By Alex Myers
Richard Sherman's post-game interview with Fox's Erin Andrews following the Seattle Seahawks' tense 23-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday is receiving a lot of negative attention. Sherman turned to the camera, screamed he was the best player at his position in the league and criticized the opposing wide receiver, 49er Michael Crabtree, who he defended on the game's final meaningful play.
Sherman made a great play, tipping a Colin Kaepernick pass that could have won the game for the 49ers, but instead landed in the hands of Seahawk teammate Michael Smith to seal the victory and a trip to the Super Bowl for Seattle. Good thing "Beats by Dre" made an "I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man," commercial for both players. A fired up Sherman was asked about his play moments later:
It recalled a famous post-round TV interview in golf that drew much criticism as well: Tiger Woods talking to CBS' Bill Macatee after the final round of the 2011 Masters. Sorry for the grainy screenshot, but the Masters guards its video as fiercely as Sherman covers opposing wide receivers.
The similarities? Both athletes hadn't had time to cool down yet, both attended Stanford, and, well, that's about it.
Sherman won the game. Woods lost the tournament. Sherman ripped his opponent. Woods merely didn't go out of his way to applaud his. Sherman angrily screamed his long answer into the camera. Woods smugly gave quick remarks that made him seem annoyed to be talking at all.
Tiger's interview was downright tame compared to what Sherman did Sunday night. Woods' worst answer came when Macatee asked him if he was "back" after a final-round 67 put him in contention. "Yeah, I'm one back," Woods said. "We'll see what happens." What a scandalous retort!
Sherman's rant was over the top, even by NFL standards. Still, it's funny to compare it to golf's version of someone acting like a poor sport. Imagine if Woods ever looked into the camera and screamed, "Don't you open your mouth against the best or I'm going to shut it for you real quick!!!"?
Sure, football is different than golf and we're not applauding or condemning how either of these athletes handled their notable interviews. Also, we don't know what Crabtree might have done to provoke Sherman. What we do know is these guys are human and sometimes it's tough to control your emotions just moments after an event for which you've trained your entire life. Maybe when these athletes speak their minds, the people watching from their couches shouldn't get as riled up.