Why Richard Sherman Is Awesome
For an AFC and NFC Title Game weekend that I compared to Wrestlemania 3, the ending was entirely appropriate.
Photo by Jeffrey Beall Richard Sherman went full heel after the NFC title game.
No, I'm not talking about Peyton Manning's (at the very least) evening the score and perhaps surpassing (certainly, giving himself a chance to surpass) Tom Brady in the "greatest of our generation" debate.
No, I'm not talking about Patriots coach Bill Belichick's accusing Wes Welker of taking out Pats cornerback Aqib Talib intentionally with a borderline hit in the AFC Title Game.
And no, I'm not talking about Colin Kaepernick's fourth quarter meltdown, which will be one of the first chapters of what is hopefully a fantastic "Kaepernick versus Wilson" follow up book to "Brady versus Manning."
Fantastic and, frankly, important storylines, all of them. But in the wake of a classic NFC Title Game and a redemption performance by Peyton Manning in the AFC Title Game, all anyone wanted to talk about was this...
Richard Sherman, ladies and gentlemen. Big mouth. Wrestling heel. Shit talker.
And I love him.
To call Richard Sherman's performance in the on-field post game on Sunday an "interview" isn't doing it justice. Interviews are measured, tactful, and (because of both of those adjectives) pretty damn boring. No, Sherman "cut a promo" on Crabtree, as they say in the business, and in the process embodied everything about the Seattle Seahawks' Legion of Boom defense that makes them great, everything that has them making the trip to New York next week.
Richard Sherman is one giant walking, squawking, ball hawking package of anger and fury. Whatever the proverbial "chip on the shoulder" is made of, that esoteric material constitutes the entire person of Richard Sherman. Even amidst respect, he is perpetually disrespected, in his mind. Even with his rare dimensions as a corner (Sherman is 6-foot-3), Sherman was a fifth round pick out of Stanford, ignored by the league and perhaps even blackballed by his college coach, who just so happens to be the guy whose hopes and dreams Sherman ended on Sunday, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.
So when the 49ers' Michael Crabtree, a first round bonus baby from the 2009 draft, is matched up against Sherman, with Crabtree saying whatever it is he says to cornerbacks around the league, Sherman's firing off about 18 seconds after the game, while still swimming in the heightened angst and glory of the victory, should be expected.
And frankly, Richard Sherman has earned the right to scream that Crabtree is mediocre, and that he is, in fact, the best. Because he is.