Erin Andrews says the NFL enforces an in-game press embargo

Erin Andrews, an NFL sideline reporter for Fox, told Stephen Colbert last night (4:37 mark of the above video) that she is not allowed to report actual comments she hears from players or coaches.

“I hear the craziest things you could ever imagine,” Andrews said, explaining that she wished she could report them, but “the NFL doesn’t allow that.” Instead, she said, she is required to “paraphrase” what she hears in very general terms. Andrews wouldn’t elaborate on potential consequences of such reporting, saying only that “it’s just a rule, as a sideline reporter, I cannot repeat verbatim what I hear on the sideline.”

No sports entity is more interested in image control than the NFL (although execution sometimes is a different question), so it’s not shocking that Roger Goodell would have a gag order in place to keep what he undoubtedly sees as his reporters from relating to the public the actual comments of what he undoubtedly sees as his players.

This really shouldn’t come as a surprise if you recall the story that broke over the summer, when the league dictated to NBC which announcers the network was required to use on its Thursday and Sunday night broadcasts.

In the professional football world, the NFL Network is state-run media, obviously, but little leaks like the NBC Al Michaels/Mike Tirico story and Andrews’ revelation last night serve as gentle reminders that, for the NFL, there is no such thing as an independent press.


Richard Sherman is not the new standard-bearer for on-field, postgame NFL playoff interviews

Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman is the center of attention today after his candid, on-field interview with Erin Andrews following the Seahawks’ NFC championship win over the San Francisco 49ers. While most people are declaring it either the best or worst such interview, the truth is that it’s neither, and I would prefer to hear or read no more about it.

After the New York Jets beat the New England Patriots in a 2011 AFC divisional playoff game, Bart Scott delivered a masterpiece that continues to define the genre:

No one, including Richard Sherman, has come close since.


To Those Who Would Call Me a Thug or Worse…, by Richard Sherman for The MMQB
Can We Please Stop Talking About Class and Sports?, by Clay Travis for OKTC

Online sports media critics: When Colin Cowherd starts to make sense, it’s time to reevaluate your approach