The Armchair Quarterback’s Take Of The Week
Richard Sherman Can Play On My Team Any Day
As the dust settled on Conference Championship Sunday, the fact that two teams had advanced to the Super Bowl was almost treated as an afterthought. All anyone seemed to want to talk about was Richard Sherman’s post game rant to Erin Andrews. I understand that this issue has been discussed at nauseam, but I feel compelled to add my two cents on the issue.
Let me start by saying that I find Richard Sherman to be obnoxious. He does talk too much and despite the fact that he backs up his words, his oversized ego is enough to make anyone that isn’t a Seahawks fan want to hit the mute button. That having been said, would I like him on my team?
100%, without a doubt, I would take him on my favorite team in a heartbeat. Even if it meant I had to listen to his bravado after every single game. If you’re being honest with yourself, you would say the same thing.
Sherman’s bravado is part of what makes him a great player. In fact, I would argue that we all want our defensive players to be like Sherman. Confident, aggressive, physical, relentless, passionate, these traits describe the type of player we want roaming the field on the defensive side of the ball. Ask yourself this, why were so many people looking forward to the Seattle/San Francisco match up? Was it the QB matchup? Maybe a little. Was it to see Harbaugh vs. Carroll? To an extent perhaps, but I think most people would say that the number one thing that they wanted to see in that game were the two physically dominant defenses.
Think about what kind of things you heard leading up to that game. “The pads will be popping in this one.” “This won’t be a game for the weak of heart.” “Hide the women and children because this one could get nasty!” I could go on, be we all heard how this game was billed.
Did any true football fan say “Well, that game just sounds too violent for me, I don’t think I want to watch that!”? I don’t think so. We all gathered around our televisions anxiously awaiting to see which of these two physical power houses would emerge victorious.
You know what kind of players thrive in games like that?
You know what kind of players your favorite team NEEDS to win games like that?
Players like Richard Sherman. Players that look an opposing Pro Bowl caliber player in the eye and have zero fear and zero doubt that they will be the one to come out on top. Players with a fire in their belly. Players that rally their fellow defensive players around them when their backs are against the wall and demand that they leave every last bit of effort out their on the field. Players that will lower their shoulder and crash into men that outweigh them by 50 lbs if that’s what it takes to make a play.
You know what other player we used to hear people bemoan every time he spoke after a game? Ray Lewis. A large portion of NFL fans couldn’t stand to hear Lewis talk, but you know what? Lewis’s defenses always played with fire, confidence, attitude, and were physically intimidating. They never backed down. Just like Richard Sherman and his fellow Seattle Seahawks.
Do you have to be a little crazy to subject your body to those kind of things? Yes.
Do you have to have an unusual amount of self confidence to survive, let alone thrive in a league full of the best athletes on the planet? Sure you do.
Despite Eric Winston’s attempt to tell you otherwise, do great NFL defenders have to have an almost gladiator like approach to the game? I think that they do.
Simply put, Richard Sherman is exactly what your team needs to be a great defensive football team. It doesn’t mean you have to like listening to him. It doesn’t mean that there might not be a better way for him to handle himself. It does mean that you probably shouldn’t flip your lid when a reporter shoves a microphone in his face five seconds after his team made a defensive stand to send them to the Super Bowl and he hasn’t had time to mentally make the shift from his on the field, super physical, super aggressive, gladiator mentality back to his regular off the field persona.
That player that screamed into Erin Andrews microphone about how great he was and how the other team didn’t stand a chance against him may not be a guy that you’d want to have over for dinner, but it’s absolutely the kind of guy you want on your defense when there are five seconds left in the game and you need your defense to make one last stand.
So you can build your team’s defense around a bunch of laid back, politically correct, media savvy players if you want, but come Super Bowl Sunday they’ll all be sitting at home watching the Richard Shermans of the league on TV like the rest of us. If you haven’t figured it out by now, the NFL isn’t a place for the weak of heart. It is a place for players like Richard Sherman. If that means I have to hit the mute button every once in while when he steps in front of a microphone, I’m okay with that.
Now on to what I learned from the NFL Playoffs this season……..