When we asked Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman to be our Super Bowl week cover athlete and author, we never imagined he'd say no. He was coming off a stunning NFC championship victory in which he played a key role. He hadn't written much for TheMMQB or the magazine in months, and he hadn't said anything too controversial in even longer. Editors envisioned a return of the old Richard, guns blazing on another solo crusade against the status quo. But of course, Richard declined.
"I only want to be on there," he said, "if we can all be on there. The Legion of Boom."
Ok, so, the four of you?
Ultimately, Sherman settled for five major contributors on the front and the rest of the defensive backfield inside. They all showed up at Sherman's mansion on a rainy Tuesday, and they had one more condition: no Seahawks gear. The guys wanted to express themselves, and what came out was perhaps the trillest covershoot in SI history. The column itself is the manifesto of Sherman at 26, almost exactly one year since he introduced himself to a national audience via Erin Andrews' microphone after the 2013 NFC championship.
In addition to making a big personal announcement, he writes, "When you join a group of men and accomplish something so difficult and so rare, you no longer feel as though you have to prove things to people who haven’t proven anything to you. In most cases I have a better résumé than my detractors."
For more on Super Bowl XLIX, check out this week's Sports Illustrated. (Subscribe here.)
2015 Sports Illustrated Covers