The Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl XLVIII, and the demonization of Richard Sherman.

For those of you that follow the NFL and were watching the conference championship games this last weekend, you were treated to a classic game between the Seahawks and the 49ers.  I’ve been watching the NFL since I was very young and it was one of the best games I’ve ever seen.

Especially since the team I was rooting for won…..spectacularly.  Hehe.

I don’t like the San Francisco 49ers.  I’ve never liked them going back to the days of Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.  In fact, the only team in pro sports that I have more contempt for is the Los Angeles Lakers.  But the Lakers are another topic for another day.  Today, I’m here to gloat:

The Seattle Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl.  And they beat the 49ers to get there in one of the greatest games ever played.

Let’s let Steve Raible tell the story of the deciding play, which will likely go down in history as one of the most important plays in Seahawks history:

http://www.seahawks.com/videos-photos/audio/Audio_Raible_calls_Malcolm_Smith_interception/12514e94-fa90-4752-9fdc-d0a67557f0f4

Music to my ears.

Now to the issue of Richard Sherman.

Following making the amazing play that allowed Malcolm Smith make the game-deciding interception, Sherman had this to say seconds after the game was over:

Apparently, Michael Crabtree (the receiver for the 49ers who Sherman was covering during that last play) and Richard Sherman do not like each other.  This goes back to an occurrence that happened during the off-season where Crabtree and Sherman got into it during a charity event.  Also, factor in that the Seahawks and 49ers have become bitter rivals since the Seahawks moved to the NFC West (a division that has traditionally been dominated by the 49ers for decades) and a reaction like this from Sherman wasn’t entirely surprising to me.

It was to the rest of the world, though.  Social media blew up calling Sherman every name in the book for his post-game rant.  It’s become a bigger story than the actual game itself, which is odd given what a great game it was.  But as Isaac Saul from the Huffington Post expertly pointed out in his article about Sherman, explain to me how Sherman’s rant posted above is any different than this:

Or any of this:

I don’t see how the two are different.  Two young men, decades apart, who claim to be the greatest at what they do and are talking trash to their rivals.  We celebrate Muhammad Ali for how great he was and for his flamboyant trash-talking, but when Richard Sherman does it after making the greatest play of his career that sends his team to the Super Bowl, he’s demonized?

Why?

The hard truth is that Richard Sherman is not only the best cornerback in football, he may be the best defensive player in the league, period.  There’s a strong chance that Richard Sherman will be named Defensive Player Of The Year by the NFL.  He’s very good and he’s only in his second year in the league.  He was absolutely right in everything he said.  What has also been almost completely ignored is that right after the play, Sherman tried to shake Crabtree’s hand only to get shoved in the face by Crabtree.  Granted, the handshake offered by Sherman may not have been very sincere, but Crabtree could easily have ignored him and done nothing at all.  Shoving him in the face wasn’t necessary.  But Sherman is the bad guy for giving a fiery interview claiming to be the best at his position?

Well, guess what?  He is the best.  And, like it or not, the Seattle Seahawks are the NFC Champions and are playing the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.  So, let’s start talking about that instead of just Richard Sherman. The Denver Broncos have the #1 offense in the league and the Seahawks have the #1 defense in the league.  This has the potential to be a game even better than the one I’ve been talking about in this post.   So let’s get excited!

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