Richard Sherman backpedals on post-game rant

SEATTLE - The Seahawks huge win as NFC Champions almost got overshadowed in a post-game outburst by Richard Sherman.

The cornerback has an ongoing beef with 49er receiver Michael Crabtree, who was the victim of Sherman's game-winning pass deflection to seal the victory in the game's final seconds. The personal rivalry started months ago with a spurned handshake, and has spiraled into a rift that caught a network reporter - and the nation - off guard.

The outburst started when FOX Sports reporter Erin Andrews asked Sherman to walk her through the final play.

"Well, I'm the best corner in the game," Sherman said. "When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's the result you're going to get. Don't you ever talk about me."

Sherman went on to call Crabtree "mediocre."

"There's been a lot of talk from him, running his mouth during the offseason, and personal conversations," Sherman explained.

Those cutting words fed the frenzy for the 12th Man, though some thought Sherman got caught up in the emotions of the moment.

"After having such an amazing play, and then to have somebody shove a microphone in your face. You're just probably not thinking of the aftermath," said Lisa Hanson, a fan from Federal Way.

Others were less forgiving.

"I think the Crabtree thing could have gone unsaid because the game speaks for itself," Doug Creager added as he waited in line to buy Super Bowl tickets.

After the game-ending play at CenturyLink Field Sunday night, Sherman ran to Crabtree, gave him a pat and extended his hand to shake. Instead, Crabtree shoved Sherman in the face.

Sherman shed some light on the feud in an online column. He called Crabtree a sub-par player, then said, "That's not why I don't like the man. it goes back to something he said to me this off season in Arizona, but you'd have to ask him about that. A lot of what I said to Andrews was adrenaline talking, and some of that was Crabtree. I just don't like him."

Sherman has since texted an apology to a sports writer.

Coach Pete Carroll also spoke to Sherman and says he stands by his star cornerback.

"He was really clear that the last thing he wanted to do was take something away from our team and what we accomplished," Carroll said.

Sherman has had plenty of run-ins during his time in the NFL, which seems at odds with his Stanford University education and community service. For instance, he got sucker-punched against the Washington Redskins and argued with an ESPN analyst, yet still he keeps smack-talking.