Mike Kueber @ 10:56 am
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Aside from Peyton Manning’s masterful performance, the most noteworthy event coming out of Sunday’s Championship Weekend was Richard Sherman’s post-game rant with sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

Although there has been an avalanche of criticism of Sherman for this rant, there have been a surprising number of people who have come to his defense, including Erin Andrews.  She went on the Dan Patrick talk show on Monday and said:

  • You expect these guys to play like maniacs and animals for 60 minutes.  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.”
  • “Athletes don’t do that. They’re usually composed.  They usually take a minute and that’s why we grab them right after games because we hope they lose their minds like that, we hope they show pure joy. We hope he does the same thing at the Super Bowl. We don’t want a watered-down version of him.”

Andrews also noted that loved the Sherman moment and hopes to see more of it in two weeks. Her stunned look?  She says her boyfriend says she gives him that look all the time.

I’m afraid that Erin Andrews thinks Jerry Springer-type stuff is what America wants – “Why would you not?  It’s great stuff.”  I’m hopeful that she is wrong

Typical of the Sherman apologists, columnist Tommy Tomlinson provided us with 22 brief thoughts about that Richard Sherman interview,” and one of my son’s rugby teammates, Ian, commented on Facebook as follows on the Tomlinson column – “This was well said. Good perspective on the whole thing.”  I responded:

  • Sorry to disagree. Regarding the 22 brief thoughts, each one could be answered, “so what?” So what that Sherman is black, graduated from Stanford, didn’t use any curse words, or spoke shortly after making a game-saving play? His conduct was indefensible, self-centered, and unsportsmanlike.

Ian’s friend, Jared, commented:

  • I enjoyed this read too Ian. I don’t think it explains what he did. But none of us can… Because we weren’t him in that moment of the game, and we weren’t him while trying to get drafted. He was told he wasn’t the best and proved himself otherwise.

I responded to Jared:

  • Jared, I agree with your suggestion that we shouldn’t judge Sherman because we haven’t lived his life, but we should be able to judge his conduct.  I’ve read so much by people who enjoyed seeing his unvarnished personality, but I don’t think it is asking too much to expect our athletes to be able to shake hands immediately after a loss, just like they do in tennis.

Enough said.

p.s., Ian subsequently forwarded to me Sherman’s account of the incident in the Monday Morning QB blog, and he asked me the following – “In addition to your opinion on the article, do you think Sherman’s heated response is more or less justified after he was shoved in the face for trying to shake Michael Crabtree’s hand?”

My response to Ian:

Thanks, Ian Miller. I give Sherman’s Monday Morning account little credence. Do you really think a guy who, according to him, is generously, graciously offering a handshake to Crabtree would explode when Crabtree pushes him away? The fact that he followed his Crabtree action by showing the choke sign to Kaepernick, who had the audacity to throw at him, reveals his immature, angry, petulant attitude. And finally, can you imagine having friends who compliment you afterwards for having “best interview ever” after the game?


November 12, 2010

Brett Favre and Jenn Sterger – is there a story here?

A few weeks ago, I was surfing the internet when I stumbled across a Brett Favre story on a website called Deadspin.  The story was about NY Jet QB Brett Favre hitting on NY Jet Gameday Host Jenn Sterger.  Because Favre hadn’t been a Jet for almost two years, I assumed the story was outdated internet garbage.  A few days later, when the Deadspin story hit the national media, I learned that the reporting of the story was brand new and in Brett’s world, the shit was about to hit the fan. 

After several weeks of media coverage, including today’s report that she finally spoke with the NFL yesterday after weeks of failing to cooperate, I still wonder whether there is a legitimate story here.  Here is my thinking:

  1. Financial demands.  There are multiple reports that Sterger eventually decided to talk to the NFL only after Favre rejected her financial demands.  Her manager denies this.  If the reports are true, this stinks.   A few months ago, an NBC employee was sentenced to prison for  demanding money from David Letterman in return for keeping quiet about Letterman’s infidelity.  I realize that legal distinctions can be drawn between the two cases, but they smell the same.
  2. Unwelcome sexual advances.  The media continually refers to inappropriate, lewd, or suggestive voicemails, but almost never specify what was in the voicemails.  How about, ‘Text me” or “Love to see you tonight.”  There’s nothing wrong with the voicemails other than the fact that Brett was a married man, and there’s no indication that Sterger ever told Brett that his advances were unwelcome.  Certainly, the NFL is not going to police its athletes for attempting to engage in extra-marital activities.
  3. Sexual harassment.  Some argue that Favre’s sexual advances toward Sterger are actionable because they were both NY Jet employees and because Favre was in a dominant role as the team’s QB.  This argument doesn’t fly because there is no indication that Sterger claimed to feel threatened by the Jets or Favre.  In fact, there are reports that she kept the voicemails and photos “to apparently share and laugh about with friends.”  There are also reports that she jokes about the number of cock shots she has received from famous athletes wanting to hook up.  She does not present herself as a traumatized, sheltered sideline reporter like Erin Andrews.
  4. NFL’s personal-conduct policy.  The media continually refers to the personal-conduct policy, but fails to explain what that policy is.  It is not some generic, ambiguous Golden Rule, like “do onto others like you would have them do onto you.”  Rather, it is specific.  It specifically prohibits the following:

“It will be considered conduct detrimental for Covered Persons to engage in (or to aid, abet or conspire to engage in or to incite) violent and/or criminal activity. Examples of such Prohibited Conduct include, without limitation: any crime involving the use or threat of physical violence to a person or persons; the use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime; possession or distribution of a weapon in violation of state or federal law; involvement in “hate crimes” or crimes of domestic violence; theft, larceny or other property crimes; sex offenses; racketeering; money laundering; obstruction of justice; resisting arrest; fraud; and violent or threatening conduct. Additionally, Covered Persons shall not by their words or conduct suggest that criminal activity is acceptable or condoned within the NFL.”

The smoking guns in this case are the penis photos.  Favre admits to leaving the voicemails, but denies sending the penis photos.  But even if he did, I don’t see how that violates the NFL’s personal-conduct policy.  And if there is no personal-conduct issue, there is no story that deserves to be covered by the respectable media.