« Nick's Notes

The Truth About The Richard Sherman Incident

by Nick Vitrano

All right…by now everyone is well aware of the “classless” antics of Seattle’s Richard Sherman.  Perhaps never before has an individual lived up to his name more convincingly.  The dude is indeed a Richard.  But man, folks have really overreacted to this :25 of television.

First of all, let me say this: jerks these men may be, but boy they play with a lot of fire, and as a football fan, I respect the mean with which they approach their jobs.  I want all 11 of my defenders to invite the hit, challenge the opposition to throw their way. 

Of course, like everyone, I want my guys to be beasts on the field and pillars of class off.  Like Luda said: “A lady in the street but a freak in the bed.”  Yeah.  The problem is that most folks don’t personify both sides of the equation.  And the ones who do always make you wonder who is the “real” person, don’t they?  C’mon…be honest with yourself.

Enter the sportsmanship card.  There are guys who possess killer instinct between the lines and can shake hands (honestly) after the final whistle is blown.  These men portray exceptional sportsmanship.  And sportsmanship is a virtue.  

It’s not the pro-athlete’s job to raise your kids, teach them right from wrong, mold their personas.  That’s your job, Mom…that’s your job, Dad.  Sure kids look up to athletes, model their own athletic “careers” after that which they see.  You can’t stop it, but it’s irresponsible to expect the men who play the games not to disappoint your kids.  It’s a valuable lesson of idolatry that is worth allowing your child to experience.  No parent wants his son or daughter to have to learn something the hard way, but it’s part of the growth process.  Instead of screaming that Richard Sherman needs to do or be something other than what he did and was on Sunday night, use his behavior as a learning opportunity with your kids.

I’m a 35 year-old man and pro athletes continue to let me down.

But from a sports perspective, the real travesty of the Richard Sherman post-game insanity was that the foundation of the sideline reporter received a massive reinforcement.  Yep…the sideline reporter isn’t going anywhere.  In fact, the role of the sideline reporter will likely be expanded. 

That was the one.  That was the moment producers wait for.  Truthfully, that was the moment we all wait for.  Let’s be honest, for the most part, the sideline reporter is useless.  It’s not entirely the fault of the sideline reporter.  I mean, for what are they really there?  What info are they going to impart upon us that isn’t readily available from the booth?  Heck, many times I receive word of an injury on my tablet, or from the play-by-play guy, well before the sideline reporter chimes in.  So what does the sideline reporter do?  Precisely that – they serve as conduit for controversy.