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Sports Capsule

| Gazette, Sports | January 23, 2014

Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman has been called for unsportsmanlike conduct on the field of public opinion after his trash-talking, post-game interview following the NFC championship game.

Sherman, never at a loss for words, even though he needs to consider second thoughts at times, proclaimed his team the best, his play the best and took some unnecessary shots at the San Francisco wide receivers in an interview with Erin Andrews from Fox Sports.

It caught most fans by surprise.

After years of the egocentric athlete making headlines with stupid statements, silly statements such as these should have lost their shock value by now.

Instead, Sherman’s shout-out will be the top story for the next two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.

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Blame Muhammad Ali.

Ever since he proclaimed, “I am the greatest,” athletes in every arena have been trying to top it.

Granted, when Ali said it, he was the greatest. He still is the greatest in many ways. Those trying to be the greatest always fall short.

But still, it is not the athlete’s job to decide who is the greatest. It is up to writers and historians to sift through the statistics and stories to come up with the list of all-time greats. It is up to former athletes and coaches, those who have already been chosen as the greatest, to decide who joins them.

As for the athletes themselves, they should focus more on playing the game and less on their proclamation skills.

To be honest, Sherman’s latest diatribe of trash talk wasn’t all that bad. It was a little arrogant and self-serving, but it was hardly creative or demeaning.

Three little words, “I’m the best,” have turned Sherman into the poorest sport of all time.

It was actually quite ingenious.

He tried to explain it afterward as a response to 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree blowing him off after the game. Sherman said he tried to shake Crabtree’s hand and talk to him after the game. Crabtree ignored him. Andrews stuck a microphone in Sherman’s face and the rant began.

The interview lasted about 10 seconds. But, for the next two weeks, Sherman will be the focus of interviews and storylines.

No one will be interested in how anemic the Seahawks offense has become. No one will ask about Russell Wilson’s first trip to the Super Bowl or Pete Carroll’s first trip to the Super Bowl. They won’t have to answer questions about the pressure they will face, the weight of potentially winning the first Super Bowl for Seattle or what the weather will be like in New York in two weeks.

The Seahawks won’t have to face questions about stopping Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and his Pro Bowl squad of receivers. The Seahawks might not hear the names Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas or Eric Decker from reporters.

Sherman said he was caught up in the moment and his adrenaline was doing most of the talking after the game. But he probably knew exactly what he was doing. All the attention is on him, taking it away from his teammates and coaches.

The Super Bowl is two weeks away. Sherman gave the media and fans plenty to talk about until then.

Despite Sherman’s rant after the NFC championship game, the Seahawks should have no problem with the Broncos.

The Broncos opened as a one-point favorite, and the point spread quickly jumped to three within hours. Not that anyone is encouraging gambling on the Super Bowl.

However, the Broncos are apparently the fan favorite. The line moved two points, because so many people are betting on the Broncos to win the game, and win it by more than three points.

If anything, the points spread indicates that the game will be close.

Don’t believe it.

This will be a blowout of 1980s Super Bowl proportions. The Seahawks are considerably better than the Broncos. The Seahawks run the ball better, play defense better and are better on special teams. If the weather is bad, and history dictates that February in New York is brutal, the advantages for the Seahawks are magnified.

Don’t just take the Seahawks and the points. Take the money line on the Seahawks. They will win this game outright.

The Foothill League season in high school basketball started last week.

Hart, Canyon and Valencia won their first two games.

Hart easily disposed of West Ranch and Saugus. The Indians are 17-1 and have a 16-game winning streak.

They are also on the list of teams to qualify for the new CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs. It’s early in the season, but still a good place to be.

The Canyon boys beat Golden Valley and West Ranch. The Cowboys are 18-1 and have a 15-game winning streak.

West Ranch gave the Cowboys a game, though. Ben Taufahema hit a 3-pointer with about a minute to play to win the game.

The Valencia boys won their first two games in the Foothill League over Saugus and Golden Valley on the road.

The Vikings have a six-game winning streak, including a 67-60 win over Pacific Hills in the Lancers Hoops Showcase at La Salle High School.

But, Valencia plays Hart and Canyon this week. The Vikings will soon find out if they have enough to contend for the Foothill League championship.

Tim Haddock is the sports director at KHTS AM 1220. He writes for the SCV Beacon, the Ventura County Star, the Team USA website and covers auto racing for the K&N website. He can be reached by e-mail at tim@hometownstation.com. Follow him on Twitter @thaddock.

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About Tim Haddock

Tim Haddock writes for ESPN.com and the Ventura County Star. Follow him on Twitter @thaddock.

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