You’ve all seen the tape. After a “I saw that coming” play where Seahawks’ corner Richard Sherman slapped an errant pass into the hands of a teammate to seal Seattle’s spot in Super Bowl XLVIII, he delivered a postgame interview which sent the stuff into the proverbial fan for football fans from coast to coast.
Every major news outlet in the country has aired the 17-second clip of Sherman shouting into the microphone while FOX’s Erin Andrews stands visibly baffled, shaken and speechless. After we get a few points out of the way, it’s time to yawn and move on.
First of all, let’s not act like Sherman is the only NFL player who’s a bad sport. Showboating and clownery are common across the world of professional sports. Michael Crabtree — whom the batted pass was intended for — wasn’t exactly acting like a role model either. Go back and look for yourself. You’ll see Sherman tried to extend what appeared to be a good sport’s handshake to Crabtree, just before the 49ers receiver shoved Sherman by his facemask. Neither one of these guys acted with much class.
And we all know that tensions are high — especially in division rivalries and when those games are conference championships. No doubt that Crabtree and Sherman were jabbering back and forth at each other all night long. Who knows what kinds of things they said to each other when no microphones were on. Maybe all of it was in good fun. Maybe they really hate each other. Who knows? But it certainly isn’t the first time (and it won’t be the last, either) that two players from rival teams — playing in a heated competition — will say nasty things about each other. This isn’t to excuse the behavior; it’s just to accept reality.
Why is that a reality? Well, frankly, because football is actually a game where two teams of athletic men put on mountains of protective gear and then beat the living hell out of each other. They literally smash each other into the ground to distinguish the part of the game where one play ends and the next begins. Usually, at least once a game, somebody gets walloped so bad they have to be dragged off the field. And we’re all getting excited over some guy shouting about it after the fact? Give me a break.
The Twitterati was quick to call Sherman every name in the book within seconds of the interview. Classless. Punk. Jerk. Thug. Those are amongst the pejoratives that can be published in this paper. But anyone who calls him these names just isn’t thinking the situation through. Imagine you just made the winning-play of a game which will take your team to one of the most watched sporting events in the world, and tell me again how much class you would’ve handled it with. What’d you want the guy to say? “Yeah, we just went out there and gave it 110 percent.” Wake me up when that interview is over.
Sherman has since apologized for the outburst, and that’s fine. Apparently he feels that this was out of character. Crabtree, on the other hand, took the opportunity to fire back at the Seahawks cornerback saying “the tape doesn’t lie” and that Sherman is a #fake #fake #fake. Not that I’m taking sides here, but the stats don’t lie either, and Crabtree really is a mediocre receiver—at best. But that’s neither here nor there. No need to prolong this soap opera. Let’s let sleeping dogs lie.