If You Think Richard Sherman Is Right To Call Out NFL “Hypocrisy”: You’re Wrong

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Richard Sherman is a fun football player to watch. And he’s an engaging speaker, often offering opinions and perspective few NFL players offer. Some of which are interesting, some of which are simply intended to stir the pot of conversation.

He plays the role of villain to anyone who’s not a Seahawks fan and pulls on the heartstrings of his passionate fan base with artful grace. 

And he went to Stanford, so plenty of people assume that means he’s smart.

And he speaks with swelling authority, so people assume that means he’s right. 

But I don’t care where someone went to college or the powerful oration of their words, I just consider the logic they use and the quality of evidence they present.

It seems to me few critically analyze the logic Sherman uses or the quality of evidence he presents, somehow when he speaks, people neglect to question the young man and just accept his words as gospel.

This past week Sherman and teammate Doug Baldwin used their media availability to offer an awkward skit that was a thinly veiled critique of the NFL; it’s media policies, stance on player safety and sponsor relations.

Members of the media, who love to corral emotional support behind anyone who is controversial, thus leading to more cotton-candy, eye-catching headlines in Internet coverage, called the skit “brilliant,” “hilarious,” “awesome” and the like. In fact, even 49er safety Eric Reid concluded Sherman’s skit was “awesome” and that what he said was “all true.”

I love Reid as a football player, but he is wrong, and if you think Sherman’s skit was accurate, you are as well.

Let’s start with the first point of contention is Sherman’s presser: Marshawn Lynch was fined $100,000 for not speaking to the media. Sherman pointed to the idea that the NFL wouldn’t pay Lynch $100,000 FOR speaking, yet fined him for silence.  We then heard Doug Baldwin say that was hypocritical.

Consider this: Lynch is paid on average $468,750 per game.  While he’s paid to be part of a football team, every NFL player’s contract includes protocol for speaking to the media. It’s like requiring a lawyer to keep up with bar dues, like an accountant required to pursue continued education. It’s part of the gig. Some enjoy it, some don’t, but it’s part of the contract signed when someone signs up for that profession.

Same deal with media relations and the NFL, or any sport for that matter. Teams and the NFL have extensive trainings any player can avail themselves of should they feel uncomfortable with that part of the job, therefore it really should be one of the easier parts of the job.

Perhaps Lynch didn’t read his contract and doesn’t know that or doesn’t understand that signing a contract binds a person to the entirety of that contract, but Sherman’s argument doesn’t hold water. Lynch was paid more than 4X the $100,000 fine that week, and one of his responsibilities to earn that money was to speak to the media.

Also lost in the shuffle is the fact the six-figure sum was due the NFL waiving a $50,000 fine from last year and warned Lynch that if he continued to shirk his media responsibility, last year’s leniency would double this year’s consequences.

Basic stuff. Not hypocrisy. It’s called individual responsibility.

Next, Sherman pointed to the NFL’s policy that he can’t promote Beats By Dre who pay him individually.

Fact is, Sherman can be featured as part of the commercials, wear Beats to special events and other functions, but can’t wear them basically on game day while NFL cameras are around, mainly because the NFL has an exclusive deal with Bose, a rival of Beats.

And Sherman is taking exception to that? Beats pays him, and “a lot of money”, not the NFL, to promote the headphones, why should the NFL allow him to use their platform to support a competing brand? That’s not sound business logic. And without the revenue sharing across the league, there’s a strong likelihood that a small market team like the Seahawks couldn’t afford to give Sherman one of the richest contracts in the league. So the NFL’s savvy business logic helped Richard Sherman make more money than almost any other player at his position.

But Baldwin said it was hypocritical. It’s not. It’s called business. And it’s smart.

Then Sherman, thinking he’s being smart, dropped the name of his other sponsors, including Campbell soup, and said his “girl” was sick and she got some Campbell in her, then he said, “So kids, if you get sick, get some Campbell soup in you… very healthy…”

Really? So that monosodium glutamate and ferrous sulfate is the key to kicking a cold. Rad. Or could it be the 35% of your daily sodium intake in one serving that really does the trick?

Healthy? Not a chance.

Hypocritical? Not really, it’s called being a pitch man.

But the problem is, Sherman mocked the NFL for hypocrisy in conflicting messaging and asserted the NFL’s overt capitalism, yet he used highly inaccurate statements for the purpose of fattening his wallet and dropped some conflicting messaging as well.

