Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Z_CNHI News Service

January 21, 2014

Stick a camera in an athlete's face, expect a rant

(Continued)

Later, in an organized meeting with reporters, he repeated the points of his brief TV interview in more measured tones. Most of the emotion was missing.

The third-year pro from Stanford is nobody’s fool. He’s articulate, thoughtful and insightful – at least off the field. On it, he's dogged, determined and not one to be intimidated. That’s just the way it is in a violent and physical sport.

He calls himself a “great player.” It could be that the assessment should also include cocky and confident.

It’s easy to form a false impression of Sherman by drawing upon his brief answer to a simple question, and some have dismissed him as a classless thug. But there’s more - much more.

He grew up in Compton, Calif., a city with a rough reputation. Yet the 6-foot-3, 195-pounder wasn’t content to just hang around a campus for a few years before getting a shot at the pros. He picked Stanford, a prestigious college by anyone’s assessment, setting his sights on getting a degree as well as winning games. He did both.

He was just a fifth-round pick in the NFL draft - not bad but far from assured a spot on the team. He quickly established himself in the pros as a guy with the right mindset and skills.

What Sherman has done now is to make himself a subject of much attention in the lead-up to the Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos on Feb. 2. In one sense, his timing couldn’t have been much worse, as his next stop will be the media capital of the world. He could have been the match for Michael Crabtree, but that might not be the case when he arrives to play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

If he survives the media reception, he must be ready to slow Denver's quarterback, Peyton Manning, who will be making his third start in a Super Bowl.

Sherman has shown he can play with the best on the field. On the sidelines, maybe he needs lessons from Erin Andrews on how to handle a post-game interview.

Tom Lindley is a CNHI sports columnist. Reach him at tlindley@cnhi.com.

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