RUSH: The country continues to talk about Richard Sherman and everybody coming up with an opinion to explain Richard Sherman even though Richard Sherman has been very clear why he did what he did. The psychoanalysis continues on Richard Sherman. And, of course, the perfunctory, totally misunderstanding a point that I made about it is in full swing. I don’t even think it’s worth mentioning to you, folks, so I probably won’t.
I made a point here. In that rant right after the game, the rant that got everybody all ticked off about Sherman, one of the things he said was, “Don’t you ever talk about me! Don’t you ever talk about me!” and he started raking on somebody. Remember, the infobabe, Erin Andrews said, “Who are you talking about?” He said, “Crabtree!” It is my contention that Richard Sherman’s ego — and this is not a criticism.
Even if it is, it’s not the point.
I just know egos, folks. I studied ’em, political, performer, professional, insensitive, insecure. I know egos, and I’m just telling you that Richard Sherman is lost in himself and I guarantee you he thinks that everybody knows that he doesn’t like Crabtree. He thinks that everybody knows that Crabtree is a motor mouth. He thinks that everybody knows, and so all he’s gotta say is, “You don’t talk about me!” and he thinks everybody knows what he’s talking about.
That’s the mistake he made. Nobody had any idea, outside of ardent fans, that he’s got any going with Crabtree. (Cosell impression) Number 15, the wide receiver for the San Francisco Fort’iners. Anyway, so he gets caught up in that, and I made an analogy: “You know people like this. You know people who are so lost in their egos that they think that everybody’s thinking about them all day and all the time.”
I used, as an example, Obama as a large-ego type person who I’m sure probably sits around in private thinking of himself. You know, I love asking people a question, and I’ve been asking people this question of successful people for 30 years. I asked George Will once when I interviewed him. It was on my radio show in Sacramento, and I went to Washington for a week. I said, “When the family’s gone to bed, you’re the only one up, it’s late at night, and most of the lights are off and you’re sitting around doing whatever you’re doing, do you reflect?
“Do you ever stop to reflect on what you mean to so many people and how much influence you have over so many people?” He looked at me, cocked his head, and said, “No, I’m thinking about what I have to do tomorrow. I’m not sitting around thinking about my influence on people.” I’ve asked a lot of people that question, and every one of the profoundly successful people I’ve asked that question say the same thing (to one degree or another) that George Will said.
“No, I’m not thinking about me.
“I’m not sitting there thinking what a great guy I’ve been or how influential I am or how smart I am or how many people can’t wait to see what I think.” But there are people like that, and I just think Obama’s probably one of them. I not even “think” it; I know it. He has to be. In the case of Richard Sherman, it’s not even really a criticism. I think that he just assumed because of what he’s doing — best in the world at it — that everybody, thus, knows, and that they would know he’s got this running little feud or rivalry with Crabtree.
When most people had no idea, not even the reporterette. That’s why she asked, “Who are you talking about?” “Crabtree!” Crabtree is a trash-talker/motor mouth, and they did have an incident last summer at a Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) charity event. I don’t know what it was, and Crabtree apparently did start this thing in Seattle on the field during the game on Sunday, or afterward.
He gave Sherman a shove in the face when Sherman was congratulating him on a great game. But that was probably a little in your face, too. “Hey, bro, I just won the game for my team. Great game, bro. Great.” Kind of digging him. Crabtree says, “Screw you,” and shoved him in the face and, man, that started it.
RUSH: To the phones we go, starting in Seattle. This is Larry. Welcome to the EIB Network. Great to have you, Lar. Hi.
CALLER: Good morning, sir. I just want to maybe give a different perspective on Mr. Sherman’s rant.
RUSH: All right. You say your perspective is gonna be different. What do you think the popular perception is that you are going to offer something different from?
CALLER: Well, I think that he was being misunderstood. I think he was really excited and what he was trying to point out was that he was insulted that they were talking about him in the huddle and Crabtree was talking about him. He was insulted that they believed that he was the weak link in the defense and that Crabtree could beat him, and that he proved, when it was all over, that he wasn’t the weak link, and I think that’s pretty much what he was saying.
RUSH: Okay. Well, let’s look at that. In the game, the 49ers threw at Richard Sherman twice. That does not sound like disrespect to me. That sounds like fear. It sounds to me like the Fort’iners were afraid of throwing to Sherman. The first time they threw they got a holding call on him, defensive holding, prior to pass interference. There was no pass interference. It would have been, but the ball was not in the air yet.
The only other time he threw was that last play of the game, and on that play, they simply thought they were going to their hot receiver. I mean, it was the play, and they think Crabtree is their “hands receiver,” so they were throwing to him. It didn’t matter if Sherman was on him or not. But this kind of makes my point that Sherman, maybe he was being bad-mouthed on the field. Maybe Crabtree was running his mouth, and maybe the 49ers were insulting, but nobody knew it.
