Tag Archives: Seattle Seahawks

With Football Done, I’m Ready for Some Baseball

The National Football League season came to a conclusion Sunday with the playing of the Super Bowl where the Seattle Seahawks lost to the New England Patriots, who depending on one’s opinion, are either led by the greatest duo to ever exist on the gridiron in Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, or are led be the evil emperor and Darth Vader who commute to their games in a death star and treat the NFL rule book like a collection of suggestions.

There were of course allegations that the Patriots cheated their way into the big game by having their balls a tad bit softer then the rules allowed but the fact remains for the next year, like it or not, they get to call themselves World Champions.

Regarding those soft balls used during the first half of the AFC Championship game, the NFL’s investigation into just who let the air out is still underway. While the tin foil hat society can continue debating whether there was one lone deflator or a grassy knoll full of deflators, in the bigger picture the end of football season means that the arrival of the baseball season is that much closer.

Don’t get me wrong I enjoy football, but after six months of Omaha, hut, hut, I am beyond ready for the sights and sounds of the National Pastime to arrive.

I think if the powers that be of the NFL were honest with themselves, they would also admit that they are ready for another sport to take the spotlight for a while so that the league can recover from a season where players were often making headlines more for their off field activities than anything they did on the field.

That is not to say that baseball players do not have off field problems as well. In fact Major League Baseball is preparing for the return of Alex Rodriguez after a one and a half season suspension for getting caught putting things in his body that are not allowed.

While MLB prepares for the headaches of A Rod drama few can argue that the past season was one of the biggest public relations headaches for the NFL in its history.

Hopefully the NFL can use the offseason to better define policies and procedures to provide clear cut, consistent responses across the board when issues arise instead of the shoot from the hip inconsistent approach that took center stage this year.

Speaking of inconsistent approaches, the advertisements in this year’s Super Bowl were all over the map with very few hitting the mark of viral success for making viewers laugh or cry for the right reasons.

It is almost like all of the other ad agencies decided that the beer company that is famous for spots featuring horses and golden retrievers was going to win the hearts of viewers regardless of what they did so they just phoned it in when it came to their ads.

Another item hurting companies when it comes to Super Bowl success is the early release of their ads on the internet.

While one used to have to wait until Super Bowl Sunday to see the ads at great peril to their bladders, now many ads are released days and weeks before the big game meaning that any impact already occurs before the game.

While this approach may lead to fewer full bladders during the commercial breaks, it does take a little out of the Super Bowl experience and has changed the way the game is watched for many.

The commercials I enjoyed the most were the ones I did not have prior knowledge of. There is just something about seeing a Super Bowl commercial for the first time during the Super Bowl as opposed to seeing an ad that has already been trending for a week before the game.

Hopefully marketers will realize that the best ads are the ones that are a surprise to the viewer and the trend of premature commercial release will be reversed faster than a bad call by a referee.

Ad agencies are now on the clock and have a whole year to figure out their ads for the next big game. And with Super Bowl 50 coming next February, I am hoping for some truly epic commercials, as well as a game featuring some good teams with properly inflated balls and no Death Stars parked in the employee lot.

Whoever gets selected as the halftime performer also has a tough act to follow as by all accounts Katy Perry and her dancing sharks and roaring cat set the bar very high for all who come after her.

And while a pitcher shaking off a sign from his catcher does not provide the same sound bites as a quarterback calling an audible at the line, who knows, maybe one of the umpires will add “Omaha, you’re out” to his strike out call to help those fans who are going through football withdrawal until the start of organized team activities and spring games in a couple of months.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a baseball season to get ready for.

Copyright 2015 R. Anderson

Postgame Interview Heard Round the World

The Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers yesterday to earn a trip to the Super Bowl to face the Denver Broncos.

While the game featured strong plays on both sides of the ball it was ultimately decided by an interception in the end zone that was aided by a tipped ball.

As one can imagine tipping a ball that leads to an interception that in turn leads one’s team to the Super Bowl is a pretty big deal.

Mere seconds after the game ended Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks, the man who tipped the ball that led to the interception, which sealed the victory for his team, was asked by the sideline reporter to describe how he felt.

What followed was a player filled with excitement telling the reporter how he felt about the play as well as taking a few shots at the wide receiver for the 49ers.

Almost as soon as the words were out of Sherman’s mouth the social media citizen journalists were up in arms with a rapid opinion about whether Sherman’s words were over the top or just right.

Such is the world of immediate response that we now find ourselves in.

It reminds me of the movie Judge Dredd where Sylvester Stallone was part of a breed of law enforcement that served out instant justice when a crime was committed which included execution of the offender in some cases.

After all in the world of Judge Dredd who needed a trial by jury when instant street justice could be served at a huge savings to the tax payers.

Thank goodness that we do not live in a police state where that sort of thing occurs but in a way the instant response through social media can be just as bad.

Television reporters are trained to find the key players for a post-game interview as soon as possible.

They ask a leading question and usually get a canned cliché answer and then throw it back up to the booth. Lather, rinse, repeat such is the nature of televised sports in the 21st Century.

So when the sideline reporter stuck the microphone in Sherman’s face I am sure she was expecting a quick little quote along the lines of, “we have a good ball club, we played hard, and we are looking forward to facing the Broncos in the Super Bowl.”

Nine times out of ten it happens just like that. But it is that one time when someone goes off the script and speaks true emotion that makes for good television.

Did Richard Sherman go a little over the top in his response? Probably.

Should he be turned into the villain in social media that he became? Of course not.

For years I have felt that there should be a cooling off period following a game before players and coaches are interviewed.

In all of my sideline interviews this was the approach that I took.

Granted, as a newspaper reporter I had the luxury of not needing a quick sound bite for the broadcast but I respected that the players and coaches needed some time to cool off.

More times than not the coaches would talk to their players briefly and then come over to me for the post-game interview.

This gave the coaches and players time to collect their thoughts and usually made for better post-game quotes as well then the typical cliché answers that coaches are known for.

Of course there were still times that I got the canned quotes as well but for the most part my approach worked.

I have little doubt that had Richard Sherman had the chance to cool off a little before being interviewed his response would have been less about “me” and more about “we.”

In fact his quotes did get more along those lines the further removed from the play he became.

Heat of the moment responses are not limited to the world of football though.

In NASCAR drivers are often interviewed seconds after a wreck before they have had time to digest what happened and in many cases they are still in shock from the effects of getting bounced around at 200 mph.

Most of the time the drivers give the company response but there are also times when emotion gets the best of them.

Drivers have even been fined for their remarks when they were deemed to have gone too far.

This is another reason why a cooling off period would be beneficial.

Give the driver time to collect their thoughts before shoving a microphone in their face for the sound bite.

Unfortunately I don’t think a cooling off period will ever be implemented.

Athletes will continue to give impassioned quotes now and then that go against the norm but they are said in the heat of the moment and should be considered as such.

The next time you hear an impassioned post-game quote like Richard Sherman’s try to think how you would feel if someone was interviewing you seconds after everything you had worked your whole life towards was one step closer to reality. With that perspective odds are you might cut them a little slack if they go a little overboard.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a sudden urge to watch some old Sylvester Stallone movies.

Copyright 2014 R. Anderson