“I hate that guy!” is what first went through my mind when I saw the interview. “What a conceited, prideful jerk!”
However, now 48 hours have passed, and my thoughts have had time to catch up with my emotions.
Here is where I am at now: While I do believe Sherman may have gone a bit overboard in his comments, I cannot be mad at him. Here are 3 reasons why.
1. Nature of the game
First off, as a cornerback, you have to tell yourself every snap “I am better than the WR, and there is no way he is going to catch the ball”. Not only is Sherman telling himself that every play on Sunday, but he is telling himself that every day for a week in preparation to guard the best WR on the Niners. Sherman did a great job of that too! Crabtree was only targeted twice, one Sherman was called on a holding call (questionable at that, not a bad call, but could have been not called as well) and the second was the interception. Also, Sherman leads the league with 16 interceptions in the past two seasons (only been in the league three seasons), so while his comments were lofty and arrogant, he at least has the stats to back them up.
Second, while he is in this mode of a mental game with Crabtree, he makes the play to send his team to the one game he has been looking forward to his entire life! I know when I play board games with friends I get way to excited sometimes, I am pretty sure I have said things I regret. Now, have an audience of millions of people, playing against someone you don’t like, make the play of your life, and then a reporter runs at you and asks you what you think?? I would say adrenaline would be pumping. Just like Sherman spoke with adrenaline, I thought nasty thoughts with adrenaline as a fan. I know I am sorry for my thoughts, just as Sherman has since apologized for his actions. We must allow room to believe his apology.
2. History with Crabtree
Sherman wrote a pretty great article the same night of the game (which is impressive he wrote this only being a couple hours removed from the incident). He mentions here that him and Crabtree have had a long history with each other dating back to and off-season Golf Tournament Larry Fitzgerald hosted in Arizona. As far as I know, no details have been released there. However, we cannot judge Sherman based on a 30 second clip. He is a Stanford graduate with a communications degree, he has to be somewhat intelligent. Regardless of your feelings about what he said, just make sure you take the comments into context.
3. The Gospel
As I was moping around in the loss yesterday, I began to really reflect on the fact that this is just a game played for our entertainment. Then, it struck me… Have I prayed for Sherman? He must be going through a lot of stuff right now, he mentioned racial slurs were tweeted at him, everyone has their opinions, everyone wants an interview with him, and oh yeah, he has to prepare for Welker, Thomas, and Decker… I heard this quote yesterday “For every problem there’s a simple solution. Unfortunately, it’s usually wrong.” So in our modern age of social media, our simple solution to a rant like this is to hide behind out Twitter handle and send out an angry tweet/fb status/meme, unfortunately that is wrong. As Christians our first response should be prayer. Sherman’s first response was prayer for 49ers Bowman when he tore his MCL and ACL in the second half, how many of us did that? How many of us have prayed for Sherman?
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you – Matthew 5:44
These are just my thoughts. I have gone from angry and bitter, to on my knees in prayer. I may not agree with what Sherman did/said, but I cannot hold onto that anger, I must forgive him and move on.
Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. – Ephesians 4:26-27
Go Seahawks! 29-28