The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler


Posted on | October 7, 2022 | Comments Off on ‘RUN THE DANG BALL!’

Richard Sherman became a hero Thursday night to legions of football fans who’ve been shouting at their TV for years. It was clearly an emotional moment, as Sherman — a former All-Pro cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks — said he was having “flashbacks” of Seattle’s notorious loss in Super Bowl XLIV. We’ll get to that in a minute, but first let me explain for the sake of non-fans that Sherman is now a commentator on Amazon Prime’s broadcasts of Thursday Night Football. The game Thursday night between the Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts could be described as a “defensive struggle,” except that it was more a showcase of offensive ineptitude. Neither team scored a touchdown in the game, which went to overtime, as ESPN comments:

The game featured seven field goals, a dozen punts, 25 third-down stops, four interceptions and six fumbles — none of which were recovered by the otherwise disruptive defenses.

In overtime, the Colts kicked a field goal to take a 12-9 lead, then Denver drove 70 yards down the field before coming up on 3rd-and-2 at the Indianapolis 6. A handoff to running back Melvin Gordon III gained one yard, leaving the Broncos with fourth-and-1. With about three minutes left in overtime, should they kick a field goal and (most likely) settle for a 12-12 tie? Or should they go for it? Denver went for it, and Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson threw a pass to the end zone intended for Courtland Sutton that was broken up by Indianapolis cornerback Stephon Gilmore. There were a lot of things wrong with that play — in particular, Wilson failed to see Denver wide receiver K.J. Hamler, who was wide open — but the main thing was, “Why pass the ball?”

Richard Sherman brought the hammer down after the game:

“On the final play, you got to run the ball. Again — like, I mean I wish I had Marshawn up here — like, one yard. You need one yard running the ball. . . . All he has to do is run the football. . . . I’ve said enough criticism for him, but God dang it run the dang ball. It’s like, learn from the mistakes. RUN THE BALL!”

In case you don’t understand the context, Sherman was a cornerback on the Seahawks team that lost that Super Bowl on a play where Russell Wilson threw a pass that was intercepted in the end zone by none other than Stephon Gilmore, who was then with the Patriots. He referenced running back Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch, who had rushed for over 1,000 yards for Seattle in each of the previous four seasons:

In Super Bowl XLIX, where the Seahawks lost 28–24 to the New England Patriots, Lynch had 24 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown, plus a catch for 31 yards. Late in the fourth quarter on a potential game-winning drive, Lynch ran the ball from the five yard line but was tackled by Dont’a Hightower at the one-yard line. On the next offensive play of the game, the Seahawks chose to pass the ball at the one-yard line instead of running it with Lynch, and Russell Wilson’s pass was intercepted. Lynch was visibly upset by the decision and left the Seahawks locker room without addressing the media. He stated in a later interview with Conan O’Brien that he was “expecting the ball” prior to the play.




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