Should Richard Sherman shut up and play?

Where would sports be without trash talk?  Fans talk trash to other fans.  Players try to psych out and intimidate opposing teams with their trash talk as well.  The dirty words, the taunts and the jabs are all sparked by adrenaline and passion for the game.  The tricky part is that the more a player talks, the more they have to prove on the field.  This sentiment is true in particular for Richard Sherman, the All-Pro cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks. 

There is no doubt that Sherman is a talented cornerback, but there are differing opinions on his trash talk.  The media loves his sound bites, and he provoked many rival players throughout the season and offseason for that matter.  Yet, some players, like Roddy White with the Atlanta Falcons, believe he is just making the game harder on himself,

“I’m not going to come out and say he shouldn’t be a Top 100 player because he should be a Top 100 player, but he talks too much.  He has talked himself into a place where he has to play some really good football this year. I have no problem when he says I’m not that good or I can’t do this or I can’t do that. But I know the rest of the players in this league know what I can do, and that’s why I’m higher on this list than he is…When things are going good, he’s all good. When things ain’t going his way, he has nothing to say — that’s just how he is. You let him talk in the offseason because that’s what he likes to do. You let guys like that talk, but at some point when September rolls around, you got to come play football.”

Others believe that trash talking is an art that Sherman has mastered; an art that delivers a huge advantage on the field.  Hall of Fame wide receiver, Michael Irvin admires the confidence of Sherman,

“The great corners I went up against did not talk.  They were so focused on the task at hand.  I like Richard Sherman.  I like the bravado.  I like the confidence.  Anybody that says what he’s planning on doing and then goes out and accomplishes it, it messes with your head.  It really does.  You think, this is a man who has the ability to impose his will on you, and that’s what Sherman is.  And he’s confident about it…with Sherm, once you master it, where you’re talking and still playing, it’s a huge advantage.”

Love it or hate it, like it or indifferent, Sherman is a unique breed of cornerback.  His distasteful remarks, his quick tongue and his cocky attitude make him a target in every game.  Yet, he prospered under the pressure last season.  The pressure in 2013 will be even greater with his offseason remarks, but one thing is for sure, Sherman will continue to entertain the fans and media alike with his audacity. Perhaps he should shut up and play, but then he wouldn’t be Sherman.

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall / Wikimedia Commons

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Brianna Brooks

Brianna Brooks is a freelance journalist from Washington state currently living in Louisville, Kentucky. She has written for Yahoo! Sports as well as, a blog site dedicated to Gonzaga University basketball. Although knowledgeable about many sports (college basketball, NFL, MLB, and horse racing) her true passion lies with the Gonzaga Bulldogs.


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