The most incredible statement and one that most of the media kiss Sherman’s butt over, in fact, one writer for Yahoo Sports! said it’d be tough for the NFL to defend, was that the Seahawks played 2 games in 5 days. They had the bout with the Cardinals at home Sunday, then the Niners in San Francisco the following Thursday.

In the skit, Baldwin lobbed the alley asking “How do you feel about playing 2 games in 5 days?” Sherman followed with the oop: He said, “They’ve been talking about players safety so much, but 2 games in 5 days doesn’t seem like you really care about players safety…”

So if there was only 1 game every 3 weeks would the game be safer for the players? Fewer busted knees or blasted Achilles? Or could Sherman ask the NHL, an equally hard-hitting sport, how they play 82-game seasons?

Fact is, most players are not concussed in an average football game and while there are rigors involved in any football game, there is no evidence that playing 2 games in 5 days increases injury or comprises player safety as the team has more of a break before their next game and only play that schedule once a year. It might not be ideal, but it's hardly hypocrisy. The NFL has invested tens of millions of dollars in updating protocol to enhance player safety, but it's still an inexact science, still a very fluid situation. 

And, now, Sherman has 9 days until the next game.

You have to wonder if he’s going to thank anyone for the extra time off in his next press conference.

I don’t have a problem with Sherman opining and offering his perspective. It’s unique, at times hilarious, other times introspective and accurate. 

The problem is no one is challenging him on the premise that are illogical or factually inaccurate. Instead, most in the media just appreciate the money he makes them by having headline-grabbing sound bites and they don’t want to upset the apple cart by being the one person to critically think.

Thursday Night Football- Beer, Babe's and Primetime Pigskin

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What's better than craft beer, amazing BBQ and winning great prizes?

How bout sprinkling in PrimeTime NFL action and the valley's most popular sports talk radio show… 

That's what you'll find at Babe's BBQ and Brewhouse at the River every Thursday beginning Sept 4th for the NFL season kickoff party. You can win free golf, free golf gear, free food, free clothes, free vacation packages and much more all while enjoying the valley's oldest craft brewery and incredible food. So make sure your schedule is free and your destination is set for Babe's BBQ and Brewhouse at the River in Rancho Mirage. 

Here's the schedule so you can add it to your calendar. Go ahead. You can thank me later. 

Sep. 4 1 Green Bay at Seattle 8:30 p.m. NBC CenturyLink Field
Sep. 11 2 Pittsburgh at Baltimore 8:25 p.m. CBS/NFL Network M&T Bank Stadium
Sep. 18 3 Tampa Bay at Atlanta 8:25 p.m. CBS/NFL Network Georgia Dome
Sep. 25 4 N.Y. Giants at Washington 8:25 p.m. CBS/NFL Network FedEx Field
Oct. 2 5 Minnesota at Green Bay 8:25 p.m. CBS/NFL Network Lambeau Field
Oct. 9 6 Indianapolis at Houston 8:25 p.m. CBS/NFL Network NRG Stadium
Oct. 16 7 N.Y. Jets at New England 8:25 p.m. CBS/NFL Network Gillette Stadium
Oct. 23 8 San Diego at Denver 8:25 p.m. CBS/NFL Network Sports Authority Field
Oct. 30 9 New Orleans at Carolina 8:25 p.m. NFL Network Bank of America Stadium
Nov. 6 10 Cleveland at Cincinnati 8:25 p.m. NFL Network Paul Brown Stadium
Nov. 13 11 Buffalo at Miami 8:25 p.m. NFL Network Sun Life Stadium
Nov. 20 12 Kansas City at Oakland 8:25 p.m. NFL Network O.co Coliseum
Nov. 27 13 Seattle at San Francisco 8:30 p.m. NBC (Thanksgiving night) Levi's Stadium
Dec. 4 14 Dallas at Chicago 8:25 p.m. NFL Network Soldier Field
Dec. 11 15 Arizona at St. Louis 8:25 p.m. NFL Network Edward Jones Dome
Dec. 18 16 Tennessee at Jacksonville 8:25 p.m. NFL Network EverBank Field

It’s Not Racism, It’s Criticism And Sherman Is One Of Many On The Receiving End Of Unnecessary Remarks

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Since the NFC Title game, few have recalled the qualities of the Seattle Seahawks’ defense and what made it the NFL’s best. Instead the focus has been on one man, Richard Sherman, and his post game interview that saw him call out an opponent and proclaim his own superiority when asked a routine question about the game-ending play.

