After the NFL’s two conference championship games, the sole focus 12 days from the Super Bowl is on Seattle Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman and his interview after the NFC Championship. If you haven’t heard it by now, he called 49ers’ wide receiver Michael Crabtree “sorry” and called himself the “best” in the NFL. Since that incident, Sherman has apologized for his remarks and explained what was going through his head after the game. What made this such a big deal in the first place? He didn’t use vulgarity, racial slurs or FCC banned words and he said things we have heard from brash star athletes before.
The strange thing is the positioning of Sherman as the villain. Moments before his interview, he patted Crabtree on the backside and extended his hand. Crabtree gave Sherman a stiff arm to the face for his gesture and it went mostly under the radar. A highly illegal and dangerous hit by a 49ers’ coach on the sideline, to Seattle’s Jeremy Lane, didn’t receive half the attention of Sherman’s few words during post game coverage. So again, why all the fuss about Sherman’s interview in the first place? Was it because he was yelling?
Sherman is a very intelligent guy. He graduated from Stanford with a near 4.0 grade point average. He also came from humble beginnings in Compton, CA and worked his way to the top of a highly competitive profession. Football is not easy. It’s fast, violent, and full of emotion and it’s (probably) safe to assume the players are saying worse things to each other throughout the course of the game than anything Sherman said after the fact. He deserves more credit for an amazing effort on the field and charitable efforts off the field than he deserves criticism for a few words. Love him or hate him, there will be much more focus on Sherman leading up to the Super Bowl and more incentive to tune-in and see how he performs come game day.