For those who haven't yet seen the video, All-Pro Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman got into a war of words with ESPN analyst Skip Bayless on ESPN's First Take, calling the reporter "pompous," "a cretin" and criticizing him for not being as good at "life" as Sherman is.
With those words, Sherman finally crossed the line.
It's great to want to compete and to believe that you're the best, but in the case of this cornerback, he took it to a whole new level. Touting his All-Pro status in 2012, Stanford degree and career interception total, the defender attempted to assert his dominance over Skip Bayless when that matter wasn't even up for debate.
Love him or hate him, sports fans at least have to respect the fact that Bayless has a strong opinion. He may not always be right, but he puts himself out there and argues his point, which is more than one can say for a good portion of the generic, neutral broadcasters out there today.
Bayless at no point argued that he was better "at life" than Sherman, nor has he ever asserted himself a better defensive back. When Bayless pressed Sherman for an answer as to whether the latter believes he's better than Darrelle Revis, Sherman avoided the question and went back to berating Bayless.
Throughout this entire process, Sherman continued to point to his "numbers" as a valid excuse for his talking. He accounted for eight interceptions and three forced fumbles in 2012, which is his definition of elite production.
According to Pro Football Focus, Sherman played 980 snaps in 2012. His 11 turnovers account for 1.12 percent of his total time on the field. If he really wants to make a strong argument, he should point to the fact that quarterbacks only completed 41-of-87 passes thrown in his direction for a completion percentage of 47.1 percent.
That being said, Sherman's great season was a model of inconsistency.
He had seven games in which he made a significant impact, but 11 games (both playoff games included, where everything was on the line) where his impact was negligible (we're still sourcing Pro Football Focus here).
If one averages his negligible impact in those 11 games over a full season, his total season grade would be +2.6 in Pro Football Focus terms. For those who are less familiar with the grading system, that would put him next to the recently released Dunta Robinson in terms of positive impact.
Sherman wants to compare himself favorably to Darrelle Revis, but a glance at Revis' 2011 charts indicate that the cornerback had just five games of negligible/negative impact along with 12 games of positive impact.
Even past Sherman's inconsistent numbers, a sense of discretion is completely necessary.
Sherman can't equate one season of greatness with a body of work like Revis has. Revis has been an effective cornerback since 2007, cementing himself as the league's best. Sherman had one up-and-down season that looked a lot better than it actually was thanks to a few good games.
I'll take 79 games over 32.
For example, Drew Brees had a fantastic season in 2011, eclipsing the yardage record and putting up arguably the best single-season numbers of any quarterback ever. He didn't brag or call himself the best quarterback in the league; he truly let his numbers speak for themselves (unlike Sherman, though he says he does).
Sherman's talking would have been fine if he never went on ESPN and insulted Skip Bayless. In attaching his name to Stanford University prior to his arrogant rant about himself, he insulted the intelligence of the college he attended. He should be ashamed of himself.
Bayless posed a very good question in the interview, asking what Sherman's ultimate motive was here. Firing shots at Bayless isn't going to make Sherman a better player, nor will it endear him to the rest of the media.
He's not a "hero." He went on ESPN and attacked Bayless by saying that he was simply better than the reporter. Sherman flaunted his All-Pro status and degree from Stanford in Bayless' face and I respect the latter for taking it in stride.
If Richard Sherman wants to say he's just as good as Darrelle Revis, I see nothing terribly wrong in that.
I start to see an issue, however, when he makes himself look like a fool on national television by attacking the media for simply voicing their opinions on him.
Now follow me on Twitter @EliNachmany.
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