So let me be honest. I despise Richard Sherman. Mostly because I am a 49er fan and this man started his career with the hated Seahawks, but also because he is a loud mouth. Always chirping, always filling up my TV screen yelling, and always in the media telling everyone how disrespected he is after every contest. The other reason, he was good...no he was great and he was the thorn in the side of Harbaugh's 49er teams until he left for Michigan and the 49ers tumble from the top of the NFL to the cellar.
After years of being terrible, the 49ers had a plan, a new coach/GM, and then they did the impossible. They signed Richard Sherman. The player I loathed the most was now going to be wearing my beloved scarlet and gold. What in the hell is happening?! And while I understood the reasoning, he was the best player available who understood the defense our team was implementing; I still couldn't wrap my head around it. Finally I took a deep breath and accepted it. I allowed myself to see Sherman without my scarlet colored glasses and concede that he was a great player. Hell, we weren't getting him in his prime, and he was coming off an injury that very well could have limited him for the rest of his career. But his brain was in the locker room, his brain was in the meetings, his passion and love for his teammates would be front and center in the media. All the things I couldn't stand when he wore those ridiculous Seattle Seahawk colors was now being done in the greatest NFL colors, and you know what? It was okay. Because while free agency and the big bucks the players make have destroyed how intense rivalries used to be in the 70s and 80s, players like Sherman help us to embrace the me vs them mentality that makes sports fun. And while I was totally against him when he was with those evil Seahawks, I can embrace him as a beloved 49er and forgive his pass transgressions.
Much like Cowboy fans had to come to terms with the great Terrell Owens. The Viking fans with Brett Favre. The Jet fans with Curtis Martin. Every fan base has a wonderful blind eye when it comes to welcoming in a past enemy with open arms and embracing him as he is reborn in their eyes.
The reason I'm writing this today is because Sherman said something yesterday that echoed my thoughts. As the 49ers have won every game so far, no one wanted to admit they might be good or at least better than the horror show they've been for a while. They would point to the other team, they would make excuses, find faults in the 49ers, or simply point to the next opponent and say no way they beat that team. And while I don't expect the team to go 16-0, I was hoping to see improvement. We are in year 3 of a 5 year plan. So it wasn't too much to ask for a bump up in wins. In his press conference yesterday after defeating the Rams, Sherman did that thing I hated when he was a Seahawk but love now he's a 49er. He rallied the team. He pointed the finger to the haters and unbelievers and let them know that he remembered how they labeled the team before the season started. He remembered and he wants everyone else to remember who did and didn't have the teams back.
Richard Sherman wants to critics to stick to their guns: "Call us pretenders the whole time. You don't get to say hindsight is 20/20 at the end of this. Whatever your word was, please stick to it. The Faithful, continue to believe in us. We're going to fight as long as we can." — Keiana Martin (@KeianaMartinTV)October 13, 2019
So yeah, he's a loud mouth. Yeah he gets away with holds more often than not. Yeah he just might be the villain on the field but he's our villain and I'm okay with that.