Almost six years ago, then-Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman had a concise and candid assessment of Thursday night football.
Starting tonight, Sherman becomes an official member of the Festival of Poop, according to him.
Sherman, as you may know, has taken a job at Amazon. It will be part of the pre-match, half-time and post-match coverage of Thursday night football. And it’s good. Even if he doesn’t like it Thursday night footballthis does not prevent him from being paid to be part of it.
But, based on his spoken and written past words, he doesn’t like it.
“It’s terrible,” Sherman said in December 2016. “We got home around one in the morning, something like that on Monday, and then you have to play again. Congratulations, NFL, you did it again.
Sherman was asked at the time when TNF ranks on the things he doesn’t like about the NFL.
“It’s pretty high, top five,” Sherman said. “It’s just disrespectful, it’s hypocritical, like I’ve said before. They take this huge stance on player safety and then they put players at risk.”
A few days later, Sherman wrote an essay for ThePlayersTribune.com titled, Why I Hate Thursday Night Football.
“The NFL preaches player safety,” Sherman wrote. “The league says it wants to do everything in its power to protect its players. But at the end of the day, it’s not the players the NFL protects. . . . It’s the Shield.
Sherman wrote that the quality of play during short week games was “poor”.
“We’ve seen blowouts, sloppy plays, and plays that have been nearly impossible to watch – and that’s not the players fault,” Sherman wrote. “Their bodies just aren’t ready to play. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Cowboys-Vikings game a few weeks ago was the best TNF game we’ve seen this season. You know why? Because they both played Thanksgiving the week before, so they each had a full week off.
Sherman’s essay ultimately accused the NFL of giving players the middle finger.
“But as long as the NFL uses that same finger to count Thursday night football dollars, I don’t think it really cares,” Sherman wrote.
He now receives a portion of those dollars for being part of it. Again, that’s good. But it will be interesting to see if and to what extent his past opinions surface when he talks about, say, why the quality of play on a given night is sloppy or why a certain game turned into a poo.
In 2016, Sherman said players will be on the lookout for other potential NFL efforts to compromise security in the name of maximizing fakery.
“The league probably has something else up its sleeve,” Sherman said in 2016. “They might have a game scheduled for Friday night. Who knows?”
And they do. Well, Friday afternoon. Starting next year, the day after Thanksgiving. And Sherman will probably be there for that, as long as he works for Amazon.