Much has been made of the Sunday postgame ranting of Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman. After his club earned the right to face the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl with a 23-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers in NFC title game, Sherman, who was instrumental in the game-clinching interception, was still a tad juiced up after the game. While conducting an interview with FOX TV sideline reporter Erin Andrews, Sherman screamed the following:
“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. [...] Don’t you open your mouth about the best or I’m gonna shut it for you real quick.”
Pretty much every postgame TV and radio venue (as well as online social media) opined on Sherman's seemingly belligerent outburst. As such, a lot of folks outside of Denver and Seattle who would normally be neutral to the Super Bowl's outcome switched their loyalties to the Broncos.
Those who are more than casual NFL fans first became intimately familiar with Sherman during the 2012 regular season. After a 24-23 home victory over the New England Patriots on October 14, 2012, Sherman, then in only his second NFL season, confronted Pats QB (and future hall of famer) Tom Brady after the game.
Many NFL purists were taken aback by Sherman's seemingly brash behavior. In their minds, it's one of those unwritten rules that until you or team have accomplished something substantive, it's pretty bush league to go off on someone as decorated as Brady (3 Super Bowl rings and 2 MVP awards).
Personally I too have found Sherman's antics to be insufferable, but guess what? He backs it up on the field. Can you name any other cornerback in the NFL (outside of Darrelle Revis) whom offensive coordinators go out of their way to avoid? And for those of you whose favorite NFL team is a club not named the Seattle Seahawks, would you want Sherman playing for your preferred squad? If you answer "no," you're kidding yourself.
If you get a sense that Sherman has a chip on his shoulder, you're probably correct. After all, he's had a lot to prove in his career given that he was only a fifth round draft pick in the 2011 draft. It stands to reason that Sherman had to work extra hard just to make the Seahawks roster in 2011 (fifth round picks normally aren't given the same benefit of the doubt as first rounders). Upon earning a spot, he's had to maintain a certain edge to remain a part of the team. It would appear that he uses these perceived slights (e.g. not being drafted until the fifth round, opposing WRs not giving him props) to get himself revved up. So in the few moments after making a game-saving play which allowed his team to move on to only its second Super Bowl berth in franchise history, I wasn't the least bit surprised with Sherman's postgame demeanor. However, when hours have passed after a win or when Sherman is conducting interviews away from the football field, he appears to be a very thoughtful, well-spoken gentleman (No surprise there, given he graduated from Stanford with a degree in Communications).
Sherman seems to be the prototypical "hate him if he's an opponent but love him if he's a teammate." Given the way he plays the game, I'm sure that suits him just fine.