As Eminem says at the beginning of his song, “Square Dance” — “It feels so good to be back…”
I didn’t really miss much, I guess.
The Terps lost to a bad NC State team who somehow won without their best player in uniform.
The Ravens have a list of four offensive coordinator candidates in the “let’s do our best to make the fans think we did our due diligence before we give the job to Jim Hostler” sweepstakes.
The Caps have a six game winless streak intact after last night’s 2-0 loss to Ottawa.
And, of course, the Orioles haven’t done anything since I left for sunny Florida last Friday.
Wait, what about Richard Sherman? I’m the last guy in America to opine on the Seahawks’ cornerback, which might give me a major advantage since I’ve had plenty of time to think about what I was going to say (write) when the subject came up on the show.
That said, what I think “now” is what I was thinking immediately after the game on Sunday night when I watched him go nuts in the interview with Erin Andrews. Nothing has changed. What I thought then is what I think now.
Richard Sherman is an excellent football player.
He made the kind of play an excellent player makes on an underthrown ball in the end zone with the game on the line.
Last week on the show, long before his tirade after Seattle’s win over the 49’ers, I called him “the best cornerback in the league”.
He’s also a Stanford graduate, as you’ve all read or heard by now, and a well thought-out writer and communicator, as he proved on Monday morning when he produced a self-defense piece that was published by SI.Com not even twelve hours after (hashtag) #RichardSherman became Twitter’s number one trending subject.
Sherman also apologized (sort of) for taking the focus away from his team with his post-game tongue lashing of 49’ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
Lots of people called Sherman a “thug” on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, even. A lot of the things you’ve read on Twitter or in sports pieces across the country have tiptoed on the line of racism when it comes to opining on Richard Sherman.
Some folks have defended him by pointing to his communications degree from Stanford and saying, “A thug wouldn’t have a degree from Stanford.” I’d remind you that Ted Bundy had a college degree, too. I don’t think that mattered when the government executed him for capital murder, but he did, in fact, have a college degree.
As far as I’ve seen, no one has really touched on the meat of the subject as far as Richard Sherman goes.
Maybe I will.
I don’t know if Richard Sherman is a thug. I know lots of people think he is and I’ll readily admit a lot of what he says and does comes across as someone without regard to authority — if that’s some sort of ironclad characteristic of a thug. But, I don’t know him at all and can’t make any judgment on that definition of his character.
I do know he’s been targeted as a NFL rules breaker — having once tested positive for Adderall — but was able to successfully appeal his suspension back in 2012.
That, alone, doesn’t make him a “thug”, though, as some have asserted.
Jumping up and down and screaming into the microphone like Roddy Rowdy Piper doesn’t make him a thug, either. I don’t think we want to get into a discussion about the overall behavior of NFL players and how much they do the “look at me” gestures after making a play, scoring a touchdown or winning a game.
I don’t know if Richard Sherman is a thug.
But I do know this about him — and this is precisely what I thought after I watched his post-game tirade on Sunday.
He’s a poor representative of a champion.
I didn’t say he was a bad guy. Didn’t say he was a fool. Not even saying he’s a jerk.
But a player reaching that level of success should know how to behave after winning the conference championship and moving on to the Super Bowl.
What happened Sunday was anything but that.
After Denver beat San Diego in their home playoff game a few weeks ago, Peyton Manning – on the field – had this to say when asked about the Broncos impending meeting with the Patriots and the inevitable “Manning vs. Brady” storyline.
“It’s the Broncos vs. the Patriots, not me vs. Tom. These two teams have worked awfully hard to get to this point and we’re looking forward to the challenge of battling the Patriots for the right to go to the Super Bowl.”
He didn’t take any potshots at the Chargers or Philip Rivers or the San Diego defense.
Mariano Rivera wouldn’t have ever acted like Richard Sherman did last Sunday in Seattle.
Rivera was a champion — at all times.
I could go on and on about “winners” in sports history and how the true champions – the icons – the guys like Montana and Rice and Jordan and (Magic) Johnson and Jeter wouldn’t have ever done what Richard Sherman did on national TV.
Those guys all had a microphone stuck in their face too, plenty of times, and never came across as anything but a winner.
Prior to every varsity golf match at Calvert Hall, I gather our twelve players together and one of them leads the team in this prayer:
“Father, we thank you so much for the physical and spiritual health that is necessary to compete this afternoon. We ask that you provide us with the ability to deal with victory or defeat with equal degrees of humility and respect and we ask you return us and our opponents home safely so we can continue to enjoy the blessings you have bestowed upon us. Amen.”
“We ask that you provide us with the ability to deal with victory or defeat with equal degrees of humility and respect…”
That’s my self-assigned task — to make my young man understand that winning happens and losing happens — and you need to learn how to deal with each of those with the same level of humility and respect for the game and the opponent.
Unlike a lot of people across the country, I didn’t rush to judgment about Richard Sherman on Sunday night. I saw him for what he showed us he was on Sunday night.
He’s a helluva football player, but his behavior after the game wasn’t representative of what you’d see from a true champion.