For those people who did not know who Richard Sherman was until last night's postgame interview with Erin Andrews, they probably wrote him off as another loud, annoying athlete with a mouth and ego large enough to harness the noise inside Century Link Field.
If you are somebody who knew a little bit about Sherman going into the NFC Championship Game Sunday night, you knew that Sherman is one of the best cornerbacks in the game, and is smarter than most people think. He is a guy who got out of Compton, played football at Stanford and has a track record of creating a buzz around himself.
He did it again last night.
Everyone was caught off guard by his rage against Michael Crabtree in his interview on FOX. It did not matter if you knew him or not watching the game. We all witnessed Ray Lewis' "No Weapon" speech after the Ravens beat the Broncos in last years AFC Divisional Playoff game and were complaining about it throughout the week leading into the title game. We found it annoying, but we were talking about it. Same thing with Sherman: He has your undivided attention almost 24 hours since the game ended.
We now have 13 days to discuss, analyze and project what will happen in Super Bowl XLVIII. The game has storylines that go beyond the ones on the field. This year, the topics range from whether or not it will be snowing in the Meadowlands, to Bruno Mars' upcoming performance at halftime, to what Arnold Schwarzenegger might do in the Bud Light Super Bowl ad.
The Super Bowl brings both football fans and non-football fans into living rooms and bars all over the world to see this spectacle. Sherman is now another storyline that people will follow all the way up to kickoff.
Media Day is a great example of when all of mass media, sports related or not, will gather on Tuesday of Super Bowl week to ask game-related questions and non-related ones that will come from correspondents from Letterman, Kimmel and Fallon. There is no doubt that Sherman's meeting with the press will be jam-packed with more questions about his postgame interview than the game upcoming against the Broncos. It will be fun to see how Sherman approaches it.
Love him or hate him, Richard Sherman's name is on the tip of your tongue. You talked about it at the water cooler (if anyone still does that) and your grandmother probably saw it and had a discussion with her friends at lunch about it. And you know he loves it.
Trash talking is a part of the game. Richard Sherman, like other past athletes who were outspoken, has made it into a craft. He and most fans know he is good at his position. He plays on a team that is located in a market that does not always get a lot of media attention. So in a way, Sherman knows what he is doing and now everyone knows his name.
Was his outburst over the edge? In a way, yes. Is it something we'll talk about until Super Bowl Sunday? If you remember Ray Lewis throughout Baltimore's championship run, yes is also a good answer, too.