Huh? Let me explain.
I love Richard Sherman. He’s a kind of a hero to me.
I’m standing in the Oak Harbor Walmart, the only place to buy Seahawks t-shirts on Whidbey Island. There are three choices: Marshawn Lynch, The Beast, that Caterpillar bulldozer of strength, calling my name. Russell Wilson, Mr. Perfect, and who can argue with that?
And then there’s Sherman. The loud-mouthed Stanford guy who speaks his mind and speaks the truth as he sees it and consequences be damned… especially when they take the form of racist idiots who just don’t get that a kid from Compton might actually be smart enough to graduate from the best University in the World, and even manage to earn his Masters Degree while still playing college ball.
My kinda guy. I grab a #25 and head for the check out stand.
‘Sherm’ was universally reviled when he dared to show some emotion after playing a key role in Seattle’s huge victory in the NFC Championship over San Francisco a year ago, when he deflected a last second potentially game winning pass, before the Seahawks went on to trounce Denver 43-8 in the Superbowl.
But unfortunately, during the two weeks leading up to that shellacking, Big Media was falling all over itself attacking Sherman for daring to act like a … uh… football player, following that playoff game against the 9’ers. The main word used to describe Sherman back then was “thug”, a term he saw as a thinly veiled synonym for the “N Word”.
Which of course led the pundits to make matters worse by seizing on his unfair characterization of their fair and balanced critique of his arrogant audacity.
And there he was again before this year’s Superbowl, being arrogant… and correct… as usual. Saying that everyone does not know what he knows: that the Patriots’ Tom Brady is not the choir boy he is made out to be, not necessarily deserving of his media-darling status; that maybe there is a less acceptable side to him that you only see when you are out there on the field together.
How dare he? What or Who does he think he is? Some kind of Superstar?? Oh wait. He IS. Nevermind that he was speaking respectfully and intelligently and calmly, stating what he sincerely believed was true.
Apparently the authors of the recently released NFL report that details how Brady cheated to help him win this year’s AFC play off game to get into the Superbowl agree with Sherman. It’s just that Sherman isn’t a pretty boy like Brady, married to his cover girl supermodel. No, Richard has dreadlocks and Compton swagger.
Clearly a threat to all those athlete wannabes out there in the media.
In the extremely thorough and very scientific report prepared by one of the top law firms in the country (which you can read for yourself online), the authors concluded that, “based on an analysis of the substantial and credible evidence” available to them (pg.126), that Brady’s claim that he did not know about the deflated balls was “not plausible and contradicted by other evidence” (pg 129).
Significantly, they pointed out that their available evidence was limited because of “Brady’s refusal to provide us with his own emails, text messages and phone records on relevant topics, in response to our narrowly tailored requests” (page 130).
That’s right. I lawyered up on this a bit. I take this kind of cheating very seriously.
So what is bothering me so much? It’s this: Sherman is a fantastic football player. He is also an excellent student of the game, intelligent, articulate and informed. But he is still treated like some sort of pariah by most of the Sports reporters, at least like a class clown that they can make fun of.
But that’s just wrong. He deserves our respect, not our condescension. Which brings me to where we are today: now the pundits are falling all over themselves to say that “Deflate-gate” is nothing but a bunch of hot air. That it made no difference because the Patriots blew out the Colts in that play off game after the deflated balls were properly inflated at half time.
To me that is like saying it is OK to point a gun at someone for no reason, so long as you don’t actually shoot it. It’s not about the point spread, stupid. It’s about the cheating and lying.
Anticipating a possible 6-8 game suspension, they are even saying how unfair it all is. How the NFL Commissioner Roger Godell took so much longer to go after Ray Rice for domestic violence. It does not seem to dawn on them that Brady’s conduct was not some off field alleged criminal activity, where the presumption of innocence and the notion of proof beyond a reasonable doubt apply.
It was part and parcel of Brady’s attempt to rig a game! Even Pete Rose, that Major League Public Enemy Number One of Baseball, was just gambling – not rigging games.
In a masterpiece of unbelievably clueless and biased reporting in the New York Daily News, Gary Myers said the following:
“Brady and Peyton Manning together have been the faces of the league for more than a decade, and this is not at all like Goodell having to suspend miscreants such as Rice, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy for various degrees of domestic violence. This is Brady, a four-time Super Bowl champion, three-time Super Bowl MVP, husband to the world’s most famous supermodel and, at least to this point, everything Goodell wanted representing the NFL shield.”
WOW. Thanks for making my point for me, Gare. Good grief. Can that guy even look at himself in the mirror after pronouncing claptrap edicts like that? I give up. Except I refuse to. I am compelled to call it like I see it. Like Sherman. And never give up.
Like the Seahawks. Because you see, they can talk all they want. We will be ready for them this year.
See you next February 7th, everybody!
Oh, and just think: the Colts, the ones Brady cheated against to help him get into the Superbowl, used to be from… get ready for it… Baltimore. Can you imagine?
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