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Richard Sherman
January 20, 2014 12:19 PM   Subscribe

Last night, the Seattle Seahawks defeated their arch rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, to make it to the American football "Superbowl." Nearly immediately after making the game winning play, Seattle's Richard Sherman gave an incredibly intense sideline interview in which he called out the opposing team's wide receiver. Criticized by pundits and fans alike, Sherman this morning wrote an op-ed explaining the emotions that fueled his rant. Before you think Sherman a fool, know that he was the Salutatorian of his high school class and graduated with a 3.9 GPA from Stanford. He is a smart guy.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates (374 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yes, if you put people in an incredibly competitive environment as a way to make a large amounts of money, they will be very competitive.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:24 PM on January 20 [14 favorites]


Immediately prior to the "interview", though, he was also flagged (correctly) for unsportsmanlike conduct, for getting into Michael Crabtree's face and taunting him. That could, theoretically, have cost his team the game. That was why I thought he was a classless jerk even before he opened his mouth on camera.
posted by Curious Artificer at 12:26 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


From the fool link

"5. His degree from Stanford was in communications … which might explain why, while he seemed to be hollering like a crazy person, he didn’t curse and looked into the camera the whole time."

This made me lol quite a bit because i also have a degree in communications. I have a had an assignment about appropriate times for expletives for which i got the only A in the class - and really shocked my parents.

But however, in the future, i will say the my degree allows me to only seem like a crazy person.
posted by sio42 at 12:26 PM on January 20 [12 favorites]


hey man dont start no shit wont be no shit
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 12:26 PM on January 20 [13 favorites]


Go Hawks
posted by Windopaene at 12:27 PM on January 20 [14 favorites]


That could, theoretically, have cost his team the game.

After the interception, the Seahawks had the ball and needed only to kneel to run out the clock. How could it have cost his team the game? Some penalties do certainly jeopardize the team's chances -- this wasn't one of those.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:28 PM on January 20 [19 favorites]


If you read Sherman's op-ed you'll see that he says was not taunting Crabtree. I saw the game and he gave him that butt tap players usually do as a "good game" or positive thing. Crabtree shoved his hand in Sherman's facemask.
posted by sio42 at 12:28 PM on January 20 [23 favorites]


I'm a Seahawks fan and can enjoy Sherman only because he plays for the team I like. And because he's so good.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:29 PM on January 20


SO much discussion of this interview on my FB feed yesterday and today. My overall feeling is, don't send a man out on the field in a sport designed to stop just short of crippling or killing his opponents, and then act all shocked-face when his words come off a little strongly.

At first, i thought he was just wired on adrenaline, but after reading the linked articles (last night and today), I'm gonna agree that he was probably totally in control of the message he was sending. The unsportsmanlike conduct call was legit, that was a jerk move, but apparently Crabtree had been shit-talking him all day, it didn't just come out of the blue. But one thing is for sure -- people are DEFINITELY responding differently to this than they would be if he were white.
posted by KathrynT at 12:29 PM on January 20 [48 favorites]


That's why I said "theoretically", Arsenio. It's still something a professional athlete shouldn't have done, shit-talking or not.
posted by Curious Artificer at 12:31 PM on January 20


I loved it.

I don't watch much ball these days, but it was so great to see a dude just be like, "Fuck this! I am better and that guy sucks and we won!" on TV instead of saying how hard both teams were sporting and he's happy he sported harder in front of a room full of sports journalists writing the exact same stupid fucking story.
posted by lattiboy at 12:31 PM on January 20 [76 favorites]


Sherman is a very smart dude, a great football player, and an asshole. Not exactly new in the NFL but we relish the chance to call an educated black dude a thug.

If you read Sherman's op-ed you'll see that he says was not taunting Crabtree. I saw the game and he gave him that butt tap players usually do as a "good game" or positive thing.

I watched the game, too, and I've watched other games with Sherman. He is a shit talker both on and off the field, and you don't spend the whole game exchanging heated taunts and then pat someone's ass after making a great play to end their Superbowl hopes. That is the definition of trolling. He's either being naive, or disingenuous.
posted by muddgirl at 12:31 PM on January 20 [17 favorites]


That "he is a smart guy" video taught me more about football than all of the ESPN I've ever seen (which is not all that much, but still probably dozens of hours).
posted by ghharr at 12:33 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


Huh. I'm so curious to see where this thread goes. I don't even football, but they keep playing this clip on the news ad nauseum, and now back-to-backed with him in the bow tie being all normal. I think it's weird and problematic that he acted that way, but is he supposed to be responsible for the fact that black men have such an image problem in this country already?? I'm sure his adrenaline was through the roof, they're going to the fucking Super Bowl.

I find the kind of energy he displays here very threatening, and the way he looks into the camera at the end is scary, but I'm a 120 lb female and would dissolve into tears if that 'anger' was directed at me. But in the end I was left thinking "I'm so glad that they are culturally-sanctioned places like sports fields for men to let this stuff out." So.
posted by polly_dactyl at 12:34 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Yeah, "good gaming" is a thing and not something you do in this situation unless you are trying to start shit. That said, seems pretty far down on the list of "unsportsmanlike" things when there are giant men running full speed at each other and fans sploosh their knickers whenever they collide.

I wish the pretense of football would just get lost. It is vicious, violent, and can be wildly entertaining.
posted by lattiboy at 12:34 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


That's why I said "theoretically"

Under which theory, though?

He deserved the flag. The choking gesture was pretty awful. But, hypothesizing that he could have cost the Hawks the game when he couldn't have cost the Hawks the game is...I don't know, aren't you just supposed to say "Oh, I guess he couldn't have cost them the game" here?
posted by MoonOrb at 12:35 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


Holly Anderson had some fun on Twitter this morning with the way the punditry throws around the term "classless".
posted by bbuda at 12:35 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


actually, the biggest problem I have with his post-game interview is calling Crabtree out as a "weak receiver." That interception was a thing of beauty -- I am not a football fan in general, there's a lot I don't get about the game, but Crabtree could have had a fucking magnet in his hands and still not caught that ball after Sherman knocked it out of the way. the best receiver in the world can't catch a ball if someone else knocks it out of your hands.
posted by KathrynT at 12:36 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm surprised at how little latitude they're giving a guy so amped up. This isn't an exact parallel, but what about Muhammad Ali constantly saying "I'm the greatest"? I think a little shit talk is healthy, and certainly in an interview like a minute after winning the game that sends them to the super bowl (and a play where the guy just stomped on a guy who's been bugging him all game and for months outside the game), a little shit talk is inevitable.

you don't spend the whole game exchanging heated taunts and then pat someone's ass after making a great play to end their Superbowl hopes. That is the definition of trolling.

No, that's the definition of sportsmanship. Look at this picture and tell me who is being professional. The game is over, this is the moment to be the pro, the bigger guy, and say "you really killed me on that play, man, but I'm going to get you next time." I don't blame Sherman for going off after that.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:36 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


Ah, Richard "You Mad Bro?" Sherman - a notoriously bad winner. I hope Manning burns him for a zillion yards - and I really hate Manning.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:36 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


I thought the reporter almost laughed in his face.

And i agree - saying "good game" at that time was not appropriate.

I mean, we shit talk in volleyball all game and then say "good game" but we're not playing for the Super Bowl.

I don't know the guy or really anything about him tho.
posted by sio42 at 12:37 PM on January 20


Quinton Patton was wide open on the other side of the field. I liked Sherman's interview. It was a great play. Talking is part of the game.

There were two horrific injuries in that game. Football is just too insanely dangerous. I wonder if it will survive.
posted by Golden Eternity at 12:38 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


I don't know the guy or really anything about him tho.

Someone should make a post about him.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:38 PM on January 20 [16 favorites]


he game is over, this is the moment to be the pro, the bigger guy, and say "you really killed me on that play, man, but I'm going to get you next time."

It's like 5 seconds after the play and .01 seconds after Sherman pats him on the ass. Sherman's allowed to crow about his win, but Crabtree's not allowed to feel dejected, disheartened, and angry? We should give Sherman space to celebrate but Crabtree deserves no space to mourn?
posted by muddgirl at 12:40 PM on January 20


This is a stroooong dog whistle for racists. I love watching them shout from their facebook pages about this "classless" man. Makes it easier to know who to never associate with.
posted by basicchannel at 12:40 PM on January 20 [52 favorites]


people are DEFINITELY responding differently to this than they would be if he were white.

This is a stroooong dog whistle for racists.

This. These. I hate to always have to be like, "I'm black!" to qualify my comments on MetaFilter, but that's the thing. I've seen this clip on the news like 30 times in the past two days and there's a lot of "look upon this big angry screaming man and shudder" to the vibe. It's not his fault, but damn, dude. I think it says a lot about America.
posted by polly_dactyl at 12:43 PM on January 20 [52 favorites]


That could, theoretically, have cost his team the game.

Not with the officiating crew at that game.
posted by srboisvert at 12:43 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


I don't like the Seahawks, I hate Stanfurd, but I love Sherman for doing this instead of what Key and Peele, as usual, hilariously point out every other athlete does.
posted by shen1138 at 12:45 PM on January 20 [18 favorites]


At a time when our pro athletes largely only provide pretty bland soundbites in almost every context, it was nice to see some passion from one in the moment of winning a big - and difficult - game. His comments were nonsensical to me (and Erin) because we didn't have any context.

I love sport, although there are many elements of it (the health issues, the homophobia, the investment in it compared with other, more pressing public needs and on and on) that I question, at the end of the day the fact is this: Pro sports is an entertainment business. Clueless? Classless? Does it matter?

"Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?"
posted by nubs at 12:46 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


Eh. My primary complaint about Richard Sherman is that this incident has distracted me from being completely focused on gloating over SAD FACE TOM BRADY. (Go Broncos!)
posted by scody at 12:46 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


Lots of jerks and unsporting behavior on both sides, but this guy got the mic and the spotlight. I thought it was great though - raw emotion.
posted by Big_B at 12:47 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Intelligence can coexist with lack of sportsmanship. Not sure what the hullabaloo is. It isn't like this is the first time Sherman has ended a game with a lack of class. Trent Williams remembers.
posted by learnsome at 12:49 PM on January 20


I loved the intensity. I also love that we are getting the Weed Bowl. Legalization leads to football success, so get on it Pennsylvania.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:49 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


This is a pretty deep profile of Sherman from Sports Illustrated (July 2013). I found it interesting. I don't hate his trashtalking, I hate how he completely backs it up with his on-field play.

U MAD BRO? Yes. Yes, I am.
posted by joelhunt at 12:49 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Why yes someone should and I've been reading those links.

Other than that i don't really know anything about him. So if he is actually a big jerkwad i don't know.

But he seems kinda normal from what I'm reading and was just pretty high on adrenalin.
posted by sio42 at 12:50 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


This is a stroooong dog whistle for racists.

I've lately come to think that the labels "thug" and "classless" and "arrogant" are to black males what the label "crazy" is to women: big, bright red flags being waved by the person who uses them to say "Hey, look at me, everybody, I'm othering!"
posted by lord_wolf at 12:51 PM on January 20 [62 favorites]


Here, crash into this other group of muscled up athletes for three hours in gladiatorial like arena , but when it's over, be classy dammit! Or else we'll talk about your in the internets.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:51 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


So a deadspin article talked but no link/back story on sherman's issue/problem with the other team's coach. Anyone know the background on that ?
posted by k5.user at 12:52 PM on January 20


I am incredibly glad that the sportsworld is talking about Richard Sherman today, and will be for the next 2 weeks and maybe more. We're not really talking about Crabtree, or what Kaepernick might have said after the game because....haha... the SEAHAWKS won that game!!!!
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:52 PM on January 20


Not with the officiating crew at that game.

Yeah -- though missing the fumble recovery when a massive pile jumps on *and* you're trying to get everyone off the pile because in the middle is a dazed back judge and at the bottom is a player with a massive leg injury, I can forgive that. But there were plenty of bad calls. (Plus, it just so happened that SF ended up with better field position, thanks to the fumble on the very next play which just happened to go all Keystone Cops for 15 yards.)

And, you know, there were those two interception that Kaepernick threw. His last two possessions of the NFC championship ended up Interception and Interception. Either one of them scores, and suddenly, that Marshon Lynch fumble is the game loser.

Here's the whole game book [pdf] if you want to see all the stats. And here's the AFC championship [pdf] if you want to see why scody is enjoying SAD FACE TOM BRADY.
posted by eriko at 12:52 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Eh. My primary complaint about Richard Sherman is that this incident has distracted me from being completely focused on gloating over SAD FACE TOM BRADY. (Go Broncos!)

I tried to flag this comment "Because I hate it with the blazing white heat of a million suns", there should be a flag option for that. Ah, well. I think Belichick was running press-gangs in nearby sports bars and Cubscout packs to fill out the roster at one point, so I can't be too upset with how the season wound up overall.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:53 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Metafilter sports threads are hilarious.
posted by Aizkolari at 12:54 PM on January 20 [28 favorites]


Sherman looked positively calm and collected compared to 90% of the times they show John Harbaugh on the sideline.
posted by kiltedtaco at 12:54 PM on January 20 [19 favorites]


According to Deadspin, Crabtree tried to fight Sherman at a Larry Fitzgerald charity event last year. The two sincerely do not like each other in the slightest.

Sherman's changed me from "probably rooting for the Seahawks in the SB" to "absolutely rooting for the Seahawks in the SB." The No Fun League needs personalities.
posted by delfin at 12:55 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


big, bright red flags being waved by the person who uses them to say "Hey, look at me, everybody, I'm othering!"

See also, "well-spoken".
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:55 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


Scary Black Man
posted by Nelson at 12:57 PM on January 20


Sherman looked positively calm and collected compared to 90% of the times they show John Harbaugh on the sideline.

And let's not forget "the handshake."
posted by Golden Eternity at 12:58 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Sherman's allowed to crow about his win, but Crabtree's not allowed to feel dejected, disheartened, and angry? We should give Sherman space to celebrate but Crabtree deserves no space to mourn?

As a Texas fan, the amount of fucks I give about Crabtree's feelings is approximately 0. And by approximately 0 I mean exactly 0.
posted by kmz at 12:59 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


As KathrynT mentioned above, I think the reason the interview was so unusual was because he straight up dissed a player by name. Players are regularly intense, call themselves the best, all that sort of thing. It's not often one explicitly names an opponent and doesn't go with "he's not in my league", he straight up said "he's not very good." Like, in an objective sense. That's kind of out-there in terms of normal football sportsmanship.

To me, that was what was amazing about that "interview". Also, Andrews' complete confusion at how to handle the situation, which I don't really blame her for.
posted by jermsplan at 12:59 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Anyone know the background on that ?

I don't, but this is my completely not surprised face that someone has a problem with Jim Harbaugh.
posted by eriko at 1:00 PM on January 20


I don't give much value to being a salutatorian any more. Grade inflation has killed what it means. I went to a high-school graduation a while back and there were something like 20 co-valedictorians. However, there were also something like 39 co-salutatorians. Which, of course, makes no sense...if there is a tie for first place, you don't award second place.

About 20% of the graduating class was either a valedictorian or salutatorian.

They need to replace those terms with other terms. Colleges use Summa, Magna, and Cum Laude, without having a valedictorian.

posted by Xoc at 1:00 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


So a deadspin article talked but no link/back story on sherman's issue/problem with the other team's coach. Anyone know the background on that ?

Jim Harbaugh coached Sherman at Stanford, and their history is covered pretty well in the SI profile. To me the long and the short of it is that Sherman is the kind of guy who holds grudges for a long time and relishes the chance to take them to the next level. Again, not unusual in the NFL - Harbaugh is also known to hold a grudge or two.

According to Deadspin, Crabtree tried to fight Sherman at a Larry Fitzgerald charity event last year.

According to Sherman's brother. I haven't seen any confirmation from anyone else, although I don't know if the NFL would allow players to talk about something like that.

As a Texas fan, the amount of fucks I give about Crabtree's feelings is approximately 0. And by approximately 0 I mean exactly 0.

