Staying hot despite the cold
The back story of many of the members of the Seattle Seahawks can be summed up in one of the most over-used sports cliches known to man, “He’s playing with a chip on his shoulder.”
While it’s easy to write off cliches and overly used phrases in sports as boring and emotionless, they have played a big part in motivating this year’s Seahawks squad.
Aside from the hard work and long hours they put daily into their craft, some of the Seahawks still credit the hatred, the jealousy, the criticism, and the unkind words they get day in and day out.
And why shouldn’t they?
Each person is different and each is motivated by different things. In the case of Russell Wilson, he was looked down on because of his size. We have all heard the story over and over again the last two seasons – Wilson has been criticized because of his size his whole life.
That doesn’t take away from the fact that Wilson is still breaking the barriers that his naysayers keep putting in front of him.
Now the man who was too short to play quarterback, the man who was too small to excel in the sports he loved, is going to the pinnacle crown of every professional athlete’s career – the Championship. In fact, Wilson is the FIRST quarterback of his 2012 NFL draft class to make it to the promised land.
Not #1 overall pick Robert Griffin III. Not the golden boy Andrew Luck. And surely not Ryan Tannehill.
And while Wilson’s work ethic and athleticism would have led him to the NFL anyway, his determination to prove the doubters wrong helped him put in the extra efforts in the gym, in the film room and on the field. After all, his size doesn’t determine his skill set.
In the case of Richard Sherman, the chip on a normal man’s shoulder seems like a boulder strapped to his back. Like Wilson, Sherman’s work ethic and athleticism were enough to get him where he needed to go.
Then he found the extra motivation he needed to ensure he would wind up on top: the haters.
Critics of Sherman are everywhere. The brash, outspoken cornerback has rubbed fans and players outside of Seattle the wrong way with his big words and big actions. His cockiness and his swagger has earned him enemies from all over the country. His big play ability has him both feared and loathed by opposing receivers.
What Sherman would be quick to point out, especially in his first two seasons, is that all of this wonderful chaos is coming from a player who was looked past for 5 rounds before the Seahawks finally chose him with the 154th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft.
After that day, Sherman vowed to show the NFL players who were selected before him and the teams who did not choose him, that they had made a big mistake.
With 2 All Pro First Team selections to go with his All-Rookie team nod, I would say he was right.
It’s easy to single out Wilson and Sherman because of their prominence in the limelight. In reality, plenty of players on this Seahawks squad are playing for the same reasons as well as reasons of their own. And over the next two weeks, we will probably hear more stories like these.