Richard Sherman has done the impossible. He’s stolen the Super Bowl spotlight from Peyton Manning. Didn’t think it was possible.
Sherman’s rant to FOX’s Erin Andrews about 49er receiver Michael Crabtree has become all the rage in the last couple of days. Our Jenni Carlson wrote about Sherman for the Tuesday Oklahoman, which you can read here. She won’t be the last. Get prepared for two weeks worth of Richard Sherman.
Sherman clearly is someone you can’t count on for convention. Here are my takes from the Sherman anti-trust act:
1. From the don’t-you-hate-it-when-he’s-right department, why did the 49ers throw a fade to Sherman’s side? If you want to send Crabtree to the corner with two Seahawks, Sherman being one of them, fine. Just throw the ball somewhere else. The evidence seems fairly strong that Sherman is telling the truth. He is the best cornerback in the world.
2. The best point anyone has made was made by Sherman himself, who apologized Monday for taking the focus off his team. He’s absolutely right about that. No one is talking about the Seahawks. About Marshawn Lynch or that fourth-down TD pass by Russell Wilson or that suffocating Seattle defense. They’re talking about the Stanford-educated wild man whose eyes shot flaming arrows into American living rooms.
3. Speaking of which, I agree that personalities like Sherman are the spice of sport. I can’t very well sit here and bemoan the soul-less quotations we get from every athlete, then get hot and bothered by Sherman’s antics. But let me share a story. My brother and his 6-year-old son were watching the Thunder on Sunday night. They flipped the TV over to FOX after the Thunder game, in time to catch the end of the 49ers-Seahawks. When Sherman went nuts with Erin Andrews, my brother said he was as mortified as if he’d stumbled across a sex scene. “Hey, dad, why was that guy bragging?” 6-year-old Zander asked. The answer is, it’s complicated. And while the Zan Man seems to have a pretty good core with which to recognize Sherman’s out-of-control interview, many 6-year-olds, and 16-year-olds, no doubt, thought "cool." America’s youth sports, from little league to college, will have some residual effect from Sherman’s rant. Not for the better.
4. I thought this was Erin Andrews’ finest hour. Seriously. When Sherman was ranting, and concluded with “DON’T YOU EVER TALK ABOUT ME!,” Andrews did her job. She asked the question all of us wanted answered. “Who was talking about you?” And Sherman told us. Crabtree. Good job, Andrews.
5. Does anyone remember that Sherman played against OU in the 2009 Sun Bowl? Sherman blocked a Sooner punt in that 31-27 OU victory in El Paso. I have no idea if the Sooners stayed away from Sherman — on the streets or in the passing game — but Ryan Broyles had a monster day, with 13 catches for 156 yards and three touchdowns.