“Controversy” **Updated**


OK..as it turns out, even I owe Richard Sherman an apology.  I watched the game, and as I said in this post I didn’t mind the trash talk.  The day after the game, I read Sherman’s post on TheMMQB, and I have to admit I didn’t believe him when he said he just went up to say “Good game” and shake hands.  Well, there is now video available from the game featuring Sherman “Mic’d Up”, and he was being 100% honest.  He didn’t say anything disparaging to Crabtree, and the hand he received to his face is what set him off.


There’s no reason for the controversy that is currently surrounding Richard Sherman to exist.  None at all.

Unless, of course, you believe in the fairy tale that NFL players don’t almost universally talk trash.

If you live in that world, I apologize for ruining your story, but NFL football is played by a bunch of guys that are looking for an edge.

If that edge comes because a guy insulted you on Twitter, that’s OK.  If that edge comes because a guy talked trash to you at a charity event, that’s OK.

Television is about ratings.  Erin Andrews was sent to find Richard Sherman because they wanted to get a raw, emotional response from the player that just made the biggest play of the game.  I’m sure it didn’t hurt that he also happens to be a well-known “talker” who isn’t prone to the normal, cliche-filled interviews that American TV audiences have come to expect (and loathe) from their sports stars.

So, he yells and screams and talks trash about a specific guy on the 49ers.  I understand that it isn’t normal, but I don’t understand why it’s bad.

I thought it was great.

He didn’t say anything that violates any FCC rules, and that is pretty much the only standard I think he should be held to in this case.  Would Russell Wilson have yelled?  No.  Would he have said anything negative about any member of the 49ers?  No.  We all know exactly how Wilson’s interview would have gone….and that’s exactly why Erin Andrews was sent to find Richard Sherman.

The other part of the Sherman “controversy” is the “throat slash” that he allegedly directed at Colin Kaepernick after the play.  I also have problems with that manufactured controversy.

#1.  It was a choke sign, not a throat slash.  They are very different signals, and, in my mind, one is much worse than the other.

#2.  Read this.

Colin Kaepernick wasn’t labeled a bad guy because he mocked Cam Newton’s touchdown celebrations last week.  Stephen Tulloch of the Lions wasn’t criticized when he ‘Tebowed’ after sacking Tim Tebow a couple of times.  When you become known for something in the NFL, you get mocked for that something when you get beaten.  How many people did Shawne Merriman’s “Lights Out” sack dance after scoring on the Chargers when Merriman was a star?

Kaepernick’s Beats commercial has drummed that song (you know the one) into our heads for weeks.  If I lived in Seattle, or played for the Seahawks, the fact that he signed off on that commercial being set in Seattle would have been something that stuck in my craw…and not just a little bit.  It would be the thing that I’d want to reference if given the opportunity.  With 3 turnovers in the 4th quarter, Kaepernick presented the opportunity for mockery.  Sherman seized the opportunity.  That’s what happens.

Steve Smith has done things very similar to this during his career.  A couple of times this very season.  When it has happened, he’s been called a tough, hard-nosed guy that plays with a chip on his shoulder.  After one game this year, he said that one particular player was a punk and that if he saw him in the street he’d punch him in his face.  Richard Sherman didn’t say anything along those lines.

Get over yourselves, people.  The NFL is filled with guys who do a lot of good things in their cities and their hometowns to help people who are struggling.  The NFL is filled with guys who visit hospitals to help encourage people who are on their road to recovery.  The NFL is filled with good, down-to-earth guys……and a high percentage of them act like crazy people when they step onto the field.  In many (if not most) cases, that is the mentality that is needed to play such a dangerous game without constantly thinking of all the dangers.  There isn’t a switch on a player’s back to turn off those emotions in an instant.

29 thoughts on ““Controversy” **Updated**

  1. This doesn’t happen often at all, but I’m almost 100% in agreement with you, dan. The only thing we don’t see eye-to-eye on (and I’m actually supposing here since you didn’t really elaborate on your feelings in the post) is the throat slash. I’ve got no beef with it at all.

    Great write up.