Oh come on. You don't have to give a fuck about his feelings but it's fucking ridiculous to expect him not to have any in the first place.
posted by muddgirl at 1:01 PM on January 20


Full disclosure, I never even heard Richard Sherman's name before yesterday, that's how much of a fair-weather fan I am. But now that I have watched a bunch of videos of him intercepting passes, every one of which could be captioned with "YOINK!!", I have to say: dude is pretty good at his job!
posted by KathrynT at 1:02 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


I'm in a goddamned burger place escaping the Internet and it's on AGAIN.
posted by polly_dactyl at 1:02 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


That's why I said "theoretically", Arsenio.

Ok, I can't find any highlights showing me this unsportsmanlike conduct call, but presuming it did happen after the interception, when Seattle came out with 4 downs left and ~22 seconds to go in the game, then no, there is no way, whether actual or theoretical, that it could have cost his team the game. They could've taken a knee from any position, I don't care if they were penalized 99 yards and a loss of down for his conduct, they had the game sewn up.

I mean, if you want to say it was a dick move and unprofessional and whatever else, fine, but there was no way on god's green earth that he was going to cost his team the game.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 1:04 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


it's on AGAIN

On the 10th anniversary of Howard Dean's scream, it's fitting that there's a new public display of emotion to play relentlessly into the ground.
posted by gladly at 1:04 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


And he wrote a lot of great songs for Disney.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:05 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


I live in Seattle and the Sherman interview was all over my FB feed, pretty much instantly. I was fascinated to note that the wealthier tech friends/weaker Seahawks fans in my feed were unanimous in declaring themselves "embarrassed" and denouncing Sherman as "unclassy". But the more working class/harder core Seahawks fans generally thought this was awesome--a show of competitiveness and display of adrenaline.
posted by donovan at 1:05 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


He is a smart guy.

I don't know much about football, but I learned a bit from him about his trade from that link. Nice find.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:07 PM on January 20


when you win a championship, you get to say whatever you want. (/49er fan)
posted by bruce at 1:07 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


I love these:

According to Donerson, eight players from Sherman's graduating class earned scholarships to Division I schools, several of whom had walked into the coach's office at one point or another to ask, "How do I get into college? Because if I don't, Sherm is never going to let me hear the end of it."

And

"A lot went over my head. I hadn't even read The Iliad yet. I had to check out all these books just so I could know what everybody was talking about."
posted by Slothrup at 1:07 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


He wasn't just salutatorian. He finished second in his class. Then he graduated from Stanford, one of the highest ranked colleges in the country and not one that gives athletes a free pass.
posted by chrchr at 1:08 PM on January 20 [14 favorites]


I was fascinated to note that the wealthier tech friends/weaker Seahawks fans in my feed were unanimous in declaring themselves "embarrassed" and denouncing Sherman as "unclassy".

Rich people from Seattle have a poor track record when it comes to letting their emotions get the best of them in public situations.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:08 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Speaking of embarrassed and unclassy, Sherman also ripped the Seattle fan(s) who dumped popcorn on the injured Navorro Bowman of the 49ers.

So, that's one more in his favor.
posted by delfin at 1:09 PM on January 20 [19 favorites]


Loud Noises
posted by nubs at 1:09 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Sherman's not lying when he says he is the greatest corner in the game. His interview was crazy fun to watch after that game, which was competitive, marred by bad calls and redeemed by brilliant plays like the tip interception. Bad sportsmanship on Sherman's part, yeah, I get that response. Anything more than that is just an excuse to hate on the big black guy for telling it like it is. Football is a brutal game.

Case in point: The knee injury Sherman mentions in his article brought all of us to horrified cringing in sympathy over what had to be agonizing pain. Knees are not built to bend that way. *Shudders* Naturally, the network replayed that moment several times in slow-motion detail.

If fans did throw anything at that injured player (seriously, wtf, did that happen?!) Sherman's right that the real unsportsmanlike behavior is not even being discussed.
posted by misha at 1:09 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Yesterday's sportball game was the only complete sportball game I've ever sat through and sorta watched in my entire life, and that guy yelling "CRABTREE!" (ala "KHAAAAAN!") at the end was the best part. I would be willing to watch more sportball if this sort of thing became a regular occurrence.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:09 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


Curious Artificer: “Immediately prior to the "interview", though, he was also flagged (correctly) for unsportsmanlike conduct, for getting into Michael Crabtree's face and taunting him. That could, theoretically, have cost his team the game. That was why I thought he was a classless jerk even before he opened his mouth on camera.”
My impression is that the penalty was because Sherman made the "choke" sign.

k5.user: “So a deadspin article talked but no link/back story on sherman's issue/problem with the other team's coach. Anyone know the background on that ?”
The SI article joelhunt linked spells it out.



Y'all should have seen the firestorm on Twitter. The Deadspin article posted last night "Dumb People Say Stupid, Racist Shit About Richard Sherman" doesn't really do it justice. Bomani Jones' and Goldie Taylor's time lines were just filled with the most ignorant, racist people. Yes, You're Racist also had way too much to do. I don't understand people sometimes.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:11 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


On the 10th anniversary of Howard Dean's scream...

Super, not only am I fascinated by a thread about football, but now I also feel incredibly old.
posted by lalex at 1:12 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Yeah, all this noise to me reeks of "That big black man scares me!"
posted by stenseng at 1:13 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


No, that's the definition of sportsmanship. Look at this picture and tell me who is being professional. The game is over, this is the moment to be the pro, the bigger guy, and say "you really killed me on that play, man, but I'm going to get you next time." I don't blame Sherman for going off after that.

The unsportsmanlike conduct occurred about 5 seconds before that.

Frankly, I don't get why Sherman gets all the credit. The guy who ended the game is the who caught the ball, not the one who tipped it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:14 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Loved the "Student of the Game" video. I could see him going into defensive coaching after his playing career is over. Interesting too that in that video you could hear that his accent is totally different in the interview portions from the parts on the practice field. He obviously is able to tailor his speech to his audience, a skill that I've seen in friends who grew up poor but went to college.
posted by octothorpe at 1:15 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


If fans did throw anything at that injured player (seriously, wtf, did that happen?!) Sherman's right that the real unsportsmanlike behavior is not even being discussed.

Oh it was discussed in 49er circles.

I don't understand people sometimes.

Yeah, from the perspective of a 49ers fan, I was really pissed off last night and the interview didn't help, but when a bunch of people who don't follow the Seahawks or the 49ers and couldn't even say what position Sherman plays stepped up and called him a thug I started rooting for him a bit (a tiny bit). He knows that the sports media loves a narrative. More screen time for Sherman = more screen time for the Seahawks = more lucrative media contracts = happy team owners.
posted by muddgirl at 1:16 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


According to google Richard Sherman is only getting paid 555 000 dollars this year. He is placing himself for a second career as professional wrestling heel. (Asomugha got 25 mil guaranteed from the Philadelphia Eagles.)

I have a guess what he might be mad about.
posted by bukvich at 1:17 PM on January 20


*Shudders* Naturally, the network replayed that moment several times in slow-motion detail.

Actually, they normally don't do that. But in this case, there was very clear evidence that the call on the field was wrong, and they were showing that. You end up in a quandary -- do I show the world what the announcers are seeing when they say "That fumbled was recovered by SF" or do I have them wondering WTF the announcers are talking about and not show the injury?

In most cases, they don't show that level injury over and over -- not since 1985 and Joe Thiesmann's career ending injury which happened on Monday Night Football.
posted by eriko at 1:18 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


I loved it every minute of it. Dude made a play.

It's a hell of a lot more refreshing then, "Well, you know, we just went out there and gave 110%, and I'd like to thank Jesus, and, you know, we just really wanted this one." Because seriously, if you listen to enough of athletes calling into sports shows and doing radio and stuff like that, you start to just fall into this language of boring cliches where no one ever, ever, says anything. Good on him.
posted by kbanas at 1:19 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


Tom Brady On Richard Sherman: "We Win With Graciousness", Tom Ley, Deadspin, 20 January 2014


Deconstructing the Richard @RSherman_25 rant using Puppet Theater tonight on @ESPNOlbermann 6 ET ESPN2 — Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) January 20, 2014

Ha! Not even close! Loved the emotion! #nocliche Can't wait for NY RT @fawcett_is_2k: I'm sorry @RSherman_25 scared you tonight — Erin Andrews (@ErinAndrews) January 20, 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 1:19 PM on January 20


...instead of saying how hard both teams were sporting and he's happy he sported harder in front of a room full of sports journalists writing the exact same stupid fucking story.

My friends and I have a drinking game about this. Every time this happens on TV (the Olympics are coming up, hooray!), we say "We gotta play 'em one day at a time. I'm just happy to be here, I hope I can help the ball club. I just want to give it my best shot, and the good Lord willing, things will work out." Then we take a drink.
posted by Melismata at 1:20 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


He has an outrageous payday coming. I wonder if the Seahawks will let him leave as a free agent since they have only so much room under the cap and so many good young players they want to sign to longterm deals. And they've been especially good at producing CBs, so maybe their money will be better spent somewhere else. I just hope he goes to the AFC and to someone they never, ever, ever play.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:20 PM on January 20


"Actually, they normally don't do that."

I remember having to turn away from the television the second or third time they showed Jabari Greer's knee going the wrong way, so I can attest that it's happened at least once this season so far.
posted by komara at 1:20 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Jeez, ob1quixote, that is seriously ugly. What is wrong with these people?! They think racist comments comparing a black man to an [ape, gorilla, monkey] are witty rejoinders? Ignorance has a language all its own.
posted by misha at 1:21 PM on January 20


My impression is that the penalty was because Sherman made the "choke" sign.

Yes, and that's an automatic penalty -- any threatening gesture at an opponent is automatically Unsportsmanlike Conduct. The flag would have been thrown automatically.
posted by eriko at 1:21 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Holly Anderson had some fun on Twitter this morning with the way the punditry throws around the term "classless".

Damn that was fantastic!
posted by cashman at 1:24 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


eriko: “Yes, and that's an automatic penalty -- any threatening gesture at an opponent is automatically Unsportsmanlike Conduct. The flag would have been thrown automatically.”
Indeed. Although I don't think the "choke" is the same as the "throat slash" in terms of threatening, they are treated the same. Frankly neither one are actually threatening, but nevermind that.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:25 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


I don't know, I watched the interview and thought it was hilarious. It's football, what the hell do people expect?
posted by IvoShandor at 1:29 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Great article about the upcoming media frenzy leading to the Super Bowl that will probably be more clueless than usual. This article is also quite good.

If you don't want to read either of those, at least watch this excellent video of Sherman debating Skip Bayless about his career.

I was still nauseated through most of the second half after the repeated replay of a man's leg being destroyed. But somehow the fact a guy said a thing is the main takeaway?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:30 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


All the "you're only saying that because he's black" is pretty absurd. Sherman is insufferable and unpleasant. Plenty of athletes give heat-of-the-moment interviews after wins and losses and don't act insufferably egotistical. Sometimes (rarely) they even give thoughtful answers. For that reason I'm not at all disposed to excuse Sherman's postgame with Andrews, especially when you combine it with the fact that he's a relentless self-promoter and frequently does it as a zero-sum "I'm awesome and/because *you* suck."

For example:
Sherman was just getting started.
"You have never accomplished anything," he continued, focusing on Bayless. "So, but, um, those things are on my resume, those are what I've done, it's my second year in the NFL going into my third. I mean, you tell me who's wrong."
Bayless: "OK, I'll accept that. I think I've accomplished more in my field than you have in yours, though you're just getting started."
Sherman: "So, I'm at the top of my field. I'm All-Pro. I'm one of the best 22 players in the NFL. You're going to brush it off, but I don't think you're the best 22 anything. In sports, in media, in anything."
Bayless: "That's debatable."
Sherman: "You think more of yourself that you actually can prove."
Bayless: "OK, do you think you are better than Darrelle Revis is right now?"
Sherman: "In my 24 years of life, I'm better at life than you."
Bayless: "OK, all right, that's fair, all right."
Sherman: "Let's get down to brass tacks."
Bayless: "Let's not get personal here. I just want to know --"
Sherman: "It's not personal. It's resume."
Bayless: "Do you think you're better than Darrelle Revis is right now?"
Sherman: "I'm better than you. I have nothing to say about him. That is pretty much done. My numbers speak for themselves."
(Granted that's with Skip Bayless and may have been manufacture. But at a minimum it is surely accurate insofar as it is Sherman choosing how to portray himself. I see no reason at all why anyone would be looking to excuse him.
posted by pdq at 1:30 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


According to google Richard Sherman is only getting paid 555 000 dollars this year. He is placing himself for a second career as professional wrestling heel. (Asomugha got 25 mil guaranteed from the Philadelphia Eagles.)

Sherman knows he'll get the payday when he reaches his free agent year, assuming he's still healthy and playing at an elite level, whether from Seattle locking him up or from the open market. The NFL's FUBAR contract system ensures that.

His intensity level reminds me of Brian Dawkins -- friendly and reasonable off the playing field, monstrous upon it. That is a high compliment.

And, really, if you can't let emotions loose when the opposing QB feels comfortable challenging you on the pass that decides a Super Bowl berth, you make the play that puts your team there directly over the head of a hated rival, said rival responds to your handshake with a stiffarm, your disliked former coach has been jumping around on the other sideline like a Muppet all afternoon throwing tantrums, and the game is over? Yeah. Get back to me on that on when he's allowed to cut loose and roar.
posted by delfin at 1:31 PM on January 20 [14 favorites]


I'm sorry, I don't think it's racist to say he sounded and looked pretty classless last night. He made a choking motion at the opposing team. Whatever he said today that he intended by "congratulating" Crabtree, it definitely looked like it could have been intentionally tainting to smack his ass. He used his moment in the spotlight to trash talk his opponent after the game. It has nothing to do with race to say that it's not really an ideal way to present yourself in the professional sphere.

I understand it's a brutal game, but he does represent more than just #25 Sherman when he's speaking.

And why even make that point?! Just let your amazing defensive play speak for itself. It was a ridiculous play. Why taint that moment?
posted by glaucon at 1:31 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: it definitely looked like it could have been intentionally tainting
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:34 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


Get back to me on that on when he's allowed to cut loose and roar.

99% of players manage to wait till the get back to the locker room.
posted by muddgirl at 1:35 PM on January 20


The joy of typing on mobil is that usually my spelling mistakes are better than anything I could have said.
posted by glaucon at 1:35 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


Criticism of Sherman as a "thug" has substantially racist undertones. Criticism as "classless," I'm not so sure? The post-game interviews are a farce; who can expect anyone to have the time to reflect to say anything meaningful, and what meaningful thing is likely to be said in that moment, anyway? But it can be true that Sherman exposed the absurdity of the immediate post-game interviews and also be true that he failed to act with class when he did so.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:36 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I don't think you can even call "thug" a dog whistle anymore. When was the last time anybody called somebody a thug with non-racist intentions - maybe 20 years ago? That one's not fooling anyone.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 1:39 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


friendly and reasonable off the playing field

Tell that to Skip Bayless.
posted by nathancaswell at 1:39 PM on January 20


rival responds to your handshake with a stiffarm

The stiffarm came after 6 seconds of Sherman acting like an ass, and getting flagged for a penalty for it.

He had an opportunity to be a better human, and he missed it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:39 PM on January 20


Granted that's with Skip Bayless and may have been manufacture. But at a minimum it is surely accurate insofar as it is Sherman choosing how to portray himself. I see no reason at all why anyone would be looking to excuse him.

No one is trying to excuse Skip Bayless.
posted by Golden Eternity at 1:39 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I went to a high-school graduation a while back and there were something like 20 co-valedictorians. However, there were also something like 39 co-salutatorians.

Nope, there appears to be only one salutatorian at Dominguez High School, Compton, CA.
posted by en forme de poire at 1:39 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


(Which means that whatever "grade inflation" may or may not exist at DHS has zero application here since val/salut are rank-based.)
posted by en forme de poire at 1:42 PM on January 20


What would MLK do?
posted by Colonel Panic at 1:45 PM on January 20


I'm not sure that there's an appropriate way to respond to Skip Bayless that doesn't involve urine.

Possibly not human urine.
posted by delfin at 1:45 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


What would MLK do?

