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Give Richard Sherman a break -- time changes everything
January 24, 2014 - Paul Giannamore
I’ll admit it. When I first heard Richard Sherman’s now-infamous rant at Erin Andrews after the NFC Championship game last Sunday night, I was among the bandwagon of bashers.
I posted video of Mr. T’s Clubber Lang rant at Rocky Balboa onto my Facebook wall a couple of times, because it’s what Sherman’s manner and tone brought to mind.
I ripped into him being a bad sport. I chose to rant back, that my Steeler heroes Mel Blount and Donnie Shell, the most-feared secondary in the NFL ever, in my opinion, never carried on that way after the game was over.
And then, I was troubled. Because a few minutes later, a different Richard Sherman was being interviewed by the whole panel of Fox guys, and he didn’t rant. He was actually rather well spoken.
And I don’t remember reading a bunch of Richard Sherman is a self-centered creep crap until after this 20-second rant.
So, here, forthwith, is my version of events, which resolves the whole thing in my head, unless Mr. Sherman is arrested during the offseason for beating somebody, killing somebody, having illicit sex in a restroom with a drunken somebody (I’m looking at you, Mr. Roethlisberger, I never forget), or running over and killing somebody and getting a very light sentence (I’m looking at you Donte Stallworth).
Mel Blount and Donnie Shell played hard ball in an era when they were not likely to have a microphone shoved in their face by some vapid talking head infolady (I’m not talking about Pam Oliver or Michele Tafoya whose work I respect) while they were still recovering from the heat of battle. I have no idea if they'd have been explosive if interviewed in the 30 seconds after a game against the Oakland Raiders.
The sad part is that Richard Sherman’s rant brought out the worst in the usual anonymous turds who use any excuse they can find to spout racist hatred anonymously on the Internet.
Yah. No white football player ever acted like an absolute ass in his time. No white coach ever carried on and bullied folks (I’m looking at you, Mike Ditka, and I met you and I like you, really. Ditto Mr. Cowher, who is simply a gentleman off the field -- underscored by one up-close encounter he had in giving my father a bear hug -- but I’m glad I never, ever, had to go into that Steelers locker room after a loss).
Fact is, we’ve removed the time cushion that used to exist by interviewing players within seconds of the end of a game. We expect tough, mean, hard play on the field and don’t give these men any time to turn back into their off-field selves before shoving a microphone in their faces.
So, no, Mr. Sherman doesn’t deserve his life portrayed as an uncivil pile of jerkhood because of that one moment. And I apologize for letting my emotions go all instantaneous last Sunday night with Twitter posts and Facebook posts comparing him to Clubber Lang.
Unwarranted. And had I taken 30 seconds to decompress and assess what I saw, I might have been more defensive of the defensive star.
Oh, and Denver will win. 35-31 because Peyton will have the best first half ever played. And everyone will whine about playing outdoors in New York in a bitterly cold winter and never again will the Big Game at the End (I cannot call it what it is because I’m not sure I have the expressed consent of the NFL, and I’m looking at you, Roger Godell) be played outdoors in the North.
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