Trash Talk, Flags, and Fines (7.17.2014)

Everyone remembers the NFC Championship Game from this past season. Some remember it for Russell Wilson’s 35-yard touchdown pass on fourth down for the winning points, or for when Richard Sherman tipped Kaepernick’s pass to Smith for the interception. However, most remember it for Sherman’s unapologetic, epic rant in which he called Michael Crabtree “a sorry receiver” as a screamed into Erin Andrews’ microphone.

From that point on, the two have been providing fans with a wildly entertaining war of words.

To say Sherman went off, while on an episode of American Muscle, would be quite an understatement. He said,

“ It just about him, it’s just about Crabtree. It’s not going to be something that goes away. I hope to play him every year for the rest of my career and choke him out…Nobody will understand it but him and me.”

Crabtree responded in a less explosive manner saying,

“ Like when I win, it’s no hoorah. I ain’t yelling….But like I said, I’m getting tired of talking about these guys.”

While both of these guys publicly said that they did not want to discuss the situation anymore, the controversy is still relevant. Just last night at the ESPYs, Drake called out Crabtree for not being able to catch, along with making a reference to the battle between the two players.

Many would consider ‘wars’ like this to be childish, unsportsmanlike, and a disgrace to the game. People believe there is no time for nonsense like Lance Stephenson blowing in LeBron’s ear, or for Luis Suarez biting a member of Italy’s soccer team. These fans would rather see more sportsmanlike events like when Wainwright allegedly grooved a pitch for Derek Jeter during the All-Star game.

However, I am not one of those people. Football has lost a lot of its flair and excitement over the years and I do not like the direction it is headed in.

Players get flags for ‘unsportsmanlike’ gestures on the field, touchdown celebrations in the end zone, and essentially any look or word in the direction of members of the other team.

As well, with all the new rules to make the game of football safer, fans have been questioning if the game is going to be recognizable in the near future.

What is football without kick-offs in the Pro-Bowl? Is football still football without ball-carriers being allowed to lower their helmets into oncoming defenders in attempt to break free of the tackle?

Just in line with these two questions is; what is football without rivalry and competition?

Watching Lance Stephenson blow into LeBron’s ear was ridiculous in every single way. It was just as ridiculous as watching JR Smith untie multiple people’s shoelaces. As fans, we are not quite sure what these players are trying to accomplish but we love every second of it. Whether or not we know it, we do love it because it gets us talking and it gets us excited for the players’ next encounter.

In the case of Richard Sherman and the NFC Championship game, I will never forget Sherman’s role in that interception nor his interview with Erin Andrews.

Due to these events, every football fan is in high anticipation for the 49ers and Seahawks next meeting; November 27th. Without this rivalry, it would just be another game that many of us might pass on for more turkey and apple pie.

Some fans hope for this nonsense to end and just want to see more kind gestures from players, like when Germany’s soccer team wrote a very kind letter thanking Brazil for their hospitality during the World Cup. However, I would like to see more moments like when Bulls’ Nazr Mohammed pushed LeBron James and started a fight.

This might seem extreme and cold-hearted, but rivalry is in the spirit of the game when handled correctly. Everyone can be nice and kind in front of the world, but it takes true courage to unapologetically speak your mind like Richard Sherman did without being scared of the consequences. Sherman has had the world talking since that game, and no one will stop until the two teams play again. Even after that game on Thanksgiving day, I am sure the topic will not go to rest. Knowing these two players, we should prepare to have some popcorn in hand.

So thank you Richard Sherman, I am literally counting down the days until I get to see you and Michael Crabtree on the same field again.

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