Column: Sherman provides some levity for this Super Bowl

PHOENIX (AP) Richard Sherman didn't draw the biggest crowd Tuesday at media day, despite doing his best to spice up Super Bowl week with a running feud with New England owner Robert Kraft.

That's the way the lunacy of media day works. Marshawn Lynch has yet to voice a quality thought in public, yet he was somehow in more demand than a player who will debate almost anything in the world with whoever happens to ask.

No matter. Sherman had enough to say for everyone, including a thought about the media responsibilities of his less than loquacious teammate in a league that demands its players be accountable but is often not accountable itself.

''I don't think they should be obligated any more than the commissioner is obligated to speak to the media,'' he said. ''I think that if players are going to be obligated to speak to the media then every one of the NFL personnel should be obligated to speak to the media weekly, and that's not the case.''

Makes sense, actually, though that's hardly surprising. While the public perception of the Seattle cornerback as a dreadlocked trash talker is well deserved, but it hardly tells the entire story of Richard Sherman, the man.

The Stanford grad sat on his perch for 60 minutes Tuesday, and would have gladly sat for 60 more, answering questions about everything from his back-and-forth with Kraft to the kind of reality show he would most like to star in.

He called for a phone-a-friend on one question about a reality show star. He danced a salsa with a woman from a Mexican television network, then asked a more serious reporter what his name was when he was finally asked a question that went to the heart of his game.

''Thank you Bob,'' Sherman said.

At one point he got into a long debate with a New England area reporter who challenged him on his claim over the weekend that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is so tight with Kraft that he couldn't judge him fairly in the deflated balls dustup.

''It's difficult to have a discussion with someone who has no information,'' he