  2. Truth. Amen Dan.
    Sherman is not a thug as some people (code word)have labeled him. He is a very smart guy. He got a microphone stuck in his face right after making the play of the game that sent his team to the superbowl. He didnt curse, just called out Crabtree, and some self-promotion. That was some Deion and Ali-like bragging. Sherman has that reputation, shocking he would talk trash after the game. His write up in MMQB was very good too.

    I had ZERO problem with it.
    And the throat slash, it was a choke sign. They called a throat slash penalty on an Oklahoma player during the bowl games. When he was clearly doing the Cam Superman celebration.

  3. hell, what Sherman said pales in comparison to the crap tossed around the court during any given NBA game

  4. It pales in comparison to the crap tossed around the football field, soccer pitch, baseball diamond, or the field of play in any other professional sport, lil d. Basketball is no better or worse than any. I’m curious why you picked that particular sport.

  5. I’ve defended Philip Rivers when he has trash talked opponents and opponents’ fans.

    This is no better and no worse….Rivers just isn’t black and he doesn’t have braids so people are more able to accept that “he’s just yucking it up like he was in the backyard” explanation.

    I once threatened to punch someone over a “disagreement” during a church league basketball game. Who am I to judge someone who can’t keep their emotions totally in check after making THAT play at THAT time to send their team to the Super Bowl?

    Pat, did you click the link and read that post about the choke sign? I’m curious why you still say throat slash.

  6. You misunderstand. I was saying I don’t have a problem with the gestures in general. I wasn’t trying to imply that Sherm threw a throat slash on that douche. I was just saying that had he hit him with a throat slash instead of a choke sign I wouldn’t have had a problem with that either. I read your post to mean that you find one gesture (the choke sign) more acceptable than the other (throat slash). I was just saying I don’t have beef with either; they both amuse me.

  7. Oh OK.

    I don’t have a problem personally with either gesture, but one is (as I understand it) an automatic penalty and the other is not.

    I would let players (especially NFL players) do a lot more taunting/celebrating than they do, but I don’t have to try to break up the fights that would occur.

  8. I’d like to be able to hear the taunting better. A channel with the field audio where you could hear the smack talk would be awesome to me.

  9. Speaking of Steve and Sherman…


    I don’t mind trash talk, hand gestures, etc. Who cares. It’s just part of the game that most fans either want to ignore or have no idea that their favorite athletes participate in. So it just shocks some people and like Dan said, it’s what programs like FOX want to exploit.

  10. I can’t believe Sherm let that midget manhandle him like that. Smitty knows how to exploit some leverage. I bet Sherm didn’t have shit to sat about it afterwards, either. He knows that motherfuckers get punched in the mouth when they pop off at Smitty.

  11. lol…Sure it wasn’t trash talk Sherman said to Crabtree but he only did it to get under his skin. He is guilty of exactly what FOX did. Trying to get a reaction. I mean, doesn’t he immediately look to the official to throw a flag?

    He’s that guy who will tell you that “you suck” when he beats you on a play and then be the first one to say “oh, good play”, in such a fake “nice guy” way when you make him look like an ass a play later. His ego is so big it won’t allow him to look vulnerable or upset. Those are the guys you want to punch in the face.

  12. How is being equal opportunity (telling a guy he sucks on a bad play but complimenting his play on a good one) a big ego thing? That doesn’t seem to make much sense.

  13. Tacos, if they had video of Sherman saying something bad to Crabtree, don’t you think they would have aired it?

    The video shows that Crabtree was the one who didn’t handle things well.

    If you’ve ever played competitive sports at any level, you know that you shouldn’t talk trash unless a) you can back up what you say and b) you’re prepared to endure trash talk when you lose. Crabtree should apparently keep his mouth shut.

  14. It’s a “having your cake and eating it too” type of thing.

    He tries to cut off any trash talk from other players when he knows he got taken by conrats, slap on the ass, tap on the helmet, while simultaneously saying they are shit when HE makes the play.

    There was a play where I believe it was a third down and SF needed about 4 yards for the first. Crabtree was able to get some space and catch the ball for around 6 yards with Sherman dangling on his legs having a time trying to stop him from gaining more yards. They blew the whistle when he stopped gaining momentum when more Hawks came in, but the FIRST thing you see Sherman do was jump straight up and tap Crabtree on the helmet “congratulating” him in hurried motion before Crabtree could do any celebrating or rubbing it it in Sherman’s face, or even walk away.

