Richard Sherman tipped away the game’s final pass, which lead to a NFC Championship-clinching interception. He was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, and after the game was over he provided enough media content to last the entire “dead week” before the Seahawks and Broncos head to New York.
Sherman didn’t just fill notepads and provide several soundbites, he even wrote a piece himself after the game for Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback site. He’s been writing columns for The MMQB all season, I believe (I haven’t felt the need to stay updated on his thoughts up to this point in the season). At the same time, today’s column was full of some good points and some questionable justification for acting the way he did after both the play and the game.
I spent most of the game on an island: I was targeted only twice during the entire NFC Championship. The first produced a BS holding call against me; the second ended the game. Michael Crabtree stutter-stepped out of his break on first down and sprinted toward the end zone. I was in good position for a pick until he pushed me in the back. My interception became a tip and an interception for Malcolm Smith in the end zone.
The first sentence was correct, at least to my eye. The second sentence about the “BS holding call” was ridiculous, because he had his hands on Crabtree throughout the entire play. However, Sherman is far from the first athlete to foul or interfere with an opposing player and claim he did nothing wrong. The third sentence was correct. The fourth sentence was a bit of an exaggeration, because while Crabtree put his arm against Sherman’s back there didn’t appear to be a push. That sounds more like an excuse as to why he needed a teammate’s help to complete the interception.
Erin Andrews interviewed me after the game and I yelled what was obvious: If you put a subpar player across from a great one, most of the time you’re going to get one result. As far as Crabtree being a top-20 NFL receiver, you’d have a hard time making that argument to me. There are a lot of receivers playing good ball out there, and Josh Gordon needed 14 games to produce almost double what Crabtree can do in a full season. And Gordon had Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell playing quarterback.
Crabtree was 14th in receiving yards last season, 11th in touchdown receptions and 13th in receptions. Not top-20? Okay. Crabtree had 1,105 yards in his last full season (2012), while Gordon had 1,646 yards this season. Almost double? Okay.
I ran over to Crabtree to shake his hand but he ignored me. I patted him, stuck out my hand and said, “Good game, good game.” That’s when he shoved my face, and that’s when I went off.
Above Sherman’s piece on The MMQB, there’s an outstanding photo that makes Sherman look like the victim. There he is, with an arm outstretched wishing to shake Crabtree’s hand, and Crabtree is shoving Sherman’s face away. When Sherman says he “patted him,” this is what he meant.
After the play, Crabtree walked toward the 49ers sideline with his head down. Sherman ran up from behind and patted him on the rear, then he circled around Crabtree, started talking and stuck his hand out.
Just speaking for myself … if someone who just defeated me slapped my ass and requested a handshake afterward, they wouldn’t be receiving a handshake. Also, the offer of a handshake was probably not an innocent gesture based on what Sherman and his brother have been talking about in the hours since the game’s conclusion.
From the Mercury News:
Branton Sherman did not witness the encounter firsthand. The description below is based on Sherman’s recounting in a private conversation with his brother.
“Richard was at the charity event with people like Snoop Dog and (former 49ers receiver) Kyle Williams,” Branton Sherman said. “Richard’s a friendly guy, and he saw them sitting around a pool and went over to shake everyone’s hand.
“When he got to Crabtree, Crabtree slapped Richard’s hand away and stood up like he wanted to fight. Everyone was like, ‘Calm down, Crabtree.’ Richard said, ‘Why are you tripping out. We’re off the field.’
“Crabtree wanted to fight but everyone got in the way and backed him down.
“Richard told me about it down the road. He told me he would do Crabtree in the media, and he did. (FOX) caught him right after the game.
“They have a personal vendetta against each other.”
Reached Monday morning, Williams acknowledged that he attended the charity event.
The former Arizona State receiver considers Crabtree to be “like a brother” and has known Sherman, a Stanford graduate, since they played against each other in college five years ago.
“I’m not going to get into specifics,” Williams said. “Those guys” — Richard and Branton Sherman — “can say whatever they want.”
So we’re supposed to believe a secondhand story about how Crabtree was looking for a fight at an event that took place sometime “last summer.” Crabtree tore his Achilles tendon in May.
It’s fine that Sherman and Crabtree don’t like each other, but I’d caution against accepting the Shermans’ version of the events.
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What are your thoughts on Richard Sherman’s actions yesterday?
This conversation has devolved, in large part because some fans are fond of overusing the word “thug” in a sporting context. So I’ll get this out of the way from the beginning: anything that borders on sounding racist will be deleted. I believe that trash talk is part of American football (and most team sports, for that matter), but Sherman’s actions are up for criticism because his desire to gain publicity is so obvious.
That’s why his new Beats ad that played yesterday was so ridiculous. As if Sherman would ever willfully turn away from microphones and cameras.
If you’re too tired after yesterday’s action to write a lengthy response, don’t fret. Your comment can be as short as the one made by Donte Whitner, who had this to say about Sherman in the locker room today.
Mr. Sherman displays symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and his need to self-aggrandize points towards a hole in his pysche and character that he will never be able to fill up...taking his Crabtree contremps and his "No, I think I'm better than YOU" discussion with Skip Bayless as just two examples, it seems fairly clear.
Charity started? Great tax and PR move, I wonder what advisor pointed him that way?
