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How Richard Sherman taught me it's OK to be peeved

By Steve Schwartzman
On January 23, 2014

I’m a bit of a sports nut. I’ve worked in sports media for a long time and in close circles have a reputation of someone who knows what he’s talking about in most athletics-themed discussion. It’s just something I get — like how some people understand math or Shakespeare or the perfect milk-to-butter-to-powder ratio when making macaroni and cheese.


I’d say once per week on average, I’ll get a barrage of questions thrown my way in regard to some sports topic that recently occurred, and this week everything friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, puppets and the like have had one topic in mind: Richard Sherman.


If you don’t know anything about Mr. Sherman, I’ll give you the three facts that are most vital about him for your social knowledge.


— He is a defensive player for the Seattle Seahawks. They’re a football team and they wear blue and green.


— After making a play that helped his team clinch a spot in the upcoming Super Bowl, he was approached by damsel sports reporter Erin Andrews for an interview wherewith he, to put it in a language you young-in’s can understand, “lost his cool.” He openly trash-talked opponent Michael Crabtree by name, set a bravado of being the best at what he does and did just about everything else that would make one expect he was in a tag-team championship match with the Road Warriors at Wrestlemania VII and not a football game.


— He looks just like Sanka from “Cool Runnings,” minus the lucky egg.


Insight on Sherman is pretty well down the middle. To one side of society, he is a braggadocious lack-wit who is ruining the sanctity of sport; to the other, he is imbuing the spirit of the game and a personality who proves more in his ability than his character, and to a sincere majority, he is Sanka from “Cool Runnings” — seriously though, put sunglasses on the dude and he’s Doug E. Doug. I refuse to concede this point.


To those clamoring for my take, here’s what I say: We as a society don’t even remotely embrace the angry rant as we should. The privilege to verbally “spill our applesauce” in times of frustration is a societal rite, and we should take those opportunities in stride.


Now, I understand we can’t spend all day melting down on every person who thinks “Moulin Rouge” was a good movie — we just don’t have the hour in the day — which is why I propose this action: Grant every member of society one guilt-and-consequence-free angered rant per year.


Think about it. How relieving would it be in this world of setback and trial knowing we have in our pocket the chance to transverse our emotions onto something else for as long as we need to and just walk away? It would be the “lowest exam score drop” of life. That’s one less burden to carry, and we would all share in the experience. It’s foolproof if anything ever has been. If and when this is approved and becomes a part of everyday life, I suggest we all take time and create our shortlists for those things we would be apt to rant about so we can create the most quality blow up experience possible. Here are a few of mine.123

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