I commend Michael Crabtree for holding back at this moment.
By: Elias McMillan
Alright. So, I’m guessing that everyone saw what happened at the end of the San Francisco – Seattle game last weekend. What really happened was one of the most exciting endings to a championship game in NFL history. But unfortunately, the actual football play that was made was not the talk of this past week. I’m doing this post today to just break down what happened and why many others and myself had the reaction that we had. A lot of ridiculous stuff has been said on tv, print and other modes of media and this will probably go along with the other two cents that have been thrown around this week. You might agree with me. You might not. But this is just my opinion on topic that has been way over blown this week and in all honestly, doesn’t really matter that much. But it has been the dominant topic in sports talk this week so, here’s my take on it.
With a chance to throw the go ahead score in the last seconds, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick decided to give his receiver, Michael Crabtree, a chance to catch the game winner as he had the one-on-one match up against his defender, Richard Sherman. In hindsight, if you look at the replay, Kaepernick probably could of went with a different option there but Crabtree had the one-on-one match up. As a QB, you want to have the confidence in yourself and in your receiver in that situation that your guy will make the play. Well, he didn’t. Sherman was able to make an incredible play on the ball by tipping it away from Crabtree right into the arms of his teammate, sealing the interception and the ball game for Seattle. The ball could have been thrown better from Kaepernick but still. It was outstanding coverage but Sherman and an outstanding play made but him. Sherman wasn’t tested much by Kaepernick in this game and that play showed why. If Sherman’s rep as a “shut down” corner wasn’t solidified before, it currently was after Sunday.
Now that the actual play was over, it was time to move on to the more exciting stuff. Sherman celebrated with his teammates, as he should of as the game was sealed for Seattle. It was official. They were heading to the Super Bowl. Once Sherman was done celebrating with his teammates, he must have realized that his rival, Crabtree, was making his long walk back the 49ers bench. Sherman, with quick thinking, sprinted over to Crabtree to give a “celebratory” smack on the behind, extended his hand for a handshake, and said “Hell of a game”. Crabtree extended his hand as well but not for a handshake but to shove Sherman’s face away. Now, it was obvious that Sherman was looking to shove it in his opponent’s face by approaching Crabtree. I can admit that it is kinda funny to think of the concept that Sherman was really reaching out to Crabtree in all-honestly to congratulate him on a well-fought effort. But anyone who has competed in anything in life could tell what Sherman’s intentions were. Kinda funny but ultimately showed zero class. Apparently, Sherman and Crabtree have had a back-and-forth grudge going on even before the kickoff. But for Sherman, getting the best of his rival on that huge stage wasn’t enough for him. Honestly, I wasn’t surprised that he approached Crabtree after the play. If you knew anything about Sherman before Sunday, you would know that he plays with a lot of emotion and is a major trash talker on the field. So, I really wasn’t surprised that he did what he did there but I still went back to thinking that it was a completely classless move on his part. Also note, he was flagged by the official after the play for “taunting”.
After confronting Crabtree, Sherman decided that he wasn’t done acting like a classless punk. He runs over by Kaepernick and the 49ers offensive line and starts flashing the sign for choking. Hilarious, I know. But really, that was what really crossed the line for me. I mean, confronting Crabtree was something I could of bet on happening but then running over to the QB and shove it in his face? That was kinda shocking and a major douche move by Sherman. A couple days ago, NFL Films revealed that Crabtree and Sherman were both “mic’d up” during the game and released the audio. I watched that footage and really didn’t find out any thing new from what I already knew. The public’s reaction kinda puzzled me as many were like, “Ohhh! So Crabtree was really the bigger jerk!” Audio released through NFL Films really didn’t reveal the trash talk between Sherman and Crabtree so who knows what was really said. I sure that Crabtree probably could of said some really crazy stuff but for some reason, that audio wasn’t released. But I bring up NFL Films because I wonder why the footage of Sherman flashing the choking sign to Kaepernick wasn’t released. He clearly did so after confronting Crabtree. But, no footage from the NFL except for what we all saw caught by the FOX cameras.
