Big boys don’t cry?


When the final seconds on the clock ran out at Super Bowl 50, not everyone was smiling and celebrating. The CBS Sports camera switched from an excited, smiling Peyton Manning to a devastated Carolina Panthers player. This player was Cornerback Josh Norman and he was less than thrilled by the outcome of the game. The camera zoomed in for a close-up shot as Norman bawled into his hands, realizing his hope of winning the Super Bowl had now vanished.

As soon as the camera showed Josh Norman, devastated and in tears, everyone with whom I was watching the Super Bowl yelled, “Why are they showing him like this?” and “They should leave him alone!”

To an average viewer, it seems outrageous for the news media to show someone in such a state of distress, especially someone normally portrayed as tough. In many ways, it can appear disrespectful and even invasive for the news media to have a camera in the face of someone who is crying. After all, the news media could have shown other members of the football team who were, perhaps, not quite as upset as Josh Norman. However, as a journalist, I began to reflect on the other side of the argument.

The goal of the news media is to show a story from as many aspects and angles as possible. Only showing the excited and celebratory Denver Broncos players would only be showing half of the story. In any championship game, there are winners and losers. As much as people want to see the reactions of the winners, they also want to see the reactions of those who lost. Josh Norman’s reaction was a visual manifestation that summed up the emotions of most players on the Carolina Panthers team, thus golden for the news media’s coverage.