First Take – “I believe my numbers speak for themselves,” Sherman told Smith. “My tape speaks for itself. My tape is my resume. That is what I leave it up to. You can say whatever you want. Skip can say whatever he wants. But Skip, whenever you refer to me, whenever you speak to me, whenever you address me, address me as ‘All-Pro Stanford graduate’ because those are some accomplishments you’ll never — you can aspire to, you’ll never accomplish.” Sherman was just getting started. “You have never accomplished anything,” he continued, focusing on Bayless. “So, but, um, those things are on my resume, those are what I’ve done, it’s my second year in the NFL going into my third. I mean, you tell me who’s wrong.”
The answer: cornerbacks and wide receivers. The question: Who are the biggest divas in all of sports? Richard Sherman, Pro Bowl corner from the Seattle Seahawks, is making sure someone at least attempts to carry the diva torch ignited by Leon Sandcastle’s doppleganger Deion Sanders as he has been chirping up a storm ever since Seattle won their Week 6 Super Bowl against the New England Patriots at home. For a player only entering his third season in the NFL, Sherman has done enough on the field to warrant praise from fans and analysts alike. But that’s completely unnecessary. Because who needs the praises of your contemporaries when you can just tell everyone how you’re God’s gift to the world all by yourself? Better yet, who needs personal praises when you lose a playoff game against a franchise which scored TWO total points in the playoffs the year prior? I mean, the Seahawks needed as much offseason as possible to polish their Week 6 rings. Only a psychopath would want, yanno, an ACTUAL Super Bowl ring.
But we’ll get back to the “All-Pro Stanford Graduate” in a little bit. For he is only half of this story. Enter: Skip Bayless, professional troll. I’m not here to defend Skip. In fact, ever since Jay Crawford left First Take, I haven’t watched a single episode. So I barely know what kind of scripted garbage is being spewed out of his hole any more these days. But when two well known trolls go at it on national television, it eventually crosses my desk. For those who think Skip Bayless is as dumb and ignorant as he portrays himself on tv, there’s a reason you’re not in marketing. As ESPN would GLADLY tell you, controversy sells. Arguments and intense debates are sexy. Hell, the only reason I’m writing right now is because of the intensity of this debate – which I’ll break down momentarily. The reason Skip is in the position he is in right now is because he genuinely knows how to get a rise out of people. From Wale to T-Sizzle, and now Richard Sherman, who handled this situation EXACTLY how Skip and ESPN wanted him to. Back to the quotes…
Bayless: “OK, I’ll accept that. I think I’ve accomplished more in my field than you have in yours, though you’re just getting started.”
Sherman: “So, I’m at the top of my field. I’m All-Pro. I’m one of the best 22 players in the NFL. You’re going to brush it off, but I don’t think you’re the best 22 anything. In sports, in media, in anything.”
Bayless: “That’s debatable.”
This was my favorite quote. I’m not sure what’s funnier: the fact that Richard Sherman thinks he’s one of the 22 best players in the NFL because he was an All-Pro or the fact that he previously referred to himself as an “All-Pro Stanford Graduate.” Listen, Stanford is a fine institution which grooms plenty of upstanding citizens (see: Tiger Woods) but let’s clear up one glaring detail Sherman seems to consistently leave out. Sherman graduated with a degree in Communications. You know what a degree in Communications gets you in 2013? A job at Tel-Americorp sitting in a cubicle next to Blake, Ders, and Adam. It’s not a real degree. I am not stretching the truth at all when I say one of my best friends was a heroin addict who graduated with a 4.0 in Communications. So congrats, Sherman. You went to one of the finest institutions the West Coast can offer and you got nothing more than a worthless piece of paper which would fetch you $30,000 a year in the real world which any junkie could attain. And I say that as a writer (read: security guard) who makes that sans degree. Let’s just stick with the “All-Pro” title from now on, shall we?
Which brings me to my next point: Richard Sherman should have his useless degree stripped from him if he honestly believes he’s a top 22 player in the National Football League. That’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. Top 22 cornerback? Absolutely. Top 22 defender? Probably. Top 22 football player? Laughable. In fact, there’s two college players I’d put ahead of him this second and not second guess myself: Johnny Football and Jedaveon Clowney. But that’s a different argument all together. Sherman wants to say he’s a top 22 player in football? Well, gee, Dick, I’m not so sure. Usually top 22 talents don’t get 60-yard touchdowns dropped on their head in the biggest game of their career by the opposing team’s third option.