Nothing, he's dead.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:46 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


.
posted by Pudhoho at 1:48 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


I generally dislike the whole trash-talking aspect of pro football, and the number of post-play celebrations has gotten absurd, with gesturing and dancing after every routine tackle and five-yard reception.

(Which reminds me - wasn't there a comedy sketch or a commercial few years back, featuring ordinary people exchanging high fives and chest bumps, etc., after doing routine stuff, like filing papers in drawer, or serving breakfast? The point being that football players seem to spend a lot of time excessively celebrating things that are just regular parts of their job.)

Given what usually goes on, to me Sherman's post-game thing seems different in degree, but not really in kind. He still came off as kind of a jerk, though, and the fact that he's allegedly intelligent and well-educated makes it worse, not better.

One doesn't need to mouth bland platitudes to show a little class or magnanimity in victory, and you'd think a supposedly smart guy could come up with something better than crude insults and vain boasting.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 1:49 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Holy shit, I heard about this all last night, like nonstop. THAT was the clip everyone was so worked up about? What a strange and comparatively bloodless thing to be taken aback by.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:49 PM on January 20 [24 favorites]


What would MLK do?

Protest the Vietnam War?
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:51 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


If you're gonna be shit talking and aggressive, at least be interesting.
posted by planetesimal at 1:51 PM on January 20


Dissing another player directly is a pretty big faux pas in the NFL, but I agree that a lot of people were reacting to Sherman's intensity and emotion rather than his words, often with racist assumptions about black men. The diss itself doesn't even make sense to anyone who's not following the whole 9ers/Hawks soap opera.
posted by muddgirl at 1:52 PM on January 20


The officiating crew that was on for last nights game was profiled in a Sports Illustrated 3 part section in MMQB - it was the subject of a FPP here on Metafilter.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:53 PM on January 20


If people thought that was scary did they have the vapors during the entire Attitude Era of WWE?
posted by winna at 1:54 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


So am I dogwhistling if I didn't even know what color he was but thought, on reading the quotes, that he was being assy and unclassy? Especially given _he won_. I dislike poor winners far more than I do poor losers.
posted by tavella at 1:57 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


muddgirl: “Dissing another player directly is a pretty big faux pas in the NFL, but I agree that a lot of people were reacting to Sherman's intensity and emotion rather than his words, often with racist assumptions about black men. The diss itself doesn't even make sense to anyone who's not following the whole 9ers/Hawks soap opera.”
He named Crabtree, but I think who he was really disrespecting was Harbaugh.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:58 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Chiming in with the chorus of the 'he is a smart guy' video being one of the best things about this post. I have a friend who noticed that being done to qbs years ago, and it made sense to me to do it, but I hadn't ever really heard a guy go into detail like that. That was great.

The choke sign sucked. Patting Crabtree and saying "good game" afterward was definitely trolling in this situation because it happened immediately after the play. I have no problem with Crabtree shoving Sherman after that. But no problems with the rest of it.

I did see people gasping and freaking out like he was on television announcing a nuclear strike on Iran. I guess if you are sheltered, things like seeing someone shout on television can scare you. Otherwise, there is just nothing even remotely scary about this guy, but some people were acting like what he said was just frightening. Which is nonsense.
posted by cashman at 1:59 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


he's a relentless self-promoter

So, as a disclaimer, I watch almost no football and the only reason I saw last night's game is because I happened to have some Seattle-ites in my home at the time, but I don't get the problem with this. As I see it, there's nothing wrong with being a self-promoter, even an obnoxious one, particularly in an industry with free agents who shop themselves around for the best deals.

Anyway, after the interview my Twitter feed was instantly full of GIFs portraying Sherman as some big angry creature (the Predator, etc) picking on poor helpless Andrews (portrayed as a small blonde child, etc) which not only is not inaccurate as Andrews' tweet above shows, but is also pretty dang racist.
posted by jess at 1:59 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


he's a relentless self-promoter

If you don't have a dog you have to do your own barking.
posted by Pudhoho at 2:01 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole.

That an asshole went to Stanford leaves me profoundly unshocked.
posted by Danf at 2:02 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


did they have the vapors during the entire Attitude Era of WWE?

I have gone on record as saying it is absolutely DEPLORABLE that in a contest devoted to sportsmanship and athleticism, there is a man SO INTERESTED in making the other players DECEASED that he has named himself the UNDERTAKER. VERY classless. I prefer MY athletes ALIVE, thank you.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:04 PM on January 20 [24 favorites]


"It ain't braggin' if ya can back it up."
posted by bukvich at 2:04 PM on January 20


This thread really blew up quickly. I just wanted to say that it's sad that you have to reassure people that a black person is smart after they give an emotionally worded...anything, really.
posted by gucci mane at 2:04 PM on January 20 [19 favorites]


I just wanted to say that it's sad that you have to reassure people that a black person is smart after they give an emotionally worded...anything, really.

That and it's sad that you have to reassure people that someone isn't a fool because they went to big name college and had a high GPA. Plenty of fools fit that bill.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:06 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


That is a very impressive depth of thought he puts into football scenarios and their many moving pieces. If he exercises that knowledge on the fly, and it sounds like he does, then I'm impressed. Not being a follower of football, I assumed only the quarterback and the coaches that bluetooths directions into their ear approached that level of on-field analysis.
posted by ignignokt at 2:11 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


He named Crabtree, but I think who he was really disrespecting was Harbaugh.

That's what I find obnoxious and assholish about his comments - not the self-promotion, but the thoughtless grudgy comments with no basis in the actual game of football. After the 49ers win earlier this season, he argued that the Seahawks expected to win in a blow out but that reffing handing the game to the 49ers. Referees are part of the game. Heck, they're the whole game. Blaming a loss on the refs is like blaming a loss on the weather, especially for a defense like Seattle's that is predicated on aggressive, "physical" coverage that dares referees to throw a flag on every single play.

As for the interview in question: Harbaugh didn't call that play. Crabtree didn't blow that catch. Sherman himself didn't even make that interception catch. Can anyone name the player that did without Googling? I can't. What did that interview have to do with the football game? Nothing, really. It's just shit-talking for the sake of a trumped-up rivalry narrative.
posted by muddgirl at 2:18 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


GIFs portraying Sherman as some big angry creature (the Predator, etc) picking on poor helpless Andrews (portrayed as a small blonde child, etc)

Actually that was just jokes. Sherman got turned into the predator because of the way he wears his hair. Everybody with that style gets that. Happened to family members of mine in the 90's. The "small blonde child" is Chloe (she of the wtf face), from this meme, from this video (2:01).

I thought that one was a riot, and I got a good laugh out of it.
posted by cashman at 2:19 PM on January 20


Can anyone name the player that did without Googling?

Malcolm Smith :) Who's played admirably at LB in the absence of KJ Wright, although Wright returned yesterday. There's no doubt that Sherman made that play, though. Incidentally, it's the second time in a few months he made such a play; against the Giants he tipped a pass in the end zone and it was intercepted by Earl Thomas.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:21 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


Also, Andrews' complete confusion at how to handle the situation, which I don't really blame her for.

What? No. Andrews stuttered for like 1.3 seconds while her brain realized she wasn't gonna get the standard platitudes, and then she asked a perfect follow up to "they were talking about me" = "Who was talking about you?" I thought it was a pretty good example of a journalist thinking on her feet in an unexpected situation, and not in any way resembling "complete confusion".
posted by misskaz at 2:22 PM on January 20 [20 favorites]


Yeah, definitely.
posted by ddd at 2:27 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Eh. My primary complaint about Richard Sherman is that this incident has distracted me from being completely focused on gloating over SAD FACE TOM BRADY. (Go Broncos!)

There was a pre-game interview with brady and bradshaw where bradshaw was trying talk up the importance of the game. Brady had a totally ice cool thing going. Just another game. Bradshaw said would it matter if you lost the game? And Brady eyes popped a bit and there was a thin smile as if to say - Old man do you know me at all all? Have you seen my jawline, my rings, my supermodel wife and my life? This game can't touch that - then he clamped it down and mouthed the expected cliches.
posted by srboisvert at 2:29 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


I just wanted to say that it's sad that you have to reassure people that a black person is smart after they give an emotionally worded...anything, really.

This is true. I assumed it was included in the FPP here, though, because MeFites often have a high-school nerd mentality about athletes and assume they're all stupid.
posted by jaguar at 2:29 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Anyone who's not a Seahawks fan, MoonOrb :)

There's no doubt that Sherman made that play, though.

Without the catch it's an incomplete pass and SF tries again. That defensive play takes two defenders. One of whom (Smith) had to spot the target and run halfway across the field to execute the catch.
posted by muddgirl at 2:30 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Can anyone name the player that did without Googling?

I think Hawks fans can. the secondary works on this play, called a tip drill. Sherman did his homework, had blanket coverage on Crabtree who couldn't create separation , and made a spectacular play tipping the ball to Smith, who made an equally spectacular play getting into position to cradle the ball for the win.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:30 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Right, but without Sherman it's a touchdown.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:30 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


It's just shit-talking for the sake of a trumped-up rivalry narrative.

The 49ers and Seagulls are in the same division, and there is a real rivalry. There is a legit psychological aspect to "trash talking", imo. If you can create mental states of humiliation and anger in your opponent they probably will tend to make more mistakes and pay less attention to the game. The other thing about "trash talking" is it can be a lot of fun and a game in itself. See rap music.
posted by Golden Eternity at 2:31 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


I think that the fact I root for an AFC team has made me not care very much about this. It was refreshing to hear an athlete say what was actually on his mind for once in a post-game scenario. The other material included in the FPP has made me like Sherman as a sports personality as well.
posted by codacorolla at 2:32 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why anyone would interview sports participants mere moments after an event like this anyway. Of course adrenaline is running high. Of course they say stupid shit. The ones that don't just trot out the standard "We just came here to play football" nonsense.

Not excusing him. Sherman's an ass. But he's OUR ass. Go Hawks!
posted by stennieville at 2:32 PM on January 20


I started watching NFL properly only this year. It's all a bit uncalled for, but it is helping me understand how the game works a bit better oddly enough.

49ers are my team. The game happened in the middle of the night here, haven't been able to watch it yet mostly since it sounds like a crushing loss.
posted by wingless_angel at 2:33 PM on January 20


Sherman is certainly being himself, but there's some really excellent strategy there too.

Sherman is now so good no one in their right mind would try to challenge him like that with the game on the line.

But trash-talking Sherman had made damn sure Crabtree and Kaepernick (and probably Harbaugh) weren't in their right minds, because when it all came down to that crucial moment, they wanted to stick it to Sherman more than they wanted to win the game and go to the Superbowl.
posted by jamjam at 2:35 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Right, but without Sherman it's a touchdown.

Also, in the Student of the Game video at about the 6 minute mark, he talks specifically about trying to tip the ball to a teammate so the teammate can intercept. The direction in which he tips the ball is also part of his play, and according to him is something he thinks about and practices.
posted by misskaz at 2:35 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Right, but without Sherman it's a touchdown.

...I agree with you? That's why I said, "That defensive play takes two defenders." Don't really know how much clearer I can be.

The 49ers and Seagulls are in the same division, and there is a real rivalry.

...Yeah, I'm a 49ers fan. I understand rivalries. The "trumped up rivalry" is between Sherman and Crabtree, and between Sherman and Harbaugh. In a few years Sherman will be a free agent and potentially be playing for another team in a different division where whatever he thinks about Crabtree and Harbaugh won't matter most of the time. He and Crabtree could even end up on the same team someday. I enjoy team rivalries but I couldn't give a shit whether or not Crabtree thinks Sherman is the greatest corner of all time.
posted by muddgirl at 2:36 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


"There's no doubt that Sherman made that play, though."

Smith, as a linebacker, did some incredible things on that play, even if it looked like he was collecting the garbage.

He correctly reads pass, and then books it way downfield to help the secondary.

The difference wight he Earl Thomas tip is that Thomas is part of the secondary and it makes sense that he'd be in position to receive the tip. From all accounts he and Sherman practice this stuff.

But Smith? Smith deserves a bigger share of the credit on that play than he is getting. If he doesn't get all the way down into the end zone from the defensive line, all that happens with Sherman's effort is that the pass goes incomplete and SF gets 3 more chances to win the game.
posted by striatic at 2:39 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Also, in the Student of the Game video at about the 6 minute mark, he talks specifically about trying to tip the ball to a teammate so the teammate can intercept. The direction in which he tips the ball is also part of his play, and according to him is something he thinks about and practices.

Thank you for pointing this out. I really suggest people watch that video. The guy is really into his craft. If you've been watching football for years like I have, you wonder why more defensive guys don't try it. Kind of like I wonder why at the end of games when you need to drive a long way and have no time outs, if you catch it in the middle of the field and time is going to run out anyway, throw the ball slightly backward out of bounds.
posted by cashman at 2:40 PM on January 20


I think what I'm saying is that if you have to allocate the playmaking somehow between Smith and Sherman, it's about 80% Sherman and 20% Smith, rather than some 50/50 collaboration. But they both made tremendous plays, no doubt about it.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:40 PM on January 20


I got the impression from the video that it is Sherman's idea, and he essentially coaches his fellow defenders about it. Additionally "run to the ball" is pretty much standard for any defender.
posted by cashman at 2:41 PM on January 20


"the secondary works on this play, called a tip drill."

But that's part of what makes what Smith did remarkable. He's a linebacker, not part of the secondary.
posted by striatic at 2:42 PM on January 20


My only dog in this argument is calling people with 3.9 GPAs from Stanford "smart".

Sure they were smart. Smart enough to drop the class the day of the final...
posted by hal_c_on at 2:44 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


"Additionally "run to the ball" is pretty much standard for any defender."

Watch the replay. Smith reads pass and books it downfield before the pass. For most of the play he's actually running *away* from the ball because he is being heads up in understanding what is developing before it happens.
posted by striatic at 2:45 PM on January 20


But Smith? Smith deserves a bigger share of the credit on that play than he is getting. If he doesn't get all the way down into the end zone from the defensive line, all that happens with Sherman's effort is that the pass goes incomplete and SF gets 3 more chances to win the game.

At the time of the play, the announcers were definitely giving credit to Smith for busting ass to get down there and making a good catch. It's just that Sherman's post game has sucked all other air out of media coverage of the game now. As much as ESPN analysts keep decrying his "lack of class," they loooooove this shit and it's all they want to talk about.
posted by misskaz at 2:45 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


absolutely, but in the confines of the red zone the linebackers will act, on a pass play, as if they were part of the secondary, and likely they are part of the practice for this, when working on red zone coverages. i have no first hand knowledge of whether or not this is true.

is there link to the play intself? i read somewhere that sherman said he would have just caught the ball if crabtree hadn't pushed off, but i haven't seen the replay enough to catch a push-off.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:46 PM on January 20


Who are the Seagulls?
posted by Slothrup at 2:47 PM on January 20


All I know is, fuck the sports subjunctive and everyone who uses it.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 2:47 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Thank you for pointing this out. I really suggest people watch that video. The guy is really into his craft. If you've been watching football for years like I have, you wonder why more defensive guys don't try it.

It seems a little insulting to other great defenders to imply that they're not really into their craft. Not a lot of players can communicate their craft the way Sherman can - which is one reason pre- and post-game interviews are generally quite boring. But that doesn't mean that Sherman is unique in being a student of the defensive game.
posted by muddgirl at 2:49 PM on January 20


Really fitting to discuss this on MLK day, especially with all the voices so pleased to decry racism and then--as if in the same breath--call Sherman "classless."

Even the good Doctor eventually figured out that if our smug, sneering divisiveness is about race, well, it's even more about class:
I want to say to you as I move to my conclusion, as we talk about "Where do we go from here," that we honestly face the fact that the Movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society. There are forty million poor people here. And one day we must ask the question, "Why are there forty million poor people in America?" And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I'm simply saying that more and more, we've got to begin to ask questions about the whole society. We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life's market place. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must be raised. You see, my friends, when you deal with this, you begin to ask the question, "Who owns the oil?" You begin to ask the question, "Who owns the iron ore?" You begin to ask the question, "Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two thirds water?" These are questions that must be asked.
-- The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Aug.6, 1967
So if Richard Sherman isn't a "thug" (and instead is a well-spoken Salutatorian!), but is "classless," then fuck your class.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:49 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


"absolutely, but in the confines of the red zone the linebackers will act, on a pass play, as if they were part of the secondary, and likely they are part of the practice for this, when working on red zone coverages."

