Should Richard Sherman’s Interview color your opinion on the Seahawks?

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By now, unless you’ve been living under a rock or really can’t stand football, you know that the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, the preseason favorites for the Super Bowl, are actually going to be playing in the Super Bowl. By now, you know that Peyton Manning once again got over the stigma that he’s a choke artist in the playoffs. By now, you know that the Seattle Seahawks, barring anything totally unexpected, are a potential dynasty.

And yet, you choose to focus on Richard Sherman, the Seattle cornerback, who is arguably the best cornerback in the league, or so he thinks, and his vociferous postgame interview, which probably scared the living bejeezus out of Erin Andrews. The interview, which was essentially a call out to 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree can be watched here.

After the interview, there was a lot of discussion over whether Sherman acted like a classless jerk, whether he should have kept his personal conflict with Crabtree out of the spotlight, and so on and so forth.

Some people even decided that Richard Sherman’s rant would make them temporary Broncos fans, because the Broncos are supposedly more classy than the Seahawks.

Wow. Decided to go with the broncos after that interview. Seriously dude?? Matt Harvey (@MattHarvey33)

Stay classy, Richard Sherman. Making it easy for all of America to become #Broncos fans. Steve Caparotta (@SteveWAFB)

And then of course, there were the idiots on Twitter and message boards who felt the need to drop an N-bomb in calling out Sherman. 

I’ve heard of people rooting for teams for stupid reasons, “Because x player went to my school”, “Because the uniforms are awesome”, “Because they were the first team I saw in the Super Bowl/World Series/Stanley Cup/NBA Finals etc.” but this really takes the cake. To root for another team because one player decided to release his pent up excitement and anger in one post game tirade, literally minutes after he helped his team get to the Super Bowl, really shows how stupid temporary fan allegiances can be.

But this post isn’t about calling people out for being stupid, it’s for making sense of why Sherman did what he did, and why he was justified for doing it.

So we start off at the beginning. First of all, 49ers-Seahawks may be the best divisional football rivalry right now. Both teams are great, and seem to be destined to face off in important games for at least the next decade, both coaches have had experience playing each other even before the NFL called them, both have solid offenses and nasty defenses, what’s not to like?

There are, of course, those who take the rivalry very seriously. Sherman and Crabtree stand out the most. According to Sherman’s side of the story, which can be seen in this article, written by Sherman, the feud didn’t just start that night, but rather back in the offseason, in Arizona. In his piece, Sherman says that he could have caught the ball, had Crabtree not pushed him. Instead of holding a grudge right there, Sherman tried to act like the bigger man by saying “good game” to Crabtree, but when Crabtree pushed him again, he was free game.

While Sherman’s choke signal to Colin Kaepernick probably wasn’t called for, after all, he did have a somewhat respectable game minus the turnovers, his post game interview with Erin Andrews didn’t seem as bad as it was played out to be. Sure, Sherman yelled, sure, he trashed Crabtree by calling him a “sorry receiver”, and sure, it sounded like something out of WWE RAW, but in actuality, it was, for the most part, harmless.

Sherman didn’t swear in his interview, which showed at least a certain degree of maturity. His play against Crabtree and throughout the year also gave him a certain degree of traction on his “I’m the best corner in the game” comment. And for those of you who were confused by his LOB shoutout, it’s not a gang sign, it’s the initials for the Seahawk secondary nickname, Legion of Boom.

Here’s the problem. You as fans say that you are tired of the clichéd interview, the “we played hard and they played hard”, generic company line. And yet, when Sherman decides to exercise his first amendment rights and speak his mind, you suddenly become members of the morality police. “What a classless douche”, “That’s a low blow”, etc. Make up your mind, people. Either you want a degree of opinion, or you want the company line. If you like it, great, you like it, but if you’re so damn sensitive, then perhaps you should avoid watching sports altogether. Someone’s going to win and someone’s going to lose. Some are going to be excited about going to the Super Bowl and show it, others are going to act as if it’s no big deal.

Do you fault Sherman for being excited? I certainly wouldn’t. This is the Super Bowl, perhaps the greatest sporting event in the country, if not the world. Even if there is a degree of parity in the NFL, going to the Super Bowl is harder than it looks. Sherman has every right to be excited, every right to show emotion, every right to say that he was better. He made the play that brought Seattle back to the Super Bowl. You say that Peyton has more class? May I remind you that Manning has already been to two Super Bowls, so obviously it wasn’t new to him. Heck, he’s already won one, as well as the MVP of the Super Bowl.

