I don’t normally post about the NFL, but I enjoy football at most any level.
I grew up in the days of Muhammad Ali. Ali loved to tell the world that he was the greatest of all time. He said it and said it over and over again and a lot of it was to build confidence in himself and to intimidate others.
He said it so often and every opportunity that he had and everybody grew to believe he was the greatest. Maybe he was the greatest, and maybe he wasn’t. My intent is not to write about boxing, but to talk about the mind games that some people play.
Ali beat a man thought to be unbeatable in Sonny Liston in his early years. One of his fights with Liston was famous for a phantom punch and made the fight look fixed. Whether it was or it wasn’t will always be debated like the assassination of JFK and I have no idea if it was fixed even though I have seen the punch many times that supposedly knocked out Liston.
Ali had two fights against Liston which propelled him into the national limelight and the media loved him in spite of this taking place during a period of extreme racial tension in this country.
Ali was the Heavyweight boxing champ which in those days carried a lot of weight in this nation.
This blog is not about the history of the Heavyweight Division of boxing.
But, a guy like Richard Sherman loves to play the Muhammad Ali mind games every opportunity that he gets. He loves to proclaim that he is the greatest cover corner in the game today.
Maybe he is, but personally I don’t buy into it.
If he is the greatest, then the Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant is the best Wide Receiver in the game and it’s not even close. Dez Bryant took Sherman to school yesterday and clearly abused him.
What Sherman, and folks today don’t understand, is that Ali backed his proclamations up over a lifetime of boxing. Even if he did fade quite a bit in his older years losing to Leon Spinks for the Heavyweight Title, he still came back and beat Spinks and reclaimed his title. Many think that fight was fixed, but again there is no proof one way or another.
If Ali was to go around shouting to the masses that he is the best that ever was, he was expected to back it up time and time again which he mostly did.
Sherman clearly doesn’t grasp the whole concept of using trash talk to his advantage. Yes, Sherman attended Stanford University so he has a little bit going for him mentally, but he needs to step back and take a different approach.
Using steroids, jersey pulling, holding, pushing and all of that the current NFL Defensive Backs use to gain advantage over Wide Receivers doesn’t make you the greatest.
Far from the greatest, it just makes guys like Richard Sherman a trash talking punk.
Seattle beat San Francisco in the playoffs last season and Sherman went after Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree and called him an average Wide Receiver.
Then, he yelled at sideline reporter, Erin Andrews. Later in the week, he was on TV yelling at other media people and he told them how much their lives sucked.
Richard Sherman came out of Compton, California. From Compton, he made it to Stanford.
Instead of talking trash about the 49ers and everything about them, he should consider that 49er coach Jim Harbaugh took over a Stanford program in shambles.
Sherman was a very average Wide Receiver for the Cardinal. Harbaugh and staff were the geniuses that decided to move Sherman to Cornerback. Sherman never would have made it in the NFL as a Wide Receiver.
Sherman blasts the 49ers, he blasts their players, and then he blasts everyone in the media that he can find that is dumb enough to want to talk to him.
Obviously, Richard Sherman is trying to do the Muhammad Ali thing.
But, Richard Sherman clearly misses the point.
The point is to make the public believe you are the greatest and use the media to do so. The media is your friend in this situation, not your enemy.
Nobody wants to talk to grouchy New England Patriot coach Bill Belichick. Nobody is going to want to talk to Richard Sherman if he is just there to belittle them.
Ali was good with the media. Love him or hate him, Ali knew how to play the game. He was great friends with the main sports media guy of the day, Howard Cosell. Cosell was annoying much like today’s Brent Musburger, but if you have the chance to make yourself known as the greatest in the game you have to befriend guys like Cosell, or Musburger, or Lee Corso.
Richard Sherman obviously hates the media and yells at them any chance he is given.
Muhammad Ali is a legend in American Sports history.
Richard Sherman will be forgotten in a few short years.
Right now, he just looks like an average Cornerback with a big mouth that didn’t, and couldn’t, back it up against Dez Bryant.