I know, you're all Richard Sherman-ed out. But I can't help myself.
I've heard enough excuses for the Seattle cornerback's deplorable moment with Fox Sports' Erin Andrews after the NFC championship game to fill a BrainyQuote syllabus. And I've read an awful lot of reaction, more of it coming down on the side of the player than against him.
(That in itself says something about the changing mores of our society, and not for the better.)
If you just arrived from Siberia and haven't heard, Sherman enjoyed the ultimate "me" moment after the Seahawks' victory over San Francisco, a lightning strike of bravado in immediate reflection over his personal duel with 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree. Sherman had just tipped away a potential game-winning pass headed for Crabtree into the hands of teammate Malcolm Smith for the interception that wrote the ticket for the Super Bowl.
With Andrews moving in for a post-game interview in the bedlam at CenturyLink Field, Sherman saw her coming and "gave me this giant bear hug, because he was so excited," she said. "And he hugged me so hard I hit my chin on his pads. It was a raw, passionate, candid moment. That's how pumped he was."
(Lots of men get passionate about Erin Andrews, but that's another story.)
"I'm the best corner in the game," he rapped. "And 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!"
"Who was talking about you?" Andrews asked.
"Crabtree, don't you open your mouth about the best," Sherman followed.
In an interview with media an hour later, Sherman explained it this way: "I was making sure everybody knew Crabtree was a mediocre receiver. Mediocre."
Columnists throughout the country have weighed in during the five days hence. Some saw Sherman's interview as a mixed bag -- entertaining, but maybe not in the best taste. Others saw it as refreshing, writing it off to the emotion of a star athlete in the heat of the moment. And there was plenty of this sentiment: "I'd much rather interview Sherman than someone who is going to fill my recorder with cliches."
I'd rather have a player answer a question rather than launch into Muhammad Ali, 50 years hence.
Then there was the "choke" sign to Colin Kaepernick, because the San Francisco QB had the audacity to throw a pass Sherman's way after avoiding him the whole game.
"C'mon, you're better than that," Sherman wrote, referring to Kaepernick in a piece the following day with Peter King.
Really, Sherman ought to be better than that.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll did his best to stamp out the fire, saying that Sherman "was really clear the last thing he wanted to do was take away something from our team and what we had accomplished."
Didn't sound that way in the story with King. Not in the least.
Andrews, to her detriment, thought it was just great.
"You expect these guys to play like maniacs and animals for 60 minutes," she said afterward. "Then 90 seconds after he makes a career-defining, game-changing play, I'm going to be mad because he's not giving a cliche answer? That was so awesome. And I loved it."
Andrews is so wrong. It had nothing to do with the savagery of football and the switching of hats to a calmer pursuit in a short period of time. It had everything to do with Sherman's braggadocio and his turning a personal feud with another player into a YouTube phenomenon.
And I hate for kids around the country to see it.
Sherman is a smart guy. A Stanford grad. A very good cornerback -- one of the best in the NFL. An important piece to the Seahawks' drive to the Super Bowl. And he ought to know better than to thump his chest and go WWE with the microphone in his face.
Humility seems in short supply in pro sports these days. The David Robinsons and Grant Hills and Peyton Mannings and Tom Bradys are becoming extinct. That's not a good thing.
There's nothing criminal about the way Sherman acted. Just distasteful.
If he's a role model for our youth, Justin Bieber is, too.