The Tuesday Mailbag

The numbers don't lie: America is obsessed with the Seattle Seahawks loquacious cornerback. Opinions are passionate on both sides of the issue, but the one thing everyone can agree on: We can't wait to see what he does next

Flying home from Denver on Monday, I was fascinated at the burgeoning controversy of the Richard Sherman story. I wondered why it got so big, and why America was so magnetized and polarized by it. I will get to that in a moment, but first, a measure of your fascination with the story.

Wednesday will be the six-month anniversary of The MMQB’s launch. In that time, we’ve had lots of stories that generated traditional-media and social-media buzz: the Sam Hurd drug story, the story of what it’s like to be cut from a team, a three-part series entailing one week embedded with an officiating crew, the inside view of an ACL surgery, a former teammate’s side of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin saga, etc. But in the first three hours of Sherman’s column explaining why he flipped out as the NFC Championship Game climaxed, that column smashed every measure of web traffic we have. Without getting into specifics:

  • It was our most read post ever, by far.
  • It was the highest trafficked day since launch, with four times the typical readership for a Monday.
  • The Twitter referral rate—the amount of readers who came to the site from Twitter—was nearly 18 times more than the previous Monday.
  • The Facebook referral rate was almost 523 times more than the previous Monday.

So I decided that since so many of you were so passionate about the story, I thought it would be smart to seek out a couple of professionals to ask why it exploded … and then allow you to vent through your email reactions. And so that’s what the column is this morning, along with the second portion of the Q&A I did over the weekend with co-counsel Christopher Seeger, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the NFL’s head-trauma case.

Emily Kaplan of The MMQB reached out and found two experts in sports and fan behavior. She asked why America got so caught up in the story in the 12 hours or so after Seattle beat San Francisco for the NFC championship, and Sherman went off on Niners receiver Michael Crabtree because he doesn’t respect Crabtree as a player or person.

“I think this story has really caught on because everyone loves a villain,’’ said Dr. Annemarie Farrell, a professor of sports management and media at Ithaca College. She is an expert in fan behavior. “There’s not a ton of villains on either of these teams that people can talk about. We can’t all talk about Peyton Manning every day all the time. That’s boring. Sherman, on the other hand, put himself out there, and America really latched on. That’s why it became a bigger story than the game.

“There’s a lot of different storylines with Richard and reasons for why this blew up, but I think a really important one here is race. This seethes into this narrative of race in America and race logic. Think about who Richard Sherman is. He’s a kid from Compton who graduated second in his class and went to Stanford to earn a degree in Communications. He’s at a critical point in his football career, makes a huge play, then a reporter sticks a mike in his face. What does he do? He not only speaks, he shouts. And now you have an angry, almost violent black man, in a very passionate moment, yelling on national television.’’

“There aren’t many Disney movies about sports that end with the winning team going on TV and shouting the way Richard Sherman did,” Dr. End said.

Said Dr. Christian End, an associate professor of psychology at Xavier University: “What Richard Sherman did was he violated the script of good sportsmanship. He not only deviated from that norm, but he almost violated it. After a hard fought game, good sportspersons are supposed to compliment the opponent. That is what is expected of them. Of course, that’s what leads to many boring and scripted post-game interviews, but it’s what we as sports fans expect. We know that typically those who violate norms are often ostracized … There aren’t many Disney movies about sports that end with the winning team going on TV and shouting the way Richard Sherman did.’’

I like this theory, too, from End: “There are fans of 30 other NFL teams who are completely envious of the Broncos and the Seahawks right now. So there’s some sort of negativity or jealous aspect. Richard Sherman voluntarily offered the ammunition for these fans to say, ‘Well, they’re not worthy of the Super Bowl.’ Those fans can maybe reframe things and justify it as, ‘Well, we may not be in the Super Bowl but at least we don’t have a team full of guys like that.’ ”

My take is an amalgam of that. I think more of this is sportsmanship-driven than race-driven. People detest sore, cocky winners in a team game like football. If Sherman were a normal athlete without a Stanford degree and true greatness at his position—say, if he were an average player of average skill—the narrative would be simple. It’d be easy for a coach to get him back in line and say, “Shut up. Adhere to the program, which is saying next to nothing.” But the Seahawks know who Richard Sherman is. They wish he was another bland team-only guy, but he’ll never be that. And because he’s so good, and he made the play that sent the team to the Super Bowl, the Seahawks have to say, “Well, we’ll just have to manage Sherman the best way we can.”

The Seahawks also know that deep down, Sherman is a generous person with good intent. But on the field, he’s as competitive and nasty as they come. Most guys can handle a mike stuck in their face coming off the field; they can cool down and launch into cliché-speak. And I think Sherman normally can. But not this time. Not with Crabtree. Not in the biggest game of his life, after making the play of his life.


