FanPost

Why the NFL needs Sherman's persona.




There's quite a few people who think that Sherman's antics are ugly, classless, and enough to put him int he a****le category. I'll make a case that this has another side as well. The case that the NFL actually needs Sherman's swagger and over the top trash talking.

Sherman grabbed the moment before an unsuspecting (?) reporter to deliver a serious trash-talk tirade against Crabtree, calling him a "sorry receiver" and warning that opposing teams shouldn't test him. Sherman of course backs up the talk, this is well known. Many thought that instead of using a moment like that to rip Crabtree he should've used in a more constructive way, use it to give the opponents their due credits.

But this is an era where NFL players usually deliver sterilized, dry, and cliche-laden interviews, which have been practiced to death with image-shapers behind the scenes. Which is why such interviews sound extremely similar to an overwhelming degree. I've stopped listening to most players interviews because they bore me to tears, they say little of any substance and they avoid the sensitive points in the name of political correctness (among other things). This is not just in American sports by the way, it's exactly like that in Europe if not worse in that respect.

When the climate is as I described above, Sherman's aggro-talk almost comes across as refreshing. Especially if one knows that this is not the only side Sherman actually has, far from. After his testosterone comes down, in the press conferences, Sherman is a very collected, very intelligent person with a great sense of humor, hell, the guy comes across as extremely charming even! If one watches this video or this for that matter, one sees that Sherman isn't only the Sherman that blasted Crabtree after the game. Yet, everyone is talking about that moment. Why? Because it added a generous dose of spice that resonated among people. I found it hilarious and extremely entertaining, others saw it differently. But if the NFL did not have any Shermans or any Scotts it would lack the color that it has, this is vital to the game's mythology. And besides, any NFL game is full of trash talking from every single player and for all 4 quarters, every single minute of them. Sherman takes it to the press immediately after the game when his adrenaline is still popping out of his ears and his testosterone is still sky high. That's the difference. An NFL game hardly has any class while it takes place, whom are we kidding? The essence of the game itself does not include class, it's about grown men brutally hitting and tackling each other. Yet we expect them to act as if it all did not happen after the game and behave as if they just came from a game of chess?

I like Sherman's swagger for the same reason I like Ryan's swagger (with the obvious difference that Ryan, being a coach, has less swagger-leeway than Sherman does). But I appreciate that swagger and especially the humour it produces as a by-product, I'm also grateful for it in a highly hypocritical world. At least Sherman does not hide any sides of himself (as I said he's not just a trash-talker), he lets those emotions launch out in the open, he offers you a much more real picture of himself than most athletes do. He does not lie in what he offers publicly, he doesn't masquerade his image and hide it behind image-making lessons. I appreciate that and together with it the humor it offers. Hey, I don't remember too many of us Jets' fans complaining when he got in Brady's face with that cool "you mad, bro?" line after their tweet-wars.

And lastly, when you think that his latest public theatrics came up immediately after one of the greatest defensive plays you can possibly see, well, the man doesn't talk out of thin air. I'd love Sherman in green and white.

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