Mike Kueber's Blog

January 27, 2014

Richard Sherman and Muhammad Ali

Filed under: Culture,Sports — Mike Kueber @ 3:50 am
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The mainstream media has shifted into overdrive this weekend to defend Seattle’s thuggish Richard Sherman.  This morning, The Sports Reporters couldn’t have a lively discussion of Sherman because all of the reporters agreed that the prior condemnation of Sherman was excessive.  One of them (I think it was Jackie MacMullan) even compared Sherman to Muhammad Ali, one of the most revered persons in sport.

I might reluctantly concede that Ali is one of the most revered persons in sport, but any reverence has nothing to do with his brash boasting before the Sonny Liston fight or his arrogant put-downs of Smoking Joe Frazier.  Ali’s placement in the pantheon of sports stars is due to his religious anti-war stand.  It has nothing to do with his trash-talking.

Richard Sherman, you are nothing like Muhammad Ali.  Yet.

January 23, 2014

The new n-word

Filed under: Culture,Sports — Mike Kueber @ 1:30 pm
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According to Richard Sherman, thug is the new n-word.  He suggests that, because the n-word has become socially unacceptable in virtually all situations, closet racists have turn to the word “thug” to communicate the same that meaning as “nigger.”  According to an article in the Huffington Post:

  • “The only reason it bothers me is because it seems like it’s the accepted way of calling somebody the N-word nowadays,” Sherman said during a press conference on Wednesday. “It’s like everyone else said the N-word and they said ‘Thug’ and they’re like, ‘Ah, that’s fine.’ That’s where it kind of takes me aback and it’s kind of disappointing.”
  • “What’s the definition of a thug really?”
  • “I know some ‘thugs,’ and they know I’m the furthest thing from a thug.”

According to Google, a thug is a violent person, esp. a criminal.  Synonyms are ruffian, hooligan, vandal, hoodlum, gangster, villain, criminal.  In contrast, Google defines nigger as a contemptuous term for a black or dark-skinned person.

So this is not the time for Richard Sherman to play the race card.  He may not be a thug, but his conduct in the Erin Andrews post-game interview was consistent with a thug.

Despite his oft-mentioned Stanford degree, it seems that Sherman’s critics has a better grasp of the English language than he does.

January 21, 2014

Richard Sherman goes off

Filed under: Culture,Sports — Mike Kueber @ 10:56 am
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Aside from Peyton Manning’s masterful performance, the most noteworthy event coming out of Sunday’s Championship Weekend was Richard Sherman’s post-game rant with sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

Although there has been an avalanche of criticism of Sherman for this rant, there have been a surprising number of people who have come to his defense, including Erin Andrews.  She went on the Dan Patrick talk show on Monday and said:

  • You expect these guys to play like maniacs and animals for 60 minutes.  And then 90 seconds after he makes a career-defining, game-changing play, I’m gonna be mad because he’s not giving me a cliché answer, ‘That’s what Seahawks football is all about and that’s what we came to do and we practice for those situations.’ No you don’t. That was awesome. That was so awesome. And I loved it.”
  • “Athletes don’t do that. They’re usually composed.  They usually take a minute and that’s why we grab them right after games because we hope they lose their minds like that, we hope they show pure joy. We hope he does the same thing at the Super Bowl. We don’t want a watered-down version of him.”

Andrews also noted that loved the Sherman moment and hopes to see more of it in two weeks. Her stunned look?  She says her boyfriend says she gives him that look all the time.

I’m afraid that Erin Andrews thinks Jerry Springer-type stuff is what America wants – “Why would you not?  It’s great stuff.”  I’m hopeful that she is wrong

Typical of the Sherman apologists, columnist Tommy Tomlinson provided us with 22 brief thoughts about that Richard Sherman interview,” and one of my son’s rugby teammates, Ian, commented on Facebook as follows on the Tomlinson column – “This was well said. Good perspective on the whole thing.”  I responded:

  • Sorry to disagree. Regarding the 22 brief thoughts, each one could be answered, “so what?” So what that Sherman is black, graduated from Stanford, didn’t use any curse words, or spoke shortly after making a game-saving play? His conduct was indefensible, self-centered, and unsportsmanlike.

Ian’s friend, Jared, commented:

  • I enjoyed this read too Ian. I don’t think it explains what he did. But none of us can… Because we weren’t him in that moment of the game, and we weren’t him while trying to get drafted. He was told he wasn’t the best and proved himself otherwise.

I responded to Jared:

  • Jared, I agree with your suggestion that we shouldn’t judge Sherman because we haven’t lived his life, but we should be able to judge his conduct.  I’ve read so much by people who enjoyed seeing his unvarnished personality, but I don’t think it is asking too much to expect our athletes to be able to shake hands immediately after a loss, just like they do in tennis.

Enough said.

p.s., Ian subsequently forwarded to me Sherman’s account of the incident in the Monday Morning QB blog, and he asked me the following – “In addition to your opinion on the article, do you think Sherman’s heated response is more or less justified after he was shoved in the face for trying to shake Michael Crabtree’s hand?”

My response to Ian:

Thanks, Ian Miller. I give Sherman’s Monday Morning account little credence. Do you really think a guy who, according to him, is generously, graciously offering a handshake to Crabtree would explode when Crabtree pushes him away? The fact that he followed his Crabtree action by showing the choke sign to Kaepernick, who had the audacity to throw at him, reveals his immature, angry, petulant attitude. And finally, can you imagine having friends who compliment you afterwards for having “best interview ever” after the game?