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Richard Sherman, The New Muhammad Ali?

He’s Got A Good Start.

Muhammad Ali


Baby boomers have known The Greatest since the early sixties.

Cassius Clay told us it was him.

Even when he changed his name to Muhammad Ali, he was still the greatest.

Richard Sherman channelled some Ali in his famous interview with espn talker Skip Bayless. While Bayless is no Howard Cosell, Sherman was right on target as the Louisville Lip.

An after-game interview with America’s sports sweetheart, Erin Andrews, drove it home.

Richard Sherman is the new greatest. Is that a bad thing?

How many times have we watched awards shows where the winners accept honors then start thanking everyone in their life? Do you wonder why they do it?

If you’ve ever tried to get a business off the ground, get a piece published in an important journal, or shared something important with your spouse, then you know how hard it is to connect.

You do the work, put in the time, then wait for a seeming eternity. When your dreams come true it feels like a miracle. You take a victory lap around the yard. Maybe take yourself down to your favorite place for a beer.

Share your good news with friends and watch their eyes glaze over waiting for you to finish so they can one-up you with their own accomplishments. It’s their way of saying, “Get over yourself, brother, you’re not the only one here.”

But you know you are.

Then comes the awards season. You show up for a trophy, a check, hopefully both, and there you are in front of a microphone. That’s when it hits you. The shot in the dark you took with your art, music, writing, found daylight and now a roomful of people know your name.

To show you’re not a complete hack you start naming people who helped you along the way. What you’re doing is asking those listening to help others the way you were helped. What the audience hears is you taking up too much time. They want you off the stage so the people they know can come up and thank them by name.

Richard Sherman is no different. For a little background, he graduated near the top of his class from a Compton high school. Then he graduated from Stanford University, that football factory in northern California. Drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round, Sherman has risen to the top as an All-Pro selection in one of the toughest positions in football. Twice.

He likes telling us how good he is. Some of us take offense, some of us celebrate. Boomerpdx sits on the celebration side. Richard Sherman tells us he’s that good then goes out and proves it. Like Ali ruling the boxing ring, Sherman rules an entire side of the football field.

Also, like Ali’s fight against Sonny Liston showed, if you get into the ring with him, bad things happen. Throw a football to Sherman’s side of the field like Kaepernick did on the last play of the 2013 NFC title and bad things happen.

What’s next for Richard Sherman? Let’s hope he starts writing poetry like Muhammad Ali. We need more of that.


“This is the legend of Cassius Clay, 

The most beautiful fighter in the world today.

He talks a great deal, and brags indeed-y, 

of a muscular punch that’s incredibly speed-y.

The fistic world was dull and weary,

But with a champ like Liston, things had to be dreary.

Then someone with color and someone with dash, 

Brought fight fans are runnin’ with Cash.

This brash young boxer is something to see 

And the heavyweight championship is his des-tin-y.

This kid fights great; he’s got speed and endurance,

But if you sign to fight him, increase your insurance.

This kid’s got a left; this kid’s got a right,

If he hit you once, you’re asleep for the night.

And as you lie on the floor while the ref counts ten,

You’ll pray that you won’t have to fight me again.

For I am the man this poem’s about,

The next champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt.

This I predict and I know the score,

I’ll be champ of the world in ’64.

When I say three, they’ll go in the third,

So don’t bet against me, I’m a man of my word.

He is the greatest! Yes!
I am the man this poem’s about,

I’ll be champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt.

Here I predict Mr. Liston’s dismemberment,

I’ll hit him so hard; he’ll wonder where October and November went.

When I say two, there’s never a third,

Standin against me is completely absurd.

When Cassius says a mouse can outrun a horse,

Don’t ask how; put your money where your mouse is!




You can feel good about greatness, or feel intimidated. Either way, use it to make you better.

When Richard Sherman goes off, just remember what he said about his teammates, his city, and the fans. He said he loves them, and that’s just lovable all by itself.

About David Gillaspie


  1. I dunno, something doesn’t sit right with me here.

    Ali was a showman – because he understood that it made him more money. He turned boxing into not just a sport, but an event. He created a persona that made him known worldwide and brought lucrative endorsement and match contracts. He sure as hell BELIEVED that he was the best, but I get the feeling that most of this was calculated.

    To me, it’s not about Richard Sherman’s interview right after the game. It was running up to Crabtree and patting him on the back after. He beat him and he wanted to lord over him, push it in his face, make him grovel.

    To me, your work speaks for itself. When you have to be publicly proclaiming how great you are, then it sort of degrades the effort you’ve put into it, just a bit.

    E.g. I used to LOVE Kanye West. Now, I can’t stand the guy, because he uses every second to proclaim how great he is and how nobody can get to his level to understand him.

    Is that really the character you want to portray?

    Just my 2 cents.

    • David Gillaspie says:

      Hi Daryl,

      Good points you made here. Turns out Sherman and Crabtree have some unresolved history. We get to watch them sort it out on the football field. There’s something unusual about anyone working it out in public. If there’s a good side, it’s hard to see.

      Ali is one of the most unusual athletes ever. Before him the sweet science was all about such subtle movement that boxing looked like nothing more than two guys slugging it out. Then he came into the ring and seemed to shrink the size with his movement. He took his ringmanship from Gorgeous Gorge, the pro wrestler with the long blonde hair who had an entourage, a cape, and a perfume sprayer. The advice was that villains make more money. So here comes Cassius Clay against Liston (the Tyson of his day) already calling himself the champion. Then he was.

      Walter Payton said something, or someone else said it and he repeated it. “When you’re good, you talk about how good you are. When you’re great, others talk about you.”

      There’s something about guys who run their own PR. You want them to fail. At the same time you want to see if they’re as good as they say. Richard Sherman came through like a man among men. After that all bets are off. Did he show the sort of graciousness Tom Brady says his team wins and loses with? How gracious was Tom when he ran down the official on the field this year with his wtf moment after a loss?

      Cornerbacks play a different game than the rest of football. When they get beat, we all see it. Not like a D lineman who has others around him, the CB is isolated. Sherman was as isolated as could be on Crabtree, and came up big. Then he taunted and railed and sounded like an off the tracks NFL kook before he came back around. Think of guys like Pacman Jones who seems to live the same life off the field as he portrays on the field. Not so with the Stanford man. He knows how to button it down and let it out.

      Thanks for coming in.

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