Anyone who follows me on twitter knows that I’m not a big fan of Richard Sherman, Pete Carroll, or the entire Seattle Seahawks’ organization. I see them all as arrogant, brash, and cockey…all of the atributes that I believe sports figures should NOT have. Instead I admire much more the manner in which Peyton Manning, and the likes of John Elway, Dan Marino, and Johnny Unitas carried themselves – with a degree of humility, that is. When you look at the Baltimore Orioles, I would submit that they carry themselves with that same type of class. When you look at the likes of Buck Showalter, Adam Jones, Chris Davis, et al, one can see a similarity to what I’m talking about with Manning and the rest of them.
The Orioles have at times found themselves in the middle of discussions about unwritten codes when it comes to celebrations after home runs and so forth, and I’m the first one to tell you that I’m willing to thrust myself right in the middle of that. There are plenty of teams across Major League Baseball that I feel are showboaty, however none of them compares to what I’ve seen out of the Seahawks. There’s a part of you that wants to say we get the fact that you’re Super Bowl Champions, but do we really have to hear about it 24/7? I mean seriously, are you afraid we’re going to forget?
Those who disagree with me and say that this is much ado about nothing will pick one word out of what I italicized above: CHAMPIONS. There’s no doubting that the Seahawks now own that distinction, and furthermore even if the manner in which they conduct themselves makes me want to vomit I’ll still admit that they’re a great team. But does the manner in which they conduct themselves add to their greatness? And by that, I mean in the literal sense. Would they not be the same team if they weren’t showboaters?
Some would argue that they wouldn’t be. In the case of a team like the Seahawks, there’s another term for what I call arrogance: brutal honesty. So in that sense the Seahawks aren’t being braggarts by consistently reminding the world how good they are, they’re simply telling the truth. And let’s take that a step further; some would look at how Peyton Manning conducts himself and argue that he’s in effect lying to his public in terms of his reactions to things. Whereas the Seahawks are so honest and thus true to themselves, guys who seemingly internalize their emotions with regard to the game(s) are actually the villains.
So where are we headed with this? As I said, the O’s are a team that seems to carry itself with the dignity that one would expect of athletes. But if in reality they’re internalizing things, could that hamper their play? I’m not an athlete, but I do play pick-up basketball on a weekly basis. I can tell you that if there’s some external issue riding my mind I don’t play very well. Furthermore there are guys in my group who I would submit come across as incredibly arrogant and brash, and they don’t seem to have that same chip on their shoulder.
Again, none of the teams in MLB that I would term as showboaty come anywhere near the level of arrogance that I see out of the Seahawks. But again, some would argue that it takes so much energy to “be respectable” that it takes away from your play on the field. So using Richard Sherman as an example once again, if he played baseball it would be natural for him to admire a long home run shot that he just hit. And the joy that would have given him would have potentially helped him in his next at-bat…and so forth. And going back to my other example above, if Richard Sherman did get on base the next time out with a HBP, he’d probably spout off afterwards about how the pitcher was mediocre.
Ultimately people will probably argue that if you win you can market yourself however you’d like. I’m not sure I agree with that, because I still do believe that character counts. I see no reason why you can’t be a winner and still carry yourself with respect, while respecting the game as well as your opponents. Maybe that’s why I’m here and those athletes are where they are for all I know. However I just firmly believe that there’s a right and wrong way to do anything.