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Monthly Archives: January 2014

A friend and former co-worker asked me to comment on Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman’s “rant” after he and his teammates, the Seattle Seahawks, defeated the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, January 19, 2014 to earn a trip to the Super Bowl. Here is the ‘rant’: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x19z4gh_sherman_people.

Here’s my comments:

1) Football, like any sport, is a competitive game. Football, like any sport, has its fair share of big egos. Football, like most sports, has its share of bravados. And football, like most sports, has its share of jawing or trash talking among the players. I am guessing Michael Crabtree, wide receiver for the 49ers, was doing his fair share of trash talking during the game. It appears to me that Sherman was giving Crabtree a little taste of his own medicine.

2) Sherman like many athletes in particular and like many people who are good at what they do in general was certainly in my view being prideful with his comments. Arrogance is something that all people struggle with; especially people who are particularly skilled at something. Personally, I can be quite prideful when it comes to applying Biblical knowledge; something I think I am good at.

3) Pure journalism, as my brilliant daughter Briana Bobo, who majored in Journalism at Indiana University, points out strives to capture raw and unedited footage. What we saw was raw and unedited footage. This was pure journalism. However, what is often paraded as journalism in the media are stories that have been polished and doctored up. So, do we prefer what is true vs. what has been doctored up or even maybe embellished?

4) Notice Sherman did not curse or make any lewd gestures; and “LOB” for the unfamiliar, I discovered, means “Legion of Boom,” Seattle’s nickname for its defense. What I saw was a man who was simply quite emotional after a “big” game and what we heard and saw was unfettered emotion and excitement. One definition I found for rant is: to talk loudly and in a way that shows anger or to complain in a way that is unreasonable. Sherman was talking loudly but it was not with anger; and he certainly was not being unreasonable. Personally, I don’t see this as a rant.

5) I wonder how we would respond if someone had been talking trash to us during the game or effectively disrespecting us and I wonder how we would respond after we had achieved a great feat like Sherman? Would we be polished, refined and reserved or would we “let loose” like Sherman? Do we prefer authenticity or inauthenticity? I can’t speak for you but I likely would have been demonstrative like Sherman.

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I like sports. No, correction: I love sports! Maybe, I love sports because, like many men, I live vicariously (and safely) through these larger-than-life gladiatorial-type athletes. Maybe, I love sports because I had the privilege of watching my son play basketball, volleyball, football and baseball when he was a kid and teenager. Maybe, I love sports because of my late granddad, Henry S. Bobo, who was truly a scholar-athlete who excelled in football and basketball. I love watching sports and I enjoy playing some sports too. The televised BCS Championship Football game that featured the Florida State University (FSU) Seminoles against the University of Auburn Tigers on Monday, January 6, 2014 is yet another reason why I love sports. Fourth quarter, and with the time running out and the odds clearly against him, FSU freshman quarterback Jameis Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy Winner, led his team on a 80-yard drive that eventually ended with Winston tossing a clutch winning touchdown pass with only 13 seconds left on the game clock! This freshman quarterback was cool, calm, collected and confident down the stretch. This feat was especially noteworthy because for most of the game Winston did not have a “Heisman Trophy” caliber game; but Winston, unlike other Heisman Trophy winners, became the seventh winner since 2000 to win a bowl game. Now, that’s why I like sports; the last minute or last second heroics, the suspense, the drama, etc. All this reminds me of ABC’s Wide World of Sports tagline: “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport! The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat!” Somehow sports allows us to feel the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat from the comfort of our living rooms. However, I also dislike sports. Or better, I am often sadden by some athletes. For instance, hearing the post-game speeches from Winston, the Offensive MVP, and P.J. Williams, the Defensive MVP, was not only disturbing but also quite embarrassing. These young men, while heroic and quite talented on the football field, failed at speaking proper English well; yet the FSU Football Coach, Jimbo Fisher, genuinely appears to care for these guys. If he truly cares for these men, my hope is that he will strongly encourage Winston and Williams (and I am sure other players) to learn how to speak proper English because when these players hang up their cleats, when their names are no longer announced over the PA system, when they will no longer see themselves on those large stadium video jumbotron screens, speaking proper English will indeed be an imperative, a must-have skill to score on and navigate “life’s gridiron.” It is my hope that Fisher and other coaches will show how much they really love these players by telling them the hard things for their good and welfare. It is my hope is that Fisher and other coaches will stress academics so that the scholar-athlete is not a rarity but rather the norm!