Why Trash-Talking Richard Sherman Puts the Fun Back in the NFL
The offseason is a time of year when many professional football players relax their tired muscles after a long and grueling season.
On Valentine's Day, Pro Football Talk reports that the two-year pro sent Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White a verbal doozy of a Valentine's Day card. Sherman appeared on "NFL Live" and called the star wideout "an easy matchup", while freely dismissing White's abilities.
You saw the game — he caught one pass on me the whole game,’ Sherman said. “It’s probably a lifetime achievement for him, so congratulations. It’s a rarity. It’ll rarely ever happen. I think we play them again next year. It won’t happen again. They have to hide him in the formation. They have to bring him down. He can’t just stand out there and play receiver. They have to hide him and do everything to get him open.
The next day PFT reports that Sherman was at it again, relaying to "NFL AM" that he's well aware of every player at his position who was drafted ahead of him in 2011, as well as the fact that 31 NFL teams passed on him.
Nothing is going to change the fact that I was drafted 154, fifth round, 23rd pick. Nothing’s going to change that. Five rounds of teams just passed, passed, passed, passed. I know every single one of them. I know every DB. I know everyone who went ahead of me.
Then, (mind you, this is all in the span of a couple of days) Sherman said on the "ATL Debate Club" podcast via Dan Hanzus of NFL.com that much of the entire draft and scouting process is a "sham."
That's all it is, is a sham. The players that are going to be hyped, are going to be hyped. That's why you have half the first round as busts every year. You can go from now until the end of time. Guys have somehow maneuvered their way into the first round, maneuvered their way into the spotlight.
Of course, none of this should come as any surprise.
If there are two things we know that Richard Sherman is very good at, it's covering opposing wide receivers and talking. During the game. After the game. Whenever.
After all, this was the player that jawed at Tom Brady all game long during Seattle's win over the New England Patriots in October. That jawing continued well after the game according to Ryan Divish of The Tacoma News-Tribune.
I kept saying I’m going to get that next time. Every TV timeout, I went up and said it right to (Brady): ‘Please keep trying me. I’m going to take it from you.’ That was when they were winning. He just gave me that look and said, ‘Oh, I’ll see you after game.’ Well, I made sure I saw him after the game.They’re going to say, ‘What’s wrong? He threw two picks. Well, he should have thrown five picks. If Earl catches every one, then it’s a long day for him. People don’t understand. We’ve got great players out here. We’ve got great players in the Pacific Northwest. The Seattle Seahawks have a lot of talent. People, they don’t look at the film. They don’t analyze anything. That’s why these analysts and commentators need to shut their mouth.
Sherman followed that up by sending a tweet to Brady, and as Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports reports while the tweet itself may have been deleted, the photo that accompanied it now lives in internet infamy.
Then Sherman got into a shoving match with Washington Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams after the Seahawks downed the Redskins in the NFC Willd Card round.
Sherman had been mic'd for that game by KCPQ-TV, and as Robert Klemko of USA Today shares the heartfelt display the pair shared after the game.
Sherman: What you gon' do boy?"
Williams: "I'm gonna punch you in yo' face."
Sherman: "Go on and do it then, boy."
Williams and Sherman have since mended fences, but Sherman's verbal effusiveness rubs plenty of people the wrong way, although according to David Leon Moore of USA Today, Sherman doesn't understand why.
I've never been that kind of guy. I just go out there and play hard. These situations just keep arising and somehow bring attention to me. I guess I always get the negative side of it.
Apparently microphones just leap out and attack Sherman. In fact, one of Bleacher Report's did during Super Bowl week when Sherman took a poll of fans as to whether he or Darelle Revis is the best cornerback in the National Football League.
You can hail his bravado, or call him a jerk, but there's one thing neither camp can deny. As teammate Michael Robinson told USA Today, "If you look at the film, he backs it up. He's playing lights out right now. I don't see a cornerback better."
Sherman was Pro Football Focus' second-ranked cornerback in 2012 both overall and in coverage. He intercepted eight passes, only 47 percent of the passes thrown at him were completed and the 24-year-old was named a first-team All-Pro.
The fact that Sherman wasn't a Pro Bowler is, of course, a result of that pesky Adderall thing.
In November of 2012, both Sherman and fellow cornerback Brandon Browner were suspended four games after testing positive for a banned substance.
Sherman wasn't shy about defending himself, nor was he when he won his subsequent appeal.
I won— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) December 27, 2012
That probably didn't win Sherman any friends in the league offices. The only thing that the NFL likes less than outspoken players are ones who beat the NFL at their own game.
And that's exactly why the NFL needs more Richard Shermans.
I'm not talking about the performance enhancing drug use. Whether you believe he used a banned substance or not, the fact is that he was exonerated. Until he tests positive again, holding that incident against him just doesn't hold up.
There are players who play at a very high level and are individuals while they do it.
Football is a great game, but the NFL has tried to sanitize it at every turn. Whether it's touchdown celebrations or colorful socks, stand out too much and you get a letter in your locker and lighter in the wallet.
Sherman adds a little fun to the game with his smack talk off the field, while backing it up with stellar play on it.
So long as he can keep up the latter, I don't have a problem with the former.
It makes football more fun.
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