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.