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Journalism alum in viral video featuring Seahawks star

January 24, 2014

Opinions about Richard Sherman's postgame interview following the Seattle Seahawks' win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game are widely varied.

Actor Chris Waters, left, who graduated from CSU with a degree in Journalism and Technical Communication, had a central role in a new commercial featuring Seattle Seahawks star Richard Sherman, right..One thing, however, cannot be disputed: Sherman is the most talked-about player in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. Even Payton Manning and his quest for a championship with the Denver Broncos has been dwarfed in the media storm surrounding Sherman.

Going viral

Which, of course, makes the release of a commercial featuring Sherman promoting "Beats by Dre" headphones just minutes after the game ended tremendously impactful. And in the center of that commercial – which has gone bonkers on YouTube with nearly 2 million views – is a CSU alum.

“It’s been cool to be in a spot that has gone viral on YouTube,” said Chris Waters, a 1997 graduate in Journalism and Technical Communication. “I’ve noticed a lot of news and media outlets doing stories about the spot, all because Richard Sherman is the most talked-about guy in sports right now. The timing could not have been better.”

In the middle

Waters, who discovered his passion for acting after graduating from CSU, was chosen for the part of one of the locker room reporters because of his background in broadcast journalism, which included footage of him as a sports anchor. The director wanted the actors to look realistic, and Waters fits the part.

Waters makes several appearances in the 80-second commercial, including asking the first question in the “post-game press conference.” He said the commercial was shot in one 12-hour day in December.

“(Sherman) was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met – a total class act,” he said. “He was a lot of fun to work with; we were constantly cracking jokes and laughing in between takes. My face and ribs actually hurt from laughing so much.”

Life imitating art?

In the commercial, Sherman is asked to respond to questions about being labeled a “thug” – a constant real-life theme since his postgame interview with Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews following his game-saving play. In the commercial, he simply tunes out the questions by donning his “Beats by Dre” headphones.

“Sherman makes that play to end the game, has his little ‘rant’ and then the spot starts airing,” Waters said. “Does life imitate art or does art imitate life?”