Now let’s hear what you think.

The Seahawks embrace Sherman and all that comes with him, though the cornerback did end up apologizing for taking attention away from his teammates following Sunday's win.  (Tony Overman/Getty Images)
The Seahawks embrace Sherman and all that comes with him, though the cornerback did end up apologizing for taking attention away from his teammates following Sunday’s win. (Tony Overman/Getty Images)

CHILD ON THE WAY. My wife and I are expecting a boy and we’ve been talking about how she does not want him to play football. We watched the constant flow of injuries during the NFC Championship Game and she’s already in the process of putting her foot down. Then, Richard Sherman goes on his taunt of Crabtree, taunt of Kaepernick, and the interview rant. My wife looks mortified. Why do we want our son to experience that? We already know that football is declining as a youth sport. Do you think it’s going to be any better when we have a bunch of kids acting like Sherman running around a field? 

—Nicholas

I empathize with you. I hate the woofing. I hate the trash talk. But it’s there, and I’m sure lots of youth coaches are dealing with young players who emulate what they see on TV. It didn’t start with Sherman, but he’s very good at it. The Niners do it, the Panthers do it … Heck, almost every team does it. I would just say that youth sports (including football) are fantastic for teaching kids good life lessons about teamwork. No reason your boy can’t play something else.

HE LIKES WHAT HE SAW SUNDAY. I’m a white male around your age and I think Richard Sherman is great. He’s thoughtful, articulate, hard-working and, best of all, he doesn’t sanitize his thoughts with PR-speak or put them through a “how will it play in middle-aged white America” filter. Maybe he regrets the heat of his post-game rant, maybe not, but his words pale next to the fury of the racist tweeters who condemn him. Sad to say, these tweeters look for any excuse to justify their slurs. Anyway, I think Richard Sherman’s a great addition to your outstanding MMQB coverage.

—David M.

Thank you.

MEMO TO RICHARD SHERMAN. Hi Richard. I hope you read this and understand. You’re a great NFL cornerback; you’ve proven that with your play on the field. You’re a very smart man; you’ve proven that with your achievements in schooling. You’re a good influence off the field; you’ve shown that with your off-field work. The problem is that you have consistently proven that you are classless on the field. You are constantly talking trash, getting in players faces and disrespecting everyone you play against. Your lack of class is so loud that it drowns out the fact that you are smart and that you are a good influence off the field. Nobody will care about who you are off the field until you act with class on the field. If you really want to make a difference and show everyone that you are a good person, stop acting like a man child on the field and show some class.

—Ryan

Consider the message passed.

Crabtree and Sherman reportedly have a history, which carried over onto the field Sunday. (Tony Overman/Getty Images)
Crabtree and Sherman reportedly have a history, which carried over onto the field Sunday. (Tony Overman/Getty Images)

JAMES IS NOT CONVINCED SHERMAN IS ALTRUISTIC. You said to let Sherman speak for himself and he did. His explanation came up woefully short in his behavior both on the field and off. It is a disgrace whenever a player makes a ‘choking’ or throat-slash at another player or team. Furthermore, the explanation of ‘it was adrenaline talking’ to Erin Andrews is woefully lacking. Coaches are always on their players to play under control and don’t let the moment get the better of you. Leave your dislikes of the other players on the field and have some class.

—James B.

Agreed that the throat-slash gesture was totally bush league. I hate that, and it’s a terrible message to send.

THERE’S A CONNECTION. I feel like Richard Sherman and his supporters are overlooking the connection between his consistent unsportsmanlike behavior and the unsportsmanlike actions of the fans who threw popcorn at an injured Bowman. When you cultivate an environment that celebrates arrogance, trash talking and disrespect for your opponent, how can you be disappointed when your fans feel empowered to act the same way? As for those who responded to Richard’s antics with racist taunting, if you want the man to conduct himself with more class perhaps you should start by showing some class yourself.

—Amy

I see the connection, but there’s no excuse for a fan to throw anything on the field, regardless what the men on the field are doing.

SHERMAN’S OKAY. I would like to take a minute to apologize to Mr. Sherman. While watching that interview I thought, ‘How stupid of him.’ But after reading his article and the thought provoking statements he made about judging him by his entire body of work versus just those few seconds changed my mind. I applaud him not only for his play on the field, but also for making me look at myself and how quickly I judged him. I was wrong.

—Scott Scherff

Consider the message passed.

