Darrian Michael Hopson
Leading up to Super Bowl Sunday Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has dominated the headlines due in part to a postgame rant which involved him directly calling San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree “trash”. This rant was highly criticized among the media, as well as past NFL players and coaches speaking out against Sherman. In addition, the world of social media was livid with many twitter users directing racial epithets and profanities at the third year veteran. Not only has this been taken way out of proportion, but it has also reminded the world that racism can rear its’ ugly head over a meaningless rant. In the world of athletics, with greatness seldom comes arrogance and in the curious case of Richard Sherman his play in addition to his words speak volumes for his game.
To label a Sherman as a thug for simply being a product of the emotional moment is irrational given the incidents around the NFL that have occurred in the past let alone this year. To define a thug can have various interpretations varying from person to person. A thug may be someone who resorts to crime as a means of survival. A thug may be someone who goes as far to commit murder over drugs. But he howled furiously on national television insulting the game!? If yelling insinuates that Sherman is a thug, then the world of sports is livid with thugs. As the media continues to propel those such as Justin Bieber on the headlines over anything, it does not come as a surprise that the greater proportion of society has once again exaggerated another miniscule incident.
As a fith round pick in the draft he understandably plays with an enormous chip on his shoulder. He did not get on the airwaves simply to receive five minutes of fame; this is simply the authenticity of Richard Sherman. Do not expect him to resemble Tom Brady or a Peyton Manning when it comes to post-game mannerisms. To the surprise of many, he is a Stanford graduate, receiving his BA in communications with a 3.0 GPA. Falling ill to blind ignorance as many have on Twitter can only construe the image of an NFL player who is in the spotlight due to his mouth instead of his play on the gridiron.
The phrase is often coined numbers never lie, and in the case of Richard Sherman this holds truth. In only his third season, he has collected 20 interceptions with four, eight and eight respectively which is more than Deion Sanders (14) in his first three seasons and is considered by many to be the greatest cornerback to ever play the game. To put things further into perspective, Sherman finished the 2013 campaign with eight interceptions, more than the abysmal Houston Texans entire team for the year (7).
Brash, bold and audacious is exactly what the NFL needs leading up to the Super Bowl. In a season filled with erroneous referee calls and colossal out-of-pocket fines, the NFL will benefit from the additional hype that Sherman brings to the game. Deservedly so, when it comes to the world of athletics the rainy city of Seattle has something to celebrate as the Seahawks get ready to fight for the Lombardi Trophy, which they have the opportunity largely because of Sherman’s play. His bravado influences the rest of the Seattle defense, slightly resembling the gritty defenses of the 1980’s Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense coined “The Steel Curtain” in the 1970’s. In the premature stages of Richard Sherman, the statistics serve justice to the type of player most in the NFL aspire to be. Whether you hate or love Sherman, his undeniable talent on the field cannot be disregarded. In the case of Sherman, read between the hashes on the football field.