By now you've probably seen the interview with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, moments after he successfully defended a 49ers pass play that could have ended the Seahawks season. Instead, Seattle is heading to the Super Bowl.
It was a heck of a play on his part and exciting end to a fantastic game. Moments later, Sherman loudly boasted he was the best in the game and fired off some additional insults towards his opponents.
Many people, me included, didn't like the way he handled his success. However, I try to understand what makes a person go off like that. The folks who live close to that sport will tell you it is the "in the game mentality" necessary to play at that level….and Sherman hadn't turned that switch off yet.
By all accounts, Richard Sherman is an intelligent and caring individual. He's just a different person on the field. But this incident caused me to remember another man who was a talented athlete and a very caring person.
Early in his boxing career, 22 year-old Cassius Clay, now known as Muhammad Ali, made a statement to the world that he was the greatest. With that, he gave us all a great lesson about how being boastful can have its downside.
My suggestion to great athletes everywhere is to let the body of your work do your talking for you.
That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at email@example.com.
Emailed comments from viewers:
Seems you and Richard Sherman have something in common. You both feel compelled to rant.
Richard Sherman had good reason. Great play and going to the Superbowl.
What's your excuse?
I think the NFL should fine him heavily for his unsportsman like conduct. They should not let him play in the superbowl. Maybe that would correct his attitude. His coaches and teammates should be embarrassed. Just another example of an over payed athlete that thinks he is better than the rest of his teammates. Shame on Sherman!
The news media has developed the habit of sticking a microphone in the face of people at their most vulnerable times. Example's: a family member has just been killed or maimed or something horrific has just happened. Or maybe something fantastic just happened and they are overwhelmed with joy. At those times the media and the world must be resigned to whatever comes out at the time.
I did not like Sherman's tone or his actions but we have to understand what it takes for a person to summon the will to throw themselves around for two hours among real live 3 to 4 hundred pound individuals without fear for their own person. You don't work yourself up to that in a few minutes and you don't bring yourself down in a few minutes either. Kind of like sticking a microphone in the face of a lion just after he has chased and caught his prey. Stick the microphone in and get what you get. Ala "Richard Sherman".
I just have one question. How did being boastful hurt Muhammad Ali? Before this interview Who knew anything about Richard Sherman? Muhammad Ali was smart enough to create a character people either loved or hated on purpose. He knew exactly how to create controversy in order to raise the public's interest level and thus his bank account. He was a showman and the public ate it up. If Richard Sherman is as smart as you say, he may just be using the same technic. Already corporate America has taken notice and commercial offers are on the way. Making commercials pays better and is a lot easier on the body than pro football. Muhammad Ali just did not get out of boxing before it took its toll. Richard Sherman doesn't have to make that mistake. He is young and healthy. His biggest risk might be carrying sacks of money to the bank.
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