Super Bowl week is upon us, and in order to prepare ourselves mentally for the big game ahead, it often helps to look back upon the season that was, to remember how exactly we got here in the first place.
Fortunately for those with attention deficit disorder, the folks at ESPN put together highlights from the 2013 NFL season in just 2 minutes and 40 seconds, so you don’t have to waste any of your valuable time with a more in-depth analysis.
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
From the archives comes this incredible video of Green Bay Packers Brett Favre, Don Beebe and Frank Winters going Trick-or-Treating at head coach Mike Homgren’s house.
Armed with a troop of children, and wearing masks so the ol’ ball coach couldn’t tell who they were, Favre (wearing Beebe’s #82 jersey), Beebe (wearing Favre’s #4) and Winters (dressed as Jason) are sadly turned away because the Holmgrens had already given out all the candy they had … which is normally grounds for a proper egging and TP decoration.
It gets pretty awkward when Holmgren nearly shuts the door on the children, only to be let off the hook when he finds out who is behind the masks of the adults on his porch. Holmgren then promises the kids – who at this point will accept money in lieu of candy – to bring candy into work the next day to give to their dads to bring home. And everyone enjoys a big laugh.
Ahh, the innocence of the mid-90s.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN, FOLKS!
We’re checking in with our old pal Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force for the first time this season, and things aren’t looking so great for the Zubaz-wearing prognosticator and his New York Football Giants, who have stumbled out of the gate with an ugly 0-4 start.
In fact, it’s gotten so bad that Carl finds himself under court-mandated psychological watch, and ingesting a steady diet of colorful pills … which seem to have softened his edge just a bit as he looks ahead to Sunday’s Giants-Eagles clash:
Once again, if Carl picks you (drug-addled or not), it’s pretty much the kiss of death … so it looks like the G-Men are going to fall to 0-5 this weekend.
It’s opening Sunday in the NFL, and Troy Polamalu is back to his old tricks with this perfectly-timed blitz against the Titans. Watch Polamalu (and his hair) anticipate the snap and launch into the backfield to take down Jake Locker, who never had a chance.
GIF AFTER THE JUMP
As we prepare for the start of the 2013 NFL Season – which is just THIRTEEN days away!!! – we thought it would be fun to look behind the curtain of last season, with the help of the ever-awesome NFL Films team, and their Sound FX series. It’s over 8-1/2 minutes of pure unadulterated NFL goodness, from the mouths of the players and coaches themselves – from trash talking and joke cracking to ref-baiting, pure nonsense, and everything in between.
It’s pretty awesome, and includes our favorite from last year – JJ Watt telling Ray Rice that he had “eaten burritos bigger than you” (Mmmmm … burritos) — and a lot more. If you’re not already, his should help get you fired up for the upcoming season. Enjoy!
HBO’s always-awesome Hard Knocks series makes its return tonight with a familiar subject, the Cincinnati Bengals. Marvin Lewis’ club will be under the microscope for the second time in 5 years (last featured in 2009), as the cameras will be documenting every move, misstep and roster cut during the Bengals training camp. Apparently Lewis didn’t mind all the extra attention the show brought to his team the last time around, because he invited them back to do it all again.
The Bengals are a popular pick to be one of the sleeper teams of the NFL this season, so if you’re starving for pro football action like we are, this will definitely help to whet your appetite for the upcoming season.
In just two years in the NFL, Texans DE J.J. Watt has already proven himself to be one of the most physically gifted specimens to come into the league in a very long time. With a league-leading 20.5 sacks and 16 batted balls in 2012, Watt has absolutely dominated the competition, earning the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award for last season, and has shown a knack for consistently making plays that make you shake your head in awe and rewind the DVR.
At age 24, with a 6′-5″ 290 lb frame, Watt continues to put the world on notice that he’s only going to get better. Check out this clip of Watt pulling off a mind-boggling 59.5″ vertical box jump, which really doesn’t seem humanly possible:
I mean, WOW. Just wow. It almost isn’t fair for someone that large to be able to jump that high. Quarterbacks and offensive tackles in the NFL should be very afraid.
This is pretty fun to watch.
Instead of making the trip to Radio City Music Hall, Syracuse OL Justin Pugh hosted a party with friends and family last night at his home in Pennsylvania to take in the proceedings at the 2013 NFL Draft. And as you can see from the video below, being surrounded by the ones you love can make the greatest moment of your life all that much more special.
Watch as Pugh – a lifelong Eagles fan – takes the call from the New York front office informing him that he’s the newest member of the Giants. As family members scramble to find the remote control, Pugh makes pleasantries with new head coach and fellow Orangeman Tom Coughlin, all while barely being able to contain his excitement over the phone. It’s certainly a stark contrast to the intensity and formality of the green room, where your every move is under a microscope for all the world to see. Heck, just ask Geno Smith.
But be sure to stick around to the end of the clip, because the moment he hangs up the phone (1:50) is pure magic, as his friends explode on Pugh in celebration … despite their conflicted feelings as Eagles fans. In fact, check out his buddy to the left at around :20 when Pugh says “That’s done with, I’m excited to become a Giant”. Poor guy goes from elation to confusion in .3 seconds once he realizes the implications of having to root for the Giants now. Classic.
This type of emotion is what the draft is all about, and if you don’t get goosebumps watching this, I don’t know what to tell you.
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
As part of his ongoing “Lie Witness News” series, Jimmy Kimmel has proven that people will pretty much agree with anything you say when there’s a camera pointed in their face. Earlier this week, Kimmel showed the world just how clueless Coachella fans are, by asking them if they were looking forward to seeing bands at the festival that don’t exist … and sure enough, these posers claimed to know all about fictitious artists like Dr. Shlomo and the G.I. Clinic and The Obesity Epidemic.
Well, with the NFL draft kicking off tonight in Manhattan, the folks over at Football Nation decided to get in on the act and prank some die-hard football fans waiting in line for the event. And sure enough, these draftniks – who have theoretically studied up on the eligible players for months – fell for it hard, professing their love for non-existant athletes like Curvin Johnson (Calvin’s brother!) and Buster Highman.
So yeah, people are idiots everywhere.