sherman podium2

I wasn’t going to do this. I wasn’t going to write (another?) Richard Sherman steaming hot take, mostly because by doing so I’m in direct violation of my own words, and I don’t enjoy that.

But as I awoke after a long evening/early morning of writing, reading, watching, and mostly living in the bliss that was the NFC Championship game and the entertainment Sherman provided us, I started to think, and thinking usually leads to more writing. Sorry.

What were those moderately caffeinated thoughts? With the benefit of some sober reflection now, it seems Sherman actually gave us a sort of social experiment, with your reaction to him saying far more about you than any statement from Richard Sherman the person.

Having said that, here’s some full disclosure: I also sent this out through Twitter dot com last night.

That wasn’t in reference to his screaming interview that may have terrified Erin Andrews, mostly because while I am many things, I can’t see the future. The interview — which seems to be ground zero for most of the Sherman angst and/or horrible outright racism — would happen moments later, and instead that referred to Sherman immediately approaching Michael Crabtree after his game-deciding play, and saying that he’s the man he’s the man he’s the mannnnn.

It was off-putting seeing a player on a team that just advanced to the Super Bowl, and his first reaction is “SCREW YOU MAN YOU’RE THE WORST!”. At first it seems selfish, and it seemed as though in that moment when the celebration began, Sherman was reducing the victory to his victory. I know that’s not what he thought, but it’s what his actions said.

And that was my initial reaction to his actions. But after reflecting now, we shouldn’t have expected anything less. Not from Sherman, and not from any other top cornerback.

Sherman may be the most demonstrative, but often after a key pass is broken up there’s finger wagging, grill mashing, and general gibberish from many cornerbacks. This is not a new concept, and it’s rooted in the fact that playing cornerback inherently breeds a selfish attitude that exists in the few seconds each play lasts. Often a corner is out there all by himself and asked to stop the most elite receivers in the league, which is especially true of the equally elite corners like Sherman. So when that triumph happens, the celebration can naturally drift towards showmanship. You beat that guy, and you won.

It may not happen to everyone, but playing cornerback is a position that naturally leads to the individual becoming increasingly loud and boisterous. Since it’s a role where isolation happens so frequently, confidence is crucial, and for many like Sherman, that manifests itself in a personality with confidence at the forefront and regularly broadcasted.

As Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star writes, often the only difference between in-game Sherman and post-game Sherman is the delivery:

Sometimes the cloak of bravado required to play cornerback in the NFL becomes a real part of a man’s personality, so after Sherman showered and put on a suit with an oversized bow tie and stepped behind a lectern to answer questions from the media he didn’t back down from what he said on the field. It was basically the same message, only this time he didn’t scream.

“I was making sure everyone knew that Crabtree was a mediocre receiver — mediocre,” Sherman said. “And when you try the best corner in the game with a mediocre receiver, that’s what happens. Game.”

As for the interview rant, I ask you this: what exactly is it that you’re seeking when you sit down to watch six hours of football every Sunday? Entertainment is the answer you’re looking for.

There’s nothing more annoying than the cliched answer, because it reflects a player or coach who is conservative, and feels the need to hide his true thoughts. We see it with Bill Belichick every week throughout the season. He’ll give robotic answers, but in the rare times that he opens up (for example, when NFL Network featured him on A Football Life) he’s actually engaging and he sounds like a real human.

Sherman doesn’t hide anything. He says exactly what’s on his mind, and he says it loudly and with confidence. We can’t complain about the blandness of the Belichicks, and then also say something about class in reference to the Shermans of the NFL. There’s no middle ground, and class doesn’t exist in a sport where chaos occurs at every snap.

More notes, reading, stray thoughts, and other such randomness

Speaking of Belichick

Some strong words here from our boy Bill, who very publicly accused Wes Welker of trying to take out Aqib Talib on the collision that injured the Patriots’ top cornerback.


Michael Crabtree is confused

After his little bruhaha with Sherman, Michael Crabtree seemed to be doing a public shrug off, essentially saying in polite words that he’s not a talker, and he’d rather let his play do said talking. And on this particular night in question Crabtree’s play was of a lesser quality than Sherman’s.

That’s quite diplomatic of you, Michael. Those who are not talkers don’t, you know, talk, and instead Crabtree could have taken his beating in silence while fading into the offseason.

But here’s the thing about guys who say they’re not talkers: they’re lying.

Because he’s a master of both ball tipping and word sparing, Sherman countered with this beauty.

This seems accurate

I’ve seen the replay of Sherman’s tip at least 56 times now, and with each viewing it’s looking more and more like this…

Vegas has a narrow favorite

The lines will move over the next 13 days, because that’s what they do. But while the rest of us were either defending or blasting Sherman late last night, expensive-suited men at various major sports books were trying to peg the early line for Super Bowl XLVIII. When they went about that, something odd happened.

After initial lines favoring the Seahawks by about -2 were posted, money came down hard on the Broncos, and within just a half hour to compensate lines then swung in favor of Denver. The lines still vary now, because again they do that, especially in the early going. But generally you’re going to see Denver favored by about two points.

Your early injury speculation

Around here we’re about to spend the next two weeks analyzing three hours of football and attempting to predict a Super Bowl winner, an endeavor that usually results in crushing failure. It’ll be awesome.

But the worst part of the Super Bowl buildup is the injury speculation. Prior to the championship game, no self-respecting team is going to disclose any information of significance until a player is either ruled out of the lineup on Super Bowl Sunday, or is able to play. But brace for the half truths regardless, because we’re about to be hit with two weeks of endless wonder about Percy Harvin’s playing status.

The Seahawks’ electric wideout and thus far acquisition bust missed yesterday’s NFC Championship with a concussion. For the record, with the extra time provided by the bye week initial reports indicate he’ll be healthy and ready to play, at least in a limited capacity.