By John Boyle Herald Writer
SEATTLE — Well, it’s safe to say Richard Sherman has another personal rivalry. Move over Tampa Bay cornerback Darrelle Revis, ESPN’s Skip Bayless and everyone else, the Seahawks cornerback now has his sights set on San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree.
Love him or hate him, Sherman is going to be vocal, and after Sunday’s 23-17 victory over the 49ers in the NFC Championship game, Sherman had a message for Crabtree, who he went out of his way to chat with after the game-clinching interception. On that final play, a shot in the end zone towards Crabtree, Sherman timed a leap perfectly and batted the ball to Malcolm Smith, who hauled in the game-clinching interception. Sherman ran over and patted Crabtree on the behind, and while he claims he only said, “Good game” at the time, Sherman was flagged for taunting, and had plenty to say after the game.
“I was making sure everybody knew that Crabtree was a mediocre receiver,” Sherman said. “Mediocre. And when you try the best corner in the game with a mediocre receiver, that’s what happens.”
Sherman said his talk wasn’t unprovoked, noting something happened in the offseason that he’s rather keep “off the record.”
“There’s been a lot of talk from him, running his mouth during the offseason, personal conversations,” Sherman said. “So I appreciate he knows that now. … He said something personal. He knows what he said, and he knows it’s going to be tough on him for the rest of his career.”
Sherman’s strong words weren’t limited to Crabtree. He thanked both Seahawks and 49ers fans for supporting their teams, then had another message for those who spew venom on social media, saying, “Then I’d also like to say something to the (expletive deleted) fans who write on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and talk crap, because we appreciate the motivation. We appreciate it, you helped us win the game, so thank you very much.”
Sherman also noted his surprise that the 49ers took a shot at him on what turned out to be their final offensive play. Colin Kaepernick had stayed away from the All-Pro corner all game long, then tested him with the game on the line.
“You throw that, that’s just a mistake,” Sherman said.
Sherman was also caught making a “choke” gesture towards the 49ers bench after the interception. Asked if that was for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, he said, “No, that was for Kaepernick.”
Crabtree did have a response for Sherman, saying “He’s a TV guy. I’m not a TV guy. I play ball. He makes one play and talks. Good game.”
The two also exchanged a few, um, pleasantries, on Twitter. Fortunately for fans of a good feud, these two will see each other twice a year for as long as they stay on their current teams.