NEWARK, N.J. - Seattle Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman told reporters he "regretted" both the things he said during a postgame interview following the NFC Championship and the way it distracted from his team's victory.
The interview in question came with Fox Sports sideline reporter Erin Andrews immediately following the Seahawks' win. Andrews asked Sherman to explain the last play of the game and he responded with a loud, emotional tirade about how he was "the best corner in the game."
"When you try me with a sorry receiver like [Michael] Crabtree, that's the result you're going to get," Sherman continued.
For more than a week, the emotional sound bite has stirred controversies around the player who graduated from Stanford University with a degree in communications.
"Having a communications degree helps you in a sense," he told reporters, perhaps ironically. "It helps you understand the media side of things and what messages do, how widespread the messages are received, the marketing side of it. Just being an intelligent individual and learning from those professors at Stanford, you have a perspective that is unique"
With that perspective he was also able to give context to the downside of his postgame conduct.
"Last week I felt like I regretted just attacking a man – attacking it and taking away from my teammates," Sherman said. "You never want to talk down on a man to build yourself up and things like that. So I regretted that, and I regretted taking that attention away from my teammates. That’s the one thing that I wish I could do again."
Sherman also paid a financial penance to the NFL for another emotional reaction to the outcome of the final play. He was fined $7,875 for making a choke sign at 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who threw the pass that Sherman tipped for an interception in that play.
During his Media Day session in the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Sherman was also asked about how it feels to be compared to Muhammad Ali.
"It's very humbling. It's very humbling to be compared to Muhammad Ali because of all the serious ridicule that he went through, the serious racial degradation and stigmas that he had to fight – the stereotypes he had to fight against," Sherman said. "He had to really stand his ground and almost go to jail because he wanted to stand up for what he believed in. I think his situation was a lot more brave and a lot more serious than my situation is now, and he had to deal with a lot more scrutiny and just headaches and criticism. But it's a blessing because he’s one of my biggest idols and a person who I really look up to."
Sherman will have a chance Sunday to show the Broncos and the world if his Legion of Boom, the hard-hitting Seattle defense, is able to move past the distraction the NFC postgame has caused.
"The Legion of Boom is going to have to be on its A-game against Peyton. He's a legend. If you’re not on your A-Game, we’re going to have a long day," Sherman said.