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Richard Sherman’s rant wasn’t stupid; I think it was calculated

Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman celebrates after the NFL football NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 23-17 to advance to Super Bowl XLVIII. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Taken from Monday’s edition of The Dori Monson Show.

The story everybody in the country is talking about today is Richard Sherman.

Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, they’re all talking about Richard Sherman and that’s because of what they called a crazy postgame interview with Fox Sports sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

Richard Sherman apologizes:

“I apologize for attacking an individual…”

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Richard Sherman was responsible for the victory-sealing tip that led to the game-winning interception by Malcolm Smith. Moments later, Sherman gave an interview to Erin Andrews with Fox Sports, in which he proclaimed himself to be the best cornerback in the league and called Crabtree “a sorry receiver.”

He kept it going with ESPN after that.

So we’re watching this, we’re listening to this, all of a sudden Twitter starts blowing up, and we’re doing the postgame show and Richard Sherman comes up to the podium for a postgame press conference. Now, he’s had about 20 minutes to let the adrenaline settle down. He showered, he put a suit on. You think he’s going to be a little more subdued about wide receiver Michael Crabtree. He wasn’t.

“I was making sure everyone knew Crabtree was a mediocre receiver, mediocre,” Sherman repeated. “And when you try the best corner in the game with a mediocre receiver, that’s what happens.”

And in his Sports Illustrated column Monday, Sherman’s message didn’t change much.

The back story on this is a bunch of these guys, they go down to Arizona for off-season workouts. Apparently, Michael Crabtree and Richard Sherman were there at the same time and they just don’t like each other and they started getting into it. I’m guessing that Crabtree called him mediocre. Listen to how Richard Sherman is enunciating the word “mediocre” in the press conference. He worked the word “mediocre” in three times in 10 seconds. So that’s the history.

But I’ve got to say, I’ve gotten to know Richard Sherman. We’ve had him on the show many times. I know that he is an incredibly bright guy and I know his story.

He grew up in Compton. His dad drove and still drives a garbage truck. In this drug and gang-infested neighborhood that is Compton, Richard Sherman was second in his class in high school, goes to Stanford where he is an excellent student among the brightest students in the country, in the world. Now, he’s the best cornerback in the NFL.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to go from Compton to Stanford, to the best in the NFL. There is something going on in this man that has allowed him to lift himself up like few people are able to do.

We’ve talked about how he markets himself. I believe this is all part of his marketing and his branding. I don’t think he does things haphazardly, randomly, stupidly. I think it was all very calculated.

Everybody in the country is talking about him. There are fringe fans who couldn’t name one other cornerback or one other defensive player in football who are talking about Richard Sherman now. I think it’s calculated. I think it’s part of the game.

For every sportscaster and media person who’s calling him out today – if you’re in the media, you live for stories like this. You live for moments like that. We get so tired of athletes who spout nothing but meaningless, boring cliches and then what, we’re going to rail against somebody who lets loose a torrent of passion, adrenaline and passion?

As a media guy there is nothing better than this because it is such a great, compelling story. So I’m not going to blast him. I’m not going to be a hypocrite and say I hated it because I didn’t. I love his back story. I love that he doesn’t give us cliches, and I would rather hear that than 99.9 percent of the postgame interviews we get.

But I’ll admit, if I was a fan in another city, I wouldn’t like him.

Taken from Monday’s edition of The Dori Monson Show.

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