Sherman made several comments after the Championship game against the 49ers. Many termed his outburst a rant. His comments drew attention and due to the crass voracity of the comments, Sherman received unfavorable news coverage and negative attention to his rant. That was his goal after all. But Sherman didn't count on the amount of attention he received. Now, because his comments were not favorably received, Sherman is looking to escape blame for his comment - the same way he relies upon NFL officials to look the other way when he illegally holds wide receivers. Sherman is a case study in NFL rule breaking and pouting when he is held to account for his actions. Now racism is in play - Please.
Sherman also relies upon the noise at his home stadium to hide his illegal play. The noise at the Seattle Stadium not only impacts the opposing team's play calling, it also negatively impacts officiating. The NFL implemented a sound rule several years back. The sound rule = if the fans create noise too loud for the visiting team to hear plays called or the sound prevents the officials from hearing one another, a 5-yard penalty is to be assessed the home team. That rule remains on the books. The rule is not applied in Seattle, and because the rule was/is ignored, Seattle has better record than they would otherwise have if the noise level was reduced to a point where the visiting teams and officials could hear themselves think, and/or see Seattle DBs holding and committing pass interference penalties.
Richard Sherman is a tall defensive back with average speed and average coverage skilz. He cannot keep up with the majority of wide receivers he covers. He is also a man with emotional issues - as clearly seen in his inability to control himself during the rant, and his unabiding respect for coach Jim Harbaugh. Sherman wanted Harbaugh to draft him and hasn't resolved this emotional quagmire since he was effectively rejected by his college coach. Sherman would leave Seattle for the 49ers in a heart beat, but Harbaugh knows Sherman is a childish and unstable player. Were it not for the sound advantage - few would know Sherman's name - or a majority of Seattle players whose reputations benefit from the stadium noise. I'll defer to Seattle's road win record and number of points in their road wins as proof of how much that team benefits from the noise in their home stadium. Why the league refuses to enact the sound rule in Seattle is telling - for a number of reasons.
I hold the opinion the NFL management have sold their souls to interest groups who subsidize the league and whose considerable power stand to derail the league's tax-exempt status. Games are no longer an open competition where the best team wins a majority of the time. The NFL "rigs" games for the purposes of creating legends, re-enforcing legends, and... to increase sales of merchandise and other products they offer.
Doubt me? Write this down - Peyton Manning wins the Superbowl. Manning is a league icon like Ray Lewis was last year. The league wants Peyton to compliment his stellar career with another Superbowl win. Assuring Peyton gets another ring is a simple matter... enforce the rules that mandate a defensive back cannot touch the wide receiver five yards past the line of scrimmage. Richard Sherman is about to learn the skilz he relies upon to cheat will be called out - over and over again. There may be times during the upcoming Superbowl when Sherman is called for holding or pass interference when he doesn't commit a penalty - oh well. The league has an icon to enshrine and Sherman hasn't paid his dues. Sherman's claim he is the best corner in the league is about to receive a big Hit too. He will look very ordinary after the Superbowl.
Just like last year's Superbowl, NFL management has an agenda to fulfill and they hold the power to virtually assure the outcomes they want. Most fans will not admit what their eyes see - an endemic violation of fair play. NFL fans are too emotionally attached to the game. They refuse to believe the games are fixed. The champions are chosen before or during the season - to provide the league "talking points' - AKA advertising protocols and the sales dollars that follow. The league wants and needs icons to enshrine - all the better to sell, sell, sell.
This is not an opinion I wanted to discover, but the evidence is too striking to ignore any longer. I love this game and have devoted a portion of my life to it - past being a casual fan. I coached youth pound ball for six years. I know the game well and what is supposed to happen on the field. Increasingly, NFL officials act to hand games to teams the league favors. EX. last year's Superbowl; the NFL threw tradition out the window in the officials selection process. Officials who could NOT pass the written exam were hand picked to call that game. Other officials, whose personal credibility and credentials and play calling during the regular season made them eligible to be selected for the post season, were ignored/kicked to the curb in favor of incompetent officials the league knew they could rely upon to fix the outcome of the game.
Sherman's rant played into the league's hands. A majority of fans outside Seattle did not care for Sherman's comments. These people now support Peyton Manning who has always been a pillar of professionalism. Fans want Peyton to win. Fans who had no favorite now prefer Manning. So when the official begin calling Sherman out for penalty after penalty, fans will say GOOD! The same fans will be blind to what's happening before their eyes - watching a fixed game. They will think Sherman is getting his just deserts and Manning being rewarded for years of professional behavior. The "Football Gods" will be deferred to, and thanked. There is a moral element in this equation that I personally support, but football is supposed to be immune from fixes. This fixing offends my sense of fair play - even if a tool like Sherman gets jobbed in the process.
Watch the game, and see if the "flexibility" the official have permitted thus far during the play offs disappears at the Superbowl kickoff. We can have another dialogue after the game.