January 19, 2014, Fox Sports:

Erin Andrews, a very white woman pointing a microphone at Richard Sherman, a very black man: "Richard—let me ask you—the final play, take me through it."

Richard Sherman: "Well, I'm the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's the result you gonna get! Don't you ever talk about me!"

Andrews: "Who was talking about you?"

Sherman: "Crabtree! Don't you open your mouth about the best! Or Imma shut it for you real quick! L-O-B!"

Andrews: "All right, before... And Joe, back over to you."


With that interaction, Seattle stole the nation's microphone and, to this day, has refused to return it to its proper owners—NYC, DC, LA. Sherman's NFC championship postgame barks/remarks threw the whole nation into a terrible fit. Sports commentators were united in their condemnation of his street talk: Once a thug, always a thug; this is yet again a sign of the decline of professional sports; the NFL has lost control of its rude players.

The noise around Sherman's postgame interview was so loud and persistent (he was called a thug 625 times the day after the game, according to iQ Media) that it almost buried Justin Bieber's spectacular meltdown. And if Bieber did appear on a Facebook feed, it was either as one of the two "bad boys of Canada" (the other being the merry mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford) or as a weapon to defend Sherman from what was perceived as a relentlessly racist media. This weapon was forged and distributed by the comedian Jon Stewart, who on his show made the point: "The thugs aren't the [white] dudes [like Bieber and Ford] accused of actual violent crimes. It's the Stanford-educated cornerback who talked loud after the game. I can't imagine why—I assume it's due to some deep systemic bias... against Seattle."

Then just as Seattle was preparing to return to its normal quiet place out here on the perimeter, a controversy shook the January 26 Grammy Awards...

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