This is actually my whole point. Now, I happen to have learned subsequently that Crabtree and Sherman have a long history of rivalry opposition and that Crabtree is, in fact, a motor mouth. He does trash talk, as does Sherman. But I don’t understand. Here you are, you’re playing football, you’re 22 guys on the field, and it’s the championship game. I don’t understand the mentality of a defensive back who feels insulted because they throw to the receiver he’s covering.
If a defensive back is insulted when they try to complete a pass on him, that, I’m sorry, does not compute with me. If the ultimate sign of respect is that the player is so good he’s constantly avoided except on the one play where it really matters, I think they were showing fear and respect for Sherman by virtue of the play calling. Now, I don’t know what Crabtree was saying. (interruption) I have no idea of the trash-talking. That’s the point: Nobody else did, either.
But when Sherman was interviewed postgame with the testosterone going and the adrenaline and the thrill of victory… I maintain, the vast majority of the American people have no idea what that feeling is like. We’ve never had it. We’ve never won an NFL championship game, or a World Series game. We don’t know. We haven’t spent our lives preparing for it. We’ve not dreamed of it. It’s always a fantasy. We don’t know what that’s like. We would love to know what it’s like.
We’d love to know what it’s like to be on a Super Bowl team. We’d love to know what that kind of camaraderie is like. But we don’t. So Sherman is in the midst of total ecstasy joy and glory, and obviously something about this Crabtree guy has rubbed him wrong for who knows how long. So he goes into his rant after the game, and if what you say is true, it wouldn’t have been a problem.
If everybody watching that game had known that Crabtree had been insulting Sherman all day and all season, and even in the off season — and if everybody had known that Crabtree was the motor mouth that Sherman says he is, and if everybody had known all that trash talk that was going on — then Sherman, after thwarting Crabtree’s attempt to win the game, everybody would have understood Sherman going off on the guy.
But precisely ’cause they didn’t know any of that is why they looked at it and asked, “What the hell? It doesn’t make any sense. This guy ought to be happy! This guy ought to be jumping for joy. Why is he ticked off?” Because people didn’t know. Now, you Seahawks fans might have, but the nation didn’t.
RUSH: I really want to take the opportunity here of this last call, this Richard Sherman thing, to make a couple of other points. Football as a game is under assault, and it’s under assault by people that don’t have slightest bit of knowledge about it, the people who play it, the kind of people they are, how tough they are, their motivations. Then you combine all of that with championship, their athletic talent, and the rest of us are left in the dust.
We really have no way to relate to these guys, zilch, zero, nada. All we can do is wonder what happened when the athlete genes were being passed out when it was our turn. It’s one of the reasons we watch. There’s a little Walter Mitty in all of us, fantasizing we can do it, wouldn’t it be fun to do it. You only see the good things, too. You only see the fun, the camaraderie, the single-minded purposeness, the championship team. You sit around and imagine what that might be like in the locker room and on the team plane and you think, “My God, what a party, what a great time.” You just naturally associate or attach positive things to it.
In light of this we have all these people coming along saying we gotta ban the game. There’s another woman that writes for ESPN, she was a VP at ESPN, now a columnist, and appears on CNN and she says (paraphrasing), “I’m through with the NFL, ban the game.” Just out yesterday I saw it. I forget her name. I’ve got it here in the stack. But she is just one of many who are now saying the game’s brutal, it’s unconscionable, it’s irresponsible, we as a society are barbaric, how dare we do this, blah, blah, blah. And she hasn’t the slightest idea what she’s talking about. She hasn’t played the game. You can only get so close to it watching it. You can only get so close to it coaching it.
Now, let me tell you about cornerbacks. Every job in the country, every job in America has its own unique characteristics, I don’t care what the job is. If it is sanitation, if it’s mechanical engineer, if it’s computer science, if it’s media, every job has its own unique aspects and its own unique requirements for success and top-level performance. And every job has different elements to it.
Now, a cornerback in football — let’s just stick with the NFL. We’re talking about professional and championship level. Cornerbacks, successful ones, have to be, they have to have a little Muhammad Ali in ’em. They have to, they must. There is no if, and, or but about this. They must believe there’s nobody better. They have to believe they are the best, because they get burned too much. They get burned too many times. I remember when I was a kid and my dad took my brother and I to a St. Louis Cardinals, LA Dodgers baseball game. I wanted to go to the door where the players exited the stadium after the game just to see ’em up close.
