Derek Anderson exploded during a press conference yesterday following a Monday Night Football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers defeated Anderson's Cardinals 27-6.
Anderson's heated reaction was in response to a question posed to him by a member of the media about why he was seen laughing on the sideline with teammate Deuce Lutui during the fourth quarter of the blow out loss.
"I'm telling you right now what I do every single week! Every single week I put my heart and soul into this! I don't go out there and laugh. It's not funny. Nothing's funny to me. I don't want to go out there and get embarrassed on Monday Night Football in front of everybody," Anderson yelled during the press conference before storming out.
Anderson had a poor game for Arizona, completing only 16 of 35 passes for 196 yards and throwing an interception. It was the Cardinals' sixth consecutive loss and eighth of the season.
But Anderson wasn't laughing about his performance on the field or the performance of his team. He was likely laughing about something trivial and completely unrelated to the game, something which he has every right to do.
It's one thing to be seen on the field not taking the game seriously. But Anderson was on the sidelines of a game that meant next to nothing for either team (though San Francisco has an outside shot of winning the NFC West). Just because he's seen smiling during a loss is not evidence that he doesn't care about the game.
We sometimes forget that this is just football. Yes, they're being paid millions of dollars to perform. But it's ridiculous to treat them like robots. They are human beings who have emotions and occasionally feel the need to express them.
Even surgeons will sometimes share a smile during a delicate procedure! Why can't Anderson, a professional football player, enjoy a harmless, little laugh when he's not even in the game?
If the media wants to attack Anderson then they should ask him why Arizona has the 30th-ranked passing offense in the NFL. Ask him why he's thrown more interceptions (9) than touchdowns (7). Ask him why he thinks he deserves the starting job when his completion percentage is barely over 50 (52.8).
But don't ask him why he's smiling on the sideline. It's not football-related and it's an invasion of privacy intended to stir up a story when there isn't actually one there.
Well, the media were at least successful in that regard. Except this time the story is about how poorly the media is doing their job, not how well Anderson is doing his.