As media scrutiny intensifies in the week leading up to Super Bowl XLIX, QB Russell Wilson and CB Richard Sherman — arguably the two most recognizable Seahawks players — bypassed traditional news outlets to release insightful, wide-ranging essays.
Where do these guys find the time?
For Sherman, whose column appears in mmqb.si.com and the Feb. 2 issue of Sports Illustrated, in the opening paragraphs explained a plan to keep his edge after signing a four-year, $56 million contract in May.
“I’ll be the guy who has $50 million in the bank and plays like he has $5,” Sherman recalled telling general manager John Schneider during the contract negotiations.
The loquacious Stanford graduate, who admittedly toned down his public persona since last season’s NFC title post-game rant to reporter Erin Andrews, goes on to credit playing alongside FS Earl Thomas, SS Kam Chancellor, CB Byron Maxwell and nickel CB Jeremy Lane as reason for his continued success. The quintet appear on the latest cover of SI, with their “Legion of Boom” moniker in the middle of the page.
Sherman is standing in front. His column is featured inside. In it, he chides NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for being a mouthpiece for the league’s 32 owners, defends RB Marshawn Lynch’s decision to make a mockery of the NFL media policy, complains about the league making it hard for defenses to succeed and explains why he didn’t decide to take a public stance on the tragedy in Ferguson, MO., among other topics.
Oh, and he announces that he and his girlfriend, Ashley Moss, are expecting a son. Any day.
While unlikely, it’s possible she could go into the labor during the game, according to ESPN.
Sherman seems already to have a firm grasp on the kind of father he aspires to be.
“Circumstances dictate where you start—a single mother raised Kam Chancellor to become the man he is today—but each individual determines his course,” Sherman wrote in SI. “Where I came from, in Compton, kids were brainwashed into thinking that if they weren’t athletes or rappers or drug dealers they were nothing. My son will understand that he’s in control of his own destiny and that education, work ethic and discipline will guide him to an even better life than I’ve enjoyed. He’ll be the man who makes this world a better place through positive actions and influence.”
Not to be outdone, Wilson, a senior editor at Derek Jeter’s website, The Players’ Tribune, Tuesday published an article explaining how his mental approach allowed the Seahawks to overcome a 12-point deficit in the final minutes of the NFC title game against Green Bay before eventually winning in overtime.
Wilson threw four interceptions that afternoon, not all of which were his fault, before connecting with WR Jermaine Kearse on the game-clinching, 35-yard touchdown.
In his weekly press conferences, the 26-year-old-soon-to-be-mega-millionaire often references how he mentally prepares by visualizing positive things happening during games. In his column, he goes into greater detail. The specifics might not be what you expected.
“When we were down against Green Bay in the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship Game, it seemed like everything that could go wrong had gone wrong,” Wilson wrote. “Personally, I was having one of my worst games of my career. But after every single throw — whether it was a tipped ball or an incompletion or a touchdown — I’d turn back toward the huddle, close my eyes and think of a table in an empty room.”
“On that table was a big red RESET button, just like in the movies,” he said. “I’d imagine pressing the button. Boom. On to the next one. What’s the situation now? How can I make a play?”
Wilson, who also launched a new website this week, worked for years on the technique with Dr. Mike Gervais and Trevor Moawad. He said he can use it any time, in any situation. He even thought about the table and the empty room after throwing the touchdown pass to Kearse.
Here’s a link to the column, in which Wilson also discusses faith, his friendship with backup RB Robert Turbin and what WR Doug Baldwin said to him in the locker room in mid-October after the Seahawks lost to the St. Louis Rams to fall to 3-3.