The first story to beat to death this offseason has been the supposed beef between Richard Sherman and Michael Crabtree. It's officially reaching the level of the Colin Kaepernick Dolphins hat story, and while I want it to go away, I have no problem providing updates and making fun of the whole stupid thing. I guess that makes me a hypocrite, but if it makes me laugh, I can live with that.
On Sunday, after tipping away the pass intended for Crabtree, Sherman went full-on WWE heel in his post-game interview. At this point, I have moved passed Sherman's yelling and screaming. It was annoying at the time, but I realize I felt that way because the 49ers had just lost. Richard Sherman has said he bases his on-field self after Muhammad Ali. Socalisteph will have more on all of this, but suffice to say, it's not worth the uproar that people were giving it.
That being said, the supposed backstory of the problems between Sherman and Crabtree grows more and more ridiculous by the day. Sherman yelled that Crabtree should never talk about him, and that Crabtree was a sorry receiver. Initially, I thought it was connected to Crabtree's fairly innocuous comments a few days prior.
However, later in the evening, we learned that it had something to do with an incident at a charity event hosted by Larry Fitzgerald. Sherman and his brother claimed Crabtree started some stuff, and Sherman vowed to embarrass him on the national stage. According to Sherman's brother, Richard told him that Crabtree had been talking a lot of trash and trying to start stuff. There was talk that Sherman offered a handshake at one point, and Crabtree slapped his hand away.
As with any story, there is always more than one side to it. In this case, a source now is saying that it appeared Sherman was the one starting stuff with Crabtree.
"The handshake part is legit," the source said, "but it was Sherman who tried to start the fight with Crabtree. I remember 'cause Sherman kept getting in his face and Crabtree was just laughing about it."
It is worth noting this as well:
"I can't shed a ton on it because I didn't hear any of it," the source said. "I actually like Richard and he was a real nice dude at the event and the game. I can only say it appeared from body language that Sherman was the instigator in it, not Crabtree."
Former 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams was also in attendance at the event. He had a few comments on the situation:
"I'm not going to get into specifics,'' Williams said. "Those guys" - Richard and Branton Sherman - "can say whatever they want.
"To me, what happened (Sunday) was nothing more than two guys who are passionate about what they do and are at the top of their games at their respective positions. It's a rivalry that's going to continue to build.
At this point, I would not be at all surprised if Sherman thought Crabtree did something to disrespect him. The problem is how much Sherman worked it up in his mind. Pretty much every piece of this story is hearsay, which significantly reduces any value we can take from it. Richard Sherman wouldn't go into details in his MMQB defense of his actions, and Michael Crabtree did not speak to the media about the situation.
This story will die down as the offseason progresses, but you know it will heat back up when the 49ers and Seahawks face each other for the first time in the 2014 regular season. If the first game is a prime time game, it will be even crazier.
- Senior Bowl 2014 weigh-ins and practice: One of many meat markets begins!
- 49ers sign Lawrence Okoye, Devon Wylie to reserve/future contracts, according to report
- 49ers draft picks 2014: Team set to pick No. 30 in first round
- Pro Bowl draft 2014: Date, time, tv schedule with so few 49ers
- Today's links