Keeping Score

Richard Sherman’s Postgame Interview Was the Best

Seattle's outspoken cornerback makes game-saving play for the Seahawks and shows that sideline chats don't have to be boring

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Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images

Cornerback Richard Sherman celebrates with the George Halas Trophy after the Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Jan. 19, 2014

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, one of the NFL’s more outspoken players, made a brilliant, game-saving play at the end of Seattle’s 23-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game. Then he saved the postgame interview from its usual pablum.

A night of football celebration, for sure.

With 30 seconds left, Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers had driven the ball down to Seattle’s 18-yard line. Kaepernick dropped back on a first-down play, and lobbed a pass toward San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree in the corner of the end zone. Sherman, the best cover corner in the NFL, was blanketing Crabtree. Niners fans will have all off-season to wonder why Kaepernick decided to throw the ball near Sherman, whom he was smartly avoiding all day, on a first down.

Sherman jumped and tipped the ball to teammate Malcolm Smith in the end zone. Smith cradled the interception that sent Seattle to New Jersey, where the Seahawks will play the Denver Broncos on Feb. 2.

Sherman and Crabtree, apparently, had been jawing all game. Trash talk counts as normal conversation between NFL wide receivers and defensive backs. Sherman, one football’s more active yappers, had just made the play of his life, in front of Seattle’s notably supercharged fans, to end an emotionally draining game. So of course he got in Crabtree’s face to say a few words. Crabtree pushed Sherman’s helmet. Sherman made the choke signal, which was a little unfortunate. (After the game, Sherman said the choke sign was for Kaepernick.) But again, Crabtree had just snuffed him, and Sherman was caught up in the moment.

When Fox’s Erin Andrews interviewed Sherman on the field after the final whistle, he hadn’t come down from his high. Andrews asked Sherman to take her through the final play. Viewers expected the usual blabber. Instead, they got a good ol’ rant. “Well, I’m the best corner in the game!” Sherman shouted. Andrews gave a quick “O.K. then” expression. “When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you’re going to get!” He was looking right at the camera. “Don’t you ever talk about me!”

Sherman was breathing heavily, like a boxer. “Who was talking about you?” Andrews asked. This may seem like an obvious question, but it got Sherman to keep going. Andrews handled herself like a pro here.

“Crabtree! Don’t you open your mouth about the best! Or I’m going to shut it for you real quick! LOB!”

LOB, apparently, refers to the “Legion of Boom,” the nickname of Seattle’s secondary, which is the best in football. On first listen, it sounded like Sherman may have screamed “L.L. Bean!” Sherman does not have an endorsement contract with the Maine-based outdoor-clothing retailer.

Check out the exchange here:

The shouting shocked a mass audience. We’re used to jocks thanking God in that spot. So social media offered the usual hand-wringing: Sherman is a classlessignorant (he’s a Stanford grad) punk.

Well, if you hate Sherman for being honest in his interview, you can never complain about a cliché-ridden sideline chat again. And it’s not like he cussed in front of a bunch of kids or threatened to hurt anyone. Sherman is a fiery guy, his tip was one of the most memorable defensive plays in NFL history, the Super Bowl is a lifelong dream — and the game can fatten your bank account. Plus, football breeds pathological thinking on the field. Who can blame Sherman for going off, moments after the victory?

Don’t you open your mouth about the best.

135 comments
Warqew
Warqew

We pay for these guys an absurd amount of money to be competitive and put on a show.  There is a reason the NFL grosses so much money each year:  Entertainment.  If all the players in the NFL made comments similar to, "Jolly good, chap" or "Hip Hip Hooray for this team that was better than us" then we would question their fervor.  We would question whether or not their heart was in it.  I, personally, enjoy watching teams come together with some steam.  They entertain me.  I like to see raw competition and condone people expressing themselves.  As I previously stated, the NFL is here to provide entertainment and hook us.  What better way to hook us than by interviewing a guy IMMEDIATELY after clearly taunting and disrespecting the other team.  Regardless what Sherman said, think about how he has conducted himself all year......  Did you think about it?  Now consider that maybe, just maybe, the NFL knew what they were gonna get and understood how priceless it would be to have Sherman's most feral response to what unfolded.  If you really want to take this up with anyone, take it up with the NFL for CHOOSING to interview a person at a very calculated second knowing full-well how he has been all year.  I would like to take a second and  say thank you to the NFL and Richard Sherman for knowing how to entertain.  It's moments like these that I maintain the hope that mediocrity hasn't consumed us all.

jmcelroy888
jmcelroy888

I'm a Washington State Native.  I watched a Seahawks game about 2 months ago and quit after 10 minutes.  The Un-Sportsman Like Playing was sickening.  The whole team should be fined. 

obummer
obummer

Childish moron punk well into himself.  He qualifies, why not make him a cover boy man of the year with Snowdon, Time?

Trap12
Trap12

Beaten. Made great recovery. Tip went forward instead of back. Classless athlete with great gifts which, in his case, last 3 and 1/3 years. Then who is the choker?

