Last night, after an incredible football game between two conference rivals, a winner was crowned. The most important play of the game happened within the final minute. Emotions were running incredibly high. The player responsible for causing 70,000 fans to erupt into euphoria and send his team to the Super Bowl was given a microphone less than three minutes after he made the biggest play of his career. He went on to explain that he was the best and that his rival shouldn't have tested him with it all on the line. And, while it was a little closer to center ring WWE than a Tom Brady post game interview, this excited athlete didn't curse or slur anyone, just threw down some good ol' fashion trash talking. And then the internet blew up.
And, a solid 12 hours later is still blowing up.
In 2007 I participated in an amateur boxing match sponsored by the local sports radio station and went three rounds against my roommate. It came down to the final 10 seconds of the third round and I landed one final blow just as the bell rang. It was enough to tip the scales in my favor and be awarded the victory. Before I could even catch my breath, I was live on the airwaves and gave the worst interview in the history of sports radio. I was amped up from the win but also completely out of breath. I have the audio and sometimes listen to it before I give speeches to remind myself no matter what happens, it won't be that bad.
I am in no way comparing my amateur fight night interview to the pinnacle of a professional athlete's career post game interview, but, there is something about the endorphins that are coursing through a competitors body that just might take their enthusiasm to a level that makes others uncomfortable. Mine to the point of uncomfortable for lack of breath and mumbling. Richard Sherman to the point of uncomfortable that his intensity in that interview was so much more raw than any level of competitiveness you've ever dreamed operating at.
When you say "Richard Sherman's interview makes me cheer for the Broncos in the Super Bowl" I see you saying "I don't like my team being that competitive."
When you say "Richard Sherman just said he is the best, what a douche bag." I see you saying "I've never thought about believing in myself that much."
When you say "Richard Sherman shouldn't claim being a Stanford Communications grad, that's embarrassing." I see you saying, "Has he ever even raised a seed round?"
When you say "Richard Sherman is a thug." I see you saying "I thought I was watching Tennis."