A Denver appliance company is having some fun with the Richard Sherman controversy, but not everyone gets the joke.
Appliance Factory Outlet put up several signs above their stores after the Broncos and Seahawks clinched a berth in the Super Bowl, taking what managers thought was a good-natured shot at Sherman.
The signs show a split-screen featuring beloved Broncos defensive back Champ Bailey and Sherman, with the word “Class” above Bailey’s head and “No Class” above Sherman.
“We thought we’d have some fun with it,” says Kevin Drako, COO for Appliance Factory Outlet. “People don’t want to see you have appliances 40 percent off on your sign. Who cares?”
It’s not the first time the company has mocked a Broncos opponent, but Drako says the sign has sparked a surprising backlash. Dozens of people have called or sent emails defending Sherman and criticizing the company.
“We most assuredly didn’t get a lot of love from Seattle, but I think there were even some Denver fans who didn’t understand what we were doing.”
What they were doing is drawing attention to their company. And with a picture of the sign going viral amidst the national attention about Sherman’s infamous post-game rant, Drako’s mission has more than been accomplished.
“We’re just an appliance company having some fun,” he says. “I have people tell me ‘you don’t know his story, you don’t know who he is.’ No, actually I do. He’s a pretty smart man and I’ll be honest with you, I’m sure he’s a really great guy to hang out with, would be a great neighbor.”
Drako says people are making way too big a deal out of both the Sherman situation and the sign itself. He says the company is looking forward to taking a few more good-natured shots at Seattle over the next week leading up to the Super Bowl.
As for Sherman, he thinks the way he continues to handle the attention is nothing short of brilliant.
“I mean when you think about it, when you talk about the Seahawks and the Super Bowl right now, who’s the guy? Richard Sherman. His picture’s next to Peyton Manning,” he says.
Much like Sherman, Drako is drawing some harsh criticism. But he hopes people change their tune when they get to know him, just like they do with Sherman.
“Some people say we’re jerks. If they talk to us, they’d probably find we’re pretty good guys, too,” Drako laughs.