Everyone here in Seattle has had a front-row seat to an amazing phenomenon this past week.
It started with our Seahawks making the big plays and scraping out a victory against those dastardly 49ers to earn a spot in the Super Bowl. Richard Sherman made the game-saving play and within seconds of doing that and having competed for a couple of hours, he was jacked up, pumped up, whatever you want to call.
That’s the moment Erin Andrews walked up to him on the field and he let out a 12 second rant that millions of Americans just didn’t get.
Now I’ll be honest, everyone here in the Emerald City heard the same thing you did and, it caught us a bit off guard, but that was just 100% pure Richard in his competitive, excited stage. I have been blown away by how people have taken that and run with it, characterizing the entire Seattle team as “dirty players” or “a bunch of thugs.” The media has stoked the flames and so now, everyone outside the borders of Washington feel that the Seahawks are the “bad boys” team, the Oakland Raiders of the new millennium.
Wow. You know so little.
First off, do you realize what’s happening? Richard Sherman has dominated all Super Bowl coverage for the past four days. Have you heard a word about Peyton Manning? He’s pretty much over-shadowed the entire Seahawks team, so while everyone is focusing on him and piling on the negative comments, Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson and the other 98% of the team are all busy working on the game plan.
And when Richard Sherman isn’t doing an interview, so is he.
I’ve learned so much about him the past few days and not from just Seattle sources. Forbes Magazine wrote a brilliant article on him. They get it. Hank Aaron tweeted him a note to show support. Erin Andrews and him hugged after those comments, but of course, you didn’t see that. She appreciated the honest, not typical blah-blah-blah response. She got it.
Why was he so jacked up during those explosive 12 seconds? I’ll list things out for you:
A) His hard work was paying off with a trip to the Super Bowl
B) He shut down the big deal receiver for the 49ers
C) He made the game-winning play.
And something he’s NOT mention to the public. He dislikes Crabtree, that’s obvious. Where that is rooted goes back to a charity golf tournament he took part in last fall for his buddy, Arizona Cardinal Larry Fitzgerald. It was at that charity, off-season, doing it to help a good cause event that Crabtree refused to shake hands with Sherman. In Richard’s mind, highly disrespectful and worth making him a rival.
Funny how quickly the media was holding up the “thug” label. There was a time the style of hard-hitting defensive players was described as “smash mouth”. This year, they’re “villains” or better yet, “thugs.”
A quickly thrown together poll shows the bulk of the country is behind Peyton Manning and his Broncos. If you go back to the beginning of the season, it was the darling Super Bowl matchup people were talking about. It happened. It’s going to be a great game.
And the Seahawks, after being cheated out of a Super Bowl championships in 2007 (the referee eventually came to town and apologized for blowing a key call), will finally win the big one. It’s going to happen.
And I can’t wait to hear what Mr. Sherman has to say about that!
Please, view them as thugs. It adds to the drama of the game. But here in Seattle, we know better.
PS If you’re open to learning more about Richard Sherman, check out these videos:
Oh and if you want to see a dirty play from last Sunday’s game, here you go. The NFL is investigating.