For nearly two solid weeks now chances are you have seen and heard Richard Sherman clips and quotes more days than not. It all started with his game clinching tip to send the Seahawks to the Super Bowl, and his ‘spirited’ interview with Erin Andrews just a few moments later. My thoughts on that are, he just won you a battle… don’t question his war face. He just made a game changing, career defining, play against an arch nemesis who had ‘disrespected’ him. He was amped, his emotions were rightfully boiling over, and he couldn’t help but erupt on Erin Andrews exuding all that built up emotion. Sherman’s tip, and rant, was the biggest thing on the minds of the masses over the next 48 hours as it topped Twitter and Facebook’s “trending” list. The tip, the Erin Andrews interview, the post game ‘mediocre’ blast on Michael Crabtree all gave us nearly a full work week of distraction and water cooler topics. It was the biggest story across all forms of media for days… until his next moment.
During a press conference he was asked about all the social media backlash from his ‘rant,’ and said he was surprised that people’s true colors came out in comments and tweets. He said he had an emotional outburst when he was immersed in competition, but the people who have been sending him hate comments had time to sit and think about what they were typing and attaching their name to. He shared that he was particularly offended by the people throwing around the term “Thug.” The Stanford graduate took particular offense to that explaining basically he is the furthest thing from a thug, just ask a thug, they will tell you. He followed that up with this bombshell… “The only reason [being called a thug] bothers me is because it seems like it’s the accepted way of calling somebody the ‘n word’ nowadays.” Just as the world had finally moved on from the first Sherman story he was thrust back into the national spotlight. The premise of that quote alone was the headline topic of ESPN’s morning show ‘First Take,’ and was discussed by Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless for nearly half an hour. Sherman backed up the argument with examples of the Richie Incognito bullying situation and hockey players brawling from the start of the game and why weren’t they labeled as ‘Thugs.’ Stephen A. Smith broke it down like this, if you use the word ‘Thug’ unilaterally, than no one has a problem with it… the inflammation occurs when people reserve breaking out that term for an African-American that has acted up or acted out, because at that point its transparent that you are using ‘Thug’ as a synonym or ‘code word.’ I have to admit that I did not get the memo on the new dark secret meaning of the word ‘thug’, but if someone is offended by a word, it thusly becomes offensive and shall be officially stricken from socially acceptable vernacular.
This too finally passed, and faster than you can say ‘What will Sherm do next?’, or WWSDN for the hip kids, he was back in the spotlight for comments about the omnipotent opponent, Peyton Manning. Sherman was quoted as saying basically while Manning’s throws are accurate and on time, he throws ducks. This particular dig stung a little bit I’m sure because loss of arm strength became a prevalent topic when discussing impacts of Manning’s neck injury on his performance. Peyton’s residence is up on the high road and he never gets dragged down from his perch to respond to critics or negative comments… until this one. “I do throw ducks. I throw a lot of yards and touchdowns (on) ducks, so I’m actually quite proud of it.” – Peyton Manning. Hmm… did that sound defensive and self-justifying to anyone else? Had Sherm actually gotten inside that big ol’ head of Peyton’s?
Sherman’s antics and accolades even distracted me from my point… Are you worried about the added pressure of the big stage and 2 week media scrutiny that Super Bowl 48 will put on our young Quarterback and struggling offense? Oh wait… wow, that would be a pretty big story for the media to feast on for 2 weeks, wouldn’t it? But, I haven’t really thought about it that much over the last two weeks, have you? I guess with Richard Sherman taking up all of the front page headlines, the # 1 Seahawks Defense vs # 1 Broncos Offense taking up the entire 2nd page, Peyton’s legacy taking up the 3rd page, the Weather and decision to play in NY/NJ on the 4th page, Marshawn’s media aversion, the similarity between Owen Wilson and Pete Carroll’s nose… are you starting to see my point? Richard Sherman had effectively absorbed so much media time and attention that he allowed his struggling sophomore slinger the ability to fly under the radar like a B-2. Wait a second… was there a method to his madness all along? Is Richard Sherman crazy, or crazy genius? Go Hawks!