A READER IS DISAPPOINTED WITH ME. I am an avid fan of your column and The MMQB website. After reading your column today, I was disappointed in your response to the Richard Sherman’s “woof” on national television. Peter, you have advocated for sportsmanship in your columns many, many times over the years. You, among others have decried the lack of morals and character in the NFL on how it continues to degrade. Yet you provide a forum for these types of individuals on your website, especially Richard Sherman who has a history of this type of behavior. I guess that a double standard exists even with you. The bottom line must be website hits. You could have sent a strong message, reached out to the many young people who follow your column and provided a great example of what sportsmanship is about or what it should be about in today’s sports. Instead, you gave what I consider a lame response and what-the-hell attitude. I lost a little respect for The MMQB today.

—Walt Jakielski

And that is your right. Lots of people feel the way you do, and I understand. I struggled with opening my eyes and allowing Sherman to say whatever he wanted to say, because I do not like what he did on the field, particularly in the taunting and the throat-slash gesture, and the rage he showed in the interview with Andrews. I appreciated him telling what he saw as the truth to Andrews, but I also didn’t like his tone. But it was real, and that’s the other thing I struggled with here: We ask players to be real, and if you watch football, you see this kind of behavior all the time. So now we’ve seen it up close and personal in front of 56 million views (that was the peak rating of the Seattle-San Francisco game), and we don’t like what we saw. I don’t have a what-the-hell attitude about it. I don’t like it. But the fact is, I’m not the journalism police. I can have an opinion, which I gave, but then, I also want others who feel differently to be allowed to give their opinions too.

In My Defense

On the day after his game-saving play—and the divisive, exclamatory interview that followed—Richard Sherman explains why he said what he said about Michael Crabtree. FULL STORY

ANOTHER READER IS DISAPPOINTED IN ME. I think you made some poor choices in addressing the Richard Sherman situation, and I think you’ve let yourself off the enabler’s hook a bit too easily. Contrary to what you suggest in your column, I wouldn’t expect you to fire Richard Sherman, or even to muzzle him in this case, but I would have expected you to provide the young man with some guidance based on your role as his editor-in-chief at MMQB, and as a mature 56-year-old man who has clearly developed a relationship with Mr. Sherman. Perhaps there was some notion of journalistic principle that I’m unable to divine that caused you to publish Sherman’s column as you did, but whatever the reason, I think it was a bad call. But this letter is really about you Peter, not Mr. Sherman. I read his column today. The one that you, his editor-in-chief, ostensibly approved for publication. The column was mostly a continuation of the same childish, chest-pounding, name-calling drivel that he barked at Erin Andrews. Granted, he threw in some self-serving claims to being misunderstood, and a dash of ostensible concern for the treatment of NaVorro Bowman. In the context of the overall piece, even that last bit came across as a clumsy attempt to establish his humanitarian bona fides. What I did not see in Mr. Sherman’s column was anything meaningful in the journalistic sense. No thoughtful reflection or introspection. Which is why I circle back to you, his editor. What were your thoughts when you approved his column for publication? What did you make of an opportunity to help a young man grow up, using the demands of quality journalism, along with your position as his editor and (I am assuming) respected friend, to help him? It appears very little. Instead, you provided him a respectable journalistic pedestal from which to release more infantile idiocy. That, my friend, is what they in the science call “enabling.” In one bold stroke you’ve managed to both legitimize Sherman’s ranting and debase your own journalistic edifice.

—Stephen Van Doren

Understood. But columns are by their definitions a person’s opinion. Should I say to Sherman, “I don’t like your opinion; change it? Soften it?’’ It is up to Sherman to write the interpretation of events as he sees them. It is up to me to decide whether to publish them. He is a newsmaker with strong opinions, which is why I asked him to do a column for us in the first place. His job is convey the opinions the way he wants. My job is to decide whether to run it. Your job is to decide whether to read it, and then to decide whether you hate him or love him or somewhere in between

HE HATES SHERMAN. You should be ashamed for letting such a ruthless thug like Richard Sherman contribute to your website. He is a poor sport, and he proved it on the last play of last night’s game. His continued contributions will ensure a loss of this reader.

—Chris Friend

Thanks for writing.

SHERMAN IS BOORISH, I’M AN ENABLER. When I saw Sherman’s childish rant last night, one of the first things I thought was, “Can’t wait to see how Peter rakes him over the coals for that display”. Imagine my surprise when I read you almost sticking up for and apologizing for him. I don’t care if he does write for you. I’ve been following football passionately since I was about eight years old (I’m 56 now). During this time I’ve witnessed the unfortunate growth of trash talking and foolish behavior but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything as boorish and unsportsmanlike as what Sherman was spewing last night. I love your column. I read it religiously every Monday and will to continue to do so but you’ll never get me to agree with your call on this one.

