Screv6 – Richard Sherman Isn't Listening

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Say what you want about Richard Sherman, he's not listening. He's in the film room - perhaps with a pair of Beats on, but probably not - preparing. Noting every Bronco formation. Charting their tendencies out of those formations. Internalizing the spots that Peyton Manning likes to throw to.

He's got the biggest game of his life coming up. He'll be tasked with containing 6 foot 3 inch, 229 pound Demaryius Thomas's 4.38 speed. Of course, containing probably isn't the word Sherman would use, and it's probably not wholly accurate either. Not when he's coming off a game where he didn't allow a catch. Not when he's shut down the likes of Dez Bryant, Roddy White, and Calvin Johnson, holding them all to under 50 yards. And that's probably the word he would use: shut down.

But like I said, he doesn't really care what word we use; he's too focused. Focused on the 60 hours of film he'll be consuming on the best receiver he's faced since Andre Johnson torched him in Week 4 for 110 yards on 9 receptions, focused on the best playoff matchup he's had since Roddy White got the best of him when the Seahawks were ousted in the Divisional Round last year. He's going to have his hands full not only with Thomas, but also with preparing the rest of the Legion of Boom for the best receiving corp we've seen in the NFL in a while, fed by the best QB we've seen in even longer.

Thanks to a few tactless national television appearances, Sherman has been pegged the villain of the Super Bowl. He resents the label, and denies it at every chance he gets, but it's still there: the media paints #25 in blue as a menacing trash talker who targets receivers and hounds opponents with lip all game. He's gotten a lot of attention, even from non-sports media, as the negative face of the biggest stage in American sports.

Granted, the outbursts are inexcusable, but there were extenuating circumstances that led him to the precipice. Sherman's appearance on First Take, his first big step towards infamy, was during a time when he felt that he wasn't getting enough respect for his performance on the field, and was prompted by an analyst with a penchant for disrespecting great players, and a history of doing so with Sherman. His interview with Erin Andrews was fueled by Michael Crabtree, a receiver he has a worse-than-patchy history with, disrespecting him after Sherman made the play of his life. If you talk to receivers like Larry Fitzgerald or Andre Johnson, they say he hardly talks at all and just plays hard. That's because they don't start the engine on Sherman's motormouth. His mouth is a sleeping, fire-breathing, reckless dragon, but it does have to be prodded to be awakened.

It's natural. He's a passionate competitor with a chip on his shoulder. He's a Compton boy with a fire in him and the guts to let the flame manifest itself. He thinks he's the best, yes, but he's worked hard to ensure that he is an elite corner before starting to make that claim to the world. He's earned it. And he's proud of it. And while everyone's writing about how he's the reason they're cheering for the Broncos in the Super Bowl, he's doing his darnedest to make sure his are the hands that hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy come February 2nd. So why u mad bro?

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