Richard Sherman: Belief Promotes Behavior
Disclaimer: I’m not a sports-blogger. But I couldn’t resist writing up something – along with the rest of the world – on Richard Sherman’s behavior and post-game interview with Erin Andrews. If you haven’t seen it, click here.
Fans around the world are divided – they have commented that Sherman should have had more class, they are disappointed, and have described his behavior as embarrassing and arrogant. To which the “offender” himself responded: “To those who would call me a thug or worse because I show passion on a football field—don’t judge a person’s character by what they do between the lines. Judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family” (source).
Erin Andrews responded by saying she was glad Sherman lost his mind:
“You expect these guys to play like maniacs and animals for 60 minutes,” she said. “And then 90 seconds after he makes a career-defining, game-changing play, I’m gonna be mad because he’s not giving me a cliché answer, ‘That’s what Seahawks football is all about and that’s what we came to do and we practice for those situations.’ No you don’t. That was awesome. That was so awesome. And I loved it” (source).
Even though no one is asking for my opinion (because like I said before, I am no sports blogger), here’s how I’ve made sense of Sherman’s flamboyant and controversial behavior. I’m just a fan, but I’ve been known to have an occasional outburst while I’m watching a game. And my outbursts are acceptable (by most of my friends and family) because we understand that we all get caught up in the moment during big plays. But my intensity no where near matches the passion and adrenaline that goes along with being a playmaker like Sherman, and being in the moment and on the field.
If Richard Sherman was grabbed out of the end zone by Kam Chancellor instead of Erin Andrews, there is no doubt in my mind that he would have said the exact same thing to him.
The tipping point is this: Sherman consistently backs up his statement. He believes he is the best cornerback in the game today (and so does Deion Sanders, and me, and many others), and his belief promotes his behavior. He plays as if he’s the best. And this past Sunday, his belief-promoting-behavior caused him to make the best play in Seahawk history. Just typing that statement gets me pumped up enough to have an outburst. #gohawks
I’ve had a lot of time to think about this one. Firstly, I’m a fan of football. The week before this game, I watched every interview on both the Seahawks team and the 49ers team. I listened to players, coaches, sports broadcasters. I even saw a video two days before the NFC Championship Game where Crabtree says “Richard Sherman is not the best cornerback in the league”. I had context when Richard Sherman blew up in a rage. I immediately connected the dots. I really doubt that Erin Andrews and most of the causal fans out there read or saw that comment from Crabtree. I get why he’s so pumped up and angry. That play was amazing and as a Seahawk fan I was glad that Kaepernick made the decision to test Richard Sherman. I hope Peyton Manning tests Sherman in the Super Bowl too.
As a person that runs a company, I’m glad that I don’t have to manage a person like Richard Sherman. I think that people should be gracious winners. I think that people should respect the competition. I also think that when people do things that are not necessarily representative of the organization they should be given some grace too. It does matter how they handle it afterwards too. I really like how Richard Sherman was reflective of his actions and he did apologize. I also like that he took some time for people to see the other side of him too (read the MMQB article). He’s one really smart guy that went to Standford. He’s also an amazing athlete. I’m also really happy he plays for the Seahawks and not for San Francisco or Denver!
Annie Vander Pol
Well said, Peter. I am really glad he plays for the Hawks, too!
Your reflection on managing someone like Sherman also made me think. And while I see your point, I also think of a lot of reasons in this circumstance why managing Sherman wouldn’t be all that bad…he is most definitely not passive aggressive, he gives it 110% every time, and while he may not be a gracious winner he is gracious in the aftermath of an outburst that is understandable. This is just me playing devil’s advocate, but I can’t help but love the guy!!