So then, the game ends and Sherman delivers what is now his famous rant during his interview with Erin Andrews. I honestly didn’t find much wrong with the interview. The game just ended so we got a raw, honest, emotional moment from a pro athlete. It was something that was rarely shown in professional sports so it was kinda refreshing to see. It was very much like a pro wrestling promo and I thought that was hilarious, honestly. But I did have an issue with one thing he said. Moments after offering an “honest” handshake to Crabtree, Sherman proceed to say that his opponent was “sorry” and “mediocre”. Once again, that crosses the line from celebrating over your opponent and being a complete douchebag. I know now that him and Crabtree had a beef even before the game but after that hard fought contest, you want to go ahead and completely trash your opponent? Classless and all the above. It’s too bad that his rant took away the attention from his teammates and placed the national spotlight on him. Even though that was another douchy move, I realize that this wasn’t Sherman’s intention. The ones with the mics and cameras were only doing their jobs when they caught Sherman during his episode. Later on this week, Sherman apologized for that and it was the right thing for him to do.
Sherman also wrote a column after the game to “explain” his actions but ultimately, he didn’t really explain anything. He confronted Crabtree after the play because he was “talking about him”. I guess he must have been saying some really awful stuff for Sherman to completely lose respect for him as an opponent. The reason behind flashing the choking sign to Kaepernick? Because “he decided to try the guy that he was avoiding all game”?! I mean, this guy is so high on himself that he didn’t even acknowledge that he was flagged for holding Crabtree earlier in the game. He can apparently do no wrong on the football field as he called the earlier penalty “BS”. Really?! Seriously? Once again, douche.
Now unfortunately, there were people (cowards) who decided to hide behind their screen name on twitter and on other social networking sites and say awful, racist things towards Sherman. If you know anything about how these social networking sites work, you know that these cowards exist and that they always wait until these moments to spew their hate and to try to gain attention from it. That doesn’t excuse the action of course but I’m just saying that I wasn’t surprised to see so many racist comments coming at his direction. Anytime any black person or any other person from any other minority group gets the type of attention that Sherman got at the end of the game, you’re gonna find these morons online who will say racist things. It’s just a sad fact. But now this week, people are taking this fact and turning it into “Ohhhh! They are only attacking Sherman because of his race!” And that is complete bullcrap. Just because those moronic, cowards were going to attack Sherman, that doesn’t take away from the fact that he acted like a douche at the end of the game. That entire narrative of “Ohhh! Sherman is talented, arrogant, and black so that’s why people hate him so much!” is such bull crap. This isn’t a race problem. This is a “Richard Sherman was acting like a douchebag problem”. It’s really not that out of the ordinary to see pro athletes like douchebags so I’m trying to figure out what the big deal is. Kobe Bryant acts like a cocky douche all the time on the court. And the same goes for Ole Miss basketball player Marshall Henderson. When Tom Brady chased down officials to curse them out after a loss on MNF vs. Carolina, he was acting like a douche. So once again I ask, what’s the big deal? Why is it a problem to say that Sherman is talented, arrogant, black, and a douchebag? And then I see this article reposted online a bunch of times this week with the title “What Richard Sherman taught us about America” as if no one knew that these racist cowards didn’t exist online before Sunday. Please. Open your eyes.
Listen, I don’t hate Richard Sherman. Okay, maybe I do hate Richard Sherman. But it’s only because of his pattern of douchy behavior that he chooses to engage in. Being a douche helps him to have that confidence to be the best he can be on Sunday and I cant really fault him for that. He’s a smart guy, a hell of a football player and probably a nice guy off the field. He’ll never change the way he is but I commend him for at least apologizing for his actions.
Okay. Now for some good news: next week, I’ll write about an actual game! Good luck against Peyton, Sherman!