David Shaw carrying his water? Hey, why not? Shaw knows that anything else would cause himself to be thrust way into the story, and all he wants is to get out of it
What does the Indiana Kid say? "Sports don't build character, they reveal it."
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What he did was carefully choreographed and contrived. Now he's the Super Bowl "story".
He'll get fined $50g by the league for the choking gesture, and parlay that into a broadcasting career.
Crabby is right, he's just a "TV Guy". He's also the best DB in the league, love him or hate him.
Sherman's credibility gap is getting away from him.
Crabtree started a fight with him while on crutches in a boot?
The media is lapping this up. But the truth will win out.
Sherman is a clown.
You know, there was a time when Ochocinco was the best receiver in the game. There was a time when Pacman Jones was one of the best DBs in the game. There was a time when Terrell Owens was an All-World WR whose ticket to the Hall of Fame was seemingly punched.
Your time is coming, Sherman.
That credibility gap will one day swallow you whole.
Sherman is the villian he doesn't want to be, which at best is confounding to me.
Crabtree accurately portrayed Sherman as a "TV man, that is all he is." A TV interview that will be talked about for years, in fact, it will foreshadow the rest of Sherman's villianious career.
I greatly admire a player who allows his play to speak for itself while taking on the tone of sportsmanship. I don't admire Sherman and he has not earned my respect. Even my sister who resides close to Seattle, agreed that Sherman went out of the boundaries, she was even ashamed of the 12th man popcorn dousing of our very own Navarro Bowman.
It was really annoying to see Sherman capitalize on the popcorn throwing at Bowman as a forum from where he can be the "hero" by condemning the fans who threw popcorn at Bowman. Sherman is just mouthy both ways, as a villian, and as a PR stunt man trying to clean up his act. You just don't see Batman and Joker cavorting together in the gentleman's lodge, so if Crabtree pushed Sherman off, that is what Batman would do.
Or the Batkid.
A lot of people say R. Sherman is a very intelligent, thoughtful and nice guy. Others say much worse. I see his actions in the press and I think two things: either he hasn't figured out the difference between ego and emotion, or he is playing the media (no press is bad press) and really is taking the role as the villain, knowing that the general public love to have someone to hate, and they love the performer who gives them that villain. So either he is an immature jerk, or he is the genius who combined professional wrestling and the NFL. Or maybe he just has had the misfortune of having some of his best and worst moments televised. I'd be mortified for the world to see me at my worst, but that would be the cost of the opportunity to exhibit my best. The price of fame.
Either way he is a talented corner and I can't help but think that these personality traits seem to run thick amongst the best at that position...
I agree with Vernon Davis, it would serve Mr. Sherman well to practice more grace. But I don't think he cares at all what we think, as long as he is the center of attention, as long as we are talking about him. So I guess maybe he seems a bit of a jerk and a bit of a genius.
Or a lot of both.
Same thing with the story about Harbaugh honking and flashing his lights at the Seahawks' bus. Never corroborated. I think ol' Dick Sherman has a vivid imagination
Trash-talking to the media is despicable and embarrassing, I don't care who it comes from or what team they play for. I wish most athletes would shut up and just play the game.
Sherman is VERY smart and is probably the hardest working defensive player in the game on and off the field. I believe he is the best corner in the game and he knows the tendencies of every quarterback and receiver he goes up against. He's great to his family and does a lot off the field to help those that grew up in the same circumstances he did.
Which is why his reaction after the game is SO DISAPPOINTING. All that hard work, and then when the cameras are the brightest and most of America is watching, THATS how you handle it? Let's be clear - I don't think Sherman is a "Thug"......but he just validated and vindicated those who think that kind of response is acceptable. Why does Crabtree need to be a "sorry receiver" for him to be great? Wouldn't it help Sherman to say that Crabtree is an amazing athlete and it feels good to beat such a great receiver? (Even if it's not true and he didn't believe it?) And why the choking gesture? At some point, maybe soon, maybe years from now, he'll lose a step and it will all come back to haunt him. He'll become the same as Terrell Owens became - a player who had a bigger mouth than he does talent. People will end up remembering the mouth more than the talent.....and it's a shame - because he's got a ton of talent.
I'm anxious to see how much the NFL fines Sherman for the choking gesture. It was a big stage and I wouldn't be surprised if it's a big fine to match that.
I keep seeing Seattle fans who are making a point to say that what Sherman said was no big deal. But when I try to imagine a 49er doing what he did, I don't think I'd defend that player as just being "funny" or "awesome".
He's rude and obviously incredibly insecure.
He's a punk.
A lot of people are using the word classless and they are probably right. I don't really care about being classy. I don't own a top hat and a cane myself. But being a punk is worse to me. You don't go yell all tough guy on TV knowing full well there will be no physical confrontation to come by it.
Trent Williams pushed him in the face, he threw up his hands and played victim. Ok fine, Williams out weighs him by about 700 pounds. Crabtee pushed him in the face and he pulls the same stunt.
I don't for one second believe Sherman's story about Crabtree trying to fight him. He made up a story after the week 2 game in Seattle this year also. He said he went to give Harbaugh a hug/handshake after the game and that Harbaugh disrespected him. This was completely false as cameras caught the entire thing. Sherman ran up to Harbaugh from behind as Harbaugh was heading to the tunnel and slapped Harbaugh on the ass. By the time Harbaugh turned his head Sherman had already took off running.