By Steve Kallas
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RICHARD SHERMAN – INTELLIGENT JERK (PART 1)
So Richard Sherman deflects a pass on a fade route (that’s how Sherman described it) into the end zone against the 49ers and Michael Crabtree. The tip leads to the game-clinching interception by linebacker Malcolm Smith. Sherman mouths off to Crabtree and makes the choke sign, apparently at Colin Kaepernick.
All in the heat of the game, right? Well, bush league as those actions might be, not exactly. After the game, being interviewed by Erin Andrews, he mocked Crabtree. Later, in the postgame press conference, he further mocked Crabtree, a very good NFL receiver. Sherman kept repeating the word “mediocre” when referring to Crabtree.
So, in that magical and tough trip from Compton to Stanford to the NFL to the Super Bowl, nobody ever taught Sherman (or he, despite his intelligence, was unable to learn) one simple thing: how to win with class.
Sherman’s right; it’s totally unfair (and ignorant) to call him a thug or a criminal. Stanford grad or not, he doesn’t deserve that. But to do what he did to fellow competitors competing at the highest level, well that’s a jerky thing to do.
Despite all of the apologies and backtracking and tweeting, at the end of the day (and upon reiterating that Crabtree really is a “mediocre” receiver), Sherman still doesn’t get it.
And as for all the references to Muhammad Ali, understand this: There was only one Ali, and Sherman isn’t in his neighborhood despite being a great corner.
MICHAEL CRABTREE – CLASSY IN DEFEAT
On the other hand there was Crabtree, maybe two or three inches (of a higher throw) away from going to the Super Bowl, standing in front of his locker answering questions after the tough loss. And what did Crabtree say?
“(Sherman’s) a TV guy, I’m not a TV guy,” he said. “I play ball.”
Well, Amen to that. Whatever Sherman really thinks of Crabtree (and he may have been trying to psyche him out for next season, as these teams play at least twice a year), he could learn a lot about class from Crabtree.
In addition, Crabtree complemented Sherman not once, but twice, saying he made a good play.
Crabtree showed a lot of class in defeat, something Sherman was unable to show in victory. Unfortunately, millions of kids will see and emulate Sherman before Crabtree.
And people want to know why kids act the way they do today.
On the first Seattle offensive play against the 49ers, Russell Wilson made a gigantic mistake, which presumably was overlooked because the Seahawks won the game. You’ve seen the play plenty of times in the NFL. Virtually everybody on Seattle moves to the right, but Wilson fakes a handoff and rolls out left. Coming with him is tight end Zach Miller.
Only Aldon Smith goes with Miller and you have something that you see all the time on this play: two offensive players against one defensive player. Smith is about eight or nine yards away from Wilson and right near Miller. If Smith stays with the tight end, Wilson runs. If Smith sprints towards Wilson, he simply lobs the ball over Smith’s head to Miller.
But inexplicably on this play, when Smith runs towards Wilson, Wilson keeps the ball and tries to run around Smith, who strips Wilson of the ball. The 49ers recover on the Seattle 15 but the 49ers are held to a field goal, a victory for the Seattle defense.
This was even worse than a rookie mistake by Wilson, who is virtually ignored by the media. If he makes a terrible play like that against the Broncos, it might very well be 7-0, not 3-0 — a play that could change the complexion of the game.
But Wilson is a very bright guy who should learn from his mistakes.
RICHARD SHERMAN – INTELLIGENT JERK (PART 2)
In addition to the classless behavior Sherman exhibited towards the 49ers, it was arguably even worse toward his own teammate. After the game, Sherman said that if the Seahawks knew the game was going to turn on a fade route thrown his way, they would have celebrated their victory a lot sooner.
Of course, he totally missed the point of the play. If you watch a lot of NFL games, there are literally hundreds of fade routes thrown every year in the NFL. Even the average fan knows that most of them are one-on-one, receiver-on-corner, into a corner of the end zone. Depending on the throw, more often than anything else, the pass is either completed or not.
On the Sherman-Crabtree play, the throw was slightly underthrown and Sherman was in good position to deflect (not intercept) the throw.
The FAR BETTER play was by Smith. Think of all the fade routes you see every year. When, if ever, is there a linebacker with the speed and the brains to run into the end zone to be around the play?
It was, of course, the interception by Smith that clinched the victory. Had he not been there, after Sherman’s very good play, it would have been second down. Yet Sherman, at least right after the game, gave no credit to his teammate. It was as if he thought he had intercepted the pass.
So, once again, with kids growing up in this look-at-me world that we live in, how do you expect them to act?
SUPER BOWL PREDICTION: SEATTLE 23, DENVER 19
While I agree that it’s hard to root for Sherman, the NFC has been stronger than the AFC all year. Since I picked the Seahawks (over the Patriots, however) to win the Super Bowl before the season, I’ll stick with Seattle winning the Super Bowl.
Best defense beats best offense? While that has historically happened, recently the NFL has been all about video-game offense. But the Broncos had trouble scoring touchdowns against the Patriots, and Tom Brady was unbelievably inaccurate on some huge plays.
Wilson will make some big plays and Percy Harvin will be — at the very least — an important decoy. Quite possibly, despite his layoffs and injuries, he will be an actual contributor.
It doesn’t look like the weather will be much of a factor and people think that will help Denver, but the Seahawks will get the job done.
We will see soon enough.
Actually, the game can’t get here soon enough.
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