Since then, many have taken to social media, and beyond, to opine and mainstream news media has picked up a story which went from immature dunce-in-the-heat-of-the-moment postgame interview to racially charged everyone-and-their-aunt-has an-opinion matter.

But there’s the reality of being a professional athlete and especially the face of a franchise: YOU GET CRITICIZED. A LOT. Especially for dumb stuff, as well as real stuff. 

Sherman was fairly criticized for taking that moment to shine the spotlight on himself. It was a total team effort that beat the 49ers for the chance to go to Super Bowl XLVIII. And he has since apologized for his immaturity. He’s only in his 3rd year as a professional; I assume he’ll learn from this.

Sherman was unfairly criticized for the manner in which he stole the spotlight. He was called a lot of names, some petty, some angry, some mean, and most notably, a thug. He said he was “disappointed” with that term, saying it’s replacing the N-word and he, and others, assumed some of those unfair criticisms were falling his way because he’s black. That simply isn’t true.

The reality is franchise guys get ripped on ALL THE TIME simply for being themselves…

Tom Brady gets made fun of for his Ugg commercials, his GQ style, having a super model wife and a mote at his California home.

Eli Manning takes mean-spirited shots for his facial expressions. Really mean.

Tim Tebow gets laughed at for his virginity and religion. Relentlessly.

Mark Sanchez is comedic fodder for his hairstyle and proclivity to run into the posterior end of his linemen.

Peyton Manning is supposedly awful in the cold and in the postseason (apparently he required a historically historic season to dispel this notion) and has taken so much criticism for the large size of his head, a popular twitter account was developed and has more than 97,000 followers.

Tony Romo is a choke artist.

Philip Rivers is a troublemaker.

Colin Kaepernick is punk.

Dez Bryant has been labeled a brat.

When you’re the face of the franchise, or the most vocal member of the team, you will get criticized and vilified for ridiculous, illogical and inconsequential matters as much as you’ll get venerated for ridiculous, illogical and inconceivably athletic plays.

Sherman’s jersey is now among the Top-10 best selling jerseys in the league.

People are running to the rescue, defending not only him from the criticism but also excusing his admittedly bad behavior, not understanding he’s faced down far greater obstacles than this. He just needs to get a thicker skin and not take things so personally.

So while some erroneously called him a “thug” and others conclude that is a racially charged term, I’d ask: What’s it called when Tebow is mocked on Saturday Night Live, or when Sanchez is ridiculed or Romo is heckled? Humor? Opinion? Or part of the territory? 

As far as racism, there will always be people of any color, sex, creed or culture that harbor ill-will towards others based on their color, sex, creed and culture. Assuming the few with ill-will speak for all who offer criticism is shortsighted. Furthermore, the only way to change those perceptions is to showcase a different reality on a consistent basis.

Last week, Sherman starred in a commercial where he was asked about his reputation of being a thug, is it any wonder that people are using that word to describe him now? "Beats By Dre" made that connection with Sherman and blasted it out for all to hear, many times over. Fair? Nope. Predictable? Yup. Racist? No. 

Starting now. Sherman should walk past the criticism, fair and unfair, and play the game he loves for the fans who love him in the biggest game of his career.

 

"Buehler's Day Off" Is Turning 2!

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Don't know about you, but at the age of 2, I could say ball and locate my mother. That's it. 

And at the ripe age of 2-years-old, "Buehler's Day Off," Coachella Valley's ONLY daily local sports talk radio show has broadcasted from 2 Super Bowls, 2 NFL drafts, covered the Angels questionable acquisitions, the Dodgers red hot summers, the Lakers coaching gaffs, Clippers roller coaster, the Kings' Stanley Cup victory and defense, the historic SoCal Coyotes, the Palm Springs Power, our local athletes in the NFL and CFL, standout prep stars, and countless other inspirational stories of our community members doing incredible things.

"Buehler's Day Off" dedication to delivering the fun, positive and interesting stories in the world of sports has made it the most popular sports talk radio show in Coachella Valley history in a short 2 years and there's only one person to thank: YOU.  

