The Seattle Seahawks advanced to the Super Bowl with an emotional, physical, exhausting victory over the San Francisco 49ers and no one was more heated after the win than Richard Sherman.
The Seahawks cornerback tipped a Colin Kaepernick pass intended for Michael Crabtree in the end zone into the arms of Malcolm Smith, a turnover that secured the 23-17 win. He and Crabtree jawed after the play and Sherman was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct as he appeared to make a choking gesture. Moments afterward, he continued to express himself in a quick postgame interview with a nonplussed Erin Andrew of Fox Sports.
Here’s a transcript:
“I’m the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you’re going to get. Don’t you ever talk about me.” When Andrews asked who was talking about him, he replied, “Crabtree. Don’t you open your mouth about the best, or I’ll shut it for you real quick. LOB [Legion of Boom]!”
After the confetti dropped, Sherman was more composed in an interview with the Fox commentators. Michael Strahan said he “about scared Erin Andrews to death” and asked him to explain the emotional outburst.
“I’m a competitor. I don’t like people saying negative things about me,” Sherman said. “I don’t like people running their mouth, so I told him, ‘Good game and good try, but I’m the best corner in the league.'”
In one postgame interview, he elaborated, calling Crabtree “a mediocre receiver” and saying “I would never let him catch a game winner on me.” Sherman accused Crabtree of saying something personal to him as they trained in the offseason in Arizona and said that “he knows what he said.”
Crabtree had a partial rebuttal on Twitter:
It’s not the first time Sherman has tangled with an opponent. He scuffled with Trent Williams of the Washington Redskins after last year’s playoff game, took on Skip Bayless on ESPN, and taunted Tom Brady. But there’s more to Sherman, a Stanford communications major, than that, as Lee Jenkins wrote last July. From Jenkins:
Such is the blustery persona that he’s concocted—in your face, all day long—which plays well on the Internet and on the sports talk shows, with footage of Sherman riding his personal watercraft to watch rookie camp at the Seahawks’ Lake Washington facility, or quizzing fans on Bourbon Street about whether he’s better than Darrelle Revis. The image of the showboat, the braggart, the outlaw, has helped make him the most famous fifth-round draft pick in the league. Like any caricature, though, it’s based only partly on reality.
One former NFL player came to his defense immediately:
And so did the reigning Heisman Trophy winner:
This much is certain: He isn’t going to back down against Peyton Manning and, on Super Bowl Media Day, he’s going to draw a crowd. Will he be able to stop Manning, he was asked.
“We’ll find out soon enough, won’t we?”