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NFL Post Game Wrapup: Sherman Is an All-Star Troll, Not a 'Professional' Athlete

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Sherman and his ilk have brought down football. He showed last Sunday there's no "professional" football being played in the NFL anymore.

In terms of NFL football, Sunday was turning out to once again be a really good day for the sport. The NFC Championship game was particularly good, with the Seattle Seahawks making a pitched comeback in the second half to beat the San Francisco 49ers.

The defining play came at the end of the fourth quarter when Seahawk cornerback Richard Sherman tipped a game-tying touchdown pass intended for 49er receiver Michael Crabtree and the ball was intercepted by teammate Malcolm Smith.

Until then, you did not know who was going to win the game.

The whistle blew, the game was over, and most of us sitting in front of our tubes expected nothing more than the usual sports drivel that usually follows such a game.

But then, Fox Sports interviewer Erin Andrews stuck the mike in front of Sherman for a "comment."

As millions of Americans watched, an animated Sherman, wearing his championship cap, began a repulsive, even imbecilic rant about his performance and Crabtree's game.

"Well I'm the best corner in the game," Sherman yelled in a very violent, even mentally disturbed tone. "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... Don't you open your mouth about the best or I'm gonna shut it for you real quick."

Oh yeah, that was on top of Sherman previously flashing a choking sign toward Crabtree -- which he later explained was meant for 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick -- that drew an unsportsmanlike penalty after the interception.

Of course, like 99 percent of her fellow Americans, Andrews was not expecting such a rant and just stood there, shell-shocked like the rest of us.

The whole minute was very disturbing for most fans who expected the predictable bland responses and an analysis of a key play usually expected in post-game interviews. Maybe for others, probably younger fans who have come to accept such imbecilic trash talk as an intricate part of professional sports these days (thanks NBA), it was just another titillating moment.

What was even more disturbing was the instantaneous explosion of opinion about Sherman's rant. Some Twitter remarks were blatantly racist, showing an equal lack of class and civility in our sports culture.

It's as if Sherman's trash talk was justification for racist gutter-speak by an angry underclass of bigoted fans who felt emboldened by his rant.

Sherman ruined Sunday's game for fans who yearn for the sportsmanship and decency that once marked the conduct of sports.

And it's not the first time that Sherman has dissed his opponents, both on and off the field. He has carried game trash talk off the field to Twitter against players and sportscasters. He has been called a "master troll" in one article.

Civil sportsmanship has been long abandoned in the NFL. Being an all-star used to mean having the moral character to match your athletic abilities, not being an expert troll.

Remember the magic of the first Super Bowl where a classy Broadway Joe Namath and the New York Jets upset the Baltimore Colts, led by another equally classy Johnny Unitas? That was professional football at its best.

It's regrettable that the upcoming Super Bowl will feature so many trolls like Sherman. Even if there's a blizzard in the Meadowlands, it's not going to really be a "Super Bowl" like it used to be.

Sherman and his ilk have brought down football. He showed last Sunday there's no "professional" football being played in the NFL anymore.

This article published in Context Florida on January 21, 2014.

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