SEATTLE (AP) — When Richard Sherman gave Michael Crabtree a pat on the backside, got shoved in the face and made a choke sign toward the San Francisco bench, he was just getting warmed up.
Get ready for two more weeks of the unfiltered Sherman with the Seattle Seahawks headed to the Super Bowl.
"I hadn't gotten many opportunities all game and I'm happy. I'm happy about that," Sherman said. " I'm sure if our team knew it was going to come down to a play like that they would be pretty confident going into it."
Sherman stole the attention on Sunday, first by deflecting a pass intended for Crabtree in the corner of the end zone with less than a minute left, right into the arms of Seattle teammate Malcolm Smith to seal the Seahawks' 23-17 win.
But then came the antics and Sherman's words that revealed a deep dislike for Crabtree and satisfaction in Seattle knocking off its division rivals to reach the Super Bowl.
While Smith was celebrating the interception, Sherman exchanged words with Crabtree, got shoved in the face as a rebuttal then made a choking gesture toward the San Francisco bench that he said was intended for quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Asked about the incident afterward by Fox reporter Erin Andrews, Sherman lit up Twitter with a rant that began: "I'm the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's the result you gonna get. Don't you ever talk about me!"
Sherman didn't back down even after getting some time to collect his thoughts. He apologized to Andrews, then proceeded to call Crabtree "mediocre," making sure to annunciate each syllable of the word.
"I was making sure everybody knew Crabtree was a mediocre receiver," Sherman said. "And when you try the best corner in the game with a mediocre receiver that's what happens."
It was a fiery, emotional rant from Sherman, who celebrated his first conference title by racing around the field after Russell Wilson took the final knee, then leaping into the first row of seats in the south end zone to celebrate with fans.