Sports

Female Reporter Gives NFL Coach Mid-Game Advice On Handling A Player's Wife's Emergency Medical Situation

by Penn Collins

January 9, 2018

During halftime of the Saints-Panthers NFC Wild Card playoff game, New Orleans coach Sean Payton received some personal news about a player that sent the team into crisis mode. Payton learned during the break in play that the wife of Saints defensive tackle Tony McDaniel was headed to the hospital, presumably in labor.

Unsure of how to handle the situation in the middle of the contest, the coach quickly reached out to star sideline reporter Erin Andrews for advice on how to proceed, asking her bluntly, “What do I do?”

The question was less likely about breaking the news and more about how to frame it. Andrews stressed that sharing the information immediately was the only decent course of action, and tactics were unimportant. Payton heeded her advice, notifying McDaniel of the development and giving the player the option to leave the game to tend to the family matter. McDaniel opted to remain in the game. 

Andrews reported the development during her post-halftime segment, unaware if she was making the news public before McDaniel himself had learned of his wife’s situation. 

Understandably, many fans were dumbfounded as to why a person — coach or otherwise — wouldn’t reflexively simply share the issue with his player, but with so many details regarding this event still kept private, it’s unclear exactly what the nature of the consultation with Andrews covered.

Regardless, fans were quick to praise Andrews’ contribution and Payton’s decision to allow McDaniel to exit the game. 

After the Saints win, an update was given indicating that McDaniel’s wife was taken to the hospital for stomach distress and was not in labor, meaning that McDaniel will still have the opportunity to attend his child’s birth. Unless of course, the mother goes into labor next weekend, when the Saints will be playing Sunday far from home in Minnesota. 

The incident added drama to what was already a high-stakes matchup, leaving many with one overarching takeaway:

Oh, and naturally, the sports world was treated to more than a few jokes about the odd sequence of events as well. 

It’s the playoffs. Expect the unexpected, I suppose. 

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