I understand that, but you need to take into account that SF was right on the very edge of the red zone, on about the 18 yard line. Yeah the field was compressed somewhat, but there was still more than a quarter of the field for Smith to cover to make that play.

Also, backing off Kaepernick with how Kaepernick can run - that's either a hell of a good read and gutsy or both.
posted by striatic at 2:51 PM on January 20


(and yeah, TERRIBLE coaching to send a pass Sherman's way with the game on the line. Sherman is damn right to feel insulted by that and then vindicated by preventing it from working. He's an amazing player, one of the very best at his position, and he was directly challenged and came out on top. Must feel awesome. Props to him.)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:51 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


is there link to the play intself? i read somewhere that sherman said he would have just caught the ball if crabtree hadn't pushed off, but i haven't seen the replay enough to catch a push-off.

Second video on this page
posted by smackfu at 2:52 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


He is a smart guy.

Not to dispute that he's smart, but my sense is that a whole damn lot of athletes at that level are really, really smart. Fine, maybe some of them aren't well-educated outside their game, but their situational awareness, strategic thinking, and flat-out speed of cognition can be downright scary.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:54 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


thanks. sure doesn't look like a push off to me.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:54 PM on January 20


Oh, I was expecting Richard Sherman.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:55 PM on January 20


and yeah, TERRIBLE coaching to send a pass Sherman's way with the game on the line. Sherman is damn right to feel insulted by that and then vindicated by preventing it from working.

Well, except in the "Student of the Game" interview, Sherman talks about how he hides his coverage to persuade quarterbacks to throw interceptions. Sherman shouldn't feel insulted that they threw to Crabtree - that's part of his game plan.
posted by muddgirl at 2:55 PM on January 20


He wasn't just salutatorian. He finished second in his class.

Right: salutatorian.
posted by stopgap at 2:57 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


"thanks. sure doesn't look like a push off to me."

The push off that Sherman is talking about is up-field, not at the point of the catch.

In that video, Sherman and Crabtree are off-camera for most of the play, except the first five yards from scrimmage, and then when the camera swings over to see the catch.
posted by striatic at 2:57 PM on January 20


but i haven't seen the replay enough to catch a push-off. // Second video on this page

Watching that replay again, I freaking love how Sherman reaches, bats the ball to Smith with clear intent and as he falls, he turns to see if Smith is going to catch it -- as he collapses to the turf he sees it goes into Smith's hand and at the moment of impact he extends his arms in celebration (while still falling). Pure goddamn joy.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:57 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Additionally "run to the ball" is pretty much standard for any defender.

Shouldn't there be something like three pages of caveats on that?
posted by the agents of KAOS at 2:57 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Agreed, Smith made a great play and should just show that replay when it's time for his own contract negotiations. They're not an A-list defense because of one guy.

And agreed, Sherman's explosion was without the quiet dignity and grace of a typical victor's platitudes. You say that as if, in context, that's a bad thing. It was emotional and it was real and it was justified and it's something the league needs more of. Give me five guys with that fire AND talent and I'll build you a dynasty. Actually, I'll settle for one. Send him C.O.D. to Philadelphia and they'll pay the postage too.

The NFL has had guys who can play, and guys who can talk. It needs both. Every team needs characters, needs instigators, needs people who can get under the skin of the opponents and drive them nuts. The FANS need that on their team, and need it on the other teams so they'll have someone to hate. That "he's an ass, but he's OUR ass" quote from upthread is a perfect summary.

But the key is, you don't keep someone around JUST because he can talk. Sherman did both. More importantly, he did it in the right order -- he made the season-saving play and THEN unleashed fire from all orifices. Sherman tipping that ball away was his coming-out party for the casual NFL fans who weren't 100% sure there was still a team in Seattle. That's how you become a star. The postgame? That's how you become a _superstar_ -- because now _everyone_ knows your name AND that you can play with the best.
posted by delfin at 2:58 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


"Well, except in the "Student of the Game" interview, Sherman talks about how he hides his coverage to persuade quarterbacks to throw interceptions. Sherman shouldn't feel insulted that they threw to Crabtree - that's part of his game plan."

Except in this case, Sherman is all over Crabtree all the way downfield.

This particular coverage is not at all about deception, it is one on one man coverage and Crabtree needs to either shake Sherman or beat him to the ball at the point of the catch.

For many of Sherman's INTs you're correct, but this particular pass was about trying to beat Sherman athletically.

It didn't work.
posted by striatic at 3:02 PM on January 20


The push off that Sherman is talking about is up-field, not at the point of the catch.

He says "I was in good position for a pick [i.e., an interception] until he pushed me in the back."

Does anyone else think Sherman's talking about anything other than Crabtree's hand on his back just before he tipped the ball? If so, can you show us video of this other "push-off"? I ask because Sherman is kind of an obvious bullshit artist, and I wouldn't take his word about it, even as I can respect his brains and his excited brand-building.
posted by mediareport at 3:08 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


I must be really out of touch. When I hear 'thug,' I have to remind myself that it's probably not a reference to a member of an Indian cult. Even after that reminder, I'm more likely to picture one of the Sopranos than a gangsta. I suppose it means I'm not the kind of dog who can hear that whistle.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:15 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


yeah that's the quote i had heard, and believed he was referring to the moment of the tip...upon viewing i certainly don't see a push-off.
posted by OHenryPacey at 3:16 PM on January 20


Golden Eternity: “It's just shit-talking for the sake of a trumped-up rivalry narrative.

The 49ers and Seagulls are in the same division, and there is a real rivalry. There is a legit psychological aspect to "trash talking", imo. If you can create mental states of humiliation and anger in your opponent they probably will tend to make more mistakes and pay less attention to the game. The other thing about "trash talking" is it can be a lot of fun and a game in itself. See rap music.”
Just to expand on this a little, Sherman and Harbaugh also have a heated history. One presumes neither is on the other's Christmas card list.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:17 PM on January 20


As a lifelong 49ers fan, was I offended by Sherman's behavior and words?

Trick question...like any true 49ers fan I turned off the game the second the interception was made.
posted by The Gooch at 3:19 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


And that's what I get for not reading to the bottom before commenting. :/
posted by ob1quixote at 3:19 PM on January 20


"He says "I was in good position for a pick [i.e., an interception] until he pushed me in the back."

The sentence before that is "Michael Crabtree stutter-stepped out of his break on first down and sprinted toward the end zone."

There's no indication that he's talking about any contact in the end-zone. He could be talking about any contact while they were sprinting toward the end-zone. Offensive Pass Interference can happen anywhere in that time-line, most of which wasn't shown on the game feed or in the replays.
posted by striatic at 3:22 PM on January 20


I don't care what your name is, what your skin color is, where you graduated from, what your grades were, what team you play for, what your position is, what other players have been saying to you - whether in that game or in the pre-season, where you're from, none of it. Put it all aside and look at what he did both to get the penalty and then in the interview. It doesn't take a football fan to be able to plainly define this guy as a dick. He can rise above it and be a better guy (he damn well gets paid enough to), and all the blather about "well we put him on a field to try and kill someone and then expect him to act classy" is red herring bullshit.

And the officiating at that game was a joke, and everybody knows it. There were at least 2 blatant no-calls that the 9ers should have gotten and the intentional hit to the head and shoulders play was a terrible call, as noted by the commentators.
posted by allkindsoftime at 3:22 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


"I was in good position for a pick [i.e., an interception] until he pushed me in the back."

(As a completely unbiased 9ers fan) the comment is meant to throw subtle shade on the refs. Pushing off past 5 yards from the line of scrimmage is a penalty, but but it's pretty rare to get that call nowadays even when it does happen.

This particular coverage is not at all about deception, it is one on one man coverage and Crabtree needs to either shake Sherman or beat him to the ball at the point of the catch.

You're right of course, but I still think it's ridiculous for a corner to be insulted that a quarterback would throw into his coverage. Shittalk Kaepernick for underthrowing the ball all you want. Don't pretend that it's a professional insult to make the throw at all.
posted by muddgirl at 3:23 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


There's no indication that he's talking about any contact in the end-zone. He could be talking about any contact while they were sprinting toward the end-zone.

Well, sure, but you wrote "The push off that Sherman is talking about is up-field" and you sounded very certain about that. Now you're not so certain, which is good, because there's no evidence of any contact upfield, but evidence consistent with Sherman exaggerating a push-off in the end zone.

*shrug*

The slo-mo at :50 in smackfu's link starts with Crabtree's hand already on Sherman's back, so it's possible, I guess, that this push-off happened in the end zone just before, but wherever you think it occurred, it's fair to ask for video before simply taking Sherman's word for it. Particularly since (while I understand his need to write it) parts of Sherman's version of events in his op-ed this morning seems self-serving to the point of hilarity:

I threw a choking sign at 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Why? Because he decided he was going to try the guy he was avoiding all game, because, I don’t know, he’s probably not paying attention for the game-winning play. C’mon, you’re better than that.

Riiight. Anyway, if anyone has video of any illegal push-off from Crabtree during the play, I'd love to see it.
posted by mediareport at 3:31 PM on January 20


[Comment removed - Folks, we pretty much need you to be mindful of your language and be clear if you've read the thread and/or understand the touchy context that this whole scenario is taking place within. Thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 3:31 PM on January 20


Class?

Are we seriously talking about class like we're on Maury Povich or some shit?

It's the NFL, baby. No room for class here.

The racist undertones I see are calling someone a thug or even classless...giving the impression that others HAVE class or aren't thugs. What the hell is that about?
posted by hal_c_on at 3:32 PM on January 20


As a lifelong 49ers fan, was I offended by Sherman's behavior and words?

Trick question...like any true 49ers fan I turned off the game the second the interception was made.


This is what I don't understand about Californians. Or maybe none of you natives has heart. Me...I'll watch till the end...and then say "they were robbed" or some nonsense.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:37 PM on January 20


I think a point is being missed. After Sherman approaches Crabtree, he says something and Crabtree pushes him away. Now, maybe he said "good game buddy, you guys played great" or maybe we can all use our common sense and figure out what he actually said...but it's sorta irrelevant. When Crabtree pushes him away, watch Sherman's reaction: he motions to the official for a flag.

His team has won. He knows it. He is a "smart guy," after all. The game is over, San Francisco's season is finished, and Seattle is going to the Super Bowl. The end. But Sherman wants a penalty. He literally motions to the official to penalize Crabtree for a pretty minor and very understandable shove that Sherman knows, in that moment, he provoked.

If you can defend Sherman asking for that penalty, then go to law school. Do it for a living.
posted by cribcage at 3:38 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Shittalk Kaepernick for underthrowing the ball all you want. Don't pretend that it's a professional insult to make the throw at all.

Kaep basically said it was the matchup they were looking for. It's kind of perfect in a way. I'm sure the 9ers would love to have burned Sherman to win the game.

-Q: Did you make the right decision on that last pass?

-KAEPERNICK: I think so. I’ll take that match-up every time.
...
-Q: Did you think that was a TD?

-KAEPERNICK: When I saw the match up I thought we were going to score on that play.

-Q: What were your other options?

-KAEPERNICK: The other three receivers on the play.


posted by Golden Eternity at 3:38 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


At least it wasn't every sports interview ever.
posted by Killick at 3:39 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Reporter: "Who was talking about you?"

Sherman: "Oh, the Clintons, Malcolm Gladwell, Chomsky."

I thought his reaction was awesome. I like my entertainers to be entertaining. They're athletes, sure, but they're also entertainers.

If Manning had done the same the reaction would have been something along the lines of 'refreshing' or 'uncharacteristic' but certainly not what Sherman has received. Also, nobody would feel the need to point out that a white guy was a 'smart guy'. Most NFL football players are waaaay better educated than their fans, and yet they get treated like monkeys in the press.

You have a guy who just made arguably the most important play in franchise history in front of a guy who's been talking shit to him all day long and is now prepping for all out combat in the Superbowl? He's gonna be a little fired up. Good on him. Gotta love sports.
posted by jimmythefish at 3:40 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


At least it wasn't every sports interview ever.

I laugh every time at that.

As a super fair-weather sports fan, I appreciated the chance to see something that wasn't the usual and to learn more about Sherman who is super interesting whether or not you like him.
posted by jessamyn at 3:41 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


What the hell is that about?

Not surprisingly racism is endemic. When Kaepernick started playing last year, he got shit from some fans and commentators for his "prison tattoos."

At least it wasn't every sports interview ever.

It seems to me like there's something in-between "fluffy sports platitudes" and "grudgematch shit-talking." Is it too much to expect actual game analysis from players? If so, why interview them at all?
posted by muddgirl at 3:44 PM on January 20


I vote for more grudgematch shit-talking. The problem with arrogance is that it's excessive confidence. If you're really the best in the world, it's not excessive.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:53 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I think a point is being missed. After Sherman approaches Crabtree, he says something and Crabtree pushes him away. Now, maybe he said "good game buddy, you guys played great" or maybe we can all use our common sense and figure out what he actually said...but it's sorta irrelevant. When Crabtree pushes him away, watch Sherman's reaction: he motions to the official for a flag.

...

If you can defend Sherman asking for that penalty, then go to law school. Do it for a living.


The game is over, its real life now. You don't just get to shove people for saying something mean to you. Its not a legal argument. Its a common sense one.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:53 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


The game is over, its real life now.

I don't know what the second part means. But to clarify, because I may have been unclear and I recognize not everybody was watching yesterday or is a football fan: the game was over but it wasn't "over." The game doesn't technically end until the clock has run down, which hadn't yet happened. But the conclusion was foregone. There was no way San Francisco could win.
posted by cribcage at 3:57 PM on January 20


Crabtree pushed off. They usually get receivers for that when their arms are extended. And Crabtree pushed off. Sherman was right about that. But on a play like that to decide who is going to the superbowl, with <30 seconds on the clock, Sherman knows good and well they are not calling that.

Smith running back in coverage as being a big play is a joke to me. Once Kaep went back to pass and it was a clear pass play, of course he was going to run, wait, I mean jog back into coverage and the end zone. They had a spy on Kaep so no need to worry about that, plus there was 26 seconds left and they were on the 18. Smith was at the 10 yard line when Kaep threw the ball. The 10! He jogged 10 yards toward the play, and add on an extra 7 for heading toward the sideline. Good play, but hardly anything new or different.

As far as Sherman asking for a penalty, I don't think so. He knew the penalty flag was against him, and was pointing like "hey, he pushed me!", like all guys do when they get flagged for altercations.

And yes, there are a lot of guys in the league who get by on ability and don't treat what they do like a craft. The coaches encourage them, give them suggestions, and they make some comments and talk about plays, but Sherman's doing a pretty good job at going beyond that. But this point isn't worth proving. It's my opinion based on the film and programs I've seen over the years. If you feel another way, that's great.
posted by cashman at 3:57 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


If Manning had done the same the reaction would have been something along the lines of 'refreshing' or 'uncharacteristic' but certainly not what Sherman has received. Also, nobody would feel the need to point out that a white guy was a 'smart guy'. Most NFL football players are waaaay better educated than their fans, and yet they get treated like monkeys in the press.

This is totally baffling to me.

