Today’s si.com column …

… is on Derek Anderson and the stupidity of it all.

20 thoughts on “Today’s si.com column …”

  1. First I heard Somers on the radio defending himself and his persistent questioning, all the while explaining how professional he was. Then I saw the tape of the news conference. Somers is a joke of a journalist. That’s the question you ask, over and over and over and over again? Why you were laughing on the sideline and what was the context? Anderson could have reacted differently, but if it had been me I would probably have responded to that stupid questioning the same way.

  2. Ted – The fans were all over Somers to find out why Anderson was laughing. Somers gave Anderson an opportunity to explain himself. Because the fans wanted to know. But the fans weren’t there. Somers was.

    Who does Somers owe his loyalty to? The thousands of readers who rely on him to find out what they want to know? Or Derek Anderson’s oh-so fragile feelings?

  3. At first I thought Anderson was a jerk.
    I now think Somers was the jerk.

    Anderson was not laughing. Smiling? Ya. I don’t see evidence he was laughing.

    I think he lost it because he was frustrated for being accused of something he didn’t do.

    Somers also is a correspondent on the Cardinals for Sporting News.
    When SN reported the incident they claimed Somers was asking Anderson why he was Smiling.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2010-11-30/arizona-qb-anderson-lets-loose-in-postgame-tirade#ixzz16px19XAu

    Inaccurate reporting, but I think they were trying to divert attention away from Somers.

    Jeff,
    Even your site reports Anderson was smiling. Not Laughing.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/football/nfl/12/01/derek-anderson-apologizes.ap/index.html

    When things go bad for me I laugh and smile it’s the best way to overcome adversity.

    Somers was WAY out of line.

  4. Jeff,

    I dont really think its anyones business what Anderson was laughing at or why he was laughing. Fans & Sports media alike need to retrain their focus and limit it to what takes place between the lines.

    Some people spend so much time on this TMZ garbage and on player salaries (not you) that I wonder if they’d even notice if they stopped playing games.

    It really is stunning, the gripes about players not living up to their responsibilities as role models. “Whatever happened to the good old days?” and all that bunk while nobody realizes the ugly humanity on full display because of a ceaseless media monster.

    If Mickey Mantle played today he’d be crucified not worshiped.

  5. The hero-worship of athletes on here is unbelievable sometimes.

    First of all, Mickey Mantle should have been crucified, not “worshiped.” Or at least somewhere in between. No one should be “worshiped” for being an entertainer. Do some research. Mantle could be a really bad guy sometimes who made really bad decisions. Reporters at the time hid it. It didn’t somehow elevate our nation to worship someone like that.

    Between truth and hagiography, I choose truth every time. That doesn’t mean I enjoy TMZ-type garbage. I hated the Tiger Woods saga. It was like, “Enough already!” But to equate the Derek Anderson story to something like that is just plain silly.

    Something else you guys need to understand: Somers wasn’t the one who made a big honking deal of Warner laughing. Jon Gruden did, during the Monday Night Football broadcast.

    Something tells me, however, that you guys have less of a problem with that. Because Jon Gruden is a rough-and-tough macho football coach, the kind of man’s man you love to side with whenever they battle “the ceaseless media monster.” So you take it out on Somers instead, who is an easier target for you than a macho, macho man like Jon Gruden.

  6. P.S. Also, Jason, in leagues with a salary cap, it would be the height of journalistic irresponsibility not to report vigorously about player salaries. And even though baseball doesn’t have a cap, it matters there, as well, because teams still operate on a budget. Salaries mean the difference between keeping a player or trading him or letting him walk via free agency.

  7. BRC,
    I did mention the game announcers wanting to tear Anderson apart in the first Anderson post.
    Comment #5
    https://jeffpearlman.com/?p=8021#comments

    The difference was Somers badgering him over something that didn’t happen. Anderson said it didn’t happen, only to have Somers claim there was video of him laughing – most now admit he wasn’t laughing.

    1. Somers had no right to badger.
    2. Somers did a very poor job of getting his facts straight.
    Just like Jeff did.

    What ever happened to ACCURACY in reporting.

  8. You are focusing on practically indistinguishable semantics. That is quite a reach in your desire to paint the reporter as the bad guy.

  9. BRC
    It was the Badgering that made him the bad guy.
    Anderson said he wasn’t laughing.
    Somers essentially accused him of lying. Then refused to stop.

    Hey.
    It could have been worse. Anderson could have put on his Cardinals Beanie – Hopped into his ’74 Volvo – then chased Somers down in a Mall parking lot – just to ask him why he was such a dickwad.

  10. BRC,

    First off telling someone what they need to understand is a touch to aggro for my tastes.

