Richard Sherman drew a crowd at Super Bowl XLVIII media day, but he saved his best, most thoughtful comments on how the lessons of the last week or so for his column.
Sherman, writing for MMQB.com, has found himself at the epicenter of controversy and debate since his short, trash-talking rant about Michael Crabtree immediately after the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game Jan. 19. He had plenty to say on media day, but his “10 Things I Learned after America Learned about Me” on Peter King’s website was far more revealing.
For openers, he regrets attacking Crabtree moments after he tipped a pass intended for the wide receiver in the end zone into the hand of the Seahawks’ Malcolm Smith, sealing the victory.
1. No one has ever made himself great by showing how small someone else is. That’s not mine. It belongs to Irvin Himmel. Somebody tweeted it at me after the NFC Championship Game. If I could pass a lesson on to the kids it would be this: Don’t attack anybody. I shouldn’t have attacked Michael Crabtree the way I did. You don’t have to put anybody else down to make yourself bigger.
Sherman has been the most-sought-after interview subject since his moment with Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews and, despite his ready-made Beats ad in which he ends a media scrum when he’s asked about being a thug, he was surprised at the scope and intensity of the reaction.
2. This stage is bigger than I thought it was. How much does America love football? My one little rant made it onto CNBC and CNN. I heard my name on The View. I got tweets in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Czech and Arabic. People identify with the struggle and the battle of a football game.
And Sherman is determined to savor his time in the spotlight, however long it lasts.
8. The violence takes a toll. When you play the game, you can’t go very long without seeing a career or a season end on one play. Running in to each other at full speed is not what God intended for our bodies. Everybody knows the NFL stands for Not For Long, so it plays into how you play and how you behave. We each handle it in our own way. You’ve got to appreciate every moment and treat it like it’s your last. You stay locked-in mentally. When you’re watching that from the outside, sometimes you’re going to see some things you’re not always going to agree with.