—Gary Norris

Thanks for writing, and I understand your feelings and the scores of those whose opinions I didn’t run here. All of you have given me a lot to think about.

Now for part two of the interview with Christopher Seeger, the attorney for the 4,500 players and estates who settled with the NFL over the issue of head trauma and concussions in the NFL. (You can find part one here.)

The MMQB: You’ve had a lot of criticism from players since the settlement came down. Did you expect it?

Seeger: I have spoken to hundreds of players—at least a couple hundred players. The more I have spoken with them, and the more we have communicated about the deal, the more positive the reaction is. So let’s take a typical complaint. It’s somebody who assesses that he’s asymptomatic today, or not that seriously damaged today. And he says, ‘There’s no check in this for me.’ … But once we take them through the fact that this was the risk of the litigation … the negotiation resulted in us being able to secure monetary benefits for the most severely injured for many reasons … They need this money now and their family needs it. And then the next level of benefits that we were able to provide was this baseline assessment program—which will tell you definitively today where you stand and how you are. And if you are moderately neuro-cognitively impaired, there will be substantial benefits for you right now to prevent the problem. But God forbid that you should progress into that more severe category, this fund will be there for you. And then on top of that, once we explain that this is not the NFL’s disability programs—this is run by the plaintiffs. These administrators were selected by the plaintiffs’ lawyers. They’re the best of the best. They’ve worked on other deals. So the NFL doesn’t have input. And then on top of all of that, if you qualify for the NFL’s medical benefits under the 88 plan—the 2011 neuro-cognitive plan—you get them in addition to everything that’s going on … If you believe that you are moderately impaired, but you’re not in the realm of dementia, thank God, you can take your baseline tests and go apply to the 2011 neuro-cog program. And if you qualify there you’ll get anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 a month from the NFL’s established plan. So this is all interwoven.’’

Russellmania

Quarterback Russell Wilson has quickly become an icon in Seattle. Jenny Vrentas explores what he means to the fans and the city. FULL STORY

The MMQB: You were accused by ESPN of trying to accept a 10 percent kickback for one player in the case, 79-year-old Billy Kinard. What was your reaction?

Seeger: “I’m still really upset and really troubled by that, because that’s an example of where—I’m sorry because it’s your profession, but I can criticize my profession too—that’s a case where a reporter got their teeth into a story and didn’t care about the facts. I’m probably going to upset that reporter. You know, we told him exactly what happened. The settlement was announced so quickly, and nobody in my office knew about it except for Dave Buchanan, my partner … Luckily, a partner of mine, who is very smart, overseeing it and never really had a chance to consult with me said, ‘Well, we just announced the settlement, so if people still want to retain us, put a sliding scale in there. Put that if the case settles, we’re going to reduce our contingent fee to 10%, and if the settlement doesn’t go forward, then we’re going to go back to one-third. When it got to my attention, I said, ‘No, no, no—we’re not doing that. Call the people you sent retainers to, and tell them that we’re going to represent them for free.’ Because we promised people that we were going to walk them through the settlement. So the bottom line was that we explained to the reporter that Seeger Weiss is not representing anybody, after this settlement was announced, for a contingent fee. Because we’re class counsel, we’re going help them, and if people contact us individually, we’re going to represent them for nothing.’’

The MMQB: The 10 percent thing was long before the settlement then?

Seeger: “No, the 10 percent actually happened. Just to be clear. A partner of mine, without consulting me, in his own head said, ‘Well we just announced that there’s going to be a settlement, so we’re not going to charge them the full one-third contingent fee. We’re going to reduce it to 10 percent.’ So they sent a retainer out to Kinard. When I found out about it … I said to the lawyers in my firm, ‘Write a letter and call these people. Tell them we are not charging 10 percent. That was like three or four cases where that happened … It was fixed before anyone made a complaint, and we said we’d represent them for free. We are not representing anyone after the settlement for a fee.’’

733 comments
HarryTurner
HarryTurner

It would have been nice if Peter King and his two psychology professors could have done a little more research.  What they would have discovered is that this "trash talking" episode of Sherman's wasn't an isolated moment in time.  He's done it since he played high school football at Compton.  He did it in Stanford.  He's done it since he's been in the NFL.  He does it leading up to games, in the games themselves, and was cited for doing it along the sidelines in the NFC championship game.  Add to this that not many in the aftermath of the interview with Erin Andrews have touched upon the notion that there has been this long simmering issue between Sherman and Crabtree, long before the final moments of the NFC Championship game.  Go back, go back and review what happened between Sherman and Crabtree at a charity event in Arizona. 


