Richard Sherman: The NFL's Motivator

As an Irishman, I’m always taken aback by the advertising during breaks in NFL games. There’s a large difference between European and US commercials, aside from the obvious increase in beer, trucks, food-porn and tits the US offers. In Europe, you don’t name-check your competitors. I’m not sure whether this is part of European advertising standards or simple decorum, and I’m a hideously lazy person that point-black refuses to investigate, but you advertise the strength of your product as opposed to the perceived disadvantages of your competitors’.

So when Verizon lists it competitors’ network deficiencies, or Ram explains exactly why your dick will feel bigger in their truck than in a Ford, I find it quite jarring. Hell, I’ll even call it brazen. But I see the benefit in it for the consumer. Having your dirty laundry aired in public forces companies to adapt and improve their product, to strive to offer something better.

Cornerback is possibly the most difficult position to play in the NFL, requiring a unique blend of athleticism, intelligence and dedication to study. Thus, when an individual can excel at the position, he’s going to get paid. In the past few years, we’ve seen monster contracts handed out to;

Nnamdi Asomugha: 5 years, 60 mill

Cortland Finnegan: 5 years, 50 mill

Deangelo Hall: 6 years, 55 mill

Darrelle Revis: 6 years, 96 mil

Obviously I’ve been rather selective of my examples to further my point, but a common theme among the re-signing or FA signing of high-profile CB’s is that you often don’t get what you paid for. Nothing detracts from the desire to succeed more than a fat bank account.

Enter Richard Kevin Sherman; the Verizon of the NFL. If I was a Tampa Bay fan, a Tennessee fan, a Cardinals fan, I’d be over the moon at Sherman’s endless self-promotion. It’s forcing anyone that wants to be in the discussion for best in the league to be better, to work harder. The begrudging remark that most players end on when discussing Sherman is "he backs it up".

I’m not even sure why I wrote this, and apologies if it’s a dull aside from what is the most exciting week of the year. But with all the hate going around regarding Sherman (I’m not sure if you heard, but he was a tad gregarious during his most recent post-game interview), I get defensive because the onus is not on Richard to shut up, it’s on his competitors to shut him up. Beat him. Embarrass him. And for as long as that’s the case I’ll be happy, not only because Sherman’s proclamations are an increasingly apparent reality, but because there’s a growing QB obituaries list that attests to the fact that when you try to shut up our best, you’re going to lose.

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