Last Word on Sherman

Will Selva’s latest blog post.

There’s already been way too much time spent on the Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman’s actions, and you know there’s only going to be more space dedicated to either celebrating or condemning him in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. Whether you are a 49ers or Seahawks fan, believe he’s a classless punk or colorful character, this much was undeniable in the immediate aftermath of Seattle’s win in the NFC Championship game. Richard Sherman is about Richard Sherman.

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Will Selva discusses Richard Sherman and the Seahawks.

The proof was in his rant when he referred to himself FIRST, then mentioned Michael Crabtree SECOND. He did not mention his teammates nor did he talk about one of the biggest victories in franchise history. He talked about numero uno. The only thing that mattered at that precise moment: Himself. You can chalk it up to the overflowing emotion from an intense battle, but he knew exactly what he was doing. I’m all for athletes letting their personality shine rather than spouting the same trite cliche.

In fact, I encourage it. As someone who has interviewed countless athletes, it certainly makes things way more interesting. However, he’s smart enough to know that he had a spotlight and an opportunity to perhaps further make a name for himself or even build up a brand. Who knows the actual motivating factor. Guys may claim that when they score a touchdown, they just spontaneously come up with a celebration. Yeah, right. It’s choreographed and well thought out ahead of time. Same thing in this situation. I’m actually shocked Sherman didn’t have an email composed in his draft folder and just fired a mass message to a bunch of reporters declaring his greatness.

Keep the focus on the team. Ya know, the reason why you’re even in this position in the first place. Too often this postseason, we saw players yapping after catches and first downs, or they draw attention to themselves by mocking the opposing players’ celebration. Just watch a replay of the Panthers – 49ers game. Again, all for the emotion, but its a TEAM sport. Sherman actually apologized for taking attention away from his teammates and rightfully so.

He explained himself more in Peter King’s MMQB by saying that he’s not a villain. Too late. He just converted a wide swath of the country into major Broncos fans. He said he did the choke sign because he wondered why the 49ers would throw to his side. He’s partially right. The 49ers shouldn’t have thrown his way. Hell, they shouldn’t have even thrown the deep ball in that situation. They were driving down the field with timeouts at their disposal, but you simply can’t explain away the choke sign. No reason for it. No place for it. I was positive a throat slash was going to follow. Go ahead and show all the emotion you want. Just remember you have teammates and while you’re at it, mix in a little sportsmanship.

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A-Rod Still Delusional

Will Selva’s latest blog post.

The Alex Rodriguez situation reminds me a lot of the old Seinfeld episode where the strong whiff of body odor is embedded in Jerry’s car. He tries everything he can to eradicate it, only to find that the smell is still there. As much as everyone wants him to go away, A-Rod refuses to leave the public consciousness quietly.

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A-Rod won’t give up on baseball.

He insists that he’ll play baseball in 2015 as a member of the Yankees. He’s now officially beyond delusional. The Yankees don’t want him. Somehow, he forgets that he sued the team doctor alleging malpractice for misdiagnosing his hip injury, not to mention other incidents that are too numerous to recount.

Yes, by all means A-Rod, they want the circus tent and jugglers that accompany you. He’s even said he would plan to go to spring training, even though he’s suspended for the entire season and postseason. He just doesn’t get it and he says it’s all in the pursuit of preserving what little is left of his dignity.

From a financial standpoint, A-Rod frees up money for the team to ink pitcher Masahiro Tanaka this offseason which could still happen and if the Yankees have the gumption to release him, they’ll eat the $61 million left on his deal. If the latter scenario plays out, does he really think another team will want him? All he has to do is look no further than Barry Bonds. He couldn’t find any takers and he was much more productive at his later stage. At least the Seinfeld episode had a funny ending. This is just a plain sad one. That’s of course, if there’s ever a finality.

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The Other Gruden

Will Selva’s latest post about Hispanic Athletes.

By now, we’ve all opened up our eyes and realized that Gruden was indeed the one espousing the virtues of building confidence in his players at the Redskins introductory press conference. No, not THAT Gruden. You know, the OTHER one, Jay, who sounds almost exactly like his famous brother Jon. No disrespect to Jay at all, but he may not even have been the Redskins first choice within the Gruden family for the top job.

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Will Selva discusses Jay Gruden and the Redskins.

Some have gone so far as to question whether he would’ve been offered the gig had his name been, oh say, Gates. We’ll never know, but the reality is Jay is the 8th coach in 16 seasons under owner Dan Snyder. My colleague at NFL Network Jeff Darlington, who first broke the news, worked to see if Robert Griffin III had much input in the hiring process. That’s also an unknown at this point.

One thing is for certain: Gruden will need to develop a seamless synergy with the franchise’s young quarterback.. and pronto. He just got to D.C. and Gruden already is campaigning, reiterating that RG3 is the starter, so he’s off to a good start from that respect. The lack of a cohesive, trusting relationship was a major reason why Mike Shanahan is out of a job.

