I didn't catch the end of the Seattle-San Francisco game Sunday night, but checking on my Facebook feed, I figured out quickly that I needed to find out what exactly Seattle defensive back Richard Sherman did that caused such a pious outroar of indignation.
Let's see ... he got in San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree's face, made the choke sign and got shoved back. Then in his immediate postgame interview, he screamed at the camera about how he is the greatest cornerback in the game.
That's it? That's what is getting people all riled up?
Did he target someone with a blow to the head? Did he chop someone off at the knees? No, he doesn't seem to be a dirty player. His main offense is arrogance, and for some reason, that's what cannot be tolerated in the upper crust, gentlemen's game of professional football.
For some reason, we can forgive other indiscretions. We forgive drug suspensions, we forgive off the field antics, some (not all) forgave Michael Vick when he came back into the league after his crimes against dogs. Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon was tried — and acquitted — for domestic violence, and he admitted to a "tremendous mistake" during a "heated argument." But he doesn't seem to be as reviled as someone like Sherman.
Maybe we forgive those people because they ask for it, while those who do nothing more than jaw and gab have nothing to apologize for. The most hated athlete a few years ago was Terrell Owens. Even I hated him. But he never did anything wrong. All he did was turn the sport of football into the entertainment it is supposed to be. He never took drugs. He never cheated the game. But he was boorish. Well, we can't have any of that!
God forgive Sherman for acting the way fans act sitting at home. He is placed on the field, flinging his body full force into other players like gladiators for our entertainment (and being paid handsomely to do so) and he isn't allowed to act like the fool every once in a while?
We treat sports with far more reverence than it deserves. It's sports. It's entertainment. I would prefer touchdown dances and yelling at each other between plays and spectacle and drama and fun. Some believe all that is "classless." I counter with, "Why do we want to class up a game that has never needed it?"
And if you disagree with me? Then Richard Sherman just became the villian to root against for the next two weeks. He says, "You're welcome."