In fact, the four teams which played in the Conference Championships combined have 22 better players than Richard Sherman. For starters, all four quarterbacks are better. Not even debateable. Ray Rice and Frank Gore. That’s six. Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Vernon Davis, and Tony Gonzalez are all unequivically better. We’re up to 10. Wes Welker, Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Julio Jones, and Roddy White make it 15. Offensive linemen? You betcha. Marshall Yanda, Logan Mankins, Nate Solder, Mike Iupati, and Joe Staley. 20! I only need two defenders? Man that’s going to be tough. Just for fun, I’m not even going to include the San Francisco 49ers, because that wouldn’t be fair. Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, and Haloti Ngata. Bam. 23. And that doesn’t even count Navarro Bowman or Patrick Willis or Justin Smith or Aldon Smith. At least 27 players on FOUR teams better than Richard Sherman at football. Top 22 football player? Maybe if you go back to the Pac-12. Not in the NFL. Not even close.
What Sherman was also wrong about here was saying that Skip wasn’t top 22 at anything. That’s simply not the case. Skip Bayless is without question a top 22 troll in the world of sports. You know who else is? Richard Sherman! I thought what Sherman pulled against Patriots’ fans after the Week 6 Super Bowl was hilarious. While fellow TSHQ writer Bryan Doherty said that he loves the fact Patriots’ fans are sore losers (and while I see where he’s coming from) there is no reason for Pats’ fans to get worked up after any Week 6 loss to the point where you’re calling out opposing players via Twitter. That’s classless and borderline idiotic. Sometimes you get flat out beat and other times you end up beating yourself. When the Patriots lost to the Seahawks (24-23) there wasn’t a doubt in any sane person’s mind that the Patriots lost that game, the Seahawks did not win it. So while Patriots’ fans looked moronic nationwide after the Week 6 loss at Seattle, Sherman looked like the bigger man. This would not be a lasting trend for Dicky Sherman as he went on to troll Darrelle Revis (easily the best cornerback in the NFL today) via Twitter about a month ago prompting Skip to ask the following questions…
Bayless: “OK, do you think you are better than Darrelle Revis is right now?”
Sherman: “In my 24 years of life, I’m better at life than you.”
Bayless: “OK, all right, that’s fair, all right.”
Sherman: “Let’s get down to brass tacks.”
Bayless: “Let’s not get personal here. I just want to know –”
Sherman: “It’s not personal. It’s resume.”
Bayless: “Do you think you’re better than Darrelle Revis is right now?”
Sherman: “I’m better than you. I have nothing to say about him. That is pretty much done. My numbers speak for themselves.”
Sherman trying out for Average Joe’s dodgeball squad this spring? Because he dodged, dipped, ducked, dived (yes, dived), and dodged that question like a young Vince Vaughn. It’s a simple question, Dick. Are you better than Darrelle Revis? You’ve made it adamently clear that you’re better than Skip Bayless (not much of an accomplishment for ANY pro athlete). In fact, you weren’t so shy when you were talking to Revis directly on Twitter. So why clam up now? Did Revis get better over the past four weeks? Or did you realize how wrong you were to begin with? Because no one, and I mean no one, has been as good of a cornerback as Revis in the NFL since 2011 when you broke into the League. There’s a reason you were able to deflect as many passes as you did last year, Dick. It wasn’t because teams were playing from behind and had to throw all game. It wasn’t because you played opposite another top tier cornerback (even though Seattle’s defense is stout all around). It was because no quarterback fears you. Not a one. Quarterbacks wont even contemplate looking at Revis Island. Tom Brady barely looks in Revis’s direction, and the only time I can recall Brady embarassing Revis was when he pulled his hammy getting burnt by Randy Moss. For those keeping score at home, those are two of the greatest players at their respected positions ever. EVER. Top 22 players are game changers. Just not the way Sherman changed the NFC Playoffs.
Luckily for Sherman, he’s young, cocky, and has plenty more football ahead of him to try and back up these erroneous claims he seems intent in making. Maybe next year, Dick. For now, just keep on trolling. And getting trolled, for that matter.