Sports Arena

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Defending the offensive defensive back.

By 1.23.14

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The news from Sunday’s NFC title game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francesco 49ers was not so much about the action on the field, but what transpired in a post-game interview between Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. Sherman, who saved the game by deflecting a pass meant for 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree into the hands of a Seahawk teammate, felt compelled to give his opinion on the relative talents of himself and his opponent; essentially launching into a wild-eyed rant that caught both Andrews and most of the country by surprise.

Now to those of us who, in the decades since a young Cassius Clay spawned this sort of behavior, are accustomed to watching young, talented athletes adopt an attitude of defiance as a self-promotional tool, this came as no surprise. In fact we have a term for it: lack of class. Yet predictably, Sherman has his defenders who saw nothing wrong with his gracious display of magnanimity in victory. He is, after all, a Stanford graduate with a degree in communications, whose tirade was motivated by the heat of the moment or was merely an example of the trash-talking which, in their minds, is now a vital part of the modern game.

Yes, professional football has greatly changed since the days of George Halas and Vince Lombardi; those giants whose names grace the NFC and NFL championship trophies. And the main reason is that football has become less of a sport and more of a media event and as a consequence, we have less sportsmanship and more showmanship. And we all know under whose purview our shows are produced. In fact there’s been a lot of talk lately about the notion of a liberal war on football and rightly so, because the symptoms of the decline of football mirror those of this nation, which is also currently suffering under the tender mercies of liberal leadership.

It’s not just the rule changes — though they are many and awful — that are generally bemoaned by everyone who loves the defensive aspects of the game, but the morphing of what was once a mirror of the American path to success through hard work and fair play into just another liberal social experiment. Much in the same way that they have used their psychobabble to confuse Americans about everything from education to gender to the weather, they have managed to convey the idea that football is some kind of esoteric rocket science; all the more reason to impose their navel-gazing ways on what was once a great game.

After all, football already encompasses many practices liberals secretly love and embrace; like the vicious hazing of those who differ from them and putting bounties on particularly pesky opponents. More importantly, it gives them another venue for encouraging minorities to vent their anger on those who so rightly deserve it: rich white men, whose crimes range from naming their teams to honor Native Americans to hiring coaches based on ability rather than skin color. Yes, racial warfare serves liberals just as well on the gridiron as it does everywhere else.

And in case we might forget who the bad guys really are, here’s a part of Sherman’s take on the criticism that followed his public evisceration of a fellow African American: “[P]eople find it easy to take shots on Twitter, and to use racial slurs and bullying language far worse than what you’ll see from me. It’s sad and somewhat unbelievable to me that the world is still this way, but it is. I can handle it.” Sound familiar? It should. It’s the same race-baiting victimization defense you can see daily on your nightly news program.

But the racial aspect of football is not the only crop ripe for liberal reaping. There is also the issue of male domination, which demands that women reporters invade men’s locker rooms and also explains the iron-clad rule that all networks must employ at least one sideline babe to tell us things we’re too stupid to see from actually watching the game. This combines well with the constant admonitions that all competitive games — particularly ones involving males — are dangerous health risks.

Which leads to the tantalizing prospect that sooner or later, some active homosexual player will come out of the closet to become a shining role model for American boys. This despite the recent debunking of the bogus claim that the suicide rate for former NFL players is six times the national average when, in sad point of fact, that is nearer the rate for young gay men. But truth has never been an obstacle to liberal policies.

And so, in the twisted way that defines liberal thinking, football must now be a kinder, gentler game where fewer kickoffs, fewer hard tackles, fewer sacks and less violence must also coexist with the thuggery of hip-hop culture. After all, according to leftist social scientists, rhymed exhortations to gang-banging, cop-killing and female degradation are simply expressions of the common African-American cultural experience; or so the defenders of Richard Sherman would lead you to believe.

But not to worry. These players have free license to act in any way they like as long as their boorish behavior doesn’t “hurt anyone” and they “give back” to the community: the only moral imperatives, according to our liberal betters. Of course it wasn’t always this way. Men like Vince Lombardi knew that football was not always a game of pure talent or testosterone but more often than not, a test of superior character. His advice to his players was this:

Watch your thoughts, they become your beliefs.
Watch your beliefs, they become your words.
Watch your words, they become your actions.
Watch your actions, they become your habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.

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About the Author

Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut (mailbox@lisafab.com).