I may write more about Richard Sherman's flat awesome interview with Erin Andrews after the 2013 NFC Championship Game at some point, but it probably won't be here. So, for now, I just wanted to single out how Andrews, a proud graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in telecommunications, helped make the magic happen.
Andrews doesn't ask a question, technically, at first: "Richard, let me ask you: The final play, take me through it." (The best way to phrase that question is probably "What happened on that final play?") But the request to take us through the final play is better than asking "Can you take me through the final play?" — a question that can be answered with yes or no, which journalists typically have drummed out of their vocabularies. They're terrible for situations like a post-game celebration, and Andrews avoids using one, instead falling on the non-question question crutch.
But it works, because Sherman obliges her with his first couple sentences of heat, leaving her to nod at his affirmation that he's the best corner in the game and continue letting him talk while appearing to stifle a chuckle. Sherman finishes his first answer with "Don't you EVER talk about me!"
And then Andrews waits half a beat, and asks the perfect question: "Who was talking about you?" Sherman answers it with the exact answer Andrews needed (a yelping identification of Michael Crabtree as "CRABTREE¹"), then adds his coda: "Don't you open your mouth about the best. Or, yo, I'ma shut if for you real quick!"
Andrews tries to get in another question, saying "And, before," but gets cut off by her producers, and sends the broadcast back to Joe Buck with just enough astonishment in her voice to make it clear that she knows how golden Sherman's quotes were.
Andrews's responses to the Twitter storm about the interview were just about perfect, too:
Richard Sherman gave a candid response seconds after an emotional game..looking forward to a great Super Bowl matchup— Erin Andrews (@ErinAndrews) January 20, 2014
Ha! Not even close! Loved the emotion! #nocliche Can't wait for NY RT @fawcett_is_2k: I'm sorry @RSherman_25 scared you tonight— Erin Andrews (@ErinAndrews) January 20, 2014
Andrews makes it clear that she was "not even close" to being "scared" — the implication being that what Sherman said was, in some way, scary — and that she loved the interview, which is a really good response, especially contrasted with the anger and white knighting in the wake of Sherman's roar. And she also retweeted this Jay Glazer tweet about there being "no excuse" to tag Sherman with racial slurs — which there isn't.
Sherman was the star of the 30-second show on Sunday, after making the biggest play in a three-hour epic. But Andrews did a phenomenal job in her role, and she deserves some praise for helping Sherman send his speech around the world.
She's a Gator. I'm proud of that.
Crabtree, by the way, is no stranger to saying ridiculous things in the heat of the moment, though I still think Graham Harrell has an argument for the quote of that night. "They tried to man up Crab!" is almost as good as "I dreamed it in my head!"
Note that Salters, who is very good at her job, says "No, you didn't" as a way of prodding Crabtree — an okay response in context, but a negating one, not one that allows for an extension of the interview.
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