I was a Dodgers fan, and after the game, the Dodgers lost, I said, “Dad, I don’t want to go. They’re gonna be too mad.” He said, “Son, they’re not gonna be mad, they lose too many games.” I didn’t understand it then. But a cornerback is gonna have passes completed against him and the rules in the NFL now are all in favor of the offense because the fans want to see scoring; the fans want to see a ping-pong game. So it’s tougher and tougher and tougher on the defense now. And the cornerbacks are out there all by themselves. Sometimes they get some help in pass coverage, but they’re the last line, they’re out there, they are on their own. They have to believe they’re the best.
One of the great cornerbacks that played in the NFL is a guy named Mike Haynes. He played for the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders. This is somewhat Shermanesque, what happened here. I think it was a Super Bowl game, might have been a playoff game. But the winning pass was completed against Mike Haynes. And he was reputed to be, when he played, top dog. His view on what happened at the end of the game was that he had been humiliated by the offense, and all that had happened was they had completed a pass against him. And he’s talking about how they humiliated him.
Now, people that have not played are not gonna understand. What do you mean, humiliated, dude? Are they not supposed to compete against you? Are they not supposed to succeed against you? That’s humiliating. I’m telling you, that’s the way Sherman looks at his job too. You and I will look at the fact that in that whole game the 49ers only threw at Richard Sherman twice. Now, to me, that is the epitome of respect. That’s the epitome of fear. The 49ers, “We’re not throwing to the guy, he’s too risky.” And they didn’t.
They only threw on Sherman twice, and the last play they threw to Crabtree, which is their hands receiver. Harbaugh said (paraphrasing), “There’s no better hands.” Jerry Rice said, “Really?” That’s all true. Harbaugh’s out there after the game against the Packers, Harbaugh said there is no better hands receiver that’s ever played this game than Michael Crabtree, and Jerry Rice said, “What? Talk to me in 15,000 yards.” So Harbaugh’s trying to jack up this guy and give him confidence and so forth. But Sherman is insulted that they tried to win the game on him. He takes that as an insult.
Do you understand that? Some people probably don’t. But Richard Sherman, A, he’s insulted ’cause of whatever he’s got going with Crabtree, which, again, until this all happened nobody really knew about it unless they’re 49er or Seahawks fans. But he’s thinking, “All right, they think they can win the game on me? Let me tell you what’s gonna happen. If you try to win the game on me, that’s gonna be the result. You send some schlub up against me?” I mean, that’s the way he looks at his job. Cornerback in the National Football League, and I’m not trying to disparage any other position. They all have these characteristics. Whatever they are, they differ. The quarterback has to have the same kind of mentality. They’re intercepted. They throw incompletions. They lose games.
These people have to be mentally tough in ways like we all do in different areas. But they’re defeated too much. They lose too much to be affected by it and remain great. So whatever Sherman did in the postgame, you know it’s characterized as braggadocios or whatever it was, whatever people said, I maintain that the vast majority of it is due to the fact that most people didn’t know of the running back and forth rivalry, hatred, whatever it is, that exists between Sherman and Crabtree. I’m not excusing it. Classless, people have all these descriptions of what it was. But I was most struck by the fact that Sherman felt insulted that the team would try to win the game on him.
To me, that would be, “Wow, they’re coming after me? That’s how important the game is.” But he felt insulted by it, and so he foils their attempt, he foils the attempt against the hated Crabtree. He assumes that everybody knows he hates Crabtree, and he also assumes that everybody agrees with him that Crabtree sucks. Go back and look at it. He starts off on Erin Andrews and she didn’t know who he’s talking about. She has to ask, “Who you mean?” “Crabtree!” Like he can’t believe she doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
And that’s all I meant by ego. I think ego is healthy. People sometimes misunderstand it. Let’s listen to some Sherman sound bites real quick here. This is last night on Piers Morgan Live. Correspondent Rachel Nichols is interviewing Sherman. Rush, bite your lip here.
RUSH: All right. So Sherman’s on Piers Morgan Live last night and gets a question. “There was the moment on the field when he made the play. There is the choke sign. There is the interview on the field post game and there’s the press conference interview. What do you regret about all that? What do you not regret about all of that?”
SHERMAN: There isn’t much about it I regret. You know, mostly I regret, I guess, the storm afterwards. You know, the way it was covered, the way it was perceived and the attention that took away from the fantastic performances from my teammates. You know, I regret doing that. But I just felt like my teammates deserve better and, you know, I have to apologize to them, and I have.
RUSH: Next question. “Your brother has said that Michael Crabtree was rude to you at an event this past summer,” and that’s the Larry Fitzgerald event in Arizona. He’s a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, and I guess Crabtree and Sherman got into something there. So the reporter here says, “Your brother has said that Michael Crabtree was rude to you at an event this past summer, a charity event, that he shunned you, he wouldn’t talk to you and that you said at that time, ‘All right, I’m going to show him on the field.’ Is that the background of all this?”
