“I’m better at life than you.” Bold, huh? Those were the words Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman hurled at ESPN’s “First Take” television host Skip Bayless on one of the show’s episodes last week.
Following Bayless’ comments that the Stanford product wasn’t in the “same class” as Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, the Bayless-Sherman on-air debate was circled on the calendar and did not disappoint. But did Sherman cross the line?
If you watch “First Take,” you know that its two stars, Bayless and Stephen A. Smith, take the “embrace debate” ethos to heart. The show’s premise hinges on Bayless and Smith spurting out more crap than a Brooklyn sewer. They bark, yell and talk smack about professional athletes for nearly three hours a day and welcome any on-air rebuttals from the athletes themselves. So when the Seahawks’ standout cornerback fielded the offer, there was a natural expectation of verbal fireworks and a heated discussion.
What we got was a debate that quickly veered into a personal attack as Sherman wasted no time in declaring his feelings for Bayless. “Skip, whenever you refer to me, whenever you speak to me, whenever you address me, address me as ‘All-Pro Stanford graduate’ because those are some accomplishments… you’ll never accomplish.”
Wait, what? Do I have to refer to Sherman as “All-Pro Stanford graduate” too? I can understand an athlete being confident in their abilities and achievements, but to tell another person how to address you comes off as egotistical to the point of near delusion, even if it is directed at sports’ motormouth. He later described Bayless as an ignorant, pompous, egotistical cretin before proclaiming that he would “crush” Bayless “in front of everybody” because he is tired of the “ignorant pollution.”
Wow, where to begin? Number one. Bayless is certainly deserving of a portion of criticism because he does dish out numerous controversial statements and is not muzzled by ESPN. But with that said, the way Sherman came at him was largely unwarranted.
Sherman, who clearly had a “let me stir the pot” agenda, needs to take a note from Tim Duncan. Duncan is one of the most commendable athletes in sports. He is silent and lets his numbers speak for themselves. If Sherman wants to be one of the best (a constant declaration of his), he needs to learn from the best. And like the old adage goes, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.