Richard Sherman Is a Breath of Fresh Air

By Greg Bradshaw
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Not many NFL fans are familiar with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. He plays in Seattle, not exactly an enormous media market in comparison to cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia. I can also factor in that the Seattle Supersonics (forerunners to the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder) were the last professional franchise to bring Seattle a championship back in 1979. Considering those statistics, it’s easy to see how Seattle can be overlooked.

That won’t be the case now. Sherman has drawn some criticism for calling San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree “mediocre” during his post-game press conference. This assessment came after the Seahawks defeated the 49ers 23-17 in the NFC Championship Game. Sherman also took the time to say that he was the NFL’s best cornerback. This isn’t usual from a man whose bravado has gotten under the skin of many an opponent. Washington Redskins tackle Trent Williams even punched Sherman in the face after the Seahawks’ Wild Card playoff victory over the Redskins after the 2012 season. You have to talk some serious smack to get an opponent to punch you after the game.

Sherman has been called everything from a thug to a pejorative term for a black person on social media websites because of his on field bravado. The fact is he’s neither of those things. A graduate of Stanford University, Sherman is a smart man who brings a refreshing perspective to the NFL. Simply put, Sherman talks a great game, but he can also back it up. The third-year cornerback has 20 career interceptions, including an NFL-leading eight in 2013. Sherman was also selected to two Pro Bowls. That’s quite an impressive resume for such a young career.

It’s easy to see why Sherman’s emotions were running high during his frenetic post-game interview with Andrews. He deflected a potential game-winning touchdown pass from Crabtree in the game’s last minute, sealing Seattle’s second Super Bowl trip in franchise history. Sherman’s personal assessment of Crabtree was uncalled for, and he later apologized for that assessment.

This article isn’t a fluff piece praising Sherman (besides, it was my beloved Redskins that were defeated by Sherman’s Seahawks in last year’s playoffs). Still, Seattle fielded the NFL’s best defense against the pass, as well as the league’s top defensive unit overall. Those statistics further support Sherman’s claims of his defensive prowess.

Sherman’s braggadocio adds to the anticipation of him either getting humiliated in the Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos, or his realization of the NFL’s ultimate goal: a Super Bowl championship. Whichever happens, we must admit it’s been a great ride.

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