The Richard Sherman and Erin Andrews story is a byproduct of our times

Sherman Controversy Combines Race, Condescension and Marketing

1/22/14 in NFL   |   PAULLEBOWITZ   |   109 respect

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman explained his actions and showed contrition for the way the Jan 19, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) celebrates after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in the 2013 NFC Championship football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports story of his post-game reaction blew out of control after Sunday’s NFC Championship Game victory over the 49ers. Sherman’s statement is being referred to as an “apology” even though it’s anything but. You can read about it here on ESPN. The gist of it is that Sherman is sorry that he took the focus off of the effort of his entire team and made it a mano-a-mano confrontation—that he won—between himself and 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree.
 
Sherman also discussed what actually sparked all the attention: his post-game interview with Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews. You can watch it here if you somehow missed it. Sherman didn’t apologize about that either. What he basically said was that he regretted how it came out, but hey, these things happen. 
 
This story has exploded like infected spores spreading across the sports world. It has everything if you’re looking for unabashed undertones of racism, blatant condescension, and the realities of marketing.   
 
Every story involving Andrews circles back to her credibility as a reporter. Notice I didn’t say “by” Andrews. I said “involving” Andrews. She winds up in the middle of the controversy because she doesn’t have the foundation as an actual reporter to make her her qualifications a non-issue. She’s not a reporter. She doesn’t have the experience or the in-the-trenches ability to be one. Because of that, when something happens that requires the sensibilities of someone who will automatically know what to do next based on experiencing these types of incidents hundreds of times before, she has the startled, “whaddoo I do now?!?” look on her face forcing Fox to get in her ear and tell her to send it back to the people in the booth who the the upper management of the network knows will be polished enough to explain it away without stammering, stuttering or embarrassing themselves.
 
As a “sideline reporter” with everything the job entails, Andrews has what Fox is looking for. She’s pretty. She’s charming. She’s likable. She’s well-spoken. She handles herself well in front of the camera. As a reporter, she’s a joke. There to do fluff pieces and represent the network by accumulating a few more viewers who would prefer to look at her than Jimmy Johnson or Jay Glazer, she serves the purpose she was meant to serve. Either unaware of this, trying to bust out of those manacles or because the network wants her to appear credible, she is in a Jan 5, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; FOX tv announcer Erin Andrews during the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.  San Francisco won 23-20.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sportsconstant and mistaken battle to validate herself and the job she has.
 
Much of the ridicule is her own doing. From almost calling Justin Verlander “Justin Bieber”; to her interminable whining about the cold in Green Bay; to the softball pieces she does; to this latest controversy with Sherman, she isn’t accustomed to doing the things that reporters must do to be assessed on their work and not that which they don’t or can’t do. Instead of tacitly accepting that the only reason she has the job is because of attributes other than skills, there’s always an explanation as to what happened and why. We’re not hearing about the Sherman vs. Crabtree battle, but hearing about it through the lens of how it involved Andrews. 
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

1/22/14   |   PAULLEBOWITZ   |   109 respect

OneStepBeyond wrote:
Very classless by Erin Andrews.

I'd say clueless more than classless.

1/22/14   |   OneStepBeyond   |   36 respect

Very classless by Erin Andrews.