By Joe B. Coates
The NFC and AFC championship games this past Sunday turned out to be very highly competitive affairs in which the winners weren’t determined until the late in the fourth quarters of each game. Even to casual pro football fans like myself, the contests held the attention of the millions of viewers throughout the nation.
The Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning, the quarterback son of one Mississippi’s most famous home-grown athletes and a de facto ambassador of the state defeated the New England Patriots for the AFC title. After the game, members of both teams who were interviewed on television gave the utmost respect to their opponent, whether their team won or lost. They were professionals acting professionally.
On the other hand, at the conclusion of the NFC title game, in which Seattle nipped the visiting 49ers, Seahawk cornerback Richard Sherman showed his butt in a post-game interview and soured his team’s win. Moments earlier, Sherman had made an incredible play, knocking a sure touchdown pass away from 49er receiver Michael Crabtree. The ball fell into the hands of the ‘Hawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, securing the 23-17 win and trip to Super Bowl XLVIII.
Said Sherman on live network television, “I’m the best corner in the game! 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.” When (Fox Sports sideline reporter Erin) Andrews asked who was talking about him, he replied, “Crabtree. Don’t you open your mouth about the best, or I’ll shut it for you real quick. LOB [Legion of Boom]!” Sherman notably was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct foul after the play for taunting Crabtree and making choking gestures to his fans in Seattle.
I don’t care how good of a play was made or how good the player is. The way Sherman acted after the play is deplorable. How can we allow our children to watch this?? How can a professional act this way??? And, whatever happened to the true statesmen of the world?
By Joe B. Coates