Gruden’s hiring was a sign that the team wanted an offensive mind to develop and nurture Griffin. Gruden tutored Andy Dalton in Cincy, where fans are wondering whether the red-headed QB was just limited or Gruden didn’t prepare him well enough for the rigors of the playoffs. Still, he managed to improve the Bengals offense in each of his three seasons as offensive coordinator, so we’ll see what he does with RG3. His first order of business though, is to get his young signal-caller to buy in to the Gruden Way, otherwise he’ll be following Shanahan out the door.

from Will Selva: Sports Broadcasting http://willselva.org/jay-gruden-redskins/

Broncos-Chargers Thoughts

Will Selva’s latest blog post.

It’s been suggested that this incarnation of the Chargers is a team of destiny. I think that might be a reach, but I am becoming more of a believer in the mystical power that has become the “Bolo Mojo.” Their demeanor exudes a carefree mentality that’s been noticeably present during this 5 game magic carpet ride.

It’s reason enough for Broncos fans to be a tad leery on Sunday. Never mind the fact that the Chargers went to Denver last month and won only adds to the angst felt in the Mile High City. The Broncos defense has clearly showed that it has problems stopping the run, but they may get a boost from the news that Chargers running back Ryan Mathews could miss Sunday’s contest with a bum ankle.

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Will Selva gives his thoughts on the Broncos and the Chargers.

Phillip Rivers, who’s the highest rated QB in NFL history (96.0) not to have advanced to the Super Bowl, has not made any back-breaking mistakes during their winning streak. Still, the Broncos can counteract with a prolific offense that can strike quickly and often, putting more pressure on the Chargers corners. Peyton Manning will also be armed with his full compliment of weapons, namely Wes Welker, who’s recovered fully from his concussion.

However, Manning must now do what he hasn’t done before in the playoffs in two tries: Beat the Bolts. The other stat that haunts Manning at this time of the year is this: He’s had the most one and dones than any quarterback in NFL history. It’s hard to pick against him, but the Chargers are ripe for the upset. What can you say? They’ve got that Bolo Mojo workin’ right now.

from Will Selva Sports http://willselvasports.com/broncos-chargers/

49ers-Panthers Thoughts | Will Selva

We can safely lay to rest any lingering chatter about California teams playing in freezing conditions after the 49ers and the Fighting Bolos both won this weekend. For the Niners, the stage is now set for a re-match of the Week 10 knucklebuster with Carolina in temps that will be downright tropical.

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The 49ers will take on the Panthers again for a rematch.

When asked about seeing the Panthers again, Colin Kaepernick said it succinctly, “We owe them.” Yes, you do Colin and how. Kaepernick had one of his worst performances of the season. Just 91 yards and a pick in a 10-9 loss at The Stick. Give the Panthers stout defense credit, but this time around, Kaepernick will be brimming with confidence.

When he was standing in the pocket against the Packers, you saw his playmaking instincts shine as he galloped for almost 100 yards against Green Bay, escaping the pressure, extending plays on key drives, especially the last one that led to the Phil Dawson chippy. This is a much different team than the one that lost to Carolina the first time around.

`Kaepernick didn’t have Michael Crabtree back then, but he does now. Crabtree is becoming Kaepernick’s favorite target again, going off for 125 yards on Sunday and hauling in the clutch 17 yard grab on that critical 3rd and 10 on the final drive. The 49ers will also have a healthy Vernon Davis who suffered a concussion in that game against the Panthers. Expect a steady diet of Frank Gore as well. Sure he chewed up 82 yards versus the Panthers, but remember, he was invisible in the second half.

Winter Blast Hits The NFL

Will Selva’s latest post about Hispanic Athletes.

The 49ers and Saints are carrying suitcases that will be a little heavier than normal with all the winter gear stuffed in them. Philadelphia got slammed with a winter blast and AccuWeather is showing that it will likely be minus 51 degrees at kickoff in Green Bay. That’s colder than it was during the Ice Bowl.

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Winter weather has affected the NFL season.

As the NFL ponders the inclement weather pummeling the Northeast and the chances it impacts the Super Bowl, it should really think about reseeding the playoffs in the future. Critics will say the Eagles and Packers earned that right to host a game after winning a division title, which under the current format is true.

They will also say that the Saints are upset because they don’t play well outside of the Superdome. Also valid, but re-seeding would result in better match-ups and rewards the teams that are steady on the way to strong winning records. In the AFC, not much would change if you simply went with the better records.

It would also put pressure on teams like the Chiefs. If they knew there was more to play for like say a higher seed, there’s a good chance they wouldn’t have rested starters versus the Chargers. It remains to be seen if the league will do any tweaking, but I better they’re taking notice. It won’t help the 49ers and Saints much now. They’re too busy searching for thermals.

from Will Selva: Sports Broadcasting http://willselva.org/49ers-weather-san-francisco/