Without the support of our loyal fans and incredibly smart, funny and interactive audience, "Buehler's Day Off" would be crawling out of the "Terrible 2's" not sprinting into the "Tremendous Threes." So to celebrate we're having a GIANT party!!! And giving away some FANTASTIC PRIZES!!! 

Where: The Beerhunter in La Quinta

When: Wednesday June 4th. 3-6 pst

We'll be offering 3 of our most dedicated listeners a chance to win a "StayCation" Package at the luxurious Hilton in Palm Springs. 2 night stay, dinner for 2 and spa treatment for 2…

Here's how you qualify:

Text the station text line (760-440-8255) and sign up for "Team Buehler" or "Team Bloom"… The ONLY stipulation to participate is that you MUST be available to be at The Beerhunter on June 4th between 4-5 pm when competition is happening in ernest.

On Tuesday June 3rd, we will draw 3 names that will make up "Team Buehler" and 3 names that make up "Team Bloom."

On Wednesday June 4th there will be a 5-part competition that will require elite strength, speed, agility, eating skills and sports knowledge (or semi-elite… actually, just the ability to show up). The team that wins earns each member their own t-shirt for surviving and a "StayCation" at the Hilton in Palm Springs courtesy of "Buehler's Day Off" 2nd Annual Birthday Bash!! 

Don't miss your chance for an inclusive "StayCation" at the Hilton-Palm Springs and other great prizes at the 2nd Annual Buehler's Day Off Birthday Bash!

Thoughts On Damon Bruce And Whether He Should Be Fired

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If you don’t know what Damon Bruce said on his popular sports talk radio show in San Francisco, here you go. Take 9 minutes and listen to it. My grandma told me “some sports radio host said women don’t belong in sports media,” so that’s how I heard about Bruce’s comments.

Once I heard what he said, the “apology” and understanding the context in which he said it, here’s how I’ll sum up what I think he was clumsily trying to say: Bruce believes sports are raw and unfiltered and people who don’t appreciate that shouldn’t try to change it. His mistake, and it’s a bad one, was that he correlated women in sports media to a shift in conversation. He also said sports is a “men’s only club” and other more inciting “insight” along that ilk.   

First, I'd like to applaud Bruce for speaking his mind. Doesn’t bother me when that happens, even when I disagree with his opinion, even when I’m living proof that he’s wrong. But when we shut down dialogue, ideas get stagnant. I invited Bruce on my radio show to discuss this, he said when he’s able to join me, he will. He is currently suspended for his comments.

Second, hypothetically, let’s just say what Bruce is alleging is true. Let’s just say that women participating in sports media makes EVERYONE more sensitive and pansy-assed. Fact is, estimates are that women make up less than 10% of sports media. So THAT is some serious ninja-level efficiency if women are affecting THAT much change while representing such a gross minority. Bruce shouldn’t even be mad. He should be kinda impressed. (Ron Burgandy voice).

Third, can’t tell you how often I’m asked 1) “How do you know so much about sports?” or 2) “What’s it like to work in a man’s world?” or 3) “Why do you like sports?”

My answers are: 1) “Lawyers study the law, I study sports.” 2) “I’ve only ever been a woman in this world. No clue what a man’s world looks like.” And 3) “Why do you like to breath?”

Bruce’s comments reflect a societal theme that sports begin with men and women in sports are there because of men. It’s highly pervasive and only going work it’s way out of common sentiments with conversations sparked by guys like Bruce and women responding intelligently and patiently. 

Bruce’s attempt to defend Richie Incognito for his bullying of a teammate led to Bruce’s own bullish ideas being exposed. And he’s not alone. I'd be willing to bet these were concepts he hashed out with his buddies, finding agreement from male counterparts and concluding he's onto something significant. Significantly short-sighted.

I don’t want him to be fired; he’s a talented broadcaster. BUT, I think he needs to be around people who are less “yes-men” (or women) and challenge his opinions. He fell into an all-too-common trap of believing his opinion IS fact. And in radio, hosts are often told to be confident in their opinion, regardless of what it is. That can be solid advice, I guess, so long as there’s fact supporting that limb you’re hanging on. Otherwise the only thing that’ll support you if that limb breaks is the fact gravity sends you crashing to earth.  

In some ways, this situation with Bruce reminds me of when Augusta finally “allowed” women as members more than a year ago. It proves how far behind the times they are and how regressive their ideas are because women don’t need their approval or allowance to live happy, prosperous lives. In any capacity.

 

 

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