    Sherman is smart. What does a guy look like when he talks shit to a player who appears to act like the bigger man?

    I’ve played against guys like that growing up and they are annoying as shit. “No brah, step as aside from your BS and let me tell you how I just made you look like a fool”.

    …or at least that is just how it comes across to me.

  15. I see what you’re saying. I just didn’t really understand at first.

    After watching the clip I posted from that interview with Nichols I got a different impression of him from what you have, but admittedly neither one of us actually knows the guy so who knows.

  16. Tacos,

    I just don’t see what you see. I mean, I’m sure there’s some jawing back and forth, but I haven’t seen anything from Sherman to suggest that the “congrats” that you say are fake are actually fake.

    If NFL Films had audio of him talking trash to Crabtree, don’t you think they would air it?

    I don’t think the rant with Andrews happens if Crabtree doesn’t mash him in the face.

  17. Like I said. He looks directly at the ref after Crabtree mashes his face in. Do you honestly think Sherman thought he would get a “Hey, great game too buddy!”, from Crabtree?

    Dude’s a baiter. It doesn’t bother me but I’m not gonna believe either that he’s just a misunderstood good guy.

    Sherman’s been in enough altercations on the field and off for me to come to the conclusion that his nice guy antics are just another way he tries to gain an advantage on his competition.

  18. I’ve seen plenty of games (most of them, actually) where plenty of guys (most of them, actually) wish each other luck after the game is over.

  19. I knew about the suspension. I guess they way I read fT’s last I was expecting him to have multiple arrests or something. Dude has ZERO off-field issues. He’s a good guy and a hell of a DB.

  20. I’m more talking about his interview with Skip Bayless as the “off the field” comment went. Go check that out. I in no way meant he had arrests or anything. He’s been in multiple fights on the field that we’ve seen. Wonder why?

    I’m not saying he’s a bad person, just that everything he does relates to his gamesmanship and not because he’s a good guy.

    …and dan, he runs up right behind Crabtree before he can get off the field, slaps him hard on the ass and get’s in his face. I don’t care what you tell him, that’s not going to get a good reaction from most players SECONDS after they just lost their shot at the SB.

    Why you guys want to glorify this guy just because some idiots on twitter calls him a thug is beyond me. I’m not buying in.

    He’s a really good player with a really big mouth.

  21. So no matter what Sherman says/does to Crabtree, Crabtree’s reaction is justified….and at the same time Sherman is not allowed to be upset by Crabtree’s action just a couple of minutes later.

    Seems fair :/

    You’ll have to look somewhere else for sympathy when it comes to Skip Bayless. Bayless just got a taste of his own medicine, IMO. It seems strange that you allow Bayless’ protests of Sherman’s behavior to be considered legit, but at the same time refuse to consider the possibility that Sherman didn’t have any (or much) ill intent when he went over to Crabtree.

  22. Yeah, bringing Skip Bayless in lost me. The Greatest Point Guard In The History Of Oklahoma is a liar and a punk, and Sherm giving him the whatfor won me over when he did it.

    Also, I think it’s important to point out that, to my knowledge, we have NEVER seen Sherm lose his cool on the field and go after someone. He’s pretty much always the victim.

  23. Listen, for christ sake, I’m not saying that Sherman isn’t allowed to do anything, dan. I had no problem with his reaction when FOX stuck a camera in his face. Have you read anything I wrote? He can be upset all he wants at Crabtree but anyone who has any understanding at all of how it feels to lose a game like that should know a better time to say “good game”. Sherman knows this and that’s why I feel he was looking to get a reaction. We’ve noted three separate occasions where other players have struck Sherman during or right after games. The dudes a baiter IMO. Nothing wrong with that (like I’ve said 3 times already) but there are reasons why he constantly gets singled out for cheap shots from other players. You saw the choke sign he classfully signaled to the other 9ers right?

    I thought when bayless interview Sherman (whenever that was) he acted like a complete idiot. I don’t necessarily like bayless either, but he went on there to personally attack him which seemed low to me. He didn’t even do a good job of it it either and stumbles through his words, which made it even more awkward.

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