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By Jamie Butow
"Oh dear lord." That's what was going through my mind as I watched Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman seemingly lose his marbles on TV after they won the NFC Championship.
"This is going viral," was my next thought.
"At least it's not the guy breaking his knee video."
That's when I shuddered (again) and leapt to my computer. This was no job for my iPhone or Kindle Fire. I needed multiple windows and tabs to watch this madness unfold.
There were a lot of people calling him a thug, classless and worse. And Sherman is black, so of course there were constant racial undertones (now that's classless in my opinion.)
Lots of sports fans were noting that Sherman graduated second in his high school class and has a degree in communications from Stanford and has started work on his master's degree, so odds are good he's a smart dude.
His communications degree explains that while he seemed to be hollering like a crazy person, he didn't curse once and looked at the camera the whole time. Hmm?
Ninety-nine percent of athlete interviews are boring. They speak in overused cliches and raw emotion is rarely seen. So when a guy makes possibly the biggest play of his career to send his team to the biggest game of all, and we stick a microphone in his face, we shouldn't be surprised that raw emotion is what we get.
Here's a sampling of Tweets on Sherman:
@ErinAndrews: Ha! Not even close! Loved the emotion! #nocliche Can't wait for NY RT @fawcett_is_2k: I'm sorry @RSherman_25 scared you tonight
@NachoLyfe: Sherman don't get paid to be classy and liked. He's a baller, and he's staying out of trouble [off] the field. That's all that matters.
@JustinVerlander: So Russell is a class act! Sherman on the other hand.... If he played baseball would get a high and tight fastball.
@MLauer: Richard Sherman=great player=fantastic play=memorable interview. But, anyone else hoping he gives up 5 TD's in the Super Bowl? #justasking?
@SIPeteThamel: Anyone bothered by Richard Sherman tonight has never sat through a one-game-at-a-time cliche fest. Speak your mind, Richard.
@MensHumor: Richard Sherman still waiting to hear back from Jim McMahon on the WWE audition reel he made last night.
@pourmecoffee: If you are aghast at Richard Sherman's trash-talking, do *not* Google "Muhammad Ali" or you will crumple onto the fainting couch.
@KingCrab15: Film don't lie... @nflnetwork @espn pull up the tape of that game and show me where this guy is the best? #fake #fake #fake
On Monday morning #RichardSherman, #ErinAndrews and #Crabtree were still trending nationwide on Twitter.
Of course the other trend on Sunday was blaming the refs. That was heard much more in the NFC game than in the AFC Patriots loss to the Broncos.
I watched both games on Sunday. In fact, we watch a fair amount of football and baseball in my house. We see a lot of teams win and a lot of teams lose. We're Dodgers fans, it happens. The one thing they all have in common is that fans are always blaming the officials. It's never the team's fault, always the ref's fault.
Sunday night there was one post that stood out to me. My friend Eric Galvan posted:
"Here's the thing, referees are human, they make mistakes. Players make mistakes. Coaches make mistakes. They all make mistakes in big games and insignificant games. The truly good teams can overcome that. The great ones do the work to make referees' calls not matter. When you look at every bad call a ref made, consider too the interceptions, the dropped passes, the missed tackles and the inability to truly capitalize on your opponents' mistakes."
I like that. It's kinda what being a good sport and being good at a sport is all about.