Quick post today. If you’re like me, you were paying close attention to Seattle’s win yesterday against the 49er’s for the NFC Championship title. It was hard-nosed, tough football of the type you don’t often see these days. My heart was in my throat until the very end. And what an end it was.
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When’s the last time you saw a picture of a team’s season ending?
Strangely enough, the only thing anyone seemed to want to talk about after the game was the post game interview rant by Richard Sherman (that guy up in that picture). Sherman is brash, loud, and unapologetically egotistical, so it was no surprise to anyone who knows about him when Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews put a mike in front of him moments after he made a career play that sent the Seahawks to the Super Bowl and he responded in his usual brash manner.
“Well, I’m the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree that’s the result you are going to get! Don’t you even talk about me!”
That rubbed a lot of people wrong… and I mean a *lot*. Social media exploded with comments about Sherman, calling him classless or thuggish. Plenty of people even attacked him with racist comments (that link is disappointing disturbing).
This story has been covered from so many angles, and by so many people that I hesitated to even talk about it myself. Even Sherman himself wrote a piece about it. Others have talked about the history between Sherman and Crabtree which led to his rant.
For my own part, I’m both entertained and bewildered by the attention this story is getting. I don’t understand how in a back and forth, bare-knuckle-boxing-match of a game this could be the story every one wants to focus on. There were so many fascinating storylines in that game, both of the wonderful, and the terrible variety.
Take Seahawks special teams player Jeremy Lane. During a punt in the first half, Lane was forced out of bounds (perfectly common occurrence), and was either pushed or shoved or hit by someone standing in the 49ers bench area (not so common an occurrence). This nameless 49er could’ve been a coach or a non-active player. Whoever he his, he clearly hit Lane during a play without the refs noticing.
Then there’s 49er’s defender NaVorro Bowman, who was having a monster game until a freak accident injured his leg in the second half. Bowman’s leg got caught under a Seattle receiver during a tackle, and early reports are that he tore his ACL (meaning he’ll be recovering until the beginning of next season if he’s lucky). In a disgusting display of stupidity, one or more Seahawks fans threw food at Bowman as he was being carted off the field of play. That’s an act of such despicable classlessness that Seahawks fan group Hawk’s Nation released this statement on Facebook.
“To the fans who threw food at Bowman as he was being carted off the field… The stud LB and a respected warrior on the field had hurt himself to the point of where he couldn’t walk and had to be assisted off. Shame that these few ******** would do such a disgraceful thing at a players lowest moment.
“He played his heart out and sacrificed himself for our entertainment, and you decide to degrade him by throwing something. You should be ashamed of yourself. Do the rest of us 12’s a favor and stop going to games. Stay home. You surely don’t deserve to be at the game and are a prime example of showing the world what’s wrong with being a fan.
“I’m sincerely sorry for such actions and hope Bowman has a quicky, healthy recovery after suffering an ACL injury.”
Or how about actually talking about the game? How about discussing the way 49er’s QB, Colin Kaepernick, ran for over 130 yards per game making him the only QB in NFL history to have more than one 100+ yard running games in the playoffs. Or the fact that Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch burst for a 40 game-tying touchdown run, which was his 4th 25+ yard playoff TD run -twice as much as any other player in NFL history. All the rivalry drama aside, it was an amazing game.
There were all sorts of stories to talk about, but nobody wants to talk about any of them. They want to talk about Richard Sherman. And they want to call him classless. In a sport where you hear story after story of players in trouble with the law, this guy is considered classless. In a sport where a coach was suspended for an entire year for paying his players extra to injure opponents. There are a lot of things wrong with the NFL, but Richard Sherman isn’t one of them.
He’s loud and arrogant, but he backs it up on the field. He plays the game right. He made a game-saving play that sent his team to the Super Bowl. And he was pumped up about it, and talked some smack about a player he has some history with. I see no problem with that.
And just because of all the racist crap that was thrown his way, by the end of the week I’ll be wearing my own Sherman jersey.
** Update **
It took a bit of financial finagling, as well as a compromise with the wife, but mission accomplished