By Jim Moore
You’ve probably heard about Richard Sherman’s appearance Thursday on ESPN’s “First Take” with Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith.
The Seahawks’ cornerback lashed out at Bayless, who has criticized Sherman, saying he’s not one of the NFL’s best defensive players just yet. Bayless also said that Sherman, to this point, is better known for his trash talking than his play on the field.
Sherman fired back at Bayless, saying: “I’m better at life than you.” He also called Bayless “a pompous, egotistical, arrogant cretin.” He added: “I’m gonna crush you in front of everybody.”
Sherman kept saying that he would let his numbers speak for themselves, referring to his 12 interceptions and four forced fumbles over his two NFL seasons.
But we can’t hear or see the numbers when Sherman keeps babbling the way he did Thursday.
I was sort of OK with Sherman when he got in Tom Brady’s face after the New England game and tweeted out a picture with the caption, “You mad, bro?”
I really liked it when he changed his Twitter name to “Optimus Prime” when he faced Calvin “Megatron” Johnson and the Lions. That was creative.
I thought it was a little curious when he baited Trent Williams after the playoff game with the Redskins, causing the offensive lineman to shove Sherman in the face.
Then in New Orleans when he shot his own video asking fans if Richard Sherman was the best cornerback in the league, I thought that was fun stuff.
Even last week, when he had a Twitter battle with Darelle Revis, I was OK with that, too, though I started to wonder if he could ever just put a lid on it.
But he went too far and crossed the line with Bayless. We all know that Sherman is smart, graduating with a 4.0 GPA from high school and earning a degree at Stanford.
But he sounded like an idiot on “First Take.” He probably thought he was really showing Bayless a thing or two, but what he actually showed was an unflattering side of himself.
Danny O’Neil, Dave Wyman and I talked about Sherman’s comments on Thursday’s show. We were a cross-section, representing what the listeners were thinking – Danny was fine with Sherman’s comments, I wasn’t, and Wyman was somewhere in between.
Here’s a sampling of texts we received:
• Awesome! Skip Bayless is a tool.
• I’m fine with Sherman talking trash, but he needs to use his Stanford education and elevate things.
• I love Sherm, but he’s starting to lose at his own game. He needs to choose his battles wisely. That’s when he’s been fun to embrace.
• Sherman is turning into a Gilbert Gottfried commercial. First time you see it, it’s funny. By the fourth time, you’re changing the channel as quickly as possible. Shut up, bro.
I admit to being a hypocrite. For sports talk radio purposes, I appreciate that Sherman stooped to Bayless’ subterranean levels because it gave us something to talk about besides Matt Flynn, free agency and the draft.
As a sports-talk show host, I’d rather have Sherman speaking his mind and being candid about everything than hearing clichés from Russell Wilson.
But as a dad and a Seahawks fan, I look at it differently. If one of my 8-year-olds ever has the good fortune of being a professional athlete someday, I don’t want them to act like Sherman.
Heck, I worry about them acting like Sherman now. They want to but are currently resisting the urge to talk trash and celebrate with their discount-double check thing after making shots in their Bellevue Boys and Girls Club basketball games.
Sherman’s dad or his mom or his buddy or his mentor or his girlfriend or his dog – someone, anyone – needs to pull him aside and say: “Richard! Shut the hell up!”
If he were my kid, I’d be so damn proud of him and what he’s accomplished. But I’d be embarrassed and disappointed in him today.