I’m not sure what has been more surprising – Richard Sherman threatening to ruin my career or the ensuing chain of events.
In my mind, it’s hardly newsworthy enough to be a story. If anything, I figured Seahawks’ beat writers would make a note out of it and put it in little type at the end of their stories.
After the Sherman press conference, I left the VMAC for a while and didn’t think too much about it. I’ve had confrontations with players before, most notably with Gary Payton and Michael Bennett, and the one with Sherman was mild in comparison.
Maybe I’m hard to get along with, I don’t know. From the outside looking in, it sure appears that way. But if you’re a reporter who has interviewed athletes for more than 35 years, you’re guaranteed to have a few dust-ups along the way. Incidents like the ones with Sherman – if you even want to call it an incident – are the exception, not the norm.
Two things bother me about the exchange with Sherman.
First, this so-called “story” somehow went national and international. The Daily Mail ran the story with photos of Sherman and a selfie I took last summer while I stood next to a Honey Bucket in Park City, Utah. So at least that made me laugh. I took that selfie because the company that makes Honey Buckets was holding a contest to win a Honey Bucket, and all you had to do to enter was send them a selfie next to one. What I would have done with a Honey Bucket had I won, I wasn’t sure, but I am now – I would’ve thrown this story in the toilet.
By most journalistic standards, this isn’t a story. I guess I’ve already mentioned that, but I can’t stress that enough. It’s a “story” that has generated thousands of page views and clicks and hits, and I’m not standing up here on my soapbox, but there’s something wrong with that.
It’s tabloid stuff. Complete nonsense, really. Sherman said he regrets saying the part about ruining my career. OK, how many times have we all said something we wish we hadn’t in a fit of anger or frustration? Ask my wife and she’ll tell you I’ve done that a million times. So I don’t hold that against Sherman at all, yet I was still surprised to hear what he said, only because it suggests that he thinks he’s got so much power, he can call plays, shut down wide receivers and pull my media credential too.
Good journalism involves writers doing extensive reporting and features many interviews. I was talking to Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times about this last week. His in-depth story on Thomas Rawls and the journey the Seahawks’ running back took from Flint, Mich., to Seattle is an example of good journalism.
This Sherman-spat-with-a-reporter story is fluff, but it will generate more clicks than a story like his that is actually worth reading.
The second thing that bothers me is a Stephen A. Smith video I watched this morning on ESPN.com. Smith talked to Sherman Tuesday night, and Sherman told him that he felt like I antagonized him and was more interested in sound bites than good journalism.
The opposite is true. I was just trying to figure out why Sherman did not backtrack from his criticism of the play calls last Thursday night against the Rams. Based on what Pete Carroll characterized as a good meeting with Sherman last Friday morning, I thought we’d see a contrite Sherman. And if we didn’t see full-on regret for what he said, maybe a watered-down version.
What we got was defiance and no regrets whatsoever. So I wondered why that was the case when most people thought he was out of line for questioning the play calls. If four or five questions – all of which I thought were fair enough – qualify as “antagonizing,” I don’t know what to say about that.
I hope it all blows over soon. Am I fanning the flames by writing this post? I hope not, I’m just writing how I feel about it because the editor of 710Sports.com asked me to.
And I’ve done several radio interviews today because I’m trying to build my brand so I can have more widespread appeal and help turn “Danny, Dave and Moore” into a nationally syndicated show so I can spread my words of wisdom around the country and we can get more exposure than ever before.
I hope you can feel the sarcasm in that last paragraph – I’ve agreed to the interviews because I know what it’s like to have a potential guest say no to our show when we’re trying to fill a segment with what we think will be an interesting topic.
Is this a topic worth talking about? Maybe so for 24 hours. But not anymore.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for SeattlePI.com and KitsapSun.com. You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.