One of the consistent themes presented by Sherman himself, he has said time and time again he loves to "trash talk" because, in his adolescent mind, he thinks it gets under the skin of his opponents.  Essentially, it causes them to flinch.  Another consistent theme is that he could care less what any of his fans or what any fan of the NFL might have to say or think.  The fact that he supplemented his braggadocio at the end of the NFC championship game, by diverting attention to what some fans were saying, only exacerbated his position.  He conjured up a racial event out of purely thin air.  In saying this, I flatly reject Dr. Farrell's assessment provided above.  In doing so, I also have to reject her self assessment that she might be an expert on fan behavior.  She is so off base on this one.


Dr. End might be a little closer on this one.  What many of us see in Sherman is one spoiled athlete who thinks that because of his comeuppance through Compton, his athletic scholarship to Stanford, and his NFL accomplishments, that all of this allow him some sort of twisted entitlement.  If you listen to any of his interviews, they consistently refer back to what he did at Compton and Stanford and that 3.9 GPA at Stanford.  I, for one, would challenge his academic accomplishments.  Were they meaningful?  I mean, we all know professors look the other way when they think they have star athletes in their classes.  Just what does Sherman's getting a 3.9 GPA really mean?


For us white fans, we are just absolutely fed up with the quick punch to the race card whenever the heat gets poured on a black athlete.  Sherman is no exception.  Sherman, with all of his communications education from Stanford, will have to show me just how in tarnation how using the word "thug" is tantamount to "n-----."  The fact that Sherman reached out for that assessment places this whole charade into a moronic cycle of epic proportions.  I firmly believe that it brings evidence to the surface of Sherman's own racism.


For those of us who can distinguish that race wasn't an issue, we can easily point to Sherman's egomaniacal behavior that goes back to his high school roots.  It is nothing short of bullying, and it is behavior that shouldn't be accepted in any form or fashion while Sherman is a player in the National Football League.  There are so many of us fans who are disappointed because Sherman made an astounding play that catapulted Seattle to the Super Bowl.  However, in Sherman's next breath, he completely destroyed his image and the image of his team.  There was absolutely no integrity in what he did.  Sure, a lot of shallow fans will point to what Sherman said to Crabtree before Crabtree pushed him away.  Remember, though, that the history between Sherman and Crabtree went well before that play.  I found Sherman's statements (thorough his mic) to be strewn with sarcasm.  If you look at the picture you posted here, you will see that Crabtree didn't do anything wrong.  He was just saying enough is enough with the bullying bravado.


I am amongst many who think that Sherman is nothing more than a chump, punk, whatever term you want to use.  It has nothing to do with race.  He is simply not a player worthy to play in the Super Bowl no matter his self-professed pedigree.  Sportsmanship goes a long way.  And, in that, Sherman failed epically at the end of the NFC championship game.

rollwithit
rollwithit

I hear fans in the NFL stands, at work, and out at the bars saying a lot worse things...the only difference was they weren't hyped up post-game black athletes.  Great to see these same fans are so outraged over a post game interview that they have judged Sherman a villian and Carroll his Satan-Father.  Hatred of the black athlete (and even some white) seethes throughout our society.  The NBA started a lot of this hate with spoiled rich obnoxious black athletes, but now everyone is quick to judge any athlete and ESPN and a lot of other sports media PROMOTE this to get ratings from all the drama and hate this stirs up in people.  

jeremiesmith77
jeremiesmith77

Richard Sherman pulled a brilliant move that most are too dense to understand.  He masterfully took all pressure of his young 2nd year QB and shifted attention on himself.  America may not like how he went about it but right now Russell Wilson is flying under the radar with far less scrutiny and media demands than most Super Bowl QBs, especially his opponent, Manning, deal with.  I think Sherman is a sharp guy and he did all this intentionally to help out his young QB.

Gary6
Gary6

Deion Sanders was a great cover corner but played in Atlanta and needed to make a name for himself.  he cashed in during football and afterward with the glitz and talking and nicknames.  Sherman is a great cover corner playing in seattle and he needs to make a name for himself.  No way to do that by saying "they played good" in an after game interview.  he stirred it up and now he is a star, and will generate lots of press for himself.


He cant be the hero of the superbowl, peyton manning has that.  Middle of the road wont get press.  That leaves loud villain.  BTW, he didn't yell at the interviewer, it was at the camera, and he didn't get bleeped because he didn't curse once.  Smart man looking to cash in.  And this is what works.  Good for him for figuring out what we want, not what we say we want.

