VERO BEACH, FLORIDA – What would a Super Bowl be without a mountain being made of out a molehill?
You know, a huge controversy growing out of a relatively insignificant occurrence.
Like Joe Namath predicting an upset, Eugene Robinson arrested for solicitation or Thomas Henderson belittling Terry Bradshaw’s brain.
Well, SB XLVIII is falling right in line.
This time it’s the fallout from the post-game rant Seattle’s Richard Sherman went on following his team’s NFC title win over the San Francisco 49ers, which earned the Seahawks their berth in the NFL’s championship tilt.
Sherman’s outburst has taken on a loopy life of its own.
If you’ve just emerged from a coma, here’s what happened.
Sherman, a defensive cornerback, deflected an end zone pass intended for Niners wideout Michael Crabtree in the game’s closing seconds.
The ball was then picked off by a Seahawk linebacker sealing Seattle’s win.
After the play, master self-promoter Sherman proceeded to go on one of his carefully calculated demonstrations that garner him the attention he seeks but also carry the price tag of making him look like an idiot.
He started shucking and jiving in Crabtree’s face in what Sherman says was an attempt to congratulate him. (Richard would later be fined $7,875 by the NFL for his actions.)
The 49er receiver then did what more than one opponent antagonized by Sherman has done before: he shoved him in the face, making Sherman look even more stupid.
Seen Sherman’s tired old act too many times. By now it doesn’t register even one tiny level on either MAS’s amusement or irritation meters.
It’s just another all-too-common example of an NFL or college player making a horse’s arse of himself, trying to be cool but acting the fool.
It’s part and parcel with the pro and college grid game these days. MAS has reconciled himself to taking the good with the asinine.
So, he merely shrugged off Sherman’s stale antics.
But Richard’s end-of-game actions combined with what transpired soon after have, for some unfathomable reason, grown into the great Sherman conduct controversy.
After the contest, one of those window dressing sideline TV reporters asked Sherman about his game-saving play.
The Seahawk cornerback then launched into a boisterous tirade in which he mocked Crabtree’s ability while extolling his own greatness.
But what seemed to MAS to be just one more snooze-inducing blah-blahing somehow struck a nerve with the rest of the country.
It became a HUGE matter — one which sparked either massive condemnation or approval of Sherman’s WWE-type blow-up.
Such is the dumb-downed state of U.S. society nowadays that Americans feel compelled to go all out in taking take sides on such a trivial incident.
MAS prefers not to drink from the same well of insanity, thank you.
But he WAS truly startled that just another trash-talking incident could create such an uproar nationwide.
You would think Richard had flipped off the Pope. Or blasphemed St. Oprah or something.
Sherman later issued a rather convoluted apology and explanation for his actions — a message MAS is STILL attempting to decipher.
By this time, the whole silly mess dominated every TV/radio sports show and Internet sports site in the land.
ALL the talking heads and bloggers weighed in on the issue — to the point they were beating a dead horse’s arse.
Meanwhile, a zillion civilians tweeted their anger or support as well.
Was Sherman a classless moron or just a passionate, confident performer.?
Your call, America. Leave MAS out of this, please.
But then things REALLY proceeded to escalate.
Because someone on Twitter referred to Richard, who is African-American, as a “thug”, race was suddenly injected into L’Affaire Sherman.
At a news conference last week, Sherman wondered aloud if the T (thug) word had surfaced as a newer, safe way to surreptitiously convey the N word.
Turns out, the Seattle DB’s original on-field antics were merely the initial stage of an incendiary bomb-type explosion that would grow into an ever-expanding firestorm of controversy.
Talk about a tempest in a fun-and-games teacup escalating into World War III.
Sherman’s post-game Crabtree diatribe apparently had its roots in an incident that occurred this past summer.
The 49ers receiver had allegedly disrespected Sherman at a charity golf event — an action that, unfortunately, often precipitates bullets flying between a segment of today’s young people in the U.S.
Thank goodness, this time only harsh words ended up being fired off.
Sherman somehow felt the need to play the media like a Stradivarius and exact his Crabtree revenge on a national stage.
That maneuver at once showcased both Sherman’s brilliance and dopiness.
The only people more numb-skulled than Sherman were the tens of millions of Americans seemingly mesmerized by this entire theater of the absurd.
It all makes MAS long for the old days when the big controversy surrounding the Super Bowl was always relatively innocent — like Joe Namath brashly predicting his New York Jets would be the first AFL team to beat an NFL squad.
Or “anxious” Atlanta defensive back Eugene Robinson getting busted for propositioning an undercover police officer the night before the big game.
Maybe even Dallas linebacker Thomas Henderson claiming opposition quarterback Bradshaw of Pittsburgh was so dumb he couldn’t spell cat if you spotted him the “c” and “t”. (Terry refuted this assertion by correctly inserting an “a”.)
In those times, Super Bowl blown-out-of-proportion hot topics — involving mere boasting, human failings, opinions on intelligence, etc. — were simple and understandable.
The same can’t be said for the now all-too-complex Mt. Sherman issue.
Contact Man About Sports at: email@example.com