What do you do for an encore when you single-handedly–was it his right or left hand that tipped Colin Kaepernick’s pass?–send your team to the Super Bowl? If you’re Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, you taunt the losing team’s players and deliver a jaw-dropping rant on national television.
“Well, I’m the best corner in the game,” Sherman emphatically told Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews. “When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you’re going to get. Don’t you ever talk about me.”
Andrews, her quaking voice adding to the interview’s awkwardness, wondered who had been talking about the shouting Sherman. The All-Pro insisted ’49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who had a potential game-winning touchdown turned into a game-saving interception by Richard Sherman’s tip. “Don’t you open your mouth about the best–or I’m going to shut it for you real quick.”
The Super Bowl-bound Sherman abruptly concluded the rant with “L.O.B.”–a reference to Seattle’s legion of boom defense. Andrews just as abruptly cut short the surreal segment to the dismay of millions of mouth-agape viewers. Moments earlier, Sherman had pursued San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree and mockingly patted him on the rear end after denying his team its second Super Bowl-berth in as many years. The taunt drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from the officials and a push to Sherman’s facemask from Crabtree.
For hardcore football fans, Sherman’s antics have become familiar, getting in Tom Brady’s face after a victory over New England last season and repeatedly declaring his greatness and insulting host Skip Bayless on ESPN’s First Take during the offseason. Sunday’s startling sequence seemed to sum up Richard Sherman to the uninitiated: the man knows how to play; he does not know how to behave.