1) Way better educated? Like, the school of hard knocks or actual school? Because many of the best players left college after 3 years without even graduating; many NFL players go to college for four years but don't graduate because they didn't take enough or pass enough classes; 3) attending a college doesn't guarantee that you will be "educated" - many big time athletes would have trouble gaining admission to a state school without athletic hooks (granted, in many cases that may be because they stopped taking school seriously when they started football, but that's not the issue here)

2) If Manning had said "I'm the best in the game. They insulted me by blitzing, as though I wouldn't make the right read and throw the quick out and get the first down and win the game. Don't bring weak defenders like [name]. I'm the best in the game," then I guarantee you he would have as many critics as Sherman has now. Because it's a mixture of absurdity and [adjective of choice that doesn't offend you as much as "classlessness" does]
posted by pdq at 4:00 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


i feel like a lot of the hullabaloo was created because he dared to have that much fire in his belly standing next to a white woman. i feel like this is an intersection of racism and sexism. i think if that interview had been given to tony siragusa, far fewer people would have reacted to it (but there would have still been some of the racist "he's a thug" comments). there has been a lot said about erin andrews' reaction - one of her coworkers even said she looked scared - but to my mind i thought she did a great job. i hope she continues to go far in her career. i was extremely pleased to see that she was given one of the two pre-game interviews, a job not normally handed to a woman.
posted by nadawi at 4:02 PM on January 20 [19 favorites]


If we're going to play "let's imagine if _____ would have done something similar," then I'd be most curious about seeing how people would have reacted to Riley Cooper pulling off something like that.
posted by MoonOrb at 4:03 PM on January 20


brady screams and pouts and acts a fool on the sideline and he doesn't get a tenth of the negative reaction that dez bryant got for enthusiastically complimenting his team.
posted by nadawi at 4:04 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


well, when that racist shit head, riley cooper, does anything i yell at the screen. also, you'd have to imagine a reality where this year's eagles squad got all the way to the nfc championships. they were basically let in the playoffs because the nfc east had to send someone, not because they strictly deserved to be there based on their level of play.
posted by nadawi at 4:06 PM on January 20


Hey, hey now, we were the beneficiaries of Dallas blowing it yet again at the end of the game, fair and square.
posted by cashman at 4:07 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


"Anyway, if anyone has video of any illegal push-off from Crabtree during the play, I'd love to see it."

Not to get all Zapruder film on you, put it you look at the footage frame by frame from the first part of the video in the link, the wide shot of the actual play, Crabtree has his left hand on Sherman's back from the moment they enter frame until two strides later when they are in the end-zone and the replay camera angle picks up the rest of the play.

The majority of contact between the two players occurs up-field, before they cross into the end-zone. Crabtree has his hand planted on Sherman from at least three yards before they enter the end-zone and the replay picks it up. There is plenty of contact upfield, more-so than in the end-zone, and the contact is consistent with how Sherman describes the play.
posted by striatic at 4:09 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


i wonder at this point if the other nfc east teams try to get the last game of the year against dallas, knowing it'll punch their ticket to the playoffs no matter how they cocked it up earlier in the season...
posted by nadawi at 4:09 PM on January 20


I'm ready to believe that Sherman knows exactly what he's doing. He's fine with being a celebrity. he's using his gifts on and off the field to make the most of what this opportunity in the NFL is giving him. Poor kid from Compton makes good, check; brainy player from Stanford, check; chip on his shoulder for being undervalued, check; smack-talkin' shut-down corner, check.
It's no accident that Erin Andrews stuck the microphone under his nose first after the game.

He might be a bit of an unreliable narrator when i t comes to the details of his carefully crafted story, but i'd bet it's part of the plan for now, and for after the game is done with him.
posted by OHenryPacey at 4:10 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


"there has been a lot said about erin andrews' reaction - one of her coworkers even said she looked scared - but to my mind i thought she did a great job."

Andrews later said "That was so awesome, and I loved it".

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/01/erin-andrews-happy-richard-sherman-interview/

And she did do a great job because in the heat of the moment she did what a good interviewer should do and got Sherman to clarify his unclear statement.
posted by striatic at 4:15 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


And she did do a great job because in the heat of the moment she did what a good interviewer should do and got Sherman to clarify his unclear statement.

Exactly. She was so pro; I was really proud of her. I'm still at the place where I get stoked to see female sportscasters and (Except for the Pats' loss) this evening of football had everything!
posted by jessamyn at 4:17 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


oh absolutely. i don't think she in anyway fed the narrative that he scared her. i think people who feel like women don't belong there overly focused on her so called fear.
posted by nadawi at 4:18 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


no problem with the choking (i'm not sure if people are interpreting it as actual choking? i just assumed it was "you choked mannnnn"), or the interview (loved erin daniels' facial expression, cocking her head and raising her eyebrows on "i'm the best corner in the game!" and pragmatic, innocent followup "...who was talking about you?"). in fact on rewatching, i have to agree with folks who said it was more WWE than anything else.

not a football fan but found the 2 linked videos interesting. and the smackdown of skip bayless! has stephen a ever been that quiet for that long?

anyways, as soon as i saw this last night, i knew there would be the usual racist bullshit all over the internet. for me it's not about football being a brutal sport (it is) or having good sportsmanship (and i seriously prefer good sportsmanship and love stories about people being decent to each other). it's just that this was so tame compared to the amount of criticism. i've never seen the apoplectic screaming coaches called thugs, not even when their own (gigantic muscular) players are holding them back to avoid getting a penalty or thrown out for getting right up in the ref's faces. neck veins bulging, red faces and all.

re: athlete intelligence. at least with regards to professional sports, they all know a helluva lot about their jobs. if you ever listen to them mic'ed up, they are often talking to each other in the game and on the sidelines, making adjustments, warning each other, getting on each other for not doing their jobs. you have to understand your game at that elite level or you will get beat every time.
posted by twist my arm at 4:19 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


> i don't think she in anyway fed the narrative that he scared her. i think people who feel like women don't belong there overly focused on her so called fear.

The only fear that I think I saw was that of a broadcaster not knowing if the situation was going to cleanly wrap up, not so much anything to do with Sherman being an angry prat.
posted by planetesimal at 4:24 PM on January 20


I think Erin Andrews looked surprised because as long as you've been watching the game, you can usually look at the interviewee, think about the plays they made in the game, and figure out exactly what's going to be said in the entirety of the interview before the on-field reporter says the first word. Not this time.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 4:25 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


I thought Erin Andrews' expression was more like "what the fuck" then "I'm scared."
posted by MoonOrb at 4:26 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Peyton Manning Loses His Mind

Don't ever remember hearing him called a thug, or classless. He has to be physically pulled away from his own teammate.
posted by jaguar at 4:26 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


I saw this blow up on Twitter, though I didn't see the game. Some tweets I enjoyed:

stefan

septembawest

Horton Atonto

Christopher Hooks

The Hot Take Man, referring to a Sherman-criticial tweet by John Podhoretz

Ibid.

and this one by Tomas Rios seems relevant somehow.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:27 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


"Richard Sherman Burns San Fransisco"Olbermann
posted by ob1quixote at 4:33 PM on January 20


It was a very entertaining game. I love Sherman. I love that we have Sherman as counterpoint to Lynch, who was fined for NOT talking to the press. Apparently, a lot of people thought they were watching golf or tennis. Spilled their sparkling water when the entertainment got too loud.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:35 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


I should note that the above includes the triumphant return of Stick Puppet Theater.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:36 PM on January 20


I've always thought Erin Andrews is an awesome broadcaster. She gets that sports is about having fun and aesthetic awesomeness not sadistic athlete envy and weird moral outrage.
posted by Golden Eternity at 4:37 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


IRFH - heh for a minute last night i wondered if sherman was doing lynch a favor by getting the press off lynch's back. speaking of lynch, i really like this interview with him.
posted by nadawi at 4:44 PM on January 20


I thought Erin Andrews' expression was more like "what the fuck" then "I'm scared."

Exactly - she looked more surprised than anything - because he was off the usual "we gave it 110% and never gave up" platitudes and she didn't have the context/background for understanding his attitude towards the SF receiver. She was trying to get some follow-up done - trying to understand - not scared. I'd bet she was told over her earpiece to throw things back to the booth, and that she didn't do it out of panic or uncertainty because she had that rare sports interview moment happening: the player is off script and saying unexpected things.

That being said, he was off-script in terms of the usual athlete interview. I'm not sure he was off-script in terms of the Building the Sherman Brand plan. Everything he's done since reeks of that. The guys on PTI today noted that he might just have lifted a page from Deion Sanders in terms of being willing to raise his profile and not shy away from any limelight.
posted by nubs at 4:48 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Exactly - she looked more surprised than anything - because he was off the usual "we gave it 110% and never gave up" platitudes and she didn't have the context/background for understanding his attitude towards the SF receiver. She was trying to get some follow-up done - trying to understand - not scared. I'd bet she was told over her earpiece to throw things back to the booth, and that she didn't do it out of panic or uncertainty because she had that rare sports interview moment happening: the player is off script and saying unexpected things.

The USA Today article linked above -- which talked to Andrews -- is far more charitable than you are.

She had the context/background, but knew the viewers at home may not have the background, so asked the followup so Sherman could explain to them, not that he really did. And the producers cut away abruptly because who knows what the hell Sherman would say next over a live mic to the entire country.

Also, I suspect one small aspect of the shoutiness of Sherman is the whole "Seattle crowd is loud" thing; 78% of the pregame hype was about how loud the crowd is, their team has just won their ticket to the Superbowl, so presumably the crowd noise was fairly substantial. Not surprised that a gentleman doing a sideline interview will tend to yell; it's clear they can barely hear each other.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 5:02 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Oh, yeah. For the blown call file, calling running into the kicker on Seattle. That's a blown call - he didn't hit the kicking leg, he hit the planted leg. That's roughing the kicker, which is 15 yards and first down.

So, that's another time the refs gave the ball to Seattle, and unlike the hurly-burly of the fumble, this one had no excuse. The NFL Casebook has this explicitly listed out - hit the planted leg with the kicking leg up, roughing, not running into, the kicker. If you hit the kicking leg, it's the lesser penalty.

There was also the helmet to helmet that SEA got but SF didn't.
posted by eriko at 5:05 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Not to get all Zapruder film on you, put it you look at the footage frame by frame from the first part of the video in the link, the wide shot of the actual play, Crabtree has his left hand on Sherman's back from the moment they enter frame until two strides later when they are in the end-zone and the replay camera angle picks up the rest of the play.

The shove came in the back and to the left. The back, and to the left. Back, and to the left.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:09 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


It seems to me like there's something in-between "fluffy sports platitudes" and "grudgematch shit-talking." Is it too much to expect actual game analysis from players? If so, why interview them at all?

Well, if you want analysis, you can't shove a microphone in front of their face 5 seconds after the game is over. I've played competitive sports for a couple of decades - the reason you have so many on-field coaches is because it is very, very hard to get out of the moment and to see anything other than one move and one play at a time.

I think trying to sum Sherman up by what happens in the silly theatre that is NFL media is pretty short-sighted. Guys get fined for saying nothing (Lynch), or saying what they think (such as - the officiating sucks.) Calling him a "dick" or a "thug" because he's said some stuff in the heat of the moment is really doing it on some very limited information, which is why I and others think there are stereotypes filling in all the gaps.

He grew up in Compton, excelled at Stanford, plays elite corner in the NFL and has lots of community involvement. It's quite possible there's a lot more to him than 30 second sound bites.
posted by rutabega at 5:09 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


By the way. Bowman is reported to have a torn ACL and MCL, expect to start next season.
posted by eriko at 5:10 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Talented, Arrogant, and Black: Richard Sherman And The Plight Of The Conquering Negro
When you're a public figure, there are rules. Here's one: A public personality can be black, talented, or arrogant, but he can't be any more than two of these traits at a time. It's why antics and soundbites from guys like Brett Favre, Johnny Football and Bryce Harper seem almost hyper-American, capable of capturing the country's imagination, but black superstars like Sherman, Floyd Mayweather, and Cam Newton are seen as polarizing, as selfish, as glory boys, as distasteful and perhaps offensive. It's why we recoil at Kanye West's rants, like when West, one of the greatest musical minds of our generation, had the audacity to publicly declare himself a genius (was this up for debate?), and partly why, over the six years of Barack Obama's presidency, a noisy, obstreperous wing of the GOP has seemed perpetually on the cusp of calling him "uppity." Barry Bonds at his peak was black, talented, and arrogant; he was a problem for America. Joe Louis was black, talented, and at least outwardly humble; he was "a credit to his race, the human race," as Jimmy Cannon once wrote.

All this is based on the common, very American belief that black males must know their place, and more tellingly, that their place is somewhere different than that of whites. It's been etched into our cultural fabric that to act as anything but a loud, yet harmless buffoon or an immensely powerful, yet humble servant is overstepping. It's uppity. It is, as Fox Sports's Kayla Knapp tweeted last night, petrifying.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:18 PM on January 20 [22 favorites]


The USA Today article linked above -- which talked to Andrews -- is far more charitable than you are.

Wasn't trying to be uncharitable. I think she did an awesome job under the circumstances and I haven't been able to keep up with all the angles on this story.
posted by nubs at 5:22 PM on January 20


Man, I haven't watched a lot of Football this year, but I watched this game, and I'm glad I did. I was watching it at the bar mainly because I was seeing a friend, and she was cheering for the Niners as the last remaining team she could muster any energy to care about, so I was as well. First and foremost, the Niners absolutely recovered that fumble and everyone knows it.

Second, I'm now kind of a fan of Richard Sherman. His passion for the game and for being the best at what he does, and his deep-magic understanding (and ability to both demonstrate it and explain it) of his position is infectious and a little inspiring. He just played a very key role in winning the NFC championship and taking the Seahawks to the damn superbowl. Literally moments before. In a matchup against a guy with whom he has apparently legitimate bad blood. His reaction was beautiful.

Third, Erin Andrews is also a pro and very good at what she does and was, in her way, kind of put in the same position as Sherman was moments earlier - here's an unexpected opportunity coming right at her, and she's quick enough to handle it the right way. I doubt this will silence the voices from the sewers who think she shouldn't be there, but it gives a nice bit of ammo for those of us on the other side of that "argument."
posted by Navelgazer at 5:28 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Will finish reading the thread after I comment. At least I think.

Regarding the "Student of the Game" clip, one thing Hunter S Thompson learned when associating with the NFL is that football players are insanely smart at football.

I liked the close-up slow motion of trash talking that wasn't legible.

One thing I learned about trash talking from UFC was the phrase "wolf tickets" courtesy of Diaz. The media, which includes the viewing public, since they have the Internet, is complicit. I probably won't watch the Superbowl though, since I don't like being exposed to too much alcohol and pizza.
posted by saber_taylor at 5:28 PM on January 20


And by "under the circumstances" I mean in a packed, noisy stadium on a field filled with media, players, team staff, and whoever else her interview started to go in an unexpected direction and she was working to ensure the audience understood the context before her producers cut her off.
posted by nubs at 5:30 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


I don't like being exposed to too much alcohol and pizza

Can I have yours?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:38 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


The 49ers and Seagulls are in the same division, and there is a real rivalry.

I'm no sportball fan - in fact, I'm pretty much done and over with people screaming SEAHAAAAAWKS at each other all over downtown, whether or not there's a game on.

But I've seen this "seagull" thing used as some sort of a sporting insult a few times and it's amusing to me.

Because the seagulls in Seattle aren't like the seagulls I've seen everywhere else, including the SF/Bay Area and all of California.

The seagulls in the Puget Sound region are bigger than housecats and small dogs, they're intensely carnivorous and I would not be at all surprised to see them carry off a small child to eat it. The only thing that seems to prevent them from doing so is that they're intensely individualistic and are no co-operative like, say, crows or ravens are from time to time.

And like seagulls everywhere, they only seem to swarm and fight for food for themselves.

There's also their haunting, eldritch cries which sound a lot like, frankly, a small child being carried wailing into the sky while being slowly devoured alive. It took me months to get used to their calls because they sound so much like a human in severe distress or pain. They sound nothing like those tiny little caws and cries of the seagulls I knew in CA.

So, yeah, keep calling the Seahawks football team "seagulls" or whatever. You have no idea what kind of terror you're actually invoking in the locals when you use the word "seagull". Because around here, it's not some small, annoying bird that might steal your sandwich while you're at the beach.

Around here they're carniverous/omnivorous sea birds about the size of a common brown pelican that will flip out and fuck your shit up if you try to do something cute like feed them like you might on a California beach.

Anyway, go Stoner Bowl 2014!
posted by loquacious at 5:46 PM on January 20 [15 favorites]


loquacious: But I've seen this "seagull" thing used as some sort of a sporting insult a few times and it's amusing to me.

