Last night two of the best teams in the NFL played for a trip to the Super Bowl.
And they’re in the same division.
And they don’t like each other.
One of the big match ups everyone was excited to see was the 49ers wide receiver, Michael Crabtree (who’s coach said he had the best hands in the history of the NFL in a tongue in cheek answer during an interview) against the Seahawks cornerback, Richard Sherman who is the best in the game, and he’ll let you know it.
There were a couple of defining moments in the game but none bigger than when the 49ers were driving at the end of the game and trying to score the game winning touchdown. With less than 30 seconds to go the 49ers tried throwing a fade in the endzone to Crabtree, Sherman deflected the ball and it was intercepted.
Sherman taunted Crabtree and the 49ers and was flagged. No big deal.
Despite his play all game and especially on that last play of the game it was Sherman’s interview immediately after got all of the attention.
Here’s the interview in its 27 second glory:
Instantly, half the known social media universe (myself included) hit our media outlet of choice. The place where we can make snap judgments without ever having to consider all the facts, and began to blast Sherman’s for his behavior.
Here’s what I posted: “Wow. The last 5 minutes of Richard Sherman’s behavior already has me rooting for the Broncos to hang 100 on the Seachickens in the Super Bowl.”
That was tame compared to a lot of the thug accusations and worse.
Then I turned on the radio this morning and the broadcasters were only talking about that.
But I had a couple of friends point out some things about Sherman:
Sherman graduated second in his class in high school and graduated with a degree in communication from Standford which is probably why when he shouted like a maniac about Crabtree he never swore and never broke eye contact with the camera.
Sherman opened a nonprofit charity called “Blanket Coverage – the Richard Sherman Foundation” which is to help kids with high goals and potential make the most of their education.
He has been a part of giving back to the community since he was a child. His parents made sure of that.
Richard Sherman is a good guy off the field?
How can the NFL Richard Sherman be the same as off the field Richard Sherman?
It goes to show us/me that we are all too often quick to judge a person based on a sound bite.
Does knowing what he does off the field make him any less abrasive on the field? Nope.
But I think it does clearly show he is no “ignorant thug” or worse.
This is what happens when we judge a person based on one moment.
What about us?
Do we want to be defined by one moment? One sound bite? One statement we made when our emotions were at their peak?
It is ok to dislike Sherman because of his arrogance.
It is ok to dislike Sherman because he trash talks.
It is ok to dislike Sherman because he runs his mouth all the time on and off the field.
But it is not ok to make a generalization about someone’s character simply because of one moment.
It’s not fair to them. It wouldn’t be fair to us.
Here’s to hoping we learn a little something from the curious case of Richard Sherman.