The biggest “thug” in the NFL is not Richard Sherman or Richie Incognito; it’s Roger Goodell. A guy who tries to toughen up his wingman in the trenches is Spartan, not criminal. And Richard Sherman’s biggest mistake is not what he said, but how he said it. If he would have smiled and rhymed he’d be the next Muhammad Ali, but in the heat of the moment he came across more like Homey the Clown. Personally, I love me some Homey!
If Erin Andrews had interviewed David after he defeated the giant of Gath, he would have been holding the dripping head of Goliath and the world would be a twitter about how “class-less” he was. It’s The NFL – not The View! At least, not yet! Give Roger Goodell a few more years and it’ll be the Cirque du Soleil.
No commissioner has raised more ire than the league’s current honcho. From allegedly sabotaging Rush Limbaugh’s bid at ownership to his silence in the face of Tebow’s lynching; from rolling out the rainbow carpet to sexually politicize the league to making it virtually impossible to play defense, Roger Goodell is the game’s greatest foil. Offensive players may love him because he’s padding their stats and their contracts but defensive players are being taxed to death with fines. I guess they’re paying their fair share. If the league had any integrity, they’d simply go to a two hand touch rule for quarterbacks and receivers; but if a genie ever gives me three wishes, at least one of them will be to have Goodell get stuck in an elevator with James Harrison … on webcam.
Uh-oh! Richard Sherman was “too animated” in the post-game interview. He was “classless!” If they wanted “class” they would have gone to Russell Wilson. Sherman is a warrior, and gladiators don’t ask “Mother may I?” Look, I’m pretty sure that the producers that told Erin Andrews to go to Richard Sherman and not Russell Wilson, had an idea what they were going to get. They probably got more than they hoped for, but it will only add to the drama. Now we have Peyton in the white hat going against Sherman in the black – a remake of High Noon with Manning as Gary Cooper and Sherman as Django unchained! The NFL loves this!
I’m not telling anyone that they shouldn’t be harsh on Richard Sherman or that they must love him, but I am critical of the bandwagon that would stone a guy based on someone sticking a mic in his face, ten seconds after he’s just been in a brawl. In today’s game, all the prima donnas are receivers, they’re divas, and it’s not even debatable. And now, Goodell’s NFL has exacerbated that by putting an imaginary zone of protection around them.
There are only a handful of guys that can still own the best receivers in the business even though all the cards are stacked against them. The “shut-down” corner is a Jedi! And when they nullify the best athletes in the game they deserve a little leeway to chirp about it!
Richard’s critics are upset that he’s not Luke Skywalker and they speak of him as if he’s Darth Vader – but Sherman is neither, he’s talented, rebellious and a bit bent – he’s Han Solo. I don’t know about you but I’m sick of a league full of Lukes! There is nothing more pathetic than the typical athlete in an interview – “At the end of the day, (insert inanity here).” ”It was a real team effort.” “We’re taking it one game at a time.” ”For an 0-11 team, they’re really solid, well coached and loaded with talent.”
Queue Colonel Slade’s flame thrower, I just threw up in my mouth.
Do you know why they all sound the same? Because they’ve been “coached” on what to say by their agents. Do you know what an agent is? A Lawyer! And that’s why sports interviews are completely forgettable and usually make the science teacher from The Wonder Years sound like Socrates in comparison.
Why? Because a bunch of metrosexual, pajama boys who couldn’t pass their bar exams are playing Cyrano’s sock puppet and all the while they think they are jock-whisperers. We just have to lump it and hear the same safe answers to the same lazy questions ad nauseam? Maybe that’s why most of us preferred Ditka, Mora, or Dennis Green to Bill Belichick in a post-game interview: because they are real, because they are raw and because they don’t sound like they went to sensitivity training with Stuart Smalley.
In a world full of false teeth, fake tatas, imaginary girlfriends, Carlos Danger, phony birth certificates, debt clocks that stop functioning, politicians that pass laws they don’t read, celebrities with no discernible talents, Christians against Christ, president’s that don’t inhale, presidents that do, and Bruce Jenner’s jowls; it’s freaking refreshing to have clarity. Even if he is more Marquis de Sade than Marquis de Queensbury, I’ll stand with Richard Sherman. He’s an original and he backs it up. Folks, it’s entertainment, you’re not hiring a youth minister.
On the same day as “the rant,” Bronco’s wide receiver, Wes Welker takes out his former team mate, Aqib Talib, and everyone is losing their mind about a dude who talked a bit of trash. So a cheap shot that takes the best player off the field and puts him in rehab for the whole off-season isn’t even mentioned. Why? Because Welker didn’t talk about it or foam at the mouth? The guy who offed Hoffa didn’t talk about it either, is he not a thug? Does he have “class?” Some guys aren’t James Bond – some guys are Conan the Barbarian – and some of us like them both!
Yet, the piling on continues. So let me set something straight about the best corner in football: there is very little that separates Richard Sherman from Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. All three have a chip on their shoulder for being passed on in the draft. They all play with an attitude. They all think exactly the same thing about being the best and even about the level of their opponents. What separates them is a filter: a shut-off valve.
While Aaron and Tom may only think it, Richard thinks it and says it. And maybe that’s what we mean by “class,” – having that filter that cuts off the tongue from the mind. But don’t dismiss Sherman as a pariah, he has room to grow. We all do. In a league of canned speeches and hyper political correctness, I for one appreciate the raw honesty of Clubber Lang!
My Chicago buds keep reminding me that my all-time favorite player, Walter Payton, would just hand the ball to the refs after he scored. And I have to remind them that Walter was part of that really super-humble Super Bowl team that made that really crappy rap video about how they were going to win it all, the day after they had just lost to the Miami Dolphins. I think that’s what is called “selective humility”? Then again, how do you think Dick Butkus would sound if he had been mic’d up against Green Bay?
So let me get this straight: the son of a garbage man who works his tail off to climb out of Compton, falls 1/10% short of being Valedictorian in a High School that hasn’t seen a student athlete get a scholarship to Stanford in 50 years, has the biggest play of his life in the biggest game of his life against his biggest enemy in the NFL, and the coach that allegedly tried to torpedo his place in the draft decides to chirp strong a bit in the heat of the moment, and I’m supposed to treat him like he blamed Benghazi on a YouTube video? Child, Please! #LOB