Tag Archives: Seattle Seahawks

How to talk to your kids about Richard Sherman

While trying to keep an open mind, I’ve been watching the arguments unfold the past couple of days in the wake of Richard Sherman’s bombastic remarks after the Seahawks defeated the 49ers in the NFC championship game.

Outrage was in abundance that night, with many football fans denouncing Sherman as an ungracious lout and vowing to root for the Broncos in the Super Bowl to spite him. (I’ve read, too, that there was a lamentable racist slant to many attacks on Sherman, although I  observed none from those I follow on Twitter.)

A contrarian view came up in response to the denouncers, and that is that it was “refreshing” that a player would speak so openly in an era of the NFL devoid of controversial figures.

My take?

I approach it the way my father did when teaching me about sportsmanship, and I hope I conveyed the same message to my own children: Compete as hard as you can. Never taunt, never boast, never gloat. When the game is over, be gracious in victory or defeat. Shake your opponent’s hand and say “good game.

That’s the code you follow to become a man (or woman).

I wouldn’t have to ask my father what he thought of Sherman’s outburst, and I’m sure my kids don’t have to ask me what I think.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks to television, the NFL is truly the national sport

Baseball may traditionally be America’s national pastime, but as a spectator sport football is king. That’s a tribute to television broadcasting.

In a continent spanning four time zones (and I’m excluding Alaska and Hawaii), football has an enormous advantage in capturing the attention of the public. Even in an era of Monday night and occasional Thursday night games, most of the matchups are played on Sundays when most Americans are off work. That concentration of games increases the focus on them, and fans immerse themselves in the games.

For example, this weekend has been the pinnacle of the NFL season with eight teams vying to reach the two conference championships. Many of my friends and colleagues blocked out their weekend to watch the games (I dipped in and out and listened a fair amount on radio). Now that the Jets-Patriots game is over, I’m sure many of them are reliving the details on ESPN, the NFL Network and NFL.com.

The conference championships will also be closely and widely watched, followed by the Super Bowl, which will amass a huge audience of fans rabid and casual.

Baseball can’t match that, even if the network executives would get their dream matchup of the Yankees against the Dodgers or Cubs. A Mariners-Pirates World Series would be a network nightmare, but there’d be no dropoff in audience if the Seahawks faced the Steelers in the Super Bowl.

The NFL is huge, while baseball, lived day by day, inning after inning, is merely big. From spring training through a 162-game regular season plus several rounds of playoffs, baseball is seemingly always with us.

So football games seem bigger, more important by comparison.

I’m a baseball fan first and foremost, but I concede I’m in the minority in this 21st century.

Football is America’s sport.

Try as I might, I can’t get behind the Green Bay Packers

You’d think someone who spent a significant chunk of his life in Wisconsin, met his wife there and has two cheesehead children would be backing the Green Bay Packers in the NFL playoffs. But that’s not the case with me.

I tried to like the Packers when I lived in Milwaukee in the late 70s and early 80s. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do so. My allegiance to the Browns was still strong then, and the Packers under coach Bart Starr stunk.

I’d prefer that the Packers beat Atlanta today, my only connection to the Falcons being that I played on a grade school flag football team named for the 1966 expansion franchise. If the Packers lose, I’ll be a bit disappointed but won’t really care.

So who will I back? Certainly not the hated Steelers or ex-Browns Ravens. I tilted toward the Giants when I worked in New York, so forget the Jets and the Patriots. I had Seahawks’ season tickets for four seasons but today’s team leaves me cold.

Which leaves the Packers’ ancient rivals, the Chicago Bears. And I’m hoping they win it all.

The Bears have every bit as great a tradition as the Packers, and Chicago is a manly city full of passionate fans.  For this batch of playoffs, Da Bears are my team.

The incomparable Jerry Rice nominated to the football Hall of Fame

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=Jerry+Rice&iid=2932495″ src=”b/5/3/8/Super_Bowl_XXIV_afcd.jpg?adImageId=9973428&imageId=2932495″ width=”234″ height=”355″ /] Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith head the class of seven NFL players who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Canton, and I write today to lavish praise on Rice.

He was incomparable, the dominant receiver of his era. He played superbly in the biggest games, and he played superbly in games that had little effect on the standings.

The San Francisco 49ers had a wonderful run of great seasons, and Rice was surrounded by a stellar cast. But his star shone brightest of all, whether he was catching touchdown passes from Joe Montana or Steve Young.

He rewrote the NFL record book for receivers. Even on his last legs with the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks, Rice still managed to be productive well past his prime years at Candlestick Park.  Not a bad career for a guy who played his college ball at Mississippi Valley State University.