All it took was a 30-second interview for Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman to become the most talked about person in America.
The Stanford graduate made an exceptional play on Colin Kaepernick’s last second heave to the end zone in Sunday’s NFC Championship. Initially it appeared that Texas Tech standout Michael Crabtree would come down with the game-winning touchdown; what many failed to recognize was that Sherman, the self-proclaimed best cornerback in the league, was anxiously waiting to seize the moment from Kaepernick and the 49ers.
“If our team knew the game was going to come down to a play like that, they’d be pretty confident going into it. … You throw that, it’s a mistake,” Sherman said in a postgame interview.
The Richard Sherman Road To Fame
After being named First-team All-Pro in two of his first three years, Sherman has become one of the most outspoken players in the league and rightfully so. The third-year player already has 20 interceptions and 56 pass deflections, numbers that are destined to grow exponentially throughout the next decade.
Perhaps that explains why the 49ers targeted Sherman’s assignment just twice throughout the entire game. The Compton native was whistled for a holding on the first play, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with Sherman’s physical nature. The entire world now knows what happened on the second play.
Sherman described how things escalated following the interception, “I ran over to Crabtree to shake his hand but he ignored me. I patted him, stuck out my hand and said, “Good game, good game.” That’s when he shoved my face, and that’s when I went off.”
Provoked or not, Sherman’s actions speak louder than any words could. After transitioning from inner-city Compton, California to Stanford, and now to the NFL’s center stage, he has earned the right to boast and brag.
After finishing second in his high school class (with a 4.1 GPA), he completed his under-graduate degree in Communications from Stanford. He is now pursuing a Master’s degree in Communications, all while maintaining his star-status in one of the most physically and emotionally draining professions.
Despite the all of the scrutiny, there have also been a handful of prominent figures who have publicly supported Sherman this week.
Keep going ham on the field @RSherman_25! Best of luck in the SuperBowl dude.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 23, 2014
In addition to the King, former NBA star and current Los Angeles Dodgers Owner, Earvin “Magic” Johnson also displayed support for the Seahawks’ sensation.
I was glad to see my boy Richard Sherman apologize. He’s really a smart & good guy.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 21, 2014
While Sherman will continue receive his fair share of love and hate throughout the next week and a half, the impact he has made throughout his first three seasons cannot be discounted. The passion and devotion he exhibits on and off the field should be inspiration to all, regardless of who’s standing at the podium come February 2nd.
Read more on Richard Sherman and the NFC Championship debate in Sports Illustrated’s “In This Corner.”
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