Before the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 19-17 this past weekend, Richard Sherman was caught on tape calling the matchup a “Glorified practice.” Not only is this incredibly insulting to a quality opponent — who did happen to beat Sherman — but it also is insulting to everyone on the Seahawks roster and anyone who cares about sports, where the point is to play games. Sherman, however, has done much more to show complete lack of sportsmanship than simply misusing terms.
Before I say anything more, I must admit that I have the utmost respect for Richard Sherman as a phenomenal football player and an incredibly intelligent Stanford graduate. There, however, is about where my respect ends.
You might remember last season, when Sherman claimed that Harbaugh honked at the Seattle team after a win. Sherman claimed he heard the story second-hand, had no evidence to offer, and the story seemed fabricated from the start, especially given that the visitors would likely be long gone by the time a head coach of any home team would exit the stadium after a game.
Moving on, Sherman, in response to Jim Harbaugh‘s comments on being “above reproach” (regarding Seattle’s many suspensions) said:
“I don’t have a relationship with him . . . We’re obviously gonna be the bigger team, the bigger players.’’
Now, it may just be me, but when someone has to claim they will be the “bigger person,” they usually are actually excusing “small person” behavior by attempting to pass it off as being “good.” It’s an ego thing that even I have been guilty of on numerous occasions — and it never goes down well with a girlfriend.
Continuing this saga of words, and skipping more than one of Sherman’s insulting sentences, we move to Week 2, after the Seahawks destroyed San Francisco up in Seattle. Said Sherman:
“I told him good job, good game, but he didn’t give me nothing back, I guess sportsmanship doesn’t go both ways.”
The replay has been shown many times and the video is posted in this article. Harbaugh clearly has no chance to respond. Sherman decides he will attempt to be the “big boy” again, while simply behaving like a poor sport and a little child.
Finally, we move to the post-game press conference after a hard-played game at Candlestick Park. Sherman, as first posted by 49ers.com:
We didn’t project it to be this way. We expected to blow them out, but they got the benefit of a few calls tonight throughout the game and that helps you, especially on third down. We will see them again, and it will be a different result.”
Wow. A week after the down marker debacle, and the same week as a blown replay, a horrendous pass interference call that actually did cost a team their game, and a couple of actually bad calls in Philadelphia, Sherman thinks the refs were bad in this game? No way! Yes, there were a couple of iffy calls that went both ways, but that’s true in any sporting event ever. (While I’m on this topic, what are you thinking, Pete Carroll, in saying that the refs should not have called penalties? Isn’t that what refs are for, to call penalties that are penalties?) Seattle’s corners, if anything, got away with many more pass interferences than were called. They foul on nearly every play! It reminds me a little of watching Aaron Craft play basketball for Ohio State a couple years ago. (And now the NCAA is emphasizing just how much of a foul what he did actually is, but that’s also beside the point.)
Back to Sherman.
Richard Sherman obviously is a bright individual. He plays cornerback as good if not better than anyone. Even so, I can’t stand the guy. His ego goes beyond “I’m the best” to something much more egotistical, selfish, and insulting to everyone who respects good sportsmanship. I do hope the 49ers see the Seahawks again, and I do hope the result, most likely at CenturyLink Field, will be different from the last few results there. It pains me that The MMQB has Sherman as a guest columnist. Such a fantastic website hurts its reputation by letting a player with this much lack of sportsmanship publish under its umbrella.
I earnestly hope that Sherman can start respecting his opponents, former coaches, the NFL, and sport. He is too good of a player to be such a bad role model.