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We’ve had eight days to dissect from every conceivable angle the 16 seconds that forever made Seattle’s Richard Sherman a household name.
The Seahawks cornerback’s postgame Chernobyl imitation flew out of flat-screens at warp speed, igniting reactions ranging from “Yeah, baby” all the way down to “What a freaking moron.”
And those are the G-rated versions of both extremes.
As a middle-aged Caucasian male possessing no traces of street cred, I’ll admit my initial commentary leaned toward the latter. That is once I decided to break out of my own stunned silence.
Looking back, what Sherman said wasn’t as much the issue as the decibel level he wrapped it in.
Had the kid from the streets of Compton delivered to Fox Sports sideline reporter Erin Andrews the same message in normal conversation tone, the backlash wouldn’t have been nearly as severe. It’s been suggested the same would have held true if Sherman were white, Samoan, biracial or other.
Instead, the black male with hair past his shoulders yelled at the top of his lungs. This offended many in a country that prides itself on freedom of speech.
But don’t put it all on Sherman. The credit or the blame.
What were the people at Fox thinking placing a microphone inches in front of a player who doubles as a human landfill with all the trash he talks?
Was Russell Wilson not available? Did Marshawn Lynch and Doug Baldwin elect to skip the postgame celebration by making beelines to the Seahawks’ locker room?
Highly doubtful. Still, the network sought out Sherman. The result was either fascinating or terrible television depending on one’s perspective.
Perhaps Richard Sherman is the best corner in football (maybe). Maybe the man his ire was supposedly directed at, 49ers’ receiver Michael Crabtree, is in fact mediocre (doubtful).
Somewhere within Sherman’s on-air blast is a happy reactionary medium. One that’s colorless and strictly pertaining to football, the spirit of competition and one of the greatest, most-anticipated days in American sports every single year.
Here’s hoping we can find it.
Browns finally hire coach
Both my parents, three siblings, all aunts and uncles and literally hundreds of cousins are born and raised Clevelanders. It’s a family tree that basically forces me to pull for the Browns no matter how depressingly dysfunctional they are.
Last week’s hiring of new head coach Mike Pettine shook the NFL landscape not at all. Bringing back Forrest Gregg or Sam Rutigliano would have generated greater optimism, and they’re both 80.
Having said that, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is filled with NFL assistants who flourished when finally given an opportunity to become head coaches.
Bill Parcells. Marv Levy. Bill Walsh. There was a time nobody had heard of these guys. The same goes for Vince Lombardi, Don Shula and Tom Landry and many more.
You just never know.
Here’s hoping the Pettine hire finally gives one of football’s truly great fan bases something to cheer about.
The Browns haven’t been to the playoffs since 2002 or won in the postseason since 1994.
Those people are due.
Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. Send comments to email@example.com.
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