's interview with Erin Andrew following the NFC title game stole headlines early this week. (Robert Beck/SI)
Why did Fox Sports cut short the Richard Sherman interview with Erin Andrews last Sunday? The network addressed the reason in full on Thursday afternoon during a conference call with Fox Super Bowl announcers and production staffers.
"I saw a train coming down the tracks," said Fox Sports producer Richie Zyontz, who produced the Seahawks-Niners game. "It was compelling television. And like Joe [Buck] had mentioned earlier [during the conference call] we kind of had a preview of that in our production meeting [with Sherman]. It started crossing over a line that I did not want to see us go. Erin handled it very well, but I kind of said, Let's end this thing. He's a good guy, an intelligent guy, an emotional guy and it was very compelling to watch. But it started getting a little dangerous for us."
Fox announcer Joe Buck said Sherman discussed his issues with Niners receiver Michael Crabtree during a production meeting a couple of days before the game.
"He wasn't crazy," Buck said. "We went player by player and obviously as a corner he is going to cover a lot of guys. He said he [Crabtree] was mediocre receiver, which is what he said to the world after the game, anyway. You know those meetings are really privileged information and this kind of went into a different category and it was not our place or our desire to start up any personal feuds that a guy may have with another guy. If we start down that path as announcers, I think we are working our way into a dumb area. That is not something we are about. Richard handled that the way Richard wanted to handle that after the game and it was maybe surprising to know that what he told us in a seemingly quiet moment, he said to the world."
While the Sound FX footage above makes it appear that Sherman walked away from Andrews, Fox producers said on Thursday that they cut away.