    Secondly my point was obviously these guys are human beings, not Gods that walk among us. We shouldn’t be surprised when a player dares to laugh in the middle of a crushing defeat, or display otherwise human behavior. These guys are going to make mistakes, every one of them. And some people are perpetually searching for the pristine heroes of yesteryear that were more a product of a non inquisitive media than anything else.

    And while its good to see that human side sometimes I personally wish less time would be spent documenting a players love life, and salary squabbles. Should the media cover or make note of a players salary? Yes, of course. But fans and media alike focus too heavily on these external issues and less on the games that are supposed to be central to the thing.

    This story, not Jeff’s coverage, is lightweight. Honestly Jeff’s take was pretty solid. The guy should have said I’m human instead of offering stupid denials and insulting the reporter and the audiences intelligence.

    When I compared this saga to the TMZ-esque coverage, the Tiger Woods stuff, the Tony Parker, A-Rod stuff I was lumping them together as puff pieces, schlock that has no bearing on the games. I stand by that, sorry if you think I was incorrect to do so.

  11. Jason – I don’t agree that the salary stuff is an external issue.

    I just think Somers was in a bad spot. I don’t think he was trying to call Anderson a liar. I think that Anderson was confused about what he was asking about – this was just a moment that so happened to be caught on camera. Probably happens every game a million times. But Somers was trying to explain the circumstances. He wasn’t “badgering.” He was trying to get a word in edgewise. Anderson kept yelling, and I think that Somers just thought he was misunderstanding the question. He wanted an answer to the actual question. Ten or 20 years ago, how he went about that wouldn’t have mattered, because this kind of stuff wasn’t broadcast the way it is now.

    Thing is, beat writers and players usually get along really well. The next day, while fans were worked up at Somers for “badgering” Anderson, the two principles themselves were probably talking about Sunday night’s “Simpsons” episode.

  12. I just dont see why Somers even bothered asking, why anyone would care. But thats me. I dont think he badgered him, I dont think he should have cared. I dont have an issue with the beat reporter or with Jeff Pearlman, its an iritation with sports media on the whole and the fanbase. Why should anyone care that X was laughing in the middle of a blow out, what should he be doing, push ups? Crying? Its a game, bottom line. We should stop expecting athletes to act like its a matter of life and death, and if we ourselves take losses that hard we should look within ourselves and ask why?

  13. Jason – I could not agree with you more on not caring that Warner was laughing/smiling or whatever he was doing.

    Somers had to ask because Gruden made a big deal about it and the fans were freaking out. I’m sure he already had emails or spotted the freak out on the team message boards – beat writers will frequently check those out to make sure that they address whatever the buzz out there is.

    Beat writing isn’t the line of work to make the kind of principled stand against trivial matters that you’re urging.

  14. BRC
    Look at the video again.
    Anderson didn’t get angry until Somers essentially called him a liar by saying the cameras caught him laughing.
    It was at that point Anderson lost it.
    Should he have lost it? No. But every single one of use loses it occasionally.
    The day after the game Jeff talked about how he lost it with a driver. Road Rage.

    It is easy to throw stones at other people.
    If we look in a mirror maybe we can be more understanding of our fellow man.
    At one time discussion was made saying we needed to have more empathy for each other.

    Empathy
    –noun
    1.
    the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.

    Talk’s cheap, nobody seems to have any empathy for Derek Anderson. A game is an emotional time and it certainly seems to me Somers could have dropped the discussion when he got an answer. Instead he tried to pressure Anderson into giving an answer that he didn’t believe or feel.

  15. Where was Derek Anderson’s “empathy” for Somers?

    Anderson is paid to play football and paid handsomely. He knows that part of being quarterback is having to stand up and take questions like a man after the game. This is a multi-billion dollar entertainment industry.

    I understand empathy. But I don’t think empathy means baby the millionaire.

  16. What empathy for Somers was necessary?
    The question was answered. Somers pressed for more. It was obvious that was the only question Somers was interested in asking.
    ? Answered. Interview over.
    Besides, what does that stupid question have to do with the game?

    Where I have a problem with not giving Anderson empathy is from those people that have dragged him over the coals for this because he “lost it”.

    People like Jeff ask mankind to have more empathy toward others, then don’t even stop to consider Derek as a human.
    He is subject to emotions, and reactions that sometimes will not be perfect.
    Instead of trying to have compassion for him it is so much easier to make $$$ by publicly criticizing.

    When we wonder why man has so much conflict it is a good idea to look in the mirror. Maybe the problem is looking back.
    There are too many hypocrites on this planet, people live by the standard, “do as I say, not as I do.”

    How much he makes doesn’t matter.
    Everyone has emotions and feelings.
    He felt like he was under attack, his response should be understood instead of ridiculed.

  17. Jeff
    If that was the point of the column I’m sorry I missed it.
    Reread it again and missed it again.
    I can be dense, so I apologize for any misunderstanding.

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