Last night Richard Sherman gave an interview that had everyone talking. At the pinnacle of his athletic career (thus far) he shouted into millions of living rooms his disdain for Michael Crabtree. It rubbed many the wrong way. Conversely, it intensified the love that others already have for Sherman. In the last 20 hours I have heard pretty much every single argument for and against his verbal display of emotion. Because I keep company with many Seahawks and 49ers fans, I haven’t heard too many wishy-washy stances. People either liked it or they didn’t like it.
As a Seahawks fan, I didn’t like it.
My biggest problem with Sherman’s interview was its negativity and lack of focus. Sure he screamed like a madman into Erin Andrew’s microphone but I don’t mind that too much. The volume and intensity in his voice was emotion. I can deal with that. I had no issue with Kevin Garnett’s emotion-filled address after the Celtics clinched the NBA championship nor did I get upset over Jameis Wilson’s adrenaline-fueled interview after the BCS National Championship this year. Seconds removed from athletic greatness you can’t expect someone to immediately come down to the pulse level of you and me.
So while I cut Sherman slack for his drill sergeant voice inflection I hated the content of his message. He already stuck it to Crabtree twice. First with his superb play to force the interception and then with his “good game” olive branch (bush league) and ensuing gestures. Okay, you got the best of him, you rubbed it in his face, and his season is over while you are off to the Super Bowl…do you really need to say more? Yep, apparently Sherman needed to say a lot more. After blasting Crabtree in the interview with Andrews he did the same in his next interview with Ed Werder. He then continued the trash talk on the Fox set and he has picked up today right where he left off last night.
While the immaturity has continued long after his Twitter exploding live interview with Andrews, that is the one moment I think that exemplified the most disgrace. He had the biggest stage in the world at that time to appropriately describe how he made such an amazing play, exclaim his exuberance on going to New York, give a little credit to his teammates, and maybe if he felt like it even throw a small bone to the fans. Instead he tore into his opponent with an intensity that carried with it hate and disrespect that jolted most of us sitting on the other side of the screen, children included.
I thought the arguments put forth today defending Sherman’s post game remarks incriminated him even more. First there was his article that he wrote on his behalf. While I applaud him for explaining his side of things in a well-articulated column I could barely understand any of his points because of the heavy doses of pure arrogance and ego that filled every single paragraph.
Then you had the “Forbes 22 Brief Thoughts About That Richard Sherman Interview” post that received countless Facebook shares. Although crediting it with 22 thoughts is an exaggerated stretch since many of the bullets ran together and many of them were completely irrelevant, the remaining one or two points that actually formulated somewhat of an opinion states the obvious and doesn’t address the issue. The author basically says that since Sherman won the NFC Championship he deserved to hoop and holler like a professional wrestler. Okay fine, like I said above, I am all for him exhibiting raw emotion. However, it was the content of his message that did the harm.
I don’t expect professional athletes to always show exemplary sportsmanship. Just as with any profession, I don’t expect professional athletes to love their competitors. Although in theory we should strive to “respect everyone and fear no one” I know that adage doesn’t apply for many. I understand this is the case for Richard Sherman and while not my ideal quality in a person, it is his right. I just wish he wouldn’t express his hatred for an opponent in front of millions of people after a thrilling championship game. He already did it on the field, he didn’t need to take it to our living rooms. Don’t Blink.