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Richard Sherman Debates Julie Buehler At Super Bowl Media Day

Richard Sherman Debates Julie Buehler At Super Bowl Media Day Julie Buehler, my friend who's the host of Buehler's Day Off on KXPS 1010 AM Palm Springs / Palm Dessert, loves to argue – right or wrong, she brings it. (And with me, she's wrong most of the time – that's how I wound-up guest hosting her show two years ago: she lost a bet to me that the Miami Heat were going to beat the OKC Thunder.) But this time my Crossfit friend picked a juicy target in starting a debate with Seattle Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman. Sherman took issue with New England Patriots Owner (Chairman and CEO) Robert Kraft, who had a special guest over his house prior to the AFC Championship Game: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Kraft's Patriots went on to beat the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game, and also took actions that set the stage for #DeflateGate. Sherman argues that such visits by Goodell are proof that there's what he calls “collusion” and a “conflict of interest” on his part. The one who's considered the NFL's best cornerback contends that the Patriots will never be punished should it come to pass that #DeflateGate was a deliberate act, because of their relationship. Julie Buehler combatively disagrees with this, and had choice words for Sherman prior to her encounter with him at Super Bowl Media Day. Thing is, Richard didn't know about Julie's point of view, let alone Julie. But when his time to come before the media presented itself at Super Bowl Media Day, Julie grabbed the moment, and this, according to blogger John Kryk, at Kryk's Slants is what happened: BUEHLER: Kraft said that you didn’t know enough about that situation, so how much care do you put into your own research for you to state publicly that the commissioner of the NFL has a conflict of interest? SHERMAN: Um, it’s not difficult for me to research. BUEHLER: Did you do any research? SHERMAN: I obviously did. BUEHLER: But you were incorrect about that. SHERMAN: In which way was I incorrect? BUEHLER: You saying Goodell and Kraft have a conflict of interest is like you and (current New England Patriots cornerback and former Seattle Seahawk) Brandon Bowner not being able to talk as former teammates. SHERMAN: That’s a little different. BUEHLER: How so? SHERMAN: I don’t work for Brandon Browner. BUEHLER: (brief pause) SHERMAN: You don’t have anything else? BUEHLER: Oh no, I do. I wonder how much research you do – SHERMAN: But you never answered my — you never (continued) our discussion, you never concluded that, so I don’t work for Brandon Browner, so the point is invalid. (Text of the full exchange at And that was the end of that, as Sherman took another question. As Julie's exchange wasn't recorded by NFL Media for posting, this is the only account I've seen other than what Julie will post at some point (the photo has her using her smartphone to record the talk). Thus, the argument didn't blow up in new media terms as much as it would have if the NFL had recorded it. But the main question here is who's right: Richard or Julie. Well, they both are. As one who is the only NFL media person to also have worked to form a bid to bring a Super Bowl to a city, in my case Oakland in 2000 for the 2005 Super Bowl (we lost to Jacksonville), I can tell you the way the NFL works, and has worked, is that while the Commissioner is the organizational hub and spoke of the league, he also serves at the pleasure of the group of NFL owners that govern it. So Roger, like Paul Tagliabue and Pete Rozelle before him, has to walk a very fine line. Its important that he work to maintain relationships with his 32 bosses, and yes, that does call for being a visitor to their homes should the opportunity present itself. Such actions are not uncommon in NFL history, and never have been. So there is collusion between the Commissioner and the owners, and Goodell does have better relationships with some owners than others. But that's not a conflict of interest, and it shows that Sherman, who's employed by the NFL, really doesn't understand how it works. Julie was right to challenge Sherman on this, but she was wrong to argue that collusion, while not illegal in this case, does exist. There are secret meetings and collaborations – it's called NFL politics. Stay tuned.

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