Furthermore, the correct pejorative is "seachickens".
posted by mhum at 5:52 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


If Manning had said "I'm the best in the game. They insulted me by blitzing, as though I wouldn't make the right read and throw the quick out and get the first down and win the game. Don't bring weak defenders like [name]. I'm the best in the game," then I guarantee you he would have as many critics as Sherman has now. Because it's a mixture of absurdity and [adjective of choice that doesn't offend you as much as "classlessness" does]

If Manning ever said anything substantive I'd be gobsmacked.
posted by srboisvert at 5:53 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Different fan bases have different reputations, and ever since the last superbowl the hawks played in I have observed that the hawk's fans have a giant chip on their shoulders about the refs, and moan loader than most at even the hint of a bad call, but after these past few seasons of listening to the 'Whiner's fans bitch and moan, i've gotta say they are the nfl champs. Hands down San Fran wins at complaining...about the noise, about the refs, about anything but thier own team giving up 3 turnovers in the 4th qtr and choking away the game.
Congrats! see you next season, enjoy your extra 2 weeks off!
posted by OHenryPacey at 5:57 PM on January 20


If Manning ever said anything substantive I'd be gobsmacked.

O... ma... ha?
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 6:01 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


I thank my lucky sunbreaks I never experienced those seagulls, loquacious.

For some more context, lets look at another receiver/corner interaction in an on-field interview right after the game ended, but this time it's the receiver talking trash. That led to T-shirts that an NBA player wore for a game. Both receiver and corner are black. The interviewer was male. No yelling, so there's that, but Sherman's demeanor wasn't so much different that it deserved an uproar of this magnitude. It should have just been a funny interview Sherman had. I can't believe anybody got upset at all other than being mad their team lost. Ice Up son!
posted by cashman at 6:02 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Speaking of trash-talking specific opponents (albeit, in this case, before the game not after):

"Earl Morrall would be third-string quarterback on the Jets," he said. "There are maybe five or six better quarterbacks than Morrall in the AFL."
posted by mhum at 6:05 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Furthermore, the correct pejorative is "seachickens".

I think it's Seadderall. Because, you know, the Seahawks (Sherman included, though he got a Ryan Braun-style chain-of-custody reversal) keep getting caught taking PEDs.
posted by inigo2 at 6:08 PM on January 20


an NBA player wore for a game

Speaking of Steph. Dubs spoken word.
posted by Golden Eternity at 6:15 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


stu got flow
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:19 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


RARRARR RODDY PIPER PAUL ORNDORFF MARIETTA CIVIC CENTER RARRARRRR YOURE GOING DOWN WHATCHAGONNADOO WHEN HULKAMANIA AND MISTER T GO WILD ON YOU BROTHA!

oh this wasn't part of all that? what year is this?
posted by not_on_display at 7:10 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


So if I prefer Russell Wilson's approach over Sherman's, Tony Dungy's over Jim Harbaugh's that makes me a racist? Mkay.
posted by ambient2 at 7:57 PM on January 20


Crow vs. Seagull fights over carrion in a parking lot in downtown Seattle are the best fights. The crows try to gang up on the seagull, who then tries to eat them. Then, they chase each other until they're away from the carrion, and one loner crow goes 'MINE', and takes advantage of the distraction. Then, the rest of the birds remember what they were fighting for, and they all come back to chase away the hapless crow who was quietly feasting on the kill.

Then it all starts over again.
posted by spinifex23 at 7:59 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


I thought what he said was funny, but for some reason, it's hilarious when I imagine the same speech in Lady Grantham's voice.

"When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, I'm afraid that’s the result you are going to get, dear"
posted by 4ster at 8:01 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


Now I can't get that out of my head!
posted by spinifex23 at 8:02 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Oh, yeah. For the blown call file, calling running into the kicker on Seattle. That's a blown call - he didn't hit the kicking leg, he hit the planted leg. That's roughing the kicker, which is 15 yards and first down.

So, that's another time the refs gave the ball to Seattle, and unlike the hurly-burly of the fumble, this one had no excuse. The NFL Casebook has this explicitly listed out - hit the planted leg with the kicking leg up, roughing, not running into, the kicker. If you hit the kicking leg, it's the lesser penalty.

There was also the helmet to helmet that SEA got but SF didn't.


Who knew that Seattle's boast of a "12th Man" really referred to the referees in this game?
posted by JDC8 at 8:03 PM on January 20


Oh, and there's some handwringing liberal Seattle yuppie mom on the news, 'disapproving' of the outburst because 'It's not good for the children'.

YUPPIE. ITS NOT ABOUT YOU. YOU MAKE SEATTLE LOOK BAD. The children are going to be just fine, really.

(This is probably the same type of person who smugly posts on FB what high culture idea she's going to be doing, instead of lowering herself to watch an actual sports event on the TeeVee. "Oh, there's an important sportsball game one? That's nice. I'm busy designing this spring's topiary for my front bushes, whilst sipping on some Roobios tea.")
posted by spinifex23 at 8:08 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Not to mention, Richard Sherman does a hell of a lot for 'the children' already. Case in point: The Richard Sherman Family Foundation.
posted by spinifex23 at 8:15 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


so uh I finally watched this clip, and

what

is that seriously what people were mad about

seriously, people

what
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:18 PM on January 20 [21 favorites]


Where does this new "sportsball" meme come from?

Because it's just dismissive and stupid.
posted by Rumple at 8:22 PM on January 20 [17 favorites]


I am a huge baseball fan and a meh football fan, but I love the new "we were sportsing pretty hard today!' meme and the Sportsball definition.

I say this with full knowledge that Tom Terrific and the Sportsball team from my area did NOT SPORTS VERY GODDAMN HARD in yesterday's contest.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:24 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Sherman has now apparently apologized for the personal attack on Crabtree in the post-game interview:

"I apologize for attacking an individual and taking the attention away from the fantastic game by my teammates ... That was not my intent," Sherman said Monday in a text message to ESPN's Ed Werder. Sherman also addressed his postgame comments in an interview Monday with ESPN Radio on the "SVP and Russillo" show.

"Obviously I could have worded things better and could obviously have had a better reaction and done things differently," he said during the interview. "But it is what it is now, and people's reactions are what they are."

posted by mediareport at 8:27 PM on January 20


Hands down San Fran wins at complaining...about the noise, about the refs, about anything but thier own team giving up 3 turnovers in the 4th qtr and choking away the game.

Is there a fanbase in the league that doesn't whine about "the refs"? It is so common it is an American sports cliche. When I started watching soccer a few years ago my friends had to teach me NOT to whine about the refs, as it was ingrained in me since childhood.
posted by muddgirl at 8:36 PM on January 20


The officiating crew that was on for last nights game was profiled in a Sports Illustrated 3 part section in MMQB - it was the subject of a FPP here on Metafilter.

Actually only two (I think) officials from that crew were working this game: referee Gene Steratore and umpire Bill Schuster. The NFL has been going with "All-Star" crews in the postseason, mixing and matching the best-rated officials rather than sticking with the seven-man teams that work together the entire year. That could explain some of the bad calls and inconsistencies on the field—though certainly not the Bowman possession or the blown roughing the kicker call.
posted by stargell at 8:41 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


When I started watching soccer a few years ago my friends had to teach me NOT to whine about the refs

Unless it's Howard Webb. Everyone likes to complain about Howard Webb.

(But seriously... what? Whining about the refs is universal in soccer.)
posted by asterix at 9:10 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


No, if you prefer Russell Wilson's approach over Richard Sherman's, that doesn't make you a racist. If you think Sherman's approach makes him a thug and Wilson is a good, hardworking, unthreatening young role model, you may have some things to think about. If you think that calling Sherman a clown for calling Crabtree mediocre means that he is classless and you are protecting the integrity of the game, you may have some things to think about. That's about it.
posted by Errant at 9:12 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Where does this new "sportsball" meme come from?

Personally, I've started referring to all major league sports as "sportball" to poke fun at my own ignorance and neverending blunders of mixing up the teams, players, seasons, schedules, etc. (e.g. recently when my husband asked me about Seahawks players, I answered "Ichiro," which I've since been informed was "wrong on so many levels I don't even").

Now instead of asking my friends if their football team won when they were actually watching basketball (while I was sitting next to them the whole game), I can just ask "How was your sportball game?" and "Did the team from your geographical area win?" to signal my interest in their immediate happiness or sadness. Trying to get any more specific than that usually just produces nonsense that earns me years of teasing.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:21 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Wait. Calling it "sportsball" doesn't earn you years of teasing?
posted by hal_c_on at 2:27 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


The sportsball meme came to me from a friend who is married to a sports reporter. It seems to have hit a nerve this week.
posted by kemrocken at 2:35 AM on January 21


I believe we are talking about handegg, not sportsball.
posted by loquacious at 3:11 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


Wait. Calling it "sportsball" doesn't earn you years of teasing?

Exasperated silence.
posted by Pudhoho at 3:57 AM on January 21


SeattleSeahawksMemes on facebook is hilarious
posted by Blasdelb at 5:29 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


i'm pretty big into a variety of sports, especially football, and i say sportsball. i find it funny.
posted by nadawi at 6:07 AM on January 21


nfl films puts together a package every week of the season called soundfx - apparently this week it will focus some of its attention on crabtree and sherman. it'll be interesting what they show...
posted by nadawi at 6:10 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Currently, Stubhub tickets to The Book of Mormon on Broadway start at $226.00.

Stubhub tickets to the superbowl start at $2,297.

That is all.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:20 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Where does this new "sportsball" meme come from?

Because it's just dismissive and stupid.


It comes from the internetters.
posted by srboisvert at 6:24 AM on January 21


That is all.

Mind = blown. Tickets to an event that occurs once a year are more expensive than tickets to an event that occurs daily. Society, wtf!?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:25 AM on January 21 [9 favorites]


The Book of Mormon can potentially sell four times as many tickets as the Super Bowl, and probably costs less to produce.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:28 AM on January 21


Ha! As someone who has come to shrug and accept the existence of, but will never be able to even begin to wrap my head around, the the hoopla surrounding spectator sports I take enormous pleasure from the "sportsball" meme.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:35 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


"Sportsball," when used in this thread or to someone you know is a fan of sports who is not in on the joke, signifies more of "I care so little about this thing you like that I'll act as if it's completely indistinguishable from any other sport and cloak it in the guise of me making fun of my own ignorance," and less of "here is some self deprecating humor."
posted by MoonOrb at 6:41 AM on January 21 [7 favorites]


all my sports loving friends and family who also spend a lot of time on the internet just use it for jokes and shorthand. "wanna come watch some sportsball this weekend?" "oop, gotta go, sportsball is on." etc.
posted by nadawi at 6:54 AM on January 21


And NFL Films did a documentary on Richard Sherman too.

The Trash Talking Cornerback
posted by josephratliff at 6:57 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


I heard the sportsball thing and similar variants a few years ago. And it's probably pretty old. I heard it from someone who was showing their ignorance of sporting events yet also trying to condescend in just the tiniest but funniest way. So kind of near where MoonOrb says.

But to me there is no real condescending because you can only make yourself look ignorant. It's like anything else. If you say "what's that audionoise you're listening to - the roachies or Mickie Jokeson something?", you look equally as stupid. It should be pretty clear to any adult that we all have a ton of things we like that others don't care about, so don't act like you care about all the "right" things.

I still think "sportsball" is funny. But maybe not in the way the person saying it realizes.
posted by cashman at 7:03 AM on January 21


I say sportsball because I think it's funny. I like sports. Good athletes are a joy to watch. And yeah, we, the sportsballitariat, have totes co-opted the term from our erstwhile oppressors, the ballet-watching thugs and holders of season tickets to the orchestra, the vile gold circle donors to the Museum of Contemporary Macaroni Art, the craven Downton Abbey fans, the loathsome First Friday gallery tipplers. We will, at long last, elevate the democratic virtues of sportsball to their rightful place at the fore of civic life in this our nation, and all nations.


Go Seahawks!
posted by Mister_A at 7:06 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


nadawi, for people who are in on the joke and use it with others in on the same joke it is fine. But using it otherwise is a lot like saying "your favorite band sucks." If I were to use it around my own friends they would understand it didn't carry with it an implied criticism of the thing they were talking about.

Also, there's a difference between asking "so how was that sportsball event in your region this weekend" when you are the one raising the subject and another to interject the use of the term into a conversation that you didn't start. Again, context can matter, but outside anyone having the advantage of knowing that your comment shows genuine interest and not implicit judgment, it comes across as dismissive.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:07 AM on January 21


I learned a long time ago that yelling "Field goal!" for comedic effect when a basketball player makes a 3-point shot only generates record-scratch silence and the shaking of heads.
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:07 AM on January 21


Unless it's Howard Webb. Everyone likes to complain about Howard Webb.

Well, except for his fellow United fans.
posted by inigo2 at 7:11 AM on January 21


Technically a 3-pointer IS a 'field goal,' as are two-pointers.
posted by Mister_A at 7:15 AM on January 21 [5 favorites]


Man, my jokes fail on so many different levels.
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:17 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


uh, ok. i was just saying that sportsball means different things to different people. i don't really need you explaining the term or how people use it. i'm not really sure why people got so het up about it in this thread - there were 3 mentions of sport(s)ball previous to this burst in conversation, first was someone being complimentary to the game, then someone making a comment about seagulls, and finally someone holding up a facebooking strawwoman. doesn't seem that big of a deal, really...
posted by nadawi at 7:21 AM on January 21


Technically a 3-pointer IS a 'field goal,' as are two-pointers.

In fact, the referee signal for a made three-point shot in basketball is almost identical to the one for a field goal.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 7:24 AM on January 21


As with many things, "sportsball" very much depends on who says it, how it's said, and who it's said to. If a bunch of rabid Seahawks fans high-five while saying "WE DOMINATE AT SPORTSBALL!" it's a funny joke among sports fans. If, on the other hand, it's said by someone who clearly doesn't know anything about sports and doesn't particularly care to know anything about sports, the subtext is "this thing you sports fans care about is silly and trivial."
posted by slkinsey at 7:25 AM on January 21


I can just ask "How was your sportball game?" and "Did the team from your geographical area win?" to signal my interest in their immediate happiness or sadness. Trying to get any more specific than that usually just produces nonsense that earns me years of teasing.

Not being snide, but you could just say "how was the game" or "did your team win."
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 7:26 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


It seems to me the joke is exactly worded to sound conspicuously ignorant — "Did the team from your geographical area win?" comes across to me as a cartoon alien saying "No I am a human, I live in... Earth". If anything it's self-effacing, telegraphing "I may not care about this but I care about you, tell me about the things you care about".

I can totally understand if people have a different reading here but all I see is someone making an effort to show an interest in their friends' interests even if they happen not to share this particular one. I can't see much wrong with that.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:44 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


>Mind = Blown et seq.

Sarcasm? Sometimes I can't tell.

You miss my point, which is an unengaged reflection on the consumer choices. After all, you can watch the game on television for free and get a better take on the event in so doing. You can't watch Book of Mormon at all, except at a theatre. So, Mabel, while we're in New York, waddaya wanna do? Take in the game, or go to a show?

I'm just bemused by the way people allocate their entertainment dollar. I'm old enough that two thousand dollars is real money. Hell, two hundred dollars is real money. (Reason I haven't seen BoM.) Me, I wouldn't pay Superbowl ticket prices for a reunion of the Beatles. (Second Coming - probably. But I'd have to think about it.)
posted by IndigoJones at 8:15 AM on January 21


I think, although I am not certain, that the term "sportsball" probably originated with John Hodgman, who has actually devoted a bit of attention in both his writing and his podcasts over the years to his ambivalence about sports, as a nerd par excellence. There's been softening of his outlook with time.

In his first book, he writes something like: "Be assured that there are only two references to sports in this book, and both are suitably dismissive. If you have an interest in sports, may I kindly refer you to every other aspect of our culture?"

More recently, however, he's sort of zeroed in on the essentially identical natures of sports fandom and, e.g., comic book fandom, and copped to the fact that people who aren't into sports can be just as jerky and condescending about it as people who aren't into, I dunno, LARPing or whatever.

I think that's an interesting evolution because it seems to mirror what I suspect is a larger change in the social landscape. A few years back I got interested in watching professional basketball, after many many years of taking no interest in sports of any kind. The first time I sat down to watch a game, my daughter, about 7 at the time, asked what I was doing. When I told her, her reaction was sort of fascinating to me. "Oh geez, Dad," she said,"Please don't turn into a sports geek."

