Richard Sherman, Peyton Manning and the 'ducks' controversy
Super Bowl XLVIII has plenty to offer. These are the two top-seeds in the NFL going head-to-head. It's the top-ranked offense versus the top-ranked defense. There's clearly plenty to be excited about.
What this Super Bowl lacks, however, is smack talk.
Everyone is getting so desperate for trash talk they've dug up a story that's nearly a month old. It's the Richard Sherman-Peyton Manning "ducks" saga.
Have you heard about this?
Back on January 3rd, writing for Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback, Sherman said this about Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning:
"His passes will be accurate and on time, but he throws ducks."
Please keep in mind -- this was written on January 3rd. Now, 27 days later, everyone wants to start a fire at the Super Bowl.
Asked about Sherman's "ducks" quote today, Peyton Manning responded by saying:
"I believe it to be true as well (as the media erupts in laughter). He's a smart player and I don't think that's a real reach what he's saying there (said with a tone of sarcasm and a smile). I do throw ducks. I throw a lot of yards and touchdown ducks, and I'm actually quite proud of it."
Reporters also asked Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey about Sherman's comment:
"One thing I do know, he puts that ball on the money when it's supposed to be there. I haven't seen one quarterback throughout my career (wrapping up his 15th season in the NFL) that didn't let one go that just looked a little wobbly. Every quarterback does it at some point, but this guy threw 55 touchdowns. If he's throwing ducks like that, and still throwing 55 touchdowns, I'll take the ducks any day."
I feel like this dispute was already settled, but everyone missed the boat (or ignored its departure) when Sherman was asked about his "ducks" quote last week in Seattle. Sherman referred to Peyton Manning as the "best quarterback in the world" and said the Seahawks defense "respects the heck out of Peyton Manning."
Asked if he had any regrets for saying Manning throws "ducks," this is what Sherman said:
"No, he still does it. They're accurate as ever. He throws spirals and they're there, or he throws a wobbler and it still gets there just the same. He really doesn't care how he delivers the ball, because it gets there just the same: accurately and on point. That's what makes him a great quarterback.
"Sometimes he'll catch the snap and he won't catch it with the laces, and he'll throw it without the laces and get it exactly where he wants to get it. He doesn't care how it looks and the receivers don't care, because all of them have ten touchdowns right now, and everybody is getting what they deserve."
It doesn't sound like Sherman is really talking smack. It sounds like he's calling it as he sees it. I'm sure Sherman would be the first to tell you it's fine to disagree with him. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, just like Sherman is entitled to his. Just because he states his mind, doesn't mean we have to turn it into trash talk.
Yes, every Super Bowl needs some drama, but I'd rather see it play out on the field -- not in a press conference.