While the game was a classic in its own right, this years NFC championship game will be remembered for its postgame antics. After assisting in the game winning interception, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman had some words for 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree. In the now infamous postgame interview with Fox Erin Andrews, Sherman called San Francisco’s top receiver “a sorry receiver” and exclaimed “Don’t you ever talk about me!”
Sherman has been attacked with criticism for this and other interviews. The Pro Bowl corner has been labeled a “classes” as well as a “thug”. These are absolutely ridiculous labels to place on a player who just made the game clinching play.
Lets start off with the fact that the Seahawks and 49ers hate each other. This isn’t a mutual respect, but we want to win type of hatred. This is a “I want to see you suffer” type of hatred. Everyone knows this. In the week building up to this game, multiple players (on both teams) made comments above their dislike for one another. 49ers middle linebacker Patrick Willis said, “ There’s no question there’s a lot of hostility between us.”
Even the Head Coaches dislike each other. After the then Jim Harbaugh led Stanford Cardinals beat Pete Carrols USC Trojans in 2009, the coaches had words for each other during the postgame handshake. With hostility floating, Harbaugh mocked Carrol by saying, “what’s your deal?”
Lets not forget that this game was personal for the former Stanford Cardinal.
First there was the fact that he had this ongoing rivalry with Michael Crabtree. The two had words for each other during Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s charity softball game last year. According to Sherman, “Crabtree said something to me, and I told him I’d make him pay for it on the field.” I don’t know about everyone else, but that sure does sound professional to me. Instead of going back at Crabtree over Twitter or Facebook, he went out and used it as fuel to win football games.
The rivalry doesn’t end there. San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh used to coach Sherman at Stanford. Since then, Harbaugh and Sherman have thrown shots at each other threw the media. Notably, responding to a question about Harbaughs complaints about the lack of flags thrown against the Seattle secondary, Sherman noted “Sometimes, man, when the bully gets bullied, that’s how that happens.”
Now lets get to the incident at hand. You just made the play of the game to clinch the NFC championship game against your bitter rivals. You just realized your going to the Super Bowl. You wouldn’t be excited? Richard Sherman took all of his energy, all of his excitement, and just let it out. He didn’t curse, he didn’t say anything inappropriate, he let the reporter ask her question in its entirety and responded.
As far as his claims that he is the best corner in the game, he is. This season, Sherman recorded 8 interceptions (league high) and 16 pass defended. Furthermore, in 18 games, Sherman only allowed two receivers to go for over 100 yards against him. In this game, the all-pro corner held Crabtree to four catches for 52 yards. With numbers like these, he has the right to boast.
What did you expect? Richard Sherman, in just his 4th year in the NFL, is going to his 1st Super Bowl. Forgive him if he was a little excited that all his hard work paid off.
By: Gary Younger