There were several things that have interested me about this situation. First, I never said that Sherman IS a jerk. I said he acted like a jerk, which I still feel he did. I thought it was jerky of him to make the choke sign and to keep referring to Crabtree as a second rate receiver. Even in his explanatory interview he referred to Crabtree as a subpar player. In fact, he said this,"If you put a subpar player across from a great one..." Now, I don't care how much character or difficulty Sherman has had to overcome in his life. No matter what school he went to and how smart he is, these comments are arrogant and taunting. It's not nice and does not reflect well on his public persona. Another defense of Sherman came in the form of, "well everyone does it." OK, what are we, 13 years old? C'mon. The pros need to lead by example and mostly what I see are cocky, arrogant examples. It's distasteful to the average fan. Other comments have been focused on how silly the post-game interview is. True or not, it's part of the game and all the players know it. So just learn how to do it with grace.
Now, what I find equally appalling is that people have expressed their opinion of Sherman in racist and bullying ways, attacking his character and his personhood. But it does go to show the power of a few minutes of ranting in the public sphere.
Look, I am a competitive, intense, demonstrative person. And if you've ever met my father, you understand well where it all comes from! I've had my share of incidents while playing and coaching and even in life. I've been mired in conflicts and outbursts that have cost me dearly in terms of what people think of me. And I rarely if ever feel good about it when it's over because it's also not the whole story of me. But it's a story that lingers and so we need to think about that when we're put in the unfortunate or fortunate position of being in front of a crowd who care about what you think.
The interview definitely does not tell the whole story about Sherman but for those of us who don't know much about him, it just left a bad taste in our mouth. And again, I stated that he acted like a jerk, not that he is a jerk. And again, I think the racial slurs and other references to his inherent character are really wrong. But I find it equally interesting that Seahawk fans are finding ways to make excuses for his comments...like he is the best, so what's wrong with him saying so, or he came out difficult circumstances and overcame a lot of stuff to get where he is so he has the right to be loud and arrogant. He doesn't need to be humble because his game proves how great he is. One reporter even stated that as a nation we're not ready for lower class Americans from Compton to succeed. I think that is quite the overreach. So for lower class Americans from Compton, the sign of success is that you can be arrogant and rude on public television? I'm just not sure where that reporter is headed. I do not judge Sherman's entire character on this interview. He is obviously an amazing cornerback. And he's obviously got a big personality. But there are better ways to endear yourself to the public than by berating other players while singing your own praises. I'll watch the Super Bowl with interest and hope to get to see some of Sherman's amazing talent in action again. And while I think I'm cheering for Denver on Sunday, (with teams that I don't really care about, I won't know until my gut tells me once the game starts) I would be very happy for Seattle to win because I like a good underdog. What I don't care for much are arrogant pros who mouth off and strut around the field like gods and throw the choke sign at other players, no matter what circumstances they've come out of to get there. Just let your game speak for you. Sherman...if you'd had given a less obnoxious interview, the talk about you this week would've been all about your awesome game. Instead, you just gave us a whole bunch of silliness to focus on.
In the midst of all the Sherman ranting and raving, I also read an article about Peyton Manning, quarterback for the team Sherman's team will play in the Super Bowl. At the end of this article Manning said this, "Dad said it best when he said it takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it." Perhaps this truth was never more demonstrated than in the 3 minute post-game interview that Sherman gave.