By now you’ve all seen it. When outspoken Seahawks CB Richard Sherman went ballistic on Erin Andrews (video below), just moments after sealing a trip to the Super Bowl for his team, he became the central focus of an entire nation. Sherman went Muhammad Ali on everyone, declaring himself the “best corner in the game”, and calling out 49ers WR Michael Crabtree as “sorry” and “mediocre”. It’s been all over the internet, television and radio since last night, and seems to be almost the only thing anyone seems to want to talk about from last night’s NFC Championship game.
The reaction on Twitter was swift, and quick to judge Sherman as a “thug” or worse, as middle America clearly still isn’t comfortable with the living, breathing personification of a talented, arrogant and black athlete. Forbes published a thoughtful article outlining 22 things to keep in mind about Sherman’s display, which is definitely worth the read, and Sherman provided his own defense this morning on MMQB, saying that his beef with Crabtree stems from an off-season incident at a charity event, where reportedly Crabtree refused to shake Sherman’s hand and tried to fight him.
It goes back to something he said to me this offseason in Arizona, but you’d have to ask him about that. A lot of what I said to Andrews was adrenaline talking, and some of that was Crabtree. I just don’t like him.
It was loud, it was in the moment, and it was just a small part of the person I am. I don’t want to be a villain, because I’m not a villainous person.
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.
But this display should have come as no surprise to anyone who has followed Sherman’s career, and knows he plays with his heart on his sleeve, is wildly confident in his abilities, and has never shied away from speaking his mind. Remember when he destroyed Skip Bayless on First Take, much to the delight of sports fans everywhere? Heck, NFL Films even did a feature on Sherman back in October entitled, “The trash-talking cornerback”, which provides tremendous insight into the man, and what motivates him. You should watch it. And furthermore, if there’s ever going to be a time for an athlete to talk this kind of trash, last night was most certainly that moment for Sherman, who had literally just moments prior delivered the play that sent Seattle to football’s biggest stage.
Putting a microphone in Sherman’s face with his adrenaline pumping like that, and you know you were going to get unfiltered, raw emotion … and that’s just what we got, to the point that it almost seemed like Sherman was being interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund after a WWF match. Well, thanks to the magic of the interwebz, we can see exactly what that would look like:
WWF MASH-UP VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Panthers 27-21. As we all know by now, the game was played under unthinkable circumstances following the horrifying murder/suicide by Chiefs LB Jovan Belcher just one day earlier. As details continue to emerge about the incident, and Belcher’s state of mind leading up to Saturday’s events, our hearts go out to the families of Belcher and his girlfriend, Kassandra Perkins. But most of all, our thoughts and prayers are with young Zoey Belcher, orphaned in the most tragic way imaginable at just 3 months old.
After the game, Chiefs QB Brady Quinn stepped up to the mic and delivered on of the more poignant statements we’ve heard yet about this whole situation. Quinn looks inward to ask what more he could have done to prevent this tragedy, and asks each of us to reflect on the bigger picture, and specifically how we relate to others in a social media-driven society.
It’s definitely worth a listen/read.
“What could I have done different? When you ask someone how they’re doing, do you really mean it? When you answer someone back ‘how are you doing’ are you really telling them the truth? We live in a society of social networks and Twitter pages and Facebook, and that’s fine and stuff, but we have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends, and it seems like half the time we’re more pre-occupied with our phone and other things going on instead of the actual relationships we have in front of us. Hopefully, people can learn from this and try to actually figure out if somebody is battling something deeper on the inside, than what they may be revealing on a day-to day basis.”
(Quinn speaks after Romeo Crennel declines to speak about what he witnessed in the parking lot of Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday)
Throughout Sunday’s Chiefs-Ravens game, the hometown Kansas City fans booed quarterback Matt Cassel as they watched the Chiefs’ offense stumble toward a 9-6 loss. And with some good reason. Cassel threw for only 92 yards, with 2 interceptions and 2 lost fumbles, as the Chiefs fell to 1-4 on the year. Fans had come brandishing anti-Cassel signs, and at one point, a banner flew over Arrowhead Stadium that read: “WE DESERVE BETTER! FIRE PIOLI - BENCH CASSEL!”
Now, your run-of-the-mill booing and banner-flying is one thing. But during the 4th quarter, some Chiefs fans crossed the line of what most would consider good taste and sportsmanship by actually cheering when Cassel was knocked out of the game with a concussion after getting drilled by Haloti Ngata (VIDEO HERE).
