Jan 28, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) is interviewed during Media Day for Super Bowl XLIII at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Sherman: The Last Of A Dying Breed

We’ve all heard it before. We’ve all been there before. A lesson learned from the youngest of ages. Don’t be a sore loser. Don’t be a whiner. What about the other side of things? Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman’s post game antics have caused a storm that I believe nobody saw coming, bringing about a fair amount of controversy. How do you handle being a winner when the whole world is watching you?

The way that Sherman handled his interview on national television has brought about much debate on how to act as a winner, and how players handle themselves and their persona on the football field. Players are held to a higher standard in the National Football League. Richard has been seen as cocky and disrespectful, but I see things a little differently. I am a believer of winning with grace, much like Tom Brady has said. However, this isn’t Brady. This is Richard Sherman.

Sherman is the lifeblood behind the Seattle football team. He is the brash, hard-nosed personality that describes their team and their play style. He never shuts up. Sherman is the kind of corner that will get into your head and do whatever he has to in order to throw you off your game. He leads the Seahawks with his words, his passion, and he follows that up with tremendous play.

The first knock on his post game comments were that he didn’t make nearly any plays in the game, yet boasted about being the best corner in the league. Did you see the game? Number 25 was targeted easily less than 10 times by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who instead attacked Byron Maxwell consistently throughout the game.  That final play was one of few chances Sherman had to show up and he did so by sealing the game for his team.

The second knock was his trash talking of San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Going as far as to call him “Sorry” and “Mediocre” is too much in my book. That is where I have to agree with the general consensus that it was no way for Sherman to carry himself as one of the faces of the Seahawks, and it was in no way professional. Nobody went to insults or any comments of Sherman’s play in criticizing him, just his attitude and ego. I truly believe that is the only place you can find Richard Sherman in the wrong for his antics.

Winning in any fashion is an intense emotional feeling, one that it is hard to suppress. Now imagine being on a stage such as the NFC title game, and having a camera and microphone in your face after making the play of the game against your divisional rival and personal rival. What would you say? Richard Sherman is who is he is and we shouldn’t want to change him or force him to be someone that he is not.

Sherman brings the taste of old school, trash talking, in your face emotional football that brings about the days of great player match-ups and rivalries. People should learn to embrace Richard Sherman and the way he plays the game because soon enough there won’t be any more players like him. Like Deon Sanders. The guys that keep it on the field, but they keep it interesting on the field. They play the desire to beat their guy each and every time they go toe to toe. These guys are the ones that are once a generation.

Many times players with a loudmouth get knocked as bad locker room guys or team killers, such as Terrell Owens or Randy Moss. Clearly this is not the case for Sherman. He is a complete professional off of the football field. Since he has been in the league he has no quarrels with management or coaching. He’s never held out or asked for increased salary. Sherman has never been disciplined for any bad conduct by the NFL. His team appears to have nothing but adoration for him and he is considered among their leaders and faces of the franchise. Sherman has the emotional side and moxie of a guy like Deon Sanders, but goes about himself off the field as well as any stand up player. We should relish a player like this.

We shouldn’t turn on players for what they say in the heat of the moment. Everyone of us has said something fueled by emotion that probably shouldn’t of been said. Do we want to be persecuted? Players are the same individuals as you and I. We should embrace their passion for their teams, for their play. As much as I love humility in a guy, it is always great to see someone who has such drive and passion for the game of football.

Too many players these days just like to take their checks and run the routine. Many of them also allow themselves to get away from the true meaning of being a professional football player with off the field distractions and issues. Not Rich. He makes somewhere in the five hundred thousand dollar range, but cares less as he plays to be a champion and to be recognized as the greatest player at his position. His passion on the field shows you that he plays because he loves the game. That is the mark of a real football player.

While in these times players must be more cautious with what they say, I feel that Sherman’s words were taken too far out of context. This is a man with an intense rivalry, after an emotional football game, which has true passion for the game off football. Could he have said things better? Of course he could have, but were all human. Not everyone is going to be a Brady, Peyton Manning, or Jerry Rice, but there is nothing wrong with being a Richard Sherman.

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