StevenRussell
StevenRussell

Sherman did not make a "throat-slash" gesture.  He made a "choke" gesture.  At Kaepernick (remember, the nice young fellow who mocked the opposing qb's touchdown celebration by embedding it in his own touchdown celebration, one week earlier).  Sherman's "trash-talking" has nothing to do, one way or the other, with sportsmanship: it's a head game he uses on his opponents (the "psych-out" that has been part of all sportsmanlike sports since at least the late Fifties, if not since the original Olympics) and to jack himself up to his playing peak.


The post-game "rant" was not an isolated set-piece.  He went up to Crabtree to pat him on the butt and say "good game," and held out his hand.  What he got in return from Crabtree was a push to the face-guard.  Just as, when Sherman was saying "good game" to many of the Redskins' players after last year's playoff game, he got head-slapped by one of the less-perceptive Redskins' players.  It was Crabtree's poor sportsmanship that set Sherman off (apparently confirming earlier, similarly-unsportsmanlike behavior from Crabtree at the Fitzgerald charity event).


Nothing about his behavior was thuggish.  The MANY racist rants he received in response to his "rant" are the truly execrable and lamentable things about this whole incident and it is that still-festering RACISM that is the true meat of this story, which Peter King's "experts" managed to pick up on, but which has been pretty much ignored and buried by most of the media, and which King himself gave short shrift by not pursuing.

woody2014
woody2014

Long time reader....but now I'm done.  Column has become uninformative. Self promotional focus has really turned me off. This Sherman BS is the last straw. It's been real interesting watching you evolve (not in a good way...it was the old Peter I was a loyal follower of) Peter. Trying to make yourself into a "rock star" has become your main focus. I hope that works for you. It doesn't for me.  I'm done.

G_BOA
G_BOA

I don't think the Seahawks wish Sherman was just "another bland team only guy". His teammates love him for who he is, he's another Carroll type of guy. Who says that's bad?

seahawkfan23
seahawkfan23

Richard Sherman is a amazing athlete who make a big play, no harm = no foul

128ray821
128ray821

Watched the game, saw RS go off, went "s--t, what an a-swipe," went on with my life, as did most everyone else.


Pretty telling seeing the MSM run interference for this "educated" clown. I mean, graduating second in Compton ain't no big feat. Plus "communications" as a major? Please.

GlennLundy
GlennLundy

Peter,

First of all I applaud you for not censoring Sherman's comments.  You agreed to give him the forum and let him speak his mind, despite obviously not loving a lot of what he had to say.  Again, it's called free speech.


More disconcerting to me is the showboating, me-first, team-second attitude that permeates every professional sport.  I despise the get up and strut 15 yards down the field after a routine tackle.  I can't stomach the extraordinary celebrations following a routine play.  I hate the 20 second choreographed touchdown dances. We know you made a first down, we don't have to see you run down the field an extra ten yards and point with your hand, especially in the first quarter of a pre-season game.  You'll see the same disgusting behavior in the NBA when a player dunks and glowers into the camera like his child was attacked or he ate spoiled food.


You observe this behavior more in teams without strong leadership.  Unfortunately, there is another factor is this behavior that we can't talk about.


I would venture to guess that most fans would prefer to see only the extraordinary plays celebrated like there is no tomorrow and the rest of the game handled with the class of a Barry Sanders or Peyton Manning.



KidHorn
KidHorn

No one is fascinated. ESPN make stories out of nothing. This is what they're paid to do. PK is stupid enough to fall for the false hype.

Buck2185
Buck2185

What Sherman did was classless, unintelligent, and unprofessional. The same can be said about King, for condoning it and allowing the punk to continue to write editorial for this site. What is hard for me is deciding which one of these two I want to see go away first.....

gsxrs
gsxrs

Dr Christian is an IDIOT, he did try to shake his hand a say good game but Crabbytree snubbed him, THAT’S WHY HE WENT IN THE RANT!!!!


did you NOT read the articel wher Richard explained what happened and why?


they even posted up a pic of Crabbytree SNUBBING Richard


UHHHGGG!!!

BillRobinson
BillRobinson

The prevailing criticism of Sherman is that he lacked class and good sportsmanship - valid criticisms. What's interesting to me is how many people criticizing him demonstrate a lack of class and sportsmanship that far exceeds Sherman's lapse. Indeed, far too many comments in cyberspace are outright hateful and racist.

Given time, I think Sherman will learn to control his emotions. Unfortunately for the haters and racists, you'll continue to look like jerks to a degree that far surpasses Sherman's worst transgressions.

MartinPederson
MartinPederson

Someone on this made a point I'd like to follow up on about the double standards between athletes and comentators.

 We pay Skip Bayless and Mike and Mike millions of dollars to say the exact same things Sherm said in that interview (Well maybe not the Andrews interview yelling part, but the other post game interviews). What did he say?

