Shermanship Lacking

I’m gonna write something here that might sound like grandstanding, but it’s 100-percent true. I swear.

I love NFL games. I love the action, I love the sweeps around end, I love the deep throws and the tough tackles and the drama. I love it all. Truly.

However, the moment that does it for me—that really, really does it for me—comes after the final whistle, when the two teams walk onto the field and shake hands. I especially dig it when—having just spent 60 minutes chasing him down—defensive linemen approach quarterbacks and offer a hug. Or when wide receivers and defensive backs acknowledge one another with a pat on the helmet and a kind word or smile. It’s cool seeing two coaches compare notes; two quarterbacks chatter about this or that.

I can’t quite explain it any better than that. I’m a peaceful dude, and I dig peace.

Which makes the actions of Richard Sherman from the aftermath of tonight’s 49ers-Seahawks clash hard to digest. If you somehow missed it, watch the clip above: Having made the game-winning play for Seattle, Sherman—a fantastic defensive back—is approached by Erin Andrews. Here it is, HIS moment. The NFC title. The Super Bowl. Confetti and hugs and cheers and … he uses the time to tear into Michael Crabtree.

God, did I hate that.

H-A-T-E-D it.

Why? Because sportsmanship matters. It matters more than winning. More than losing. It matters because kids are watching and learning, and taking cues from the professionals. It matters because, right now, Crabtree feels like shit, without being told that he is, well, shit. It was lowly and unnecessary and oozed classlessness.

Also, it’s painfully shortsighted. Athletic ability—like all abilities—does not last. It’s terribly fleeting, and in a blink of an eye Richard Sherman will find himself, oh, 31-years old, minus a step or two, the young hotshot receiver eating him for lunch. He’ll realize, at some point, that the shit he spewed as a youngster no longer applied.

It’s inevitable.

5 thoughts on “Shermanship Lacking”

  1. I have enjoyed both teams this year but lean toward the Hawks.
    Wilson is a class act.
    Sherman not so much.
    The guy made a fool out of himself.
    I have to wonder …..Jeff you know more about PED use than I do…….does this seem to be an example of roid rage? Or is it just an idiot being an idiot?

  2. Jeff, curious as to your thoughts on John Tortorella’s behaviour on Saturday night. I know you’ve written about him before and he’s back to his old antics again. If you haven’t seen it, it’s captured in these two videos:

  3. Would your analysis change on this if it turns out that Crabtree really did try to fight Sherman at a charity event in the offseason as SI and Deadspin have been reporting?

  4. Hi Jeff…so, he was speaking in the moment, right? Lots and lots of adrenaline and emotion at having the opportunity to go to the Superbowl, so I give him a pass. I actually appreciate his take.

    What I don’t get is how you don’t see any irony when you also say silly/insulting stuff on Twitter when you are experiencing 1/1000th of the emotion as Sherman does here. Seriously, Jeff, give the guy a break.

  5. What happened to sportsmanship? In rugby, which is every bit as intense as football, we have a formal handshake at the end of every match which includes a cheer for each team and the referee. Then the home team buys the visiting team a beer. Now I don’t expect that to happen in an NFL playoff game but how about some simple sportsmanship? All you apologists make me as sick as Richard Sherman. I was hoping for a nail biter of a Super Bowl. Now I want The Broncos to destroy the Seahawks by 40!

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