Richard Sherman Is Irrelevant

I don’t like to get worked up over podcasts I don’t listen to. Maybe that’s me showing my age or my maturity, I guess (no Humblebrag Guy), but this is definitely something I would’ve written the kind of review about that Salk did here. I can only believe mine would’ve been 50% more scathing, with an infinitely higher percentage of F-bombs.

What I gather – from what I’ve read and the bits I’ve heard – is this was a conversation where Richard Sherman was defending his very good friend Bobby Wagner. I’m assuming they’re very good friends, I actually have no idea. It seems like it would be exhausting to be Richard Sherman’s friend. But, whatever, there’s a very real truth to the concept that players are like brothers. When they’ve gone through it, worked and sacrificed and fought for one another, they become more than just friends. There’s a shared trauma being a professional athlete. You deal with personal injury, you deal with the highs and lows of wins and losses, you deal with the day-in/day-out grunt work of The Grind, you deal with the media and their incessant questioning of your decision-making and your dedication to the game you love (and are compensated for handsomely), and you deal with the fans (who are fairweather and fickle by their very nature).

What I also gather – again, from what I’ve read and the bits I’ve heard – is that I’m supposed to be outraged, as a fan, because Richard Sherman took shots at us. At the 12’s in particular, not just football fans in general.

I dunno, man. Why do I care about the opinions of some washed up football player as he transitions his career from active player to passive media maven?

I’m I pretty big believer in the whole motto of Don’t Meet Your Heroes, because usually the more you learn about them, the less you’re going to like them. Hero is a strong word, of course; you probably should reexamine some things if professional athletes are your heroes past the age of 15 or so. But, the sentiment is there just the same. The more I’ve learned about Richard Sherman, the less likable he’s become. And that’s not even taking into account his depression-fuelled drunk driving meltdown last year; that just made me feel sorry for him for a while. He doesn’t seem like a very good person, though; the impression I get from his words and actions leads me to believe he’s a gaslighting narcissist with just enough self-loathing in his private moments to make you wonder what else is going on in that brain of his, no doubt brilliant but also probably riddled with CTE thanks to the pounding it’s taken on the football field.

I’ve said from the very beginning, Sherm is the kind of player who you absolutely adore when he’s on your team, but you despise him if you’re a fan of the other 31 teams in the NFL. I still stand by that. Richard Sherman was among the best of the very best to play his position for seven seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, the absolute prime of his career. He’s one of the greatest of all time, and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame one day. I’ll always have fond memories of what he did here and how those contributions helped take this team to unforeseen heights.

But, he hasn’t been a Seahawk since 2017. And, other than the few times he’s gone up against the Seahawks on the football field, I haven’t cared about what he’s said or done in the interim; why should that change now? He’s a memory. That’s what I choose to focus on. Post-Seahawks Richard Sherman was an okay football player on some pretty good teams. Now that he’s (presumably) Post-Football Richard Sherman, he’s just another talking head troll looking to get a rise out of as many people as possible. Which puts him on two tracks going forward: either he’s a Stephen A. Smith/Skip Bayless type of sports-talking head, or he’s a politician/cable news pundit. I have zero interest in any of that.

I will say this: he’s not wrong that we were spoiled by what those L.O.B. teams were able to achieve for the Seahawks. But, he’s very wrong with his opinions about his very good friend Bobby Wagner. Wagner isn’t as washed up as Richard Sherman is, but he’s getting there. As it stands now, Wagner is – as I’ve said before – easily the most overpaid player on the team, and they would be wise to shed themselves of that salary, to build up the other spots that are lacking.

That’s not easy for a fan to say, by the way. We’ve spent a decade rooting and cheering for this guy. But, Richard Sherman knows this as well as anyone: football is a business. And fans are in the business of rooting for a winner. At some point, loyalty to the team trumps loyalty to the players, if they’re not performing to their percentage of the salary cap. But, don’t forget: just as players don’t always get what they want, neither do fans.

Anyway, enough of that. Time will tell who’s right and who’s wrong. Considering the Seahawks haven’t won jack shit in all this time we’ve been clinging to an overpaid and underperforming Bobby Wagner – to the detriment of our pass rush – I’m betting that I’m right. That the segment of the fanbase who feels the way I do on the matter are right.

As for Richard Sherman, I wish him well in his future endeavors, because I still remember him as the player who was a vital cog on this championship team. I eagerly await his return to the fold, where we put him in the Ring of Honor. Until then, I’ll save his podcast for others who are more prone to devour rage-bait.

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