SEATTLE, Wash. - Seattle Sea Gulls Cornerback Richard Sherman will be forced to have his lips taped over after Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday, Feb. 2. Sea Slugs management is also considering filling Sherman's mouth with cotton, as a further precautionary measure.
And if the Sea Creatures win and if Sherman is in any way wholly responsible for the win, he'll quickly be carted off into the locker room using a utility vehicle. Then he will be led into a small locker room normally used by MetLife Stadium's cooking and wait staff to change out of his uniform, shower, and get dressed for the long trip from East Rutherford, N.J., back to Seattle, Wash.
"We're not taking any chances, especially if Richard wins the Super Bowl for us. He might start chattering and screaming away like he did right after our win over the 49ers," said Sea Monster Coach Pete Carroll.
With Sherman's crazy egomaniacal rant against San Francisco's receiver Michael Crabtree immediately after the NFC championship game, the Seattle Sea Snakes management doesn't want another rave by Sherman to overshadow a Super Bowl win, if they are so lucky.
The Seattle Seahawks played in one other Super Bowl, against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL, but lost 21-10 at Ford Field in Detroit on Feb. 5, 2006. The city of Seattle is obviously very excited about the possibility of the second time being a charm. In the NFL since 1976, this big win is long overdue.
What Sherman said about Crabtree has been labeled "politically incorrect," "unsportsmanlike," even "harebrained" by sundry news organizations.
Shame on you, Richard Sherman, for not having ambassadorial skills at your young age. You should be conscripted to attend some self-help classes on how to become a glib, silver-tongued devil. That way, you can enjoy a career in politics after your NFL career has ended. At least, you'll be able to use such skills as a sports announcer for one of the major networks. It couldn't hurt....
"Crabtree!" Sherman shrieked into the mic, "Don't you open your mouth about the best. Or I'm going to shut it for you real quick!" was part of the riot of words yelled by Sherman.
If you've been living in a cave, in a mine, or an igloo somewhere very remote without television access since Sunday, Jan. 19, and missed it, here's a video of Sherman's rave, played over and over, with some commentary by another would-be sports commentator: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhO3znMf8xo . . . And here's a shorter clip without redundancy or commentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjOkTib5eVQ
"What do you expect? Some television news reporter (FOX's Erin Andrews) put a microphone under Richard Sherman's mouth right after he deflected a pass that would have given the 49ers the nod to play in the Super Bowl," said a Seattle fan, still holding an air horn and fog horn, who saw Sherman's rant at a downtown Seattle sports bar. She was enjoying the company of friends with whom she'd attended the game.
During the final 30 seconds of the fourth quarter, and the 49ers on the Sea Eels 18-yard-line, Quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw a risky pass to Michael Crabtree, who was far in the end zone, but Sherman's graceful leap and tip of the ball allowed teammate Malcolm Smith to grab the interception and clinch Seattle's win.
"He was pumped up with adrenalin. He just finished the game. It was the perfect response to such a silly question by that interrogation lady," said Billy Barnhouse, an avid Sea Snails fan who has made every Sea Slugs game - home and away - for the past seven years, "We did our part. All us loud and loyal fans. We made the stadium so noisy and dangerous looking every time San Francisco's offense went into formation that they might as well have been playing inside a bowl at the base of a 100,000 person riot. But it was Sherman's hand that won the NFC championship game for us, when he batted that ball away in the end zone."
Of course, the officiating in the game was suspect. Epitomizing this was when the Sea Squids were facing fourth-and-goal from the one yard line and their running back (Marshawn Lynch) had the ball stripped and stolen by 49ers' All-Pro Linebacker NaVorro Bowman, forcing a Sea Serpents' change of possession.
Bowman was injured on this play and the referees ruled that the Sea Hags, not the 49ers, recovered the football. Bowman coughed up the ball after falling on the ground and officials ruled in the Sea Otters favor. The play was deemed "unreviewable" because of an NFL regulation.
Little attention was given of Lynch's leg crushing disaster. The fumble itself and its retrieval was the center of attention. And Sherman's vociferation at game's end clouded everything, including the Seahawks' win itself.
"We recovered the football. Fair and square. I'm sick of hearing all that flak from those wimpy people from California. San Francisco might not be L.A., but the weather there's a lot better than up here in Washington. Anyhow, those 49ers fans can go back home to sunny California. I'm staying here where it's dreary, cold, snowy and rainy all the time," Barnhouse said.
The fumble was a controversial point in the game, but overall didn't have much impact on the outcome. On the very next play, the Seattle Sea Slugs turned over possession, which was understandable, since they haven't been all that good in the red zone this season. They can march the ball down the field, but at a short distance, can't seem to hit pay dirt in any consistent way.
"Without the deflection, we would've lost 24-23. It was a perfect pass, except for Sherman being in the way.
"What do you expect from the guy who won the game? The humility of the Dali Lama? He's a pro football player. A gladiator. And he just left a war zone," Barnhouse said.
And just like the Dali Lama once said, "Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions;" Richard Sherman's action of deflecting the pass made the cornerback very happy. Sure, his crazy little speech might have come out oblong, sideways and flipped over, but at that moment, Sherman's action created ecstasy, for him and the entire city of Seattle. And this wasn't the defensive back's only scintillating moment in the sun - earlier in the game, Sherman twisted his body to deflect an earlier pass to Crabtree. This allowed another interception by the Sea Squalls.
The Seattle Seahawks will play the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2. It will be interesting, played on a neutral field. It's doubtful that Seattle will have its usual mass of high-pitched screamers, thumpers, and hell raisers to create a 190-decible earthquake every time four-time MVP Peyton Manning positions himself to take a snap.
And the longtime quarterback's prowess of reading the field and leading his offense earned him the nickname "The Sheriff" - and Manning owns a Super Bowl ring from Super Bowl XLI.
Noise or no noise, Manning will most likely keep a fast-paced offense and will call a lot of his own plays. He's also a coach - kind of, sort of...If he sticks to a 55:45 pass to run ratio, it could prove to be a deadly combination. But how many games have been won on paper? And the Seahawks have the best defense in the league, with much talent and depth. The big "D" doesn't fit on paper too well.
Anything can happen. That's NFL football. Sherman's rant after the San Francisco game will probably mean that most of the country - except those living in Washington state and some parts of Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming - will be cheering for the Broncos.
For the time being, Richard Sherman, you're the man!