SHERMAN: That’s the short version of it.
NICHOLS: Is that the clean version?
SHERMAN: I said I would keep it on the field. On the field, we’re playing a very barbaric sport. That’s when I take all my animosity and all my anger and all my frustrations out on the field. It takes a different kind of person to be able to turn that switch on and off and be the intense, incredible focus — and kind of, you know, I guess angry — human being that you have to be to be successful in those atmospheres. You catch me in a moment on the field when I’m still in that zone, when I’m still as competitive as I can be, and I’m trying to be in the place where I have to be to do everything I can to be successful on the football field and help my team win; then it’s not gonna come out as articulate, as smart, as charismatic, because on the field I’m not all those things.
RUSH: That’s pretty much it. He just told you what it is to be a cornerback in the NFL and what that circumstance was, and what it takes to succeed. And then the microphone gets stuck in his face and he hasn’t cooled down and he’s still livid. I don’t know, folks. Have you ever been in the midst of a personal rivalry with a bully or somebody who’s not your friend? It’s at work or whatever and a moment came where you finally vanquish them, and it’s for all the marbles.
You probably would be jumping for joy yourself, and if somebody threw a microphone in your face at that moment, you might have some things to say about the bully that you’ve been holding in, maybe. Again, I’m not trying to excuse Sherman here, because what he did is not normal. I mean, most players in that situation turn into PR experts and they don’t say anything except what they think is the right thing to say, and he didn’t. It was unbridled.
So the next question: “We’ve seen guys get excited in a moment, make big pronouncements. What interested me so much about what happened to you was the reaction afterward. The way it mushroomed and the fact that race, so quickly, became involved.”
SHERMAN: It was really mind-boggling, and it was kind of sad the way the world reacted. For the people who did react that way and throw the racial slurs and things like that out there, it’s really sad, especially that close to Martin Luther King Day. You’re judging a guy… I’m not out there beating on people or committing crimes or getting arrested or doing anything. I’m playing a football game at high level, and I got excited, but what I did was within the lines of a football field. What they did (chuckles) was an actual reality; they showed their true character. They had time to think. They were sitting at a computer, and they expressed themselves in a true way, and I thought society had moved past that.
RUSH: You know, that’s true and all, but let me tell you something. Are we now all of a sudden gonna start paying attention to comments posted on blogs by anonymous twerps? Go take a look at what is said about your average Republican politician on those blogs, and I don’t see anybody getting all upset about that. I don’t see anybody getting upset about the insults and whatever else they are, aimed at conservatives or aimed at Republicans by these anonymous twerps on these never ending websites and blogs.
I don’t think that’s any big deal.
A lot of people want to make that a big deal.
There’s no racial component to this at all.
RUSH: Is that right? Is that right? I was just informed that a bunch of media people, after the Richard Sherman incident, were tweeting, “Boy, I can’t wait to hear what Rush Limbaugh says about this. It could turn me into an instant Richard Sherman fan.” So a bunch of these brain-dead, inside-the-Beltway so-called journalists using their bigotry and prejudice expected me to dump all over Sherman, when in fact I may be the only guy not doing it. I may be the only guy trying to explain to people some of this, at least as best I can.
RUSH: I’ve been thinking about a way to illustrate something I said earlier, talking about Richard Sherman and cornerbacks in the NFL and how they play on an island. They’re heroes or goats. They’re one of 11. But I’ll give an example. Do you remember two years ago, might have been three now — time flies — it’s a playoff game, it would have been three years ago, three seasons ago. Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos in the playoffs against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The game goes into overtime. The first play Tebow dumps a pass of seven yards over the middle and it goes for a 93 yard touchdown or something like that, and the Broncos won. And of course Elway was ticked. Oh, no. They wanted to get rid of Tebow and here they won a playoff game, aw, jeez, it didn’t work out well.
But the story was that the cornerback for the Steelers, number 24, Ike Taylor, got all of the blame for that. There were 11 guys on the field, and the cornerback, who was assigned to cover that receiver, got all the blame, blowing coverage, whatever it was. The defensive coordinator didn’t get any blame for maybe having the wrong call. The linebackers didn’t get any blame for maybe underestimating Tebow. The team didn’t get hit for being overconfident, thinking they’re playing Tebow, hell, he can’t beat us. It all was on Ike Taylor. And Ike Taylor after that game was tweeting everybody, apologizing and telling ’em how much he loved ’em, and he’s gonna make it up the next season, ’cause he was made to be the goat, ’cause it was his guy that scored.
Those cornerbacks, I’m telling you, it’s a different — I’m not saying that people don’t have jobs like that, but for these guys it’s not a game. It’s their livelihood, reputation, and a big thing now, respect. That’s a big, big thing.