Dec 30, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) warms up before a game against the St. Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Sherman vs Revis
Richard Sherman has been a common topic of conversation since the end of the season. Actually, he was becoming one even before that point. But now, he’s gone to a completely new level of notoriety after several spots on tv and as of today, an interesting and funny prime spot on ESPN’s First Take.
Since the rest of this article you’re reading is based on it, here’s the news of what was said, along with a link to the video by 12th Man Rising if you haven’t seen it already.
I like Richard Sherman, a lot. Not just because he’s a really good player on my NFL team, but because I like his style. He’s cocky, he’s confident, he talks a lot on the field but he never let’s his mouth get in the way of his game. It IS his game, or at least a big part of it and that’s something I really enjoy as a sports fan.
To anyone who only saw the 3 minute clip of the video, it’s easy to start thinking “Sherman’s as much of an idiot as Skip Bayless”, heck it was said many times by fans yesterday. But you, like me, likely only got half the story if you didn’t watch the entire episode. It seemed Richard had taken offense to something Skip said about him earlier in the program and has been saying again and again, ever since the twitter battle with Revis.
And then, again yesterday, Skip Bayless did what he does best, played the role of antagonist by throwing Revis back into the argument to prove some baseless point. Not only that but he says, “let’s not get personal” when instead of attacking Sherman what he should be arguing is are the Seahawks as good at this stage as New York was in Revis’ first two seasons, because that’s his base. The Jets did go to back to back AFC Championship games, so there’s something to be said about that. However to say that Sherm isn’t even in the same class as Revis at this point in his career is almost as bad as saying Russell Wilson isn’t in the same class as Mark Sanchez.
Yeah, Sherm got baited and said some things out of turn, but he also stayed in his element and continued on topic. As the argument unfolded it was again pretty clear to me that Skip Bayless, for as much as he talks and talks about his own knowledge of the game, is pretty ignorant about West Coast football and he pays no attention to the numbers. Not to say Revis isn’t great in his own right, but Sherman is clearly better right now and in this point in his career, and proves it week to week.
This was the stat line from Revis’ second season via newyorkjets.com:
"Earned his first Pro Bowl selection in 2008 after finishing the season with 59 tackles, five interceptions, 15 passes defensed, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, as well as his first career sack and first career interception return for touchdown."
Sherman’s second season produced 64 tackles, 8 interceptions, 24 passes defensed, 3 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, an interception return for a touchdown and a blocked kick return for a touchdown. That’s almost double the production… and enough said.
Stanford vs the National Media
Jan 1, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal cornerback Usua Amanam (15) celebrates winning the 2013 Rose Bowl game against the Wisconsin Badgers 20-14 at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
That has been stated and overstated so I won’t beleaguer the point any more. All that stuff aside, this whole argument stems from a regional football war that may forever be ongoing in the eyes of the national media. It’s stupid, but the East Coast bias is so extreme, it’s nearly irrational.
Stanford, for as highly regarded an institution as it is, falls directly into the category of teams that get constantly underrated on the West Coast just because. People could watch their prime time games but they have a pre-conceived notion that they are soft (maybe the toughest in the Pac-12 but not as tough as others around the country). That type of attention and branding is expected and it’s part of being in the Pac-12.
Why do you think they made regional ESPN’s? Well, aside from all the extra money in it, they did it so that they could continue to keep the main ESPN spot as an East Coast centered outlet, because it’s in the East. And so it goes that guys like Skip Bayless take an East Coast siding (by the way Darrelle Revis comes out of Pitt) when arguing talent on the highest level, just like guys at ESPN L.A. would take Sherman’s side, both for where he is and where he’s from.
Of course the Pac-12 has stood up to this national snubbery by creating their own new brand and building the Networks to be seen all over the country to include every bit of its’ fan base outreach, but it will be a while before it catches up with the rest of the nation. To be quite frank, it’s probably going to be an issue until a non-USC team from the West wins a national title, because nobody seems to take notice otherwise.
I am really surprised that nobody in the media that talks to Richard Sherman seems to talk about Jim Harbaugh at all. It seems the brash corner is a product of a lot of what Harbaugh taught that Stanford team, which is “Don’t be afraid of being the best, embrace it and never back down from the challenge”. Carroll is the same type of coach and it’s my firm belief that Sherman was the perfect kid to parlay what they have been teaching him into this media storm of off-season banter. For whatever that’s worth, it just surprises me that coaching doesn’t often come up in conversations both with and about him.