Richard Sherman’s rant at the end of the NFC Championship game hasn’t gone unnoticed in any part of the country. Fans were up in arms over the star cornerbacks antics after making the play of the game in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, that sent his team to the Super Bowl next Sunday. To play cornerback in the NFL, you must have a certain swagger to be successful. Some are more flamboyant than others, but whether you see or hear their swagger on the surface, it is most certainly there. Sherman chooses to show his emotion rather than be an almost robotic, politically correct suit pleaser. Sherman is as explosive in interviews as he is on the field. He only has one gear, and he got caught up in the moment when he declared himself “best in the world”, and when he took a shot at Michael Crabtree. At that moment, Sherman more resembled a WWE Superstar cutting a wild promo on his foes, but can you really blame the man for being fired up because his team is going to the Super Bowl? Get real people, football is a game of great emotion, and that’s what came out in Sherman’s post game rant.
The real problem with Sherman’s rant is the backlash from ignorant fans, who were quick to judge Sherman for his antics, and probably his looks, and even where he is from. Yes, he is a black man with long dreads from Compton, but that doesn’t sum up who Sherman is as a whole. It was actually refreshing to hear someone talk from the heart instead of boring everyone with the usual “they are a great team, and we just happened to make more plays than them routine”. There are always going to be traditionalist who don’t care for so-called unprofessionalism, but your 140 characters and Facebook posts aren’t going to change who Richard Sherman is. Richard Sherman is an inner-city kid who found a way out of Compton, and into our living rooms each Sunday. He got there by hard work, dedication, and being smarter than the average human being.
Richard Sherman finished second in his high school class with a 4.1 GPA, and he was the first person from his high school to receive a scholarship from Stanford in 20 years. He is so competitive that to this day it still bugs him that he didn’t finish first in his class. Upon arriving at Stanford he started out as a wide receiver, and he didn’t make the switch to cornerback until his junior year. In 2010, he graduated with a communications degree, and has since begun getting his Masters degree. Sherman has always had a chip on his shoulder because of where he comes from, and his drive to succeed. In 2011, he was selected 154th overall in the draft after 24 other cornerbacks had been drafted. He makes $550,000 dollars a year, which is right at the league minimum. Sherman is on his way to making millions of dollars, and he has already passed up those 24 cornerbacks drafted in front of him, but for him that is not enough. He wants to be the best football player in the league, and he might be well on his way. Everything Sherman does is calculated, and his post game rant might have been impromptu but his remarks were thought out. Every time he opens his mouth, it is with a purpose to get all eyes on Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks. West coast teams mostly take a backseat to the New York’s, Chicago’s, and the Dallas’, but Sherman has put himself and Seattle on the map. Whether you like him or hate him, you will watch him – and that is the beauty of what he did. He really is like a professional wrestler in the way that he mind-tricked everyone into only talking about him – and I’m willing to bet that Super Bowl ratings will be sky-high in most part to Richard Sherman. All I ask is that people stop judging Sherman for what he said because that’s Richard Sherman the football player, not Richard Sherman the man.