JamesHardman
JamesHardman

The world wonders why Kap threw to Crabtree. In the Super Bowl he threw 3 incompletions to Crabtree. So he got one right at North Carolina. But they were looking for it because of the past history and he had been avoiding Sherman all day. He should have avoided him one other time especially with 2 men in the left end zone.

bluesman54
bluesman54

I'll agree with you on one point.  This was much better than the religious nuts we too often see ignoring the question they are asked so they can praise their Lord and Savior in front of a national audience.

DeLaineGoito
DeLaineGoito

So what was the problem with Sherman's interview? He used his freedom of speech to express his opinion and was not directing his speech to the reporter who appeared to take it as a personal affront. She is the unprofessional. 

Now children let's go back and review some of Howard Cosell's interviews with Muhammad Ali. Cosell was a professional and as to my knowledge never assumed that Ali was directing his words to him but to the event that has just occurred. 

Honey,if you can't handle the job, bow out.

Those of you who want to interpret this event and use it as an opportunity to air your racists views, you are  not pulling the wool over thinking folks eyes. Just be honest with yourselves, wear your hoods 24/7 because you are only deceiving your cowardly selves-we still know you...

bheck
bheck

Class is not based on one's academic pedigree or achievements. It is based on the honorableness of one's actions. Those, such as Mr. Gregory who choose to defend Mr. Sherman's "honest" approach to competition clearly have forgotten the role of sportsmanship in sports. Unfortunately Mr. Gregory seems to be the voice of a growing culture in this country which values self-fulfillment above all else, justifying just about any behavior on the grounds of personal expression. While Mr. Gregory is correct that this was a "fiery" and "honest" display, he misses the bigger point. No matter what educational degree Mr. Sherman seeks to develop his character or stand as testament to his class, his actions will always speak louder about his character as a man. On the basis of his display this weekend, he's shown him self to be an arrogant, classless, athlete who is ignorant in the ways of sportsmanship - Stanford degree or not. 

nerd
nerd

I'm just glad that the season's Trash Talking period will be over on Groundhog Day ... and that the Seattle Seahawks will start their 2014 golf season after the Denver Broncos clean their clocks.

Stagedoorjohnny
Stagedoorjohnny

And also Mr. Sherman is working on his Master's Degree at the moment.

Stagedoorjohnny
Stagedoorjohnny

Richard Sherman made the greatest play in the greatest game in years.  He can talk smack all he wants right after the game.

It was awesome!

HunterBear
HunterBear

You should be ashamed of your self.. The Play was hardly "brilliant" as it was a bone-head pass to begin with..

"individuals" like Sherman are a disgrace to all of sports.. No decent parent would even let their kid act like that..


We are tired of trash like this portrayed as role-models for our kids.. I expect more from the NFL.

JohnWigger
JohnWigger

Mr. Gregory you should be ashamed of yourself, although given your perspective on this event that is probably beyond your grasp.

wayneyounger5
wayneyounger5

Just wait till next year. Sherman has a big target on his back and their a lot of players including some coaches who want to put the big hurt on him and end his career prematurely. 

WilliamMurray
WilliamMurray

The author has created a false dichotomy between arrogant prick and boring God thanking in a postgame interview and pretended that we can only have one or the other. That's like saying you have to pick between eating a full gallon of ice cream and having none at all. How about a middle ground?

jalangaya
jalangaya

That boy Richard Sherman, he ugly. He look like Serena Williams.

tqfitz
tqfitz

A disgrace for football and black American's

PeteKlismet
PeteKlismet

If there was ever a reason to suspend someone, this is it.  You could see him taunting Crabtree after the play, and then doing the 'choking' motion with his hands.  Yes, he made a great play, but why does he have to give us the Muhammed Ali "I'm the greatest" speech.  Just the interview (If you'd call it that) with Erin Andrews should be enough to get him suspended.  He looks like a thug, talks like a thug and acts like a thug.  Yet some of the Seattle fans here are turning him into a hero.  Sure, he made a great play, but to do that, I'd be embarrassed if I was a Seattle fan.  I hope Peyton takes him to school in 2 weeks.  Then we'll see a different type of thug come out.

SamuelClemens
SamuelClemens

Stanford...always been suspicious of that place. I read somewhere (hey, I didn't go to Stanford so what would I know about proper attribution but I am no Rand Paul either) that he and Crabtree had a trash talking history from earlier in the season. 

sploozy
sploozy

" Classless ignorant punk"???..excuse me??? Then I guess that makes him a game saving, kick ass playing, best cornerback in the league Superbowl going 'classless punk"...This man is responsible for sending our team to the Superbowl..he has a right to 'rant'....YOU GO SHERMAN...YOU GO BOY...ALL THE WAY TO THE SUPERBOWL...

brantbate
brantbate

He was just emotionally jacked up seconds after the play and the win...The interview should have been 10 minutes later, and the talk jab would have been different.