1) I'm the best (a sentiment many journalists have echoed). People just want to hear amazing athletes be humble, and say platitudes. They are suposed to do super human things and then pretend that they didn't happen. Make a play to send your team to the superbowl and act like it was expected, like you just flushed the toilet. Take no glory for yourself. Be "classy" (a word I'm really starting to find absolutely meaningless).

 2) Crabtree is a mediocre receiver. People had no trouble that Chris Carter called Doug Baldwin "pedestrian" and an "appetizer", both ways of calling him mediocre, but because he's paid to give his opinion we smile and nod our heads and continue calling him an inspirational man. But when Sherman says it we want his head served to us on a platter. Because he's an athlete that violated the rules of "sportsmanship". You can headhunt and try to give a guy a concussion, or punch him in the face after the game and we'll cheer and clap but fie on you if you sad a bad word about him.

RockinManny
RockinManny

Don't stick a microphone into a beat up athlete right after the game. Wait for the official press conf. so that they have sometime to thikn about what they wanna say, otherwise POOP will come out.

But NFL/media don't care- they want more fodder to promote the league.!!

jack.moskovita
jack.moskovita

What really happened that set Sherman off was he WAS being a good sportsman when he ran over to shake Crabtree hand, I'm deaf and lipread and clearly saw in the reruns where he said "good game man" and the pictures clearly show he has both hand out to shake his hand, but got a hand in his face instead. Sherman was willing to put the bad past behind them, but Crabtree was not. So it set him off, it would set me and others off too. This all happened in the "heat of the battle" too. Crabtree is the poor sportsman, not Sherman!

I'm on Shermans side here and he had no reason to apologize!


This is Jack Moskovita from the NW.

ryan15
ryan15

Look.....if there wasn't this then there really wouldn't be a story right now.  NFL is a business so of course the suits are loving this because it gives the press and fans something to talk about the next few weeks.  Sure stats and breakdowns are great but the other factor that the higher ups like is the soap opera. 


From my point, stick a microphone in anyone's face right after a huge play and I am sure I would have said things differently.  Knowing now that they had history, it makes more sense but judging Sherman and his character just on those comments and actions alone will sell this guy short.


I highly respect the Broncos and everything they are and have done.  I am a Seahawks fan, hate the niners but seriously respect the team.  Rivalries are good for the NFL, their fans are solid, team is solid, and though I rout against them, show them great respect as they are an awesome team (Kapernick's shenanigans drive me crazy as much as Sherman's drive other's crazy though, but still respect the dude)


Not too worried as I see the rivalry and matchup greatness happening for the next 3-5 years.  NFC WEST BABY!


GO HAWKS

6PackDonuts
6PackDonuts

It's not WHAT he said, it's HOW he said it. Imagine him saying the same words at a calm unhurried pace with a laid back James Bond smirk on his face. Still stupid, but no longer outrageous.


As a society, we instinctively want to tame the (natural) ANIMAL in us and in everyone else. The identity of the animal and the validity or invalidity of his logic is immaterial.


Ilovemesomeme
Ilovemesomeme

@Gary6 How do his disrespectful acts help him "cash in?"  He was going to get paid well by Seattle because he's a very good football player.  From an endorsement perspective this will hurt him far more than it helps him.  The vast majority of companies prefer to hire buttoned up types who don't rock the boat or create controversy.  Who would want somebody like Richard Sherman representing their company or product? 

bawlbustrr
bawlbustrr

@StevenRussell When Trent Williams of the Redskins punched Sherman it was because after the game Sherman was jawing just like Sunday. Williams said to Sherman, Get out of my face or I am going to punch you. Sherman said do it, and Trent did. Ala Legarrette Blunt when he was with Oregon.

Now maybe Sherman did just what he says. It does look that way. I am sure there was much more said during the game though. 


Always falls back to racism. That has to be it. Copout. 

Ilovemesomeme
Ilovemesomeme

@G_BOA Who says that's bad?  Is there anyone involved in the NFL with less integrity than Pete Carroll?  I would think the last thing the NFL, or the world needs is "another Carroll type." 

Merv
Merv

@128ray821 


Yet you are here, reading the columns and reading the comments and taking time from your busy life to actually write one.  


Don't you think a little honest introspection is in order?

HawkBall
HawkBall

@GlennLundy I for one enjoy the celebrations. Watching a football game for me is all about seeing lots of action and creating excitement. Seeing them celebrate creates a higher excitement level as I feel like I am celebrating with them. When the opposite happens and the oppsing team does the same, I get to hate the villians even more. 