Don’t judge Sherman’s character by one interview. Don’t root for the Broncos just because your opinion of a team was affected by one interview. Don’t view Sherman as a villain because of an interview. Have an opinion that isn’t colored because of an interview. The goal of fandom is to root for a team because of the way they play, not because of the actions of one player. If that was the case, then there’d be a lot fewer Patriots fans because of Aaron Hernandez, and the Cleveland Browns would be one of the most popular franchises in the NFL.

Instead of letting the (almost) off-the-field headlines color your fandom, watch the game for what it is, a matchup between the best offense and the best defense. Enjoy the novelty of a game in a cold-weather city in an open stadium. Enjoy the commercials if you hate football, or if you hate football and commercials, enjoy Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Or, if you want to pick players, there are other players on each team that are just as easy to root for. Denver has Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Knowshon Moreno, all great players. Seattle has Bruce Irvin, Earl Thomas, Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Derrick Coleman. Don’t let it be Manning vs. Sherman. Enjoy the whole game for what it is.

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2 comments

  1. David West

    This is not acceptable and people are saying it’s ok as he didn’t swear.
    Big Deal!!!!!
    He calls out and lashes on another player because of something from the past in Arizona. That was private, his lashings were public. And yet you deem this acceptable because he didn’t swear?
    In my years of watching sports, I have not once heard any of my friends say “I wish the interviews would be better than the old cliche ‘we played hard’. ”
    ” In his piece, Sherman says that he could have caught the ball, had Crabtree not pushed him.”
    I could have a promotion at work if they didn’t hire the other guy, but do I rant about it to my co-workers? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I act like an adult and move on.
    So because he’s a star that’s ok to act immature? Would you feel the same about a co-worker who complained about others? I would think not.
    Do I fault Sherman for being excited?
    No, I fault him for making an idiot of himself and having the whole thing focused on him rather than the team who won the game (Not him). Had the defense not rushed Kap, he would not have been so hasty getting rid of the ball. Did Sherman comment that? No, his is “I AM THE GREATEST” is what he states.
    Still you find this acceptable.
    I find it shameful

    • alexgiobbi

      1. Sherman has every right to make a beef public if he wants to. There’s no rule that says you can’t. And it’s the viewer or the reader’s opinion to determine if it’s acceptable or not. Some will find it mature, others, like you, won’t. And for the record, swearing isn’t the main focal point of why the rant is acceptable. It’s a detail. I mentioned it once in the entire article, You seem to dwell on it more than I do. Did you even read past my defense of Sherman?
      2. Ok, let me ask you this, have you even asked your friends about their opinion of interviews? Because I find it very hard to believe that you think that your friends are fine with the company line interview. And if they are, fine, but your friends aren’t the whole audience here. At least I asked my friends and colleagues, and they were honest with me. The majority said that the company line interview was indeed too generic, that a little opinion wouldn’t hurt.
      3. Again, this is a minor detail. I was referencing something he said in his article on MMQB. I’m not basing my entire defense on that play. Your analogy also seems rather flawed, especially the part about another person being promoted, as, let me point it out again, the Seahawks are in the Super Bowl thanks IN PART to Sherman’s play. I don’t think Sherman cares so much about the interception, he’s just making a reference to what happened on that play. May I also point out that Sherman was acting like the bigger man throughout the sequence of events. He did say “good game”. Crabtree could have ignored him and left enough alone, but he decided that wasn’t enough and pushed Sherman. What is Sherman going to do, let that happen? If I say good job to someone and he pushes me, I’m obviously going to be irritated and I am going to call that person out for being a jerk.
      4. Where in the article do I say that Sherman is justified because he’s a star? I say he’s justified because he let his play do the talking throughout the game, and then he did his own Now, if Sherman had let Crabtree score on him and the Seahawks still won, would you think that he’d say the same thing? Obviously not. Sherman had Crabtree on lockdown that whole game, which is why he’s justified in saying what he said. And even before that, his stats from the past two years show that he has the right to say that he is the best cornerback in the game right now.

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