Her tone of voice sort of made it clear that "sports geek" was a known thing, despite the fact that we'd never had any real culture of watching sports at home, so I can only assume she formulated the concept at school. And I can say with some degree of certainty that when I was elementary school, nobody would've categorized anybody with an interest in sports as any variety of "geek". But nowadays they apparently do, at least around here. There are sports geeks and music geeks and Pokemon geeks and I don't know what all, and the kids appeared to have recognized the fundamental similarity of all those forms of fandom.

So if you're nettled by a term like "sportsball", I guess I'd say you're right that it's a mildly dismissive term, but I think it's probably usually being used with, counter-intuitively, a greater tolerance that you'd expect. I susupect, though I cannot prove, that there are more people using the term because they've come to recognize sports fandom as just one more example of silly deliberately cultivated obsession, than there are who are using it because they actually think sports per se are objectively rill rill stupid.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:15 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


If I recall correctly from his podcast, one of John Hodgman's human children is into some sort of sport. If would be hard for most people to be openly contemptous of a thing their child loves, although I know it happens.
posted by Green With You at 8:22 AM on January 21


for YEARS now, my friends and I have been chanting the Awkward Fan Cheer while watching sports games, which goes "Our team did the points! Our team did the points! Our team did the points! GO SPORTSBALL!" This applies to everything -- soccer, basketball, football, hockey, track and field, ice skating, dressage, it's all sportsball. This is fun all the time, but when the sort of "hey, we are having fun even though we don't really understand the nuances of the game!" energy transmutes to the "Holy balls this is terrific!" energy, it's even more fun. I was in the other room during this playoffs game, and when Sherman intercepted that pass my husband yelled "HOLY SHIT THAT WAS AMAZING! HONEY COME HERE AND SEE THIS! OUR TEAM DID SO MANY POINTS! OUR GUY JUST SPORTSED SO HARD!" completely without irony.
posted by KathrynT at 8:26 AM on January 21 [8 favorites]


Sherman is currently hanging around on Twitter.
posted by cashman at 8:38 AM on January 21


I dunno; I don't think a term is necessarily automatically derisive just because it acknowledges how alien a concept is to the speaker. I mean, sure, it can be, if delivered in a certain context to a certain audience.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:46 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Why everyone is so mad at Richard Sherman
posted by nubs at 8:46 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


My wife and I refer to it as "SPLORTS!" from the amazing shitroughdrafts.

I do find "sportsball" can be super condescending. As if an adults interest in professional sports is somehow less valid than your Doctor Who crochet project.

There were a lot of super brave souls on FB admitting "they just don't care about sports" and "what is happening with this game thing?" on Sunday. So edgy!
posted by lattiboy at 8:55 AM on January 21 [9 favorites]


Currently, Stubhub tickets to The Book of Mormon on Broadway start at $226.00.

Stubhub tickets to the superbowl start at $2,297.

That is all.


Eh, silly metric, but The Book of Mormon has been running on Broadway continuously since March 2011, had an additional show for almost a year in Chicago that has now become the show's 2nd U.S. tour, and also has a UK production that's been running continuously for almost a year now.

The Superbowl happens....well, you know.
posted by mediareport at 9:02 AM on January 21


This amazing picture of Sherman appearing like a Christian icon is great.
posted by lattiboy at 9:03 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


I highly recommend that 11-minute documentary josephratliff linked to above. They talk about Sherman's style of play but then spend a good amount of time talking to his father, who works driving trucks (still) for LA Sanitation. They talk to his mother as well, and his brother. He goes back to the house in Compton he grew up in. He talks to children about making it out of whatever circumstances you're in, no matter what. "Where there is a will, there is a way", saying he gives his phone numbers to kids and says "call me if you can't figure it out and we'll figure out a way that you can get it done". I mean pretty much everything the conservative power structure in America would want to hear, even though it is still legitimately energizing to see a dude express the things he expresses.
posted by cashman at 9:10 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


"Why you mad, bro? Richard Sherman didn't do anything wrong," Brian Floyd, SB Nation, 20 January 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 9:21 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


There were a lot of super brave souls on FB admitting "they just don't care about sports" and "what is happening with this game thing?" on Sunday. So edgy!

Oh, man, this thing. Just drives me up the wall. I have one Facebook friend (an old acquaintance from jr. high) who can be counted on every year to post some sort of, "I take it there was some sort of football game going on today?" every weekend of the NFL playoffs. We get it dude, you are above it all and much more enlightened than anybody (and I'm sure have no hobbies that could possibly be considered frivolous).
posted by The Gooch at 9:21 AM on January 21 [6 favorites]


They sound nothing like those tiny little caws and cries of the seagulls I knew in CA.

I'm wondering if the screaming evil birds that used to dive bomb us at the dump were seagulls? Because if so, that's where the giant mean fearless seagulls who want to punch through the metal roof of your vehicle and eat you are.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:22 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Not being snide, but you could just say "how was the game" or "did your team win."

Because if I ask them a normal question they'll assume I have a normal amount of knowledge and their answers will be incomprehensible to me. By inserting "sportball" into my phrasing, I signal my utter ignorance and they know to answer on that level.

For example, when my family decided to watch the Seahawks game this weekend while I was visiting, I realized that many of my Facebook friends were watching the same thing and discussing it online as it happened. To join in the conversation, I posted "So, how 'bout today's sportball game?" and my friends left helpful comments like "Blue good, yellow bad" and explained which direction we wanted the ball to go.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:38 AM on January 21


By inserting "sportball" into my phrasing, I signal my utter ignorance and they know to answer on that level.

Yeah, that makes sense if people know your deal, but if you're ever in a situation where you think the other person might take offense to sportsball and you want a couple of stock phrases you can use, those should do the trick.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 9:47 AM on January 21


In other words, "sportsball" is problematic.

Seriously though, it is very weird to see this very social justice-type conversation being applied to the feelings of sports fans.
posted by lattiboy at 9:58 AM on January 21


Beanplating is a type of "sportsball" that is popular among some MeFites. I hope the Metafilter team from your geographical area did well in the sportsball of beanplating.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:02 AM on January 21 [5 favorites]


The Seattle Seahawks Sportsball Team of Sporting FC did very well this weekend.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:04 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Obviously people are free to have interests as varied as they please, but if you're able to master the rules of 30-40 incredibly complicated board games, or keep up with all the Star Wars extended universe cannon, or able to recite (at will) the back catalogs of obscure psychobilly record labels, I think it a bit obtuse to not have even the faintest idea the rules of the most popular game in your country for the past 30 years.

It's willful ignorance and as much a social statement as the whimsical disinterest it's commonly portrayed as.
posted by lattiboy at 10:07 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


The Seattle Seahawks Sportsball Team of Sporting FC did very well this weekend.

In this vein, I think that all Sounders gear should be reversible so that Sounders fans can get into Seahawks playoff fever (and vice versa), simply by turning their apparel inside out since the colors are so similar/complementary.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:09 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


I hope the Metafilter team from your geographical area did well in the sportsball of beanplating.

"I'm the best beanplater in the game. When you try me with a sorry beanplate like reddit, that's the result you're going to get." - Ask MetaFilter
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:09 AM on January 21 [12 favorites]


Beanplating is a type of "sportsball" that is popular among some MeFites. I hope the Metafilter team from your geographical area did well in the sportsball of beanplating.

Heh, my husband actually does ask me "Were lots of people wrong on the internet today?" about my MetaFilter discussions as his equivalent to my "How was your sportball game?" type questions.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:10 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Were lots of people wrong on the internet today?

Is air wet?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:12 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


We get it dude, you are above it all and much more enlightened than anybody (and I'm sure have no hobbies that could possibly be considered frivolous).

I agree. But to play devil's advocate, I can understand wanting to roll your eyes when every single post in your news feed is about the same thing that you don't care a whit about. I am political but not on Facebook, and I admit, my news feed—largely populated by law school classmates—gets a bit one-note on election days.

if you're able to master the rules of 30-40 incredibly complicated board games, or keep up with all the Star Wars extended universe

Both of those are things eleven-year-olds can do. Which is always my argument whenever a professional being paid six figures to play a game commits a rule violation and then pleads ignorance. Which seems to happen a lot in the NFL.
posted by cribcage at 10:14 AM on January 21


I agree. But to play devil's advocate, I can understand wanting to roll your eyes when every single post in your news feed is about the same thing that you don't care a whit about. I am political but not on Facebook, and I admit, my news feed—largely populated by law school classmates—gets a bit one-note on election days.

Oh, I completely understand.

I'm not at all into sports and boy do I get sick of all the posts about "x-team is obviously going to win because y-team is full of garbage people and pedophiles", but to literally not know how football works at the most basic level after growing up in the US is..... well, that took effort.

Contrarianism is fine, but don't pretend it's anything else.
posted by lattiboy at 10:20 AM on January 21


pleading ignorance is part of the song and dance, just like flopping when you're held or interfered with. also, the basic rules are easy to grasp, but there are definitely some weirder rules (who can and cannot push so&so's butt during which plays for example) where even the experts in cushy booths have to look them up. add to it that the refs just straight up get stuff wrong sometimes...it's not just the players who don't know the rules in every moment.
posted by nadawi at 10:22 AM on January 21


i dunno - in high school i was in band and i often explained the basics of the game to other band nerds - these are people who went to every football game their school played for 8ish years, actively playing music to the action on the field, and many of them didn't know the basics. they weren't trying to stay ignorant, they just found it more interesting to talk to each other or roll up character sheets or cram for the test or make out under the bleachers. i don't think it really took effort to not know the rules, just a lack of interest.

in much the same vein, i just don't like basketball and don't really know much more beyond 2 points, 3 points, dunks, free throws, and traveling, even though i sat through a lot of basketball games through band and being a mormon and having friends who played.
posted by nadawi at 10:29 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


The rules have also been changing a lot recently to try to (nominally) reduce really terrible injuries while still keeping the game "interesting" so even though the players pretty much know what is what, they play off of the fact that a lot of people viewing don't know what exactly the rules are (a lot of football fans just sort of like "the game" and aren't the super geeky rules lawyers sports nerds who do the commenting and the morning-after quarterbacking) and try to introduce doubt and whatnot. Football can be difficult to get the rules just by watching (at least for me anyhow) compared to a lot of other major league sports and the very specific tackling/blocking rules are even an esoteric outcropping of the general rules.
posted by jessamyn at 10:32 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Has anyone here, in this thread, ever been offended by someone asking anything along the lines of "How did the sportsball team you follow do this weekend?" I would be amused if someone asked me that about a team I follow.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:32 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


I think it a bit obtuse to not have even the faintest idea the rules of the most popular game in your country for the past 30 years.

I've lived in this country for 36 years, fourteen of them in Texas. The following represents the sum total of everything I know about football, and much of it may be wrong.

1. There are four quarters. There are four downs per quarter. You have to get ten yards. You have multiple tries to do it.
2. If the other team takes the ball away from you, then they have the ball, and it is their turn.
3. Touchdowns are worth six points, and sometimes seven, based on a thing called a "conversion."
4. Field goals are worth three points, and are accomplished by a person who has no other job except to kick the ball through the field goal.
5. It is strongly discouraged to attack either the other guy's head or the other guy's knees.
6. Despite the name, the game is really about throwing and catching.

Now, that is more than "the faintest idea," but it's not enough to be able to talk intelligently about the game. That's where the "Our team did the points! Go sportsball!" stuff comes in -- if I'm watching the game with people who are really into it, I don't actually need to know all the abstruse details of everything that's going on to have fun. I need to know if our team did the points, and if the general opinion in the room is that our team is sportsing well. It doesn't make me obtuse any more than it's obtuse to go to the symphony to hear a performance of a work you're familiar with because you heard it on Bugs Bunny once, and it doesn't make my good time any less valid than that symphony-goer's.* It's a way to have a good time watching a game with some friends without spending hours learning the intricacies of the way the game is played first.

*I am not slamming people who go to the symphony to hear music they've previously heard on Bugs Bunny. I love those people. COME TO THE SYMPHONY! We don't bite!
posted by KathrynT at 10:32 AM on January 21 [6 favorites]


I ALSO LOVE HOW MANY WOMEN I GET TO TALK TO ABOUT FOOTBALL HERE ON MEFI! SO MUCH!
posted by jessamyn at 10:33 AM on January 21 [8 favorites]


In case you were wondering, this is the proper attire for a sportsball game.

Also, can you believe that it was almost 10 years ago when Something Awful started making those?
posted by mhum at 10:35 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


go to the symphony to hear a performance of a work you're familiar with because you heard it on Bugs Bunny once

I HAVE ACTUALLY DONE THIS!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:37 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


People think their interests are more valid than yours: film at 11.
posted by grumpybear69 at 10:38 AM on January 21


The first cellist totally trash-talked the woodwinds section when it was over.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:39 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


I HAVE ACTUALLY DONE THIS!!!

YES!! And you had a great time, right? It didn't matter that you weren't totally tied into the structure of the piece, that you didn't understand the intricacies of how one theme slid into another, that you didn't know all the history of the piece -- you could just go and be like "That is some great musics! HOORAY MUSICS!"

Well, you can do that with sports, too!
posted by KathrynT at 10:42 AM on January 21 [6 favorites]


Football can be difficult to get the rules just by watching

Definitely true. And there's a lot of information across different aspects. Compared to my friends I have a good grasp of the rules, but I'm at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to knowing the names of every player on every team, let alone their numbers.

Having said that, there's a difference between fans who learn by watching versus players who are paid $X00,000 to know.
posted by cribcage at 10:44 AM on January 21


you could just go and be like "That is some great musics! HOORAY MUSICS!"

I tried that, but they threw me out.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:47 AM on January 21


I've been to the opera exactly once, and it was because Maurice Sendak designed the sets. And I had a great time! It's okay to enjoy things even though you're not an expert!
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:47 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


They also didn't care for it when I dressed up as Carmen Miranda and tired to conduct the orchestra with a giant foam finger.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:50 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Yeah, there's a lot less cosplay in classical music than there is in professional sports.
posted by KathrynT at 10:51 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


...need to know if our team did the points, and if the general opinion in the room is that our team is sportsing well.

I think comparing the symphony as a cultural touchstone (something that has been generally only for the most upper of crusts) with the most watched event(s) in the country is a ridiculous comparison. Probably as many people are into yatch racing as go to the symphony. About a third of your fellow citizens watch football every week.

You know plenty about football. I'm not saying everybody should be able to discuss the benefits of the nickel defense, but to be all "which was does the ball go lol! Sportsball!!!" from otherwise intelligent and educated people is kind of abrasive.
posted by lattiboy at 10:52 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


"...but to literally not know how football works at the most basic level after growing up in the US is... well, that took effort."

In my case my family never watched sports (this weekend was such a noticeable exception that I asked my dad "Who are you and what have you done with my father?" when he put the game on) and almost every guy I ever dated was a sports-hating geek. My husband is the first hardcore football/baseball fan I've ever lived with and for him it's a Guys Day Out type activity. So I've never had sufficient exposure to pick up how football works, and prior to this week I didn't have a compelling reason to seek out information on my own.

Now I'm actually trying to learn enough about Seahawks football over the next few days to troll the shit out of my husband when I get home from my trip to Seattle. He was here with me for a couple of days at the beginning of my trip and rolled his eyes at all the Seahawks paraphanalia everywhere (it started on our flight out of Charlotte and never let up). So my mom is taking me shopping for a Seahawks #12 shirt today to wear when my husband picks me up from the airport on Friday so that it will seem like no one gets out of Seattle alive without succumbing to the cult. I'm told by our more sportball-minded mutual friends that my husband's mancrush on someone named Payton Manning will make my rooting for the Seahawks to win the Superbowl extra lulzy.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:52 AM on January 21


I think comparing the symphony as a cultural touchstone (something that has been generally only for the most upper of crusts) with the most watched event(s) in the country is a ridiculous comparison.

