DENVER -- Denver fans can't wait to watch their Broncos try to beat the Seattle Seahawks into the Atlantic Ocean. And thanks to Richard Sherman, they may not be the only ones harboring those feelings of anticipation.
They have Richard Sherman to thank for that. So does Fox -- the network and the coach.
In case the rest of the world hadn't been watching his team all year, Sherman gave them the cliff notes on the Seahawks' season in 30 seconds.
"I'm the best corner in the game," Sherman screamed directly into the camera when asked to describe his team's 23-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers. "When you try me with a sorry receiver like (Michael) Crabtree, that's the result you gon' get!
"Don't you open your mouth about the best," Sherman continued. "Or I'm gonna shut it real quick."
The members of the press might be giddy about a trip to Super Bowl XLVII over the next two weeks. But their employers might save some money and gain some ratings by cancelling those bookings and playing Sherman's two postgame interviews on loop.
Yes, there was a second Sherman interview.
"Med - i - ocre," Sherman said about Crabtree after he was given a chance to cool down and took the locker room podium. "I was making sure everybody knew Crabtree was a mediocre receiver. And when you try the best corner in the game with a mediocre receiver that's what happens."
So what happens when you try the best corner in the game against the best quarterback in NFL? Be prepared to speculate for two weeks. Be assured Peyton Manning and his teammates won't play into Sherman's hand.
And that's why a lot of NFL territory will be temporarily annexed and dubbed Broncos Country for the next two weeks.
But this expanding domain won't just be able to arm themselves with the strength of numbers. There are also plenty of good vibes beaming out of the Mile High City -- and we're not talking about the 300 days of sunshine -- that Broncos fans can point to if faced with an argument emerging from Seattle, a place that's starting to look even gloomier than usual.
When confronted with the idea that Sherman's candor is entertaining and good for the NFL, a league where authenticity is becoming an increasingly-rare commodity, Broncos Country can point to Manning. Over the course of 16-years in the NFL, Denver's quarterback has found a way to be candid and entertaining without being inflammatory.
It's been about eight years since "Cut that meat!", but the line from Manning's Master Card commercial celebrating the everyday man is still on posters at all his games.
When Eric Decker got a phony invoice informing him he'd been charged $300 for the towels and tape he used over a week-long mini camp at Duke, there was little doubt who was behind it.
Manning may not talk a lot of trash about his opponents, but he's not afraid to address his critics, mention alcohol and his thirst for it or to playfully divulge trade secrets behind his pre-snap "Omaha" calls.
Manning's cheery demeanor is all well and good, Seattle fans might mention at this juncture, but that might have something to do with the fact that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Sherman may then be excused because he's a Compton survivor-turned-Stanford graduate, and his incessant smack talk may be called a security mechanism that helped him not only endure, but thrive.
When you're presented with that argument, Broncos Country, be prepared with this retort: The Seahawks' penchant for belittling and occasionally threatening anyone who isn't a Seahawk doesn't start and end with Sherman.
Currently-suspended Seahawks corner Brandon Browner went on a local radio show and said he wanted to choke out an opposing coach.
Seattle linebacker Bruce Irvin and three other Seahawks couldn't even wait for their divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints to start before ganging up for a four-on-one trash talking session against Saints tight end Jimmy Graham.
Golden Tate not only celebrated after his illegal, blindsided hit on the Dallas Cowboys' Sean Lee, he later dubbed it the "Sean Lee treatment" and said he wouldn't mind reapplying it to another one of his opponents. The Seahawks wide receiver got fined for the hit. He also got fined for demonstratively waving goodbye to the St. Louis Rams as he sauntered into the end zone during a win over the worst team in the Seahawks' division.
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was also fined for refusing to speak with the media. When the NFL finally forced him to into a chat, Lynch stood in front of his locker, refused to turn down the blaring music emanating from it, responded to every question with a one-word answer, then turned around to show reporters the back of his sweatshirt, which had "(Expletive) you!" written all over it.
You could even bring up the Seahawks' marketing department, who stole Texas A&M's intellectual property when they starting raising their "12th Man" flag in 2003, using a term that had been trademarked by Texas A&M without the university's consent. The Seahawks were eventually sued into a licensing agreement, so their continued use of "12th Man" is no longer illegal. But Texas A&M remains more than a little peeved that the Seahawks are still unwilling to give the university any cordial credit for the role it played in coining the term.
But at the end of the day, Broncos Country, there's no reason not to be civil with the Seahawks. Give them a smile, a wave and tell them to enjoy their "12th Man" while they can.
They'll be reminded soon enough that they can't take him with them to East Rutherford.AlertMe