Picture this: January 19, 2014. NFC Championship. San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks. The winner of this game moves on to the Mecca of pro football, the Super Bowl. 29 seconds left on the clock. The score, 49ers: 17, Seahawks: 23. San Francisco is in the end zone, looking like they are about to score a game-winning touchdown. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick makes the throw intended for wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Just before the ball could fall into the arms of Crabtree to save the 49ers chance to pull ahead and win the game, Seattle cornerback, Richard Sherman, taps the ball out of his reach into the hands of fellow teammate, Malcolm Smith. The play squashed every chance of San Francisco moving on to the Super Bowl and the Seattle stadium went absolutely wild. Interestingly enough though, this wasn’t even the talk of the night, or the week, for that matter. What immediately followed the game is what caused an explosion across social media.
Following this incredible play, reporter Erin Andrews rushed to meet Sherman to get his reaction to the game. By this point— I’m sure you’ve seen the interview, but to sum it up— Sherman yelled that he was “the best corner in the game” and referred to Crabtree as a “sorry receiver.” This was following plenty of taunting from both Sherman and Crabtree but Sherman has received a majority of the flack for the situation as a result of his emotional interview.
The reaction that has come post-interview has been all over the place. On one side, people think he was unprofessional, uneducated, violent, and just plain crazy. Plenty of viewers have traced these assumptions from his upbringing in Compton, Calif., where violence is a major issue in the Los Angeles suburb. However, many bring up the point that Sherman does not have violent past at all. His family made it a priority to keep their children away from the negative influences around Compton that would keep them from achieving their dreams. As far as being uneducated, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sherman graduated Stanford with a 3.9 GPA. Not too shabby.
This interview has made this upcoming Super Bowl more interesting than ever. Not everyone is a die-hard Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks fan but after the reactions of this interview, it sure does seem as if everyone has picked a side for the game.
I approached different KU students to get their take on this interview that has taken social media by storm. From what I’ve heard, it seems that a lot of students have changed their mind as more information has come out through the week. Jesse Flax, a junior from Bison, admitted that he thought “it showed unsportsmanship” upon initially watching the interview, but eventually came to “understand where he was coming from.” Flax explained that “this was for a big game, not for a participation ribbon,” crediting the adrenaline rush from the game-winning play that sent the Seahawks to the Super Bowl to influence how Sherman responded in the post-game interview.
Junior Jessica Whalen, from Overland Park, at first was also alarmed by the interview, describing Sherman as “really angry.” Whalen then went on to say that after given the backstory, she “understood why he reacted that way, but thought he should have handled it in a calmer manner.”
Alex McCoy, a junior from Overland Park, summed the interview up as “intense.” McCoy backed up Sherman’s actions by describing the “passion” he had for the game and said he was ultimately “living in the moment.”
I think it’s safe to say that everyone is anticipating this upcoming game to see what happens next. The Super Bowl will take place on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. on FOX. Who will you be rooting for? Let us know in this weeks poll!