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January 20, 2014

America Shocked to Learn Professional Athletes Gin Themselves Up Into War Fever and Then Trash-Talk Opponents

Seahawks' shutdown cornerback Richard Sherman usually sounds like this -- polished, friendly, media-savvy.

But moments after he deflected a pass to become what would be the game-ending interception, he sounded like this.

There was a lot of silliness over this outburst, with various people declaring that a man they had only heard of three minutes ago was some kind of socially-malignant psychopath.

And a raft of people also decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to note that Sherman was both a "n*gger" and a "monkey."

Look: Athletes whip themselves up into an emotional froth for a game -- "Game Faces" -- which are scarcely different from ancient war dances before a battle.

They deliberately put themselves into an emotional and angry place, inventing slights and insults and injustices that must be avenged ("The opposing quarterback called us a good team..?!! He thinks we're only good?!!").

That's why few athletes ever say anything provocative (or even borderline interesting) about the other team before a game: Because any stray remark will be seized upon (and posted on the team bulletin board) as a method of stoking actual hatred and, I guess they think, improved (emotional) on-field performance.

So Erin Andrews interviewed this guy less than a minute after he had just ended the game with a deflection-turned-interception. He is now going to the Super Bowl. He is still in Maori War Dance mode.

He was, get this, emotional. Apparently this is now a Very Important Concern with all sorts of Social (and Racial) Implications.

I really think people are really judgmental dicks at heart. Not a single person would castigate himself for exhibiting the after-effects of adrenaline after an adrenaline-fueled ordeal. But then we see someone else doing it, and we're all like, "Damn, that man should have been able to turn off his fight-or-flight hormones one second after winning a game. Has he no self-mastery? Is he, in fact, deranged?"

There apparently is a reason, apart from madness and lack of self-control, for Sherman's emotional grudge against Michael Crabtree. Apparently the game ended not just with Sherman deflecting a pass straight into the Super Bowl, but with him doing so against a specific man he actually hates. (Though he denies he "hates" anyone. But it seems he does.)

And meanwhile, Richard Sherman has in fact stopped being an emotional psychopath who has no self-control, penning a calm explanation for the post-game interview.

And Sherman himself seems to understand that the in-game "Game Face" is not acceptable outside the context of a football game. At 2:01 here, a reporter asks him a question about the "Legion of Boom" personae (I guess they have some kind of pro-wrestler like schtick, but I don't know; I don't watch football anymore) and he responds thus:

Everybody has a switch... that they turn on on game day. You know, you can't be these intense, super-aggressive, super-physical guys off the field or you'd go to jail. (Laughs)

And I think he made that comment before he even realized that "Richard Sherman, Dangerous Psychopathic Black Menace" was trending on Twitter. He seems unaware of any controversy; he's just discussing, generally, the idea of Game Faces.

Video of Richard Sherman's Very Hurtful Words below.

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posted by Ace at 01:32 PM

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