But maybe I am in the minority. Football games are like an action movie, the bigger the explosion or daring stunt, the more I enjoy it.

csquared
csquared

@GlennLundy Good points and I also think a line has been crossed with when and how a celebration should be done.  But I think where many struggle is how do you regulate that sort of thing?  How can you say spiking the ball with one hand is OK after scoring a touchdown but with two hands is not OK.  Or how some celebrations have become traditions like the Lambeu Leap or Mile High Salute.  Why can't each team make up its' own home stadium celebration.  Should be an interesting debate.

CJ101
CJ101

@KidHorn Exactly!!!  No one I know is talking about this guy.  He is not interesting.  Just a bunch of lame sports reporters getting off on making this some sort of societal issue.  Whatever.....

BillRobinson
BillRobinson

Try applying the same standard to what you post.

Serena
Serena

@gsxrs Do you really think that was a genuine attempt from Sherman to say good game or an opportunity for Sherman to dis Crabtree a bit more? 

Stop drinking the Kool-Aid and open your other eye

128ray821
128ray821

@BillRobinson 

Yeah, it's "hateful" to note that blacks are much more likely to um, "act out," than whites.


Some call it being charismatic and magnetic, I just call it TNB.

AF Whigs
AF Whigs

@BillRobinson:  What an excellent point, Bill.  While I'm not a fan of poor sportsmanship (as demonstrated by both Crabtree & Sherman) I'm ashamed of the almost gleeful racism and classless, knuckleheaded responses to an athlete's emotional response after winning an important game.  

It's 2014 and yet there are far too many in our country (and abroad) who will use any excuse to trot out hateful, racist, bigoted language.

RuKdingMe
RuKdingMe

@jack.moskovita Sherman was CLEARLY taunting Crabtree further, this non-sense about trying to shake his hand in goodwill is absurd.


Sherman has proven on several occasions that he is a jerk, which has nothing to do with his skin color.  However, the racists are far, far, FAR bigger idiots (and most unfortunately, Sherman's antics gave them an excuse to crawl out from their holes).

gsxrs
gsxrs

@jack.moskovita 

loser snubbed me off like that I would have told him OK, we can settle this next year, bottom line is Sherman has OWNED Crabbytree since he started in this league and Crabbytree in typical whiner fashion just dont know how to handle that..

man those guys really live up to that name, at first I thought it was a joke but man now after reading what their fans say, going over to whinernation, its true they really are a class of whiners and crybabies, spoilt, they don't get thier way what’s "owed" to them they pitch a fit..

really like toher what the Doc has to say about that as opposed to things he doesn’t know about, like who SNUBBED who...


RockinManny, STFU already I can hear you whinin form here, Richard SAID that’s why he said what he said and they even posted an image of Mr. Crabbytree's hand in his face as Sherm tries to congratulate him, buncha whiney babies, GFY!!

RockinManny
RockinManny

@jack.moskovita  Of course Dr J Moskovita, you are the great lip-reader from the NW - heard so much about you!!

gsxrs
gsxrs

@ryan15 

whines are on their way out, this was the time, the chance, Cards and Rams are going to have a go at it now. unfortunately the whines and hawks wont be able to keep this heavy roster unless they all take about 50% pay cuts, most are in it for the jackpot not the love of the game, a few might hang around to try and get another title but soon as one goes the domino falls and they all go, no sense sticking around if everyone else leaves, slim chance of success so they leave..


I like the Rams and the Cards however Pete does have a knack for making it work with less and finding gems in the rough, Hawks might get there again but the whines are having a tough time even with talent, second shot at it, we'll see but I don't see SF reaching post season next year?


rollwithit
rollwithit

@Ilovemesomeme @G_BOA Hmmm I don't know...wasn't there a Saints coach that lied to the NFL about his bounty program and was banned for a YEAR?  Wasn't there a Patriots coach that was penalized draft picks for illegal spying on other teams?

nyjets
nyjets

@CJ101 @KidHorn So why the hell do you bother to not only read this article, but post a comment as well?

ScottASmith
ScottASmith

@Serena @gsxrs Why would you just assume otherwise? I think you are the one drinking the media Kool-Aid.

BillRobinson
BillRobinson

@128ray821

Thanks for confirming my last sentence.

Merv
Merv

@PhillyPenn 


For someone who claims to have an Ivy League education your reading compression seems to be limited.

Michael_Dubbs
Michael_Dubbs

@ScottASmith She probably took Sherman's past behavior into context.  He has a reputation of doing that kind of stuff, likely Crabtree didn't want to deal with it (who could blame him) and operated under the guise that Sherman was just there to gloat.


Willy1962
Willy1962

@Merv  I thought he had great reading compression.  

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