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How To Be A Media Star In Seattle

Richard Sherman Takes A Bow.


First, Play For Paul

For all the sweet talk between opponents, no one except the Seahawks and their fans embrace the Seattle cornerback.

He plays an isolation position and seems to live the same way.

Don’t mistake this man for Pacman Jones and the ‘scrip club’ rain. Don’t put him with Hollywood Henderson, the old Cowboy linebacker who called Terry Bradshaw dumb before he admitted he snorted coke on the sidelines.

Those guys represent the old stereotype. Their on-field game was their life-game with the lines of each blurred until personal problems caught up with them.

Don’t expect to see Richard Sherman on a police report. This man understands the meaning of legacy.

So far his legend includes the sort of high school grades we all wish we had. His academic momentum followed him to Stanford where he finished with honors. I’m adding honors because one report said he kept a GPA. If that doesn’t get an honors sash on graduation, what does? Staying another year on The Farm to pursue a master’s degree, or is that more legend?

Both supporters and detractors say Richard doesn’t forget much, on the field and off.

On the field he remembers positions and tendencies. He sees patterns and reacts. Off the field he remembers rudeness and slights.

Apparently he and Michael Crabtree have a grudge match that began in the off-season. If I were Crabtree, I’d make friends with the other side. Gain a competitive edge by being nice, not that it would help in the pressure cooker of a championship game.

And Sherman is a nice guy.

Look at his youtube clips and you’ll see someone engaging in life with a loving attitude. Maybe not the clip where he gets punched in the face by a Washington Redskin lineman, but others.

Sherman’s conversation with Skip Bayless might not be the best example, either, but who wouldn’t want to help the twitching Skipper see a bigger point? Here’s an older man with painted hair bouncing on his seat like a three year old watching a piece of birthday cake coming to him, except Skip’s bounce usually comes from sticking his opinions into sports where they don’t always fit.

Imagine Mr. Bayless taking a punch from on NFL lineman. Now imagine him in a neck brace talking to lawyers about out of control athletes with violent streaks.

I’ve got a feeling Richard Sherman’s draft slot has something to do with his antics. Taken in the fifth round, he faces too many first round players with tons of money in the bank. In a way, he’s sticking it to The Man every time he makes a play.

If being The Man means being wealthy and at the top of your field of endeavor, then NFL receivers are it. And Richard owns them.

Who could resist taunting the Cowboys’ chest thumping, mother slapping, Dez Bryant? He’s got so many vulnerables it would be hard to pick one.

The best thing about Sherman, and something baby boomers have seen for ages, is he plays an internal and external game. And he’s winning both.

Sherman isn’t the only smart guy in the NFL. In the recent past the Minnesota Vikings drafted Robert Smith from Ohio State. While a Buckeye, Smith criticized the athletic administration for discouraging him from the pre-med classes he needed to get into medical school.

When he quit at the top of his game, did he go to medical school? Wiki says he quit to ‘pursue a career’ in medicine.

Maybe Sherman will see his future in medicine, too. He’s made Seattle well with his last second tip Sunday before making the rest of us feel better when he talked to Erin Andrews.

Coming out of Penn State is another smart guy, one who carries the ‘genius’ label. John Urschel, offensive guard, is a math wizard who’ll finish his five years of college with a bachelor’s degree and two masters. With an NFL dream and the means to get there, he’ll join Richard Sherman on the IQ squad.

Let’s hope the Seattle Seahawks get a chance to draft Urschel. Why not field a great team full of players who understand the dangers of getting hit in the head, but do it anyway?

These are the guys you want changing the game.






About David Gillaspie
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