It's not ridiculous for me, because I sing with the local symphony and spend an enormous amount of time and energy learning both the performance and the craft, all the technical details, the theory and practice of the work. And yet I don't deride my fellow citizens for enjoying the fruits of that labor on whatever level they choose to.
posted by KathrynT at 10:56 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


So Chiney Ogwumike (plays basketball at Stanford) said that she was in class today and they started up a discussion about Richard Sherman. "Nerd nation is still turnt." Too funny.

for those who don't know...turnt is short for turn up, which is basically saying excited, going crazy, etc.
posted by cashman at 10:59 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


Can we move on from the sportsball derail? Or take it to memail or MeTa?
posted by futz at 11:00 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Go Hawks!!! (how's that?)
posted by OHenryPacey at 11:02 AM on January 21


I haven't seen Sherman mention this directly, nor seen it noted in yesterday's swirl of commentary. Sherman's commercial for those fancy headphones, beats, premiered during the game's broadcast. The face/founder/CEO/whatever of the beats brand, Dre, was at the game and shown onscreen during the broadcast.

beats have been, at least in Seattle but I suspect nationally, running another and directly related athlete's endorsement commercial featuring the Niners' Colin Kapernick. In that ad, Kapernick is shown getting off of a (presumably, as no licensed imagery is used) Niners team bus and walking through an insanely hostile crowd of fans wearing blue and green as it rains heavily. The depiction of the blue and green fans is so over the top that it provoked outrage in Seattle when the ad began airing.

One of the fan gestures that is prominently shown in the Kapernick ad is a blue-and-green clad partisan throwing the choke sign, the exact same gesture that Sherman delivered at the end of the game.

This is a man who earned his communication degree. That gesture amounts to additional advertising for beats, and directly ties the two ads together, in the manner of a record and an answer record. The gesture practically qualifies as art, in and of itself.

I didn't have a strong opinion of Sherman one way or another before this game - I have seen him at a couple of Mariners games, and he just walked up to the gate with everybody else, was entirely gracious and approachable, and did not act like my idea of a star NFL player out in public at all. But I didn't spend much time thinking about it.

After this weekend? I am an engaged fan.
posted by mwhybark at 11:02 AM on January 21 [12 favorites]


I don't deride my fellow citizens for enjoying the fruits of that labor on whatever level they choose to

Unless it's on the mezzanine. Those asshats don't deserve any respect.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:02 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


"...but to literally not know how football works at the most basic level after growing up in the US is... well, that took effort."

No, it took having other things to do.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:05 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


"Nerd nation is still turnt."

And I am living proof. Go Hawks!
posted by mwhybark at 11:05 AM on January 21


i am also a huge fan of discussing football with other women on mefi!
posted by nadawi at 11:12 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


Don't judge him, a piece by the ESPN.com reporter who has covered the Hawks for most of this season.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:19 AM on January 21


Maybe it's because I'm in the Midwest, but there are no shortage of women football fans around here. I probably have more anti-sports dude friends than anti-sports woman friends. Yet I still get the OMG YOU PLAY FANTASY FOOTBALL?!? from guys who first meet me if the subject comes up, like I'm some kind of sports manic pixie dream girl*. I'm glad that professional leagues are finally understanding that women want sports apparel that fits them that is actually in their team colors and not pink or baby blue, too.

*This was actually my last year after 10+ years playing fantasy football; I am stepping away from the NFL due to a crisis of conscience about CTE and player injuries in general. I am still a hockey fan and will probably watch a football game if it's on so I may be a hypocrite, though.

Don't get me wrong, I like being able to talk about sports on MeFi too, especially when it doesn't get derailed from the start with eye rolling dismissing comments about Rich Dudes Playing a Game For a Living from the anti-sports brigade. That there are women participating here is pretty great.
posted by misskaz at 12:11 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Rush Limbaugh's a Richard Sherman fan too.
posted by gyc at 12:47 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


As for the symphony thing, generally if you go to the symphony you sit there and listen and pay attention regardless of your knowledge or investment. If your non-symphony-going friend sat next to you --even on the couch-- paying half-hearted to no attention, but mostly trying to engage you in conversation while you're watching, cause they don't really care, or every third second said something like, "So, the baton thing? That's for the beat or something?" but not really caring if you answered or not. And got up to get something to eat or go talk/text a friend --or just talked on the phone next to you on the couch-- every few seconds, your experience might then differ. The idea that some people actually enjoy watching a sporting event much as one watches a symphony --for the sake of it-- seems alien to some folks.

If it is clear that you don't give a rat's ass about something, dismissively asking about it just to be "pals" or something, and making sure you include codewords to indicate your lack of actual care, it's not being a pal: it's being a jerk. If you don't care if the team won, don't ask. It just seems stupid at worst and condescending at best --or maybe vice versa-- if everyone knows you don't really care.

And again, Sherman rocks: I prefer honest passion to dishonest, stoic bullshit any day.
posted by umberto at 12:57 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


It must be a tone thing. I ask people about stuff that I don't know much about all the time, and it's not because I don't care -- it's because I do care, I just don't know the specifics. "Hey, weren't you going to a show last weekend? Was it good?" or "Didn't you say you were going to go camping somewhere? Did the rain get you?" are the same sort of question, just without the Internetty vocabulary.

"I am interested in what you do but do not have the terminology down" is how I would mean it. I can see how it could come across as rude, if asked by the wrong person in the wrong way.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:11 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


gyc: "Rush Limbaugh's a Richard Sherman fan too."

Rush Limbaugh: "Sherman writes a weekly piece, and the guy's smart. He's football smart, but he's got great grammar, great vocabulary. That's why this outburst yesterday surprised a lot of people who know the guy 'cause he really is a smart guy."
That piece really shows how Limbaugh is a fascinating guy with an interesting relationship to racism. He says racist things like my pull quote, a lot of racist things, and doesn't seem unaware at all of how and when he does it, but he also refuses to take a lot of the more of opportunities for more subtle and couchable racism that so many liberals in the public sphere pounce on. This segment is really both seeing Sherman as a complex human being with a right to be simultaneously Talented, Arrogant, and Black in a way so many are clearly incapable of and trying to explain this to his often deeply racist audience in a way they can hear. Limbaugh has now more than a few times reminded me of how racism is not really a thing practiced by two dimensional monsters but real people who often have other valuable things to say and a thing that can be most powerfully addressed by first listening carefully.

He is using racist dog-whistles in the segment in a way that is undoubtedly intentional, but is also using them to communicate a message in a way that those who most need it can hear that is powerfully anti-racist in subtle but deeply important ways.
posted by Blasdelb at 1:13 PM on January 21 [6 favorites]


Here's my absolute favorite part of that transcript, and it's not even any of the barely-coded racist bullshit that Blasdelb notes:

If you look at what he said: "I'm the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's a result you're gonna get. Don't you ever talk about me," and Erin Andrews is clueless. She has no idea what he was talking about, and she said, "Who was talking about you?" "Crabtree!" There's the root of it. Richard Sherman thinks that everybody knows that he's got something going on with Michael Crabtree of the 49ers, and nobody knows.

I'm sure Obama, at the end of the day, thinks the whole country's thinking about him every day. There's some people so lost in their egos that they really do think that everybody is fascinated with what they're doing and knows intimately everything going on in their life.


Yes, I'm sure that Obama, who has suddenly been interjected into this conversation about a football player for no discernable reason other than a relentless axe to grind, is lost in his ego for thinking that people like Rush Limbaugh talk about him all the time. Hilarious.
posted by Errant at 1:50 PM on January 21 [7 favorites]


More (old) Sherman videos! Talking with Darren Woodson about trash talking, and interviewing people about Richard Sherman on Bourbon Street before last year's Super Bowl.

The only thing missing from the first video is a little clip ESPN put into the piece right when Sherman was saying he likes to mess with guys. He called somebody perspicacious during a press conference.

I am in love.
posted by cashman at 1:55 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


He called somebody perspicacious during a press conference.

He was having a Stanford-off with Andrew Luck.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:17 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


"Richard Sherman, the NFL, and decorum", All In with Chris Hayes
posted by ob1quixote at 2:28 PM on January 21


whilst sipping on some Roobios tea

Oh, please leave my beloved rooibos tea alone! It is a humble tea, made from a red bush's leaves.

I speak as a total Hawks fan in defense of Sherman, rooibos, and the great, intellectually challenging game of US football. I've learned a lot about football from reading and listening to what Sherman has to say, and I got a kick out of his nationally televised trash talking at Crabtree, which was fresh, authentically emotional, and classic Sherman. I think I may have choked in surprised delight on my tea.
posted by bearwife at 4:31 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


It's sort of unfair to criticize Rush Limbaugh for inserting President Obama into any conversation "for no discernable reason." Politics is what he does. In fact it's not unreasonable to say talking about Richard Sherman on his show only makes sense if he can contort it around into some political metaphor. It's not a sports show.
posted by cribcage at 4:52 PM on January 21


We all remember Limbaugh's great success in sports commentary.

[said with dripping sarcasm]
posted by MoonOrb at 4:53 PM on January 21


cribcage, your comment makes me think that you did not read that transcript at all, because otherwise I have no idea how you could read it and come away with the idea that Limbaugh was making a point about national politics.
posted by Errant at 5:14 PM on January 21


I wasn't responding to Limbaugh's comment, but to yours. Either way, apologies for any derail. We don't need another Limbaugh thread.
posted by cribcage at 5:26 PM on January 21


We don't need another Limbaugh thread

We don't need to know the way home. All we need is life beyond...
The Loofah Zone.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:28 PM on January 21


The Word "Thug" Was Uttered 625 Times On TV Yesterday. That's A Lot., Kyle Wagner, Deadspin Regressing, 21 January 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 5:28 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


The Politics of Smack Talk, Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Politics Blog, 21 January 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 5:40 PM on January 21


Go Hawks!!! (how's that?)

FTH.
posted by eriko at 5:41 PM on January 21


I can't WAIT to hear what this fellow says when Denver wins the Super Bowl.


(Seriously, I don't get why people get so high and muppety about sportmanship! class! yadayadayada...it's a violent game, played by intense men, who sometimes say and do intense things. You don't like it, there's a golf game on. )
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:07 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


I can't WAIT to hear what this fellow says when Denver wins the Super Bowl.

There was a lot of talk about that on ESPN. A bunch of "what if he doesn't back it up? then what? huh? HUH?"

The thing is, what Sherman gets is that nothing happens if he doesn't back it up. It's just talk. He doesn't get fined, or lose his job, or get a demotion, or have to stand naked on a street corner wearing a sandwich board announcing how he talked smack and didn't back it up. I think this is partly the nature of cornerbacks - to have the ability to shake it off and go right back to being confident and cocky even if you got beat on that one play. Wide receivers aren't much different, really. In those old Sherman links cashman posted you can see he prefers when people talk smack right back at him. It's a game, it's how he hypes himself up, and yet it's also No Big Deal.
posted by misskaz at 8:56 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


If you are rooting for Denver you should probably hope that Thomas and Decker are smart enough not to talk trash about Sherman because it will just fire him up.

Nah he will be fired up anyway. GO HAWKS!
posted by SpookyFish at 9:32 AM on January 22


Richard Sherman's CNN interview from yesterday. And apparently more will air on Rachel Nichols' show Unguarded on Friday (10:30pm).
posted by cashman at 9:36 AM on January 22


Sherman was on Fox Sports talking about what people mean when they call him a "thug."

Also references the hockey fight between the Canucks and the Flames the other day, which (despite resulting in 152 minutes of combined penalties) did NOT result in the word being said 625 times in one day.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:25 PM on January 22 [10 favorites]


You see, hockey players beat the living piss out of each other's faces, but they do it in a classy way.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:00 PM on January 22 [5 favorites]


Richard Sherman's full press conference from today - 20:44 video.
posted by cashman at 3:09 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


Richard Sherman, Mic'ed Up. The pushoff really seems minor and they definitely wouldn't call that. Also, Sherman goes over and says "Hell of a game" to Crabtree and it actually seems like a genuine act, if at a trolly time. Nobody who lost out on a chance to go to the Super Bowl is going to want to shake your hand 10 seconds after you personally stopped them.
posted by cashman at 8:16 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


Man, good for him for calling people on their shit.
posted by gucci mane at 2:38 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


Today Erin Andrews tweeted a picture from a new interview she did with Richard Sherman for the SuperBowl pregame. And here is another picture from it.

Sherman's jersey broke into the top 10 in sales recently.
posted by cashman at 11:23 AM on January 23


I'm glad this story isn't going away yet. This is from a gawker piece and it resonates like whoa:


Earlier this week, in an op-ed published in Sports Illustrated, Sherman attempted once more to explain his angry outburst. "It was loud," he wrote, "it was in the moment, and it was just a small part of the person I am." But one of the most difficult things about being a black person in America is that, in many people's eyes, a momentary lapse in concentration, an instant of acting outside the boundaries of what's acceptable, is never just a small part of who you are. It defines you, it envelopes you, it's the real you shining through after years of deceiving people into thinking that you were smart, decent, kind, hardworking—the opposite of all those other hoodlums. Richard Sherman is fast, but nothing in sports is faster than how quickly a successful and talented black person in America can be reduced to nothing but a nigger thug.

posted by polly_dactyl at 12:55 PM on January 23 [5 favorites]


I thought this article on Grantland was a pretty good discussion of the whole issue.
posted by invitapriore at 6:11 PM on January 23 [2 favorites]


"The politics of ‘thug’ life"All In with Chris Hayes, 23 January 2014
Chris Hayes talks with Jelani Cobb about NFL player Richard Sherman’s explanation of what it means to be called a “thug” in today’s society.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:47 PM on January 23


The Atlantic: Richard Sherman: The New, True All-American - "Why has Sherman's infamous post-game interview stirred up so much discomfort? Easy: The nation sees itself in him."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:11 AM on January 24


NFL fines Seattle's Richard Sherman for taunting, Quand Thomas, CNN, 24 January 2014
The NFL has fined Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman $7,875 for taunting tied to the recent NFC Championship Game, a league spokesperson said Friday.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:22 PM on January 24


BOOM! Dave Zirin and his co-hosts reflect on the Richard Sherman post-game interview.

For my money, the best analysis I've seen or heard.
posted by ursus_comiter at 9:56 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


ursus_comiter, that link is powerful, fantastic stuff, really on point, not just on Sherman but also the next segment on the Grantland transgender controversy. I'm going to have to put that show in the rotation. Thank you for sharing it.
posted by Errant at 5:21 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]


Chris Hayes Interviews The Real Richard Sherman
posted by ob1quixote at 6:34 PM on January 28


MSNBC Permalinks if it gets pulled off of YouTube
Part 1: Chris Hayes speaks with Richard Sherman
Part 2: Richard Sherman: From Compton to Stanford
posted by ob1quixote at 6:39 PM on January 28


Shermit The Frog Post-Game Interview
posted by homunculus at 5:08 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


The Sportsman's Code Of Chivalry
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:45 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Can anyone name the player that did without Googling?

Now everyone knows who Malcolm Smith is. What a couple of games he's had!
posted by MoonOrb at 8:59 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


Super Bowl XLVIII: Secrets of the Seahawks secondary
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:54 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Seattle Seahawks' 12th Man - Room of Silence—Fox Sports
How far would you go for your team, with everything on the line? FOX Sports 1 invited members from a Seattle Youth Football League to watch the NFC Championship between their hometown Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers and proposed a challenge. If they could stay completely silent for the entire game -- no talking, no cheering -- they could win a cash prize for new equipment and improvements to their facilities.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:57 PM on February 4


White Men Mess Up and All is Forgiven
posted by nubs at 10:13 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]


The N-Word By Any Other Name, Matt Staggs, Disinformation, 12 February 2014
Prior to Sherman’s observations, the first time that I really became aware of it was during the Trayvon Martin trial. The question of whether Martin was a “thug” became part of a public debate, without anyone really defining what “thug” meant in the first place. Walking mustache Geraldo Rivera (in)famously asserted that Martin had been wearing “thug wear” at the time he was shot, and suddenly people zeroed in on the hoodie – a common enough item in most people’s wardrobes. It was a distraction; an easy way out. Fewer asked Geraldo if he meant something else when he said that Martin “looked like” the “people” who had been supposedly ransacking Zimmerman’s neighborhood, although I have a feeling that many of us – black or white or otherwise – had a damned good guess.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:58 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


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