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What the response to Richard Sherman’s rant reveals about sports fans; Are we hypocrites?

What the response to Richard Sherman’s rant reveals about sports fans; Are we hypocrites?

Richard Sherman’s post game comments will forever live in sports history. He was hyped, angry, excited and extremely passionate about his game winning play over San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree that sent his team, the Seattle Seahawks, to the Super Bowl. Even FOX Sports reporter Erin Andrews seemed to be caught off guard by his response.

On several occasions, especially during the post game press conference he continued to call Crabtree “mediocre”.  While Sherman is getting a ton of heat about his behavior and comments, he said he had good reason: Crabtree shoved him in the face after Sherman he said to him, “good game” and offered a handshake.

Well, it didn’t take long, but San Francisco 49ers wide-receiver Michael Crabtree responded to Richard Sherman’s harsh comments about him:

Film don’t lie… @nflnetwork @espn pull up the tape of that game and show me where this guy is the best?   

Sherman promptly responded:

A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.

Sherman has been called, ghetto, loud, rude, arrogant, and egotistical. He’s also been called a thug, a bully and a other comments that are beyond racist and violent. Yes, it can be said that Sherman’s comments reveal much about him, but given the response, what does it say about sports fans?
Sports fans have unrealistic expectations. Football is a rough, barbaric sport. The amount of energy needed to get to through a game as physical as this, requires that same hardcore and rough mentality. Even sports fans shout things like, “hit him hard!” or “take him down”. We praise the rough hits, yet we get upset when immediately coming out of a game like this, the athlete isn’t calm, cool and collected. Really?!
Richard Sherman is a young man in his early 20’s. Expecting him to behave like an adult male with a matured life experience is silly. Imagine having and reaching the pinnacle of success at an early age,  on a national stage! Top that with beating a player who’s been trash talking with you, and this makes the moment that much better! Being hyped and feeling justified is an understatement. Some said he was a sore winner and called him arrogant.
How quickly sports fans forget….
Sports fans have short memories. Muhammad Ali never hesitated to remind boxing fans and future contenders that he was the “greatest of all time”. Ali even made up rhymes to taunt his opponents up until the very minute of the boxing match. Even Michael Jordan and Dale Earnhardt were notorious for trash talking. Guess what–most agree that Ali was the greatest and we applaud, laugh and are still entertained by his grand gestures. What’s so different between Ali and what Richard Sherman said?
Sports fans are fickle. We love a rising star athlete. We like them young, full of talent and totally unaccomplished. Let him get the coveted ring, title, or championship and then something changes. If he dare agrees he’s talented or even remotely accomplished he now becomes an arrogant prick who should be scarred for life. Since when did it become a crime to believe in yourself? Since when did agreeing that you are good at what you do become synonymous with egomania? Oh, I see. There’s nothing wrong with good athleticism as long as the athlete never says it out loud. 
Richard Sherman had a moment. Perhaps he lost his cool and was caught up in the excitement of the win, but what about Crabtree’s behavior? His conduct was less than gentile and he’s been given a pass because he lost the game.
Sports fans are moody. We love athletes one minute and hate them the next. Perhaps we’re the problem. We tend to relate to people in situations or circumstances closest to our own. Maybe that’s why Sherman has drawn such ire. How many of us can say we are living our dream and doing it well? If you are, there’s nothing wrong in saying it, and believing it. Now, I do think Sherman will have to eat some humble pie one day, not because of karma, but just because it’s the nature of the game he’s in.
Until then, he’s headed to the Meadowlands. You may not agree that he’s the greatest cornerback in the NFL, but he was in that moment–when it counted.
Jersey Girl Sports fam someone will surely pull Sherman’s collar but we may need to be checked too. We feed the frenzy, enjoy the madness and live for the thrill of competition. 
After all, this is sports.
Your Jersey Girlfriend, 
~Angela Davis

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