No stranger to controversy or sparking public debate, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman added insult to injury for the San Francisco 49ers by embarking on a post-game outburst merely ten seconds after the game clock expired.
The target was 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree and unfortunately for Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews, Sherman had this bullet in the chamber already locked and loaded.
Instead of offering the now typical interview answers of ‘words can’t describe this feeling’ and ‘it was a team effort’, Sherman for 20 seconds completely forgot about who he played for or what the game meant.
Sherman then proclaimed, “I’m the best corner in the game”.
Both Crabtree and Sherman had been trading barbs throughout the game and it all came to a head on the final play with the 49ers needing a go ahead touchdown in the final minute.
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw a deep pass down the right hand side line into the end zone intended for Crabtree only for Sherman to make a remarkable play and tip the ball back to his teammate Malcolm Smith for the game ending interception.
After the play Sherman was flagged for a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after signalling a choking gesture towards Crabtree and the rest of the 49ers team.
Before the penalty Sherman made a beeline en route to Crabtree and patted him on the rear end while offering a handshake to which Crabtree retaliated and shoved him in the face mask.
Sherman continued on his tirade continuing by adding, “When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree that’s the result you’re going to get! Don’t you ever talk about me!”
Even Andrews herself was forced to turn her head away from Sherman – most likely to avoid having his spit shower her – and no one can blame her.
We always hear players and coaches say you can talk the talk but you better be able to back it up and walk the walk.
Sherman backed it up and let his play do the talking and then added some more fuel to the fire after the game.
Crabtree fired back at the Seahawks cornerback on Twitter.
— Michael Crabtree (@KingCrab15) January 20, 2014
To which as we all expected, Sherman bit back and offered an unofficial response of his own.
A lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) January 20, 2014
To make matters worse, Sherman continued his abuse of Crabtree in his post-game press conference believing Crabtree wouldn’t make the top 20 NFL receivers list and no team would draft him.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll offered a fatherly statement concerning his outspoken cornerback.
“This is a very emotional kid, and this is what drives him,” Carroll said Monday. “And I understand that. We did sit down and talk about it because I want him to present himself in his best light. So when he puts out those kind of thoughts he has to know what he’s saying and understand.”
Obviously he didn’t understand that after he made the post-game comments, instantly he would become either loved or hated for his brutal honesty and brash words.
Maybe he just doesn’t care.
Some players are class players – and that means they conduct themselves both on and off the field with class – such as Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson.
Sherman won’t find himself in that category anytime soon, if ever, because he is a reaction player – in that what you see is what you get and he wears his heart on his extremely short sleeves.
One thing is for sure and that is either he came to his own senses or the Seahawks brass had a stern word to him because he offered an apology to ESPN’s Ed Werder today.
“I apologise for attacking an individual and taking the attention away from the fantastic game by my teammates. That was not my intent.” Sherman said.
Detroit Tigers All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander had some choice words for Sherman which would no doubt be a feeling echoed by the wider sporting fraternity.
So Russell is a class act! Sherman on the other hand…. If he played baseball would get a high and tight fastball.
— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) January 20, 2014
Regrettably these two teams do not face each other until next season but luckily for us NFL fans, they are both apart of the NFC West division and will square off twice in the regular season.
The Seahawks and 49ers already hate each other and there’s no denying Crabtree will be holding Sherman’s comments in the back of his mind until then.
Hell he might even be hopping on the Denver Broncos bandwagon in Super Bowl XLVIII.