Mac Engel

January 20, 2014

Men like Richard Sherman, Jerry Jones make NFL interesting

Sports in general are better off with guys being honest instead of throwing around clichés.

This is going to be painful to hear and accept for so many of you, but Jerry Jones is right. So is Richard Sherman. It’s a show.

Are you not entertained?

We may collectively cry foul over the greater meaning and increasing loss of diplomacy in our world, but Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has joined Jerry in understanding the rules of the arena better than most. It’s a show. If you have thick skin, and there may not be a person outside of the White House who has ever developed a thicker external coat than Jerry, fame and fortune awaits.

The NFL, and sports, are better off with Jerry and Sherman flapping their mouths.

Since winning the NFC title game and then popping off to Fox’s Erin Andrews about former Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree’s lack of ability to play the game of football, no one has generated more love/hate than Sherman.

There are two schools of thought on Sherman:

1. That Sherman is a classless punk, and you wish there were no names of the players on the back of the jerseys.

2. You love Sherman’s candor and wish more guys would speak their minds.

Way back when, Sherman’s words would have turned me off. Now, after listening to so many men and women repeatedly shy away from their opinions, his candor is like free beer. We’re talking about a football game, which is a poor substitute as some metaphor for life.

Sherman didn’t take a shot at Crabtree’s head. He didn’t dive at his knees. He didn’t endorse Hitler. He did say he is really good, and Crabtree is really bad.

San Francisco defensive end Aldon Smith was busted for his second DUI in 2013, which could have been fatal, yet his actions did not generate near the outrage as Sherman’s words. You tell me which is worse.

If Sherman were a wrestler in the WWE, or a boxer, followers of those sports would have shrugged when he called out Crabtree for being a “sorry receiver.” Few people have played that game any better than boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather, who despite the dwindling popularity of his sport remains the highest-paid pro jock in North America.

Sherman’s words don’t have a place in the overly self-important NFL, which apparently is now on the same plane as Capitol Hill.

The only difference between the NFL and WWE is one is scripted entertainment whereas the other is unscripted. And there may not be any difference between an NFL player and those on Capitol Hill — we all assume they’re taking something.

On Monday morning, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was asked about Sherman’s comments on his radio show on WEEI in Boston.

“He’s that kind of guy,” Brady said. “So, you know, I approach the game — and I have respect for my opponents. That’s the way our team plays. We win with graciousness, and when we lose, we could do better.”

Mr. Brady has obviously never seen his own head coach after defeat. No one is less gracious after a loss than Bill Belichick.

When you are Tom Brady, you can be boring and you will be celebrated as “no-nonsense” and “all business.” Or, the greatest compliment, “a throwback.”

When you are Richard Sherman, or when you are the Dallas Cowboys for that matter, you need help to be relevant. Maybe it’s some cheerleaders displaying excessive cleavage (if there is such a thing), or you run your mouth.

Like Jerry, Sherman clearly grasps that the NFL is merely reality TV. Characters like Sherman and Jerry only make it more interesting and themselves more bankable.

Because only a small number of people in their position are willing to put themselves out there, it makes Jerry and Sherman in demand. That’s just good business on their part.

Former Cowboys receiver Keyshawn Johnson was not one to shy away from his opinion, and he is doing pretty good now as an analyst for ESPN. Whenever Sherman retires, there will be a microphone waiting for him.

We may not like it when Richard Sherman calls out Michael Crabtree for being a “sorry receiver,” but all he was doing was being honest. All the man did was speak his mind, which we are OK with provided we agree with that opinion.

We may not like it when Jerry compares the NFL to a show, as he did on 105.3 The Fan last month, but he is right. The NFL is just a show, and while Jerry is an owner and Sherman is a corner, both are players in “the game.”

Are you not entertained?

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