Tuesday, October 15, 2019

“Handshakegate” and Hypocrisy

By Anthony Brancato

In the aftermath of the 2013 NFC Championship Game, actually played on January 19, 2014 — but don't dare call it the 2013-14 season (some actually do) because anyone who does so will be banished, just like Mark Twain said that anyone who finds a moral in "Huckleberry Finn" will also be banished (and a lot of people have done that too) — Richard Sherman, then of the Seahawks, who won the game 23-17, talked enough trash about cornerback Michael Crabtree, then of the 49ers, to fill the now-defunct Fresh Kills dump on Staten Island, apparently unconcerned that he was doing it with a woman, FOX's Erin Andrews, holding the mic.

Now, all of a sudden, along comes the same Richard Sherman — lecturing Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who Sherman accused of refusing to shake his hand at the opening-game coin toss of Monday night's 31-3 rout of the Browns that left the 49ers as one of the NFL's two remaining unbeaten teams after the Chiefs had lost the night before — who, granted, has been characterized as Johnny Manziel without the alcohol problem, with the same 5-foot-11-inch height and 11-foot-5-inch ego — about "sportsmanship" and the "integrity of the game."

Worse yet, it turns out that Sherman is not only a hypocrite, but a bald-faced liar.

Sherman went to Stanford, and probably scored higher on the Wonderlic test than Philadelphia's velocity-challenged rookie wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Yet he apparently doesn't know that there are cameras all over the place in 21st-century America, and most certainly at pro football stadiums, and they are going to be turned on while games are being played, or about to be played.

And at least one such camera proved, beyond the merest statistical shadow of a doubt, that Sherman and Mayfield did in fact shake hands.

So before Sherman wants to open his mouth about another player's "class," let him remember that he lives in a glass house — and before he accuses someone of something, let him check the facts, which is easy to do on the Internet — another more-or-less universal 21st-century technological accoutrement, besides video cameras.

Sherman now says he will apologize to Mayfield. Presumably, that will include shaking Mayfield's hand.

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