Nearly six years ago, then-Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman had a concise and blunt assessment of Thursday Night Football.
Starting tonight, Sherman becomes an official member of the Festival of Poop, in his estimation.
Sherman, as you may know, has taken a job with Amazon. He’ll be part of the pregame, halftime, and postgame coverage of Thursday Night Football. And that’s fine. Even if he doesn’t like Thursday Night Football, that doesn’t disqualify him from getting paid to be part of it.
But, based on his past spoken and written words, he doesn’t like it.
“It’s terrible,” Sherman said in December 2016. “We got home like one o’clock in the morning, something like that on Monday and then you’ve got to play again. Congratulations, NFL, you did it again.”
Sherman was asked at the time where TNF ranks on the things he doesn’t like about the NFL.
“It’s pretty high, top five,” Sherman said. “It’s just no regard, it’s hypocritical, as I’ve stated before. They make this huge stance about player safety and then they put the players in tremendous danger.”
A couple of 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 when it comes down to it, it’s not the players that 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 play and games that have been almost unwatchable — and it’s not the players’ faults,” Sherman wrote. “Their bodies just aren’t ready to play. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Cowboys-Vikings game a couple of weeks ago was the best TNF game we’ve seen this season. You know why? Because they both played on Thanksgiving the week before, so they each had a full week off.”
Sherman’s essay eventually accused the NFL of giving players the middle finger.
“But as long as the NFL is using that same finger to count Thursday Night Football dollars, I don’t think it really cares,” Sherman wrote.
He’s now getting some of those dollars to be part of it. Again, that’s fine. But it will be interesting to see whether and to what extent his past views surface when he’s talking about, for example, why the quality of play on a given night is sloppy, or why a certain game has devolved into a poopfest.
In 2016, Sherman said the players will be on the alert for other potential efforts by the NFL to compromise safety in the name of maximizing phony.
“The league probably has something else up their sleeve,” Sherman said in 2016. “They might have a Friday night game planned. Who knows?”
And they do. Well, Friday afternoon. Starting next year, the day after Thanksgiving. And Sherman likely will be there for it, for as long as he works for Amazon.