SI Sees Record Traffic From Sherman Post; Andrews Happy With Postgame Interview
SI said the first-person account from Seahawks CB Richard Sherman on TheMMQB.com yesterday fueled the greatest one-day traffic total in the history of SI Digital. The Sherman piece helped generated a total of 4.3 million unique visitors, beating the company's previous high of 3.713 million uniques last April 29, when Jason Collins announced through SI he is gay. Sherman in the piece said of his postgame outburst on live TV Sunday, "it was loud, it was in the moment, and it was just a small part of the person I am. I don't want to be the villain because I am not a villainous person." SI said its internal research shows the Sherman piece also has generated its highest levels of social referrals of any piece in company history, besting the Collins story and last year's Swimsuit edition cover featuring Kate Upton (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).
LET'S DO IT AGAIN: USA TODAY's Laken Litman notes Sherman's rant for Andrews was a "moment of genuine expression that she was happy to capture." Andrews said, "You expect these guys to play like maniacs and animals for 60 minutes. And then 90 seconds after he makes a career-defining, game-changing play, I'm going to be mad because he's not giving me a cliche answer, 'That's what Seahawks football is all about and that's what we can to do and we practice for those situations.' No you don't. That was awesome. That was so awesome. And I loved it." Andrews "knew Sherman was referring" to 49ers WR Michael Crabtree, but "wanted to make sure the audience was on the same page." She asked him, "Who was talking about you?" Andrews explained, "I thought I would be criticized if I didn't follow up, or if I said something like, 'So anyway, you're going to the Super Bowl now.' No. This guy just went off. Let's make sure we know who he's talking about." Litman notes Fox producers "cut off the interview because they were concerned the language might get out of hand." Andrews: "We hope he does the same thing at the Super Bowl. We don't want a watered-down version of him." Andrews added that she and Sherman "reached out to each other Monday and all is well" (USA TODAY, 1/21). Andrews: "He lost his mind and it was awesome for once. He never threatened me, he never accosted me or the camera, and I never was frightened." She added she was going to ask Sherman a question about the Super Bowl, but her producer said in her ear that "we're getting out" of the interview and "they cut it" ("The Dan Patrick Show," 1/20).
RAW EMOTION: SI.com's Richard Deitsch wrote, "How long to stay with a subject during a live interview is always a judgment call for sports producers, and Fox’s lead NFL production team is terrific." But in this case, they "were too cautious." Viewers are "inundated weekly with vanilla interviews and BS coach-speak." Sherman’s postgame reaction, "straight out of the WWE playbook, was dangerous, interesting television." Fox "should have stuck with it" (SI.com, 1/20).
PUTTING LIFE BACK INTO MEDIA DAY: In Seattle, Larry Stone notes every form of media "was buzzing Sunday night and throughout the day Monday with analysis of those 30 seconds or so of must-see TV, and the podium interview that followed." If Sherman’s goal was "to become the center of attention heading into the Super Bowl, he succeeded." Stone: "I can’t wait to see the crowd around him during next week’s media sessions; they might have to move his table to Madison Square Garden" (SEATTLE TIMES, 1/21). In California, T.J. Simers asks, "Who is going to be more in demand on Super Bowl Media Day than Sherman?" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 1/21).