The Brain-Mouth Filter

So, after we all watched the Broncos dispense with Tom Brady and the Patriots on Sunday I’m betting a lot of us tuned in for the NFC title game to find out who we’d be facing in Super Bowl XVIII.

Turned out to be a pretty good game between the Seahawks and the 49’ers with Seattle holding on to win 23–17.

If you watched it, you know the game was sealed with a last minute interception in the end zone by Malcolm Smith on a ball tipped by Seahawks corner back Richard Sherman as Colin Kaepernick tried to loft a ball to his wide receiver Michael Crabtree.

Shortly after that play, Sherman sought out receiver Michael Crabtree, gave him a mocking pat on the back side and then got in his face, and promptly received a taunting penalty.

(Note:  With a straight face, Sherman claims he was just trying to extend the spirit of sportsmanship to Michael Crabtree by saying “nice game”.  Suuuuuuure you were, Richard.)

Maybe 2 minutes after that Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews put a microphone in Richard Sherman’s face and this is what transpired.

If you don’t know Richard Sherman’s back story, here’s the nutshell version:

He grew up in Compton.  Straight A student in High School.  First student ever from Compton’s Dominguez High School to earn a scholarship to Stanford.

Yeah.  That Stanford.

Graduates from Stanford with a degree in communications.

Stand out in the classroom and on the field.

Is now, arguably, the best cover corner, in the NFL.

Pretty impressive young man.

Until he opens his mouth.

There have been some folks on the internet and in social media world rushing to Richard Sherman’s defense.

Well….he just had his adrenaline going.  Erin Andrews was crazy to interview him right then.”

He plays with a chip on his shoulder.  It’s what drives him.”

You don’t understand how hard he had to work to get where he is…”

And so on, and so on, and so on.

In truth, those are all just excuses. And poor ones at that.

You can have your adrenaline going and not scream at a sideline reporter like a deranged lunatic.

Guys do it all the time.  Guys who just made big plays in big games. Guys who are, say, over the age of about 12 anyway.

Playing with a chip on your shoulder is great.  Lots of guys do that.  Tom Brady does.  Wes Welker does.  Knowshon Moreno does.  I don’t see them taunting people and calling people names in post-game interviews.

How hard he had to work to get there?  Please.  Who, in life, didn’t work hard to get where they are?  Richard Sherman is a gifted athlete.  Yeah, he put in his work.  So what.  So did everyone else in the NFL and thousand of guys who never made it.

For me, what this comes down to is maturity and respect.

Respect your opponent, if not for the basic rules of good sportsmanship, then at least because someday he may be your teammate.

Respect your team and your organization enough to never try to make yourself bigger or more important than the other men you go into battle with every weekend.

Respect the game because it was here before you, and it will be here long after you.

When people call you out for ridiculous, selfish, juvenile, idiotic behavior like this interview, respect yourself enough to not waste everyone’s time by accusing your detractors of racism.

And respect yourself enough to install some sort of filter between your brain and your mouth.

Not every thought needs to be verbalized.

Even if you did go to Stanford.

 

 

7 Comments

  • I love ya Mike, but the penalty was for the choke gesture that he gave Colin Kaepernick.

    Crabtree had been on him since the before the year began (confronting Sherman at a charity event). There is no love lost between these two players & these two teams. Football, for those of us who aren’t football players, is a game played for our entertainment. He just made a game-winning play against their rivals sending their team to the Super Bowl. Getting trashed all year, the game on the line, getting slapped upside the head. Why does the NFL hold the official press conferences 15 — 30 minutes after the game? Well, loo at what you wrote in your post. Did you see his interview after they had time to calm down?

    It gets down to what we think of the moment. Sherman said things that are little different from some of the pre-game/post-game commentary, it is just said with a suit and tie & easier to digest.

    I do not think that you are wrong. You saw the same thing I did and we interpreted it differently, I didn’t mind. I thought there was some humor to it ( & aren’t most all of the popular TV shows now so-called ‘reality TV” — supposedly unfiltered?), you did not see it the same way. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to listen to you on the radio.

    Can we learn from it? Maybe, but it won’t change. I still think that it is comical in a way that when we give everybody the chance to say something that we are still shocked sometimes by what comes out of their mouth — but it is the world we live in.

    Rock on, brother!

  • Appreciate the insights, Sean. So because Crabtree (allegedly) got into some sort of off-season mouth-off with Sherman that excuses Richard’s selfish and ridiculous behavior? I disagree. A guy who gets a taunting penalty when a game has been decided is the very same kind of guy who will get a taunting penalty that will hurt his team and possibly cost them a game. Lack of control and lack of maturity. Sherman made himself more important than the team, and in my mind, that is ALWAYS a mistake.
    That said, I appreciate your thoughts and totally respect your right to see this situation in a different light. I know lots of people disagree with my on this. And I’m ok with that! Thanks again! Mike

  • I agreed with you right up until you said “respect yourself enough to not waste everyone’s time by accusing your detractors of racism.“
    Yes, some people have criticized him without resorting to the “Angry Black Man” fear. You did it yourself. But there are thousands of honestly racist comments out there, if you’d take a look.
    Do you feel offended by being painted with the “racist” brush by the comments of bigots? Imagine being a black man being painted as an uppity n—-r because of an outburst on TV “setting black people back 100 years”?

    I appreciate the rest of your article, but think the ending is misinformed. Yes, racism still exists. Its home is Twitter and the comments sections of articles.

  • You make a GREAT point, Anne. Thank you for sharing it. I imagine some people who criticized Richard Sherman were, in fact, bigoted morons. I don’t count myself among them but your point is still a good one. Thank you!

  • Regardless (of your well-written words,) both the NFL and Sherman will be rewarded for the behavior. We’re a bloodlust bunch desensitized beyond just the brutal game or a television spectacle, we need drama and its douchebag associates to keep us caring. The only thing that’ll minimize this story is if someone famous makes a sex tape. And that’s not a request.

  • I think Sherman’s comments were inappropriate, and I think some of the comments made to him and about him were worse. That being said, i think Belechick accusing Wes Welker of intending to harm Talib is much worse than Sherman’s rant.

  • Think he convinced all the 49er fans to cheer for the Broncos.

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