After the game, Chiefs RT Eric Winston called out the Kansas City fans with a rant for the ages for what he called their “sickening” and “disgusting” behavior. It was an impassioned and eloquent statement by Winston, and is worth watching in its entirety (VIDEO BELOW) … but here are the money quotes (which is most of what he said):
“We are athletes, OK? We are athletes. We are not gladiators. This is not the Roman Coliseum. People pay their hard-earned money when they come in here and I believe they can boo, they can cheer and they can do whatever they want. Because I believe that. We are lucky to play this game. People … it’s hard economic times, and they still pay the money to do this.
“But when somebody gets hurt, there are long lasting ramifications to the game we play. Long lasting ramifications to the game we play. Alright? I’ve already kind of come to the understanding that I probably won’t live as long because I play this game and that’s OK, that’s a choice I’ve made and a choice all of us have made.
”But when you cheer, when you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don’t care who it is, and it just so happened to be Matt Cassel — it’s sickening. It’s 100 percent sickening. I’ve never ever -and I’ve been in some rough times on some rough teams – I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life to play football than in that moment right there.
VIDEO OF WINSTON’S SPEECH AFTER THE JUMP
What can I say? This made me laugh:
In case you missed it, watch the original Scott tirade here.
When the Jets stunned the Super Bowl favorite New England Patriots to advance to the AFC Championship yesterday, Jets LB Bart Scott clearly had a lot of emotions to get off his chest. I mean, after all the build-up and trash talk between these two division rivals, you knew that this was more than just your average NFL match-up.
So when the vociferous Scott was approached by ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio after the game, he turned in his best WWE-style interview, with Sal playing the role of straight man:
Not quite up to the level of a Macho Man Savage rant, but not bad. Not bad at all. Best Line: “All we hear is about their defense … they can’t stop a nosebleed!”
UPDATE: Not surprisingly, Scott didn’t stop playing the disrespected card there. Watch his locker room tirade after the jump:
Ravens S Ed Reed has long been one of the game’s most ferocious hitters, and most respected defensive players. But on Sunday, as Baltimore traveled to Kansas City for their Wild Card playoff match-up, Reed found himself with a heavy heart, and he wasn’t quite sure how he was going to handle it. You see, Reed’s brother Brian disappeared on Friday and is presumed dead from drowning after jumping into the Mississippi River while being chased by police in Louisiana.
After much introspection, Reed decided that his brother would have wanted him to play, and with his family’s support, took the field against the Chiefs with Brian’s spirit in mind. And during the second quarter, Reed took his emotions out on Chiefs RB Dexter McCluster, who was hung out to dry by Matt Cassell on this swing pass:
The hit came at a fairly critical point (on 3rd and 8 with KC moving the ball), and afterward, head coach John Harbaugh credited the play as the turning point in the game. In recognition of his effort, the Ravens also honored Reed with the game ball in the locker room, which made for an emotional scene post-game:
“This ball is for your family, in memory of your brother,” Derrick Mason said, as he passed the ball to Ed Reed, who choked up as he accepted it on behalf of his family and brother.
“My family will really appreciate this,” Reed said. “So would my brother. My brother would want us to beat Pittsburgh.”
Afterward, Reed said that he took comfort in the game and being around his teammates. He also said that his family helped him keep focused on the job at hand.
Sadly, the search for Reed’s brother was called off this morning.
WATCH VIDEO OF THE RAVENS LOCKER-ROOM CEREMONY AFTER THE JUMP
With Terrell Owens, it’s not really a question of if he’s going to start tearing apart the Buffalo Bills locker room. It’s just a question of when.
So after hauling in ZERO catches for ZERO yards in yesterday’s 27-7 loss to the Saints, all eyes were on T.O. during his post-game press conference. Was this the day he was going to throw his first tantrum in front of the Buffalo cameras? The reporters were blatantly egging him on, just praying he would throw Trent Edwards or Dick Jauron under the bus. But Owens was having none of it:
To his credit, Owens played it relatively cool, and stuck to the “I’m just going with the plays that are called” script.
But you can tell he’s just seething behind those designer sunglasses. After a 1-2 start and with less than 100 yards receiving, the Bills had better pray they can turn things around quickly, and get their star FA acquisition some more touches. If not, it’s only a matter of time before Owens loses his cool. Whether in the locker room, on the field, or in front of the press … it’s going to happen. And Trent Edwards had better have his big boy pants on.