Is sportsmanship dead?
When I played baseball growing up in Sacramento, Calif., the River Park Babe Ruth youth league held an end-of-season picnic and awards ceremony each year. The last award to be handed out, and the largest trophy, was the sportsmanship award. The message was clear: sportsmanship is what's important.
Football-watching America was treated to a sad exhibit of sportsmanship Sunday night, after an entertaining and gritty battle between two arch rivals.
Richard Sherman is a fantastic football player, from all indications a very intelligent individual, and showed himself to be a poor winner with his post-game interview with Erin Andrews.
"I'm the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's the result you're gonna get. Don't you ever talk about me. ... Don't you open your mouth about the best or I'm gonna shut it for you real quick. L.O.B."
That's poor sportsmanship no matter how you slice it. No, I don't think Sherman is a thug. I just think his sportsmanship sucks.
Tired of cliché boring athlete interviews, many have defended the outburst.
Summed up, the argument from those who loved the interview and see no issue with it seems to be, "Hey, at least it wasn't another boring athlete interview. You want honest, you got honest!''
But is that all we aspire to? To simply be entertained and not be bored with an interview while we sit on our couch, regardless of what they express?
Are we willing to defend anything someone says, so long as it is honest and passionate and entertaining? What if he said something racist or homophobic or sexist? Would we still be saying "at least it's honest and entertaining''?
I would hope not.
To defend Sherman's comments is to defend publicly insulting your opponent, calling them names on national TV. No thanks.
There has to be something in the middle. You can be honest and passionate and not boring without denigrating and insulting your "sorry" opponent on live television.
Couldn't Sherman have been passionate and emotional and honest without calling his opponent "sorry'' and admonishing him for speaking his name?
Yes, he could have, and I wish he would have.
It cast a sorry shadow over a fantastic game.