Great play, great player..for the the win

weasel35s
weasel35s

Jealousy is really sad, You guys its just a game, thats why they play them everyyear, you guys wouldnt have said anything if it was your team going to the greatest game in sports THE SUPER BOWL! So, move on I love it when a small market team kicks a Big Market teams but and pisses off the world good for them! Thats what it is really about.

weasel35s
weasel35s

It was loud, it was in the moment, and it was just a small part of the person I am,” he wrote of the Andrews interview. “I don’t want to be a villain, because I’m not a villainous person. When I say I’m the best cornerback in football, it’s with a caveat: There isn’t a great defensive backfield in the NFL that doesn’t have a great front seven. Everything begins with pressure up front, and that’s what we get from our pass rushers every Sunday. To those who would call me a thug or worse because I show passion on a football field—don’t judge a person’s character by what they do between the lines. Judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family.

“But people find it easy to take shots on Twitter, and to use racial slurs and bullying language far worse than what you’ll see from me. It’s sad and somewhat unbelievable to me that the world is still this way, but it is. I can handle it.”

Openminded1
Openminded1

@bheck Stanford is a great  school of higher learning, but like most colleges when it come to the football program, players are pretty   much handed a degree. It is all about recruitment and money as the bottom line for the school. So lets not over estimate his education. I agree with your statement and opinion.

oh-henry
oh-henry

There is no way Seatle will loose.  Peyton is known to choke and will do it again.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@Stagedoorjohnny I would too if my school would hand it to me, like they handed him his first degree, for playing football. By the way having a masters degree does not mean automatic degree in class, nor does it mean intelligence.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@Stagedoorjohnny It was a great play, but do not forget smiths heads up in catching the ball, which actually saved the day.

oh-henry
oh-henry

Quit getting your panties in a wad.  It was a great play!!  I guess you never played sports and know what it is to have your emotions take over.  Trash talking is fun and funny.  It's done in all sports.  People make something out of nothing.  It's part of the entertainment factor.  Nobodies talking about that dirty hit Welker did?? 

drbala
drbala

@WilliamMurray That is an unfortunate dichotomy but I didn't see it. I think the author is separating the honest display of emotions (note: Sherman did not use foul language) and insipid routine canned responses which don't mean anything (for ex: we take one play at a time, this is what it's all about, we've been practicing that play all week, we just made one more play than them, etc.).


Sherman was audacious to say what he felt. Had he slipped out of Rated PG in his rant, I don't think many people would be defending him.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@jalangaya He is very ugly but that is not relevant to his talent on the field.he is very good. 

Openminded1
Openminded1

@tqfitz BS, he is the norm for football and very much the norm for black america.

oh-henry
oh-henry

He is a Stanford grad.  You actually have to be smart even going their for sports.  Peyton will choke again.  I bet Peyton won't even throw his way. 

avocats
avocats

@brantbateActually, the press conference about 20 minutes later was amazing.  He explained what happened and continued to answer questions in articulate and open ways.  Seriously, you can't make these guys produce all that testosterone and adrenaline and then expect it to dissipate in one minute.  

Openminded1
Openminded1

@brantbate There is some truth to that, but he is not known for being a classy guy, he is no Larry Fitzgerald .

Openminded1
Openminded1

@weasel35s In this country, most of the time it is a black or Hispanic, with a few whites thrown in for reality.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@weasel35s I assure you he is far more racist, then any white he knows. It was not a race thing it was a lack of class thing.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@oh-henry Peyton has a lot of experience in the big arena, Wilson on the other hand is naive compared to manning and not as smart either. If peyton gets the protection he needs seattle is no winner.

oh-henry
oh-henry

And the problem is??  We trash talk all the time.  It's part of sports.  If you don't like, don't watch. 

Openminded1
Openminded1

@avocats @brantbate Common sense dictates other wise. Many a sport talent are asked the same questions, with out  the boasting and yelling comments made by Richard. He knows it was wrong that is evident based on his excuse and press conference he made later.

weasel35s
weasel35s

I know a couple of guys that walk like ducks but they are actually human!

Openminded1
Openminded1

@frigaulj @Openminded1 Had nothing to do with my feelings, I could care less about his mouth and I hate Golf. But as i stated many NFL players like Payton, Fitzgerald, Brady, Kapernick , and hundreds more in the same position would have handled it with more class. Adrenaline is understood I am a person who has been involved in High adrenaline moments. Still no excuse for bragging and by the way it was a good save, but it was Smith who really saved the day.

frigaulj
frigaulj

@Openminded1

I really don't understand how common logic dictates that adrenaline can be switched off so abruptly. Your logic sir, is not very common..

As for the incident itself, who did Richard Sherman hurt by raising his voice in response to a question asked of him? 

They get paid to go out there and beat on each other physically and mentally, in one of the largest games of their careers, and you want them to be polite so your feelings aren't hurt? 

Give me a break, go watch golf 

Openminded1
Openminded1

@avocats @Openminded1 @brantbate In this case, someone who does not run his mouth, on how great he is and screaming into a mike being held by a sports reporter asking a normal question that they ask on national tv. There are many ways to define classy and lack of class depending on the incident. You are trying to bait a experienced man with a morons bait and that would only work on morons like you.

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