Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman gets shoved in the face by San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree while trying to shake hands after an interception by Seahawks outside linebacker Malcolm Smith during the second half of the 2013 NFC Championship football game at CenturyLink Field. (USA Today)
Last Modified: Friday, January 24, 2014 2:10 PM
I’m afraid most are missing a key and very disturbing point with the infamous Richard Sherman postgame sound bite.
Sorry, but it’s pet peeve time again.
Never mind the Sherman trashing of Michael Crabtree, the fiery posturing, the fear in Erin Andrews’ eyes.
Listen to the whole thing.
The truly frightening part was right at the end, almost a throw-away line in Sherman’s wide-eyed rant.
“Don’t you talk about me!”
At least Andrews — give her credit — had the sense to ask him, who in the world he was talking about that was talking about him?
And, to Sherman’s credit, he named names, one anyway.
Sadly, the cameras pulled away right at that moment, before we could get any further details.
And we haven’t heard Crabtree’s side of this WWE tale and what sweet nothings he might have whispered in his nemesis’ ear.
It always seems to happen like that.
These phantom “enemies” never quite get hauled before the grand tribunal.
Athletes get to say just about anything.
The media mostly lets them get away with it.
This has been near the top of my pet peeve list, I guess, since about 1996 and Super Bowl XXX.
That’s when even a level-headed straight shooter and seemingly decent-enough guy like Troy Aikman succumbed to the lure of slaying imaginary demons.
Shortly after the Cowboys beat the Steelers 27-17 that day, Aikman, with a straight face and presumably of sound body and sober mind, took to the podium to exhort that “Nobody thought we could do this!”
And yet nobody asked him who, exactly, thought the Cowboys weren’t capable winning a Super Bowl.
To refresh your memory:
The Cowboys had won two of the previous three Super Bowls, they really were “America’s Team” at the time with Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin and they were a whopping 131⁄2-point favorite in the Super Bowl against the Steelers.
And yet, when they won — by 10 points — it was proclaimed a miracle.
The Cowboys of the day were pretty well unstoppable and yet Aikman mistook it for the Bad News Bears beating the Yankees.
Some follow-up questions would have been appreciated.
It’s a common blight on sports.
Games changed forever the fateful day “disrespect” became a verb and “haters” became a noun, and the fallout is ongoing.
It’s not enough to just win anymore, it has to be “proving everybody wrong,” even when imaginary, mostly because “Nobody respected us.”
It’s never explained who nobody is.
But with instant media, “doubters” and most especially “haters” now need their own hashtags.
Evidently you’re nobody in the sports world on Twitter anymore if you don’t deal constantly with these haters and naysayers.
Oh, the burden they bear.
Five-star recruits who’ve been coddled, coveted and patted on the back since their pre-teens show up on campus tweeting “Ready to prove my doubters wrong.”
Who’s doubting them?
“Haters gonna hate.”
I did try to get to the bottom of it one time two summers ago.
LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu had been tweeting away for several days, bemoaning the haters and doubters and ready, of course, to prove them wrong by doing some serious balling.
This was back in his Honey Badger days, just before the fall from grace with LSU. In fact, he was easily LSU’s most popular player, one of the most popular in the entire nation for his style of play and slight build.
There was talk he might win the Heisman as a defensive player.
So I asked him at LSU’s preseason Media Day exactly who all these so-called haters and doubters were that he was supposedly having to deal with daily.
He was recognized everywhere. Did he walk across campus and endure taunts from fellow students? Were the Phi Mu’s claiming he was too small for football?
He kind of laughed off the question, said he was just having some fun on Twitter. Under further questioning, he admitted he got along fine with most everybody.
A few days later he was booted off the LSU team.
But the plague continues.
So now the two best teams in the NFL, the No. 1 seeds from each conference, will do ultimate sport in the New Jersey Meadowlands next week.
Neither has been slighted at all season.
Holy Omaha, the Broncos have Peyton Manning, maybe the best quarterback ever. They can do anything they put their little minds to.
The Seahawks have been proclaimed this year’s best team in football almost since day one, mostly because of a defense that seems to be from a different era.
The seeds held. Neither has to prove any doubters wrong next Sunday.
It would be nice if the winner can just accept victory and spare us the false Davids and imagined Goliaths.
Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org