A few questions for Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who announced Wednesday that he’d no longer take questions from anybody in the media besides one ESPN reporter unaffiliated with the Seahawks:
▪ Do you wake up in the morning asking yourself, “What can I do today to get people talking about me?”
Sherman’s football life has been a kind of soap opera since his days at Stanford. He’s engaged in public feuds with, among others, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, former All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, receiver Michael Crabtree and TV commentator Skip Bayless.
Those feuds, for the most part, involved harmless insults. Athletes paid to prevent the world’s most talented receivers from catching the ball need an ego, and Sherman’s ego is so extraordinary, it screams for a platform.
But this season, the playfully irascible side of Richard Sherman has turned into a creepy sideshow that has found him desperate for confrontation. On Oct. 16, several teammates were required to spare Sherman the considerable penalties he would have faced for sending defensive coordinator Kris Richard to the hospital. Two months later, Sherman was at it again, venting his frustration with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
▪ Do you realize there are more reasonable times to argue with the offensive coordinator than when he’s trying to call red-zone plays on the sideline?
Sherman might have diffused tensions about his disruptive antics with some simple words of contrition: “I was wrong. I’m sorry.” But he couldn’t, because the episode pretty much ends with: “I was wrong. I’m sorry.”
▪ How did making Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list change you?
The recognition came in 2014, not long after the Seahawks’ Super Bowl victory over Denver. Sherman had offered an eloquent objection to being called a “thug” — code for another word, the ugliest of all — and “in a heartbeat,” Time noted, he “altered the discussion and emerged as the smartest man in the room.
“At a time when most pro athletes flee social questions, Sherman tackles them head on. ... So keep talking, Sherm. We have much more to hear.”
Sherman heeded the advice and kept talking, and talking, talking to the point he convinced himself that it was a “privilege” to hear him talk.
The man Time Magazine described as the smartest in the room recently threatened to ruin a reporter’s career. Sherman would accomplish this, he suggested, by persuading the Seahawks to deny the reporter his media credential.
▪ Time Magazine accolades aside, do you really believe you’re influential enough to ruin the career of a fellow professional?
▪ When it was obvious your threat fulfilled any definition of dumb, did you still consider yourself the smartest man in the room?
Sorry, that’s a silly question. Of course Sherman considers himself the smartest man in the room. His wisdom is so vast, so exalted, he can’t trust conventional media members prone to preserve spoken words on tape.
Sherman has decided the best way to spread news is through a social media outlet he controls, thus guaranteeing he’ll always be the smartest man in the room. Welcome to the future, folks.
▪ What’s the deal about identifying ESPN’s Ed Werder as the only traditional reporter worthy of access to you?
Full disclosure: I’ve known Werder for more than 30 years, since we were press-box colleagues in the Denver area. He’s a great guy and a pro’s pro. Choosing Werder as a sole link to the mainstream suggests Sherman is not entirely irrational.
▪ You’re mad, we get it. Despite the All-Pro honors and the Time Magazine recognition and the ubiquitous presence in TV commercials, there’s something simmering, pushing you to the edge. What’s that about?
I mean, other than a determination to stay in the news.
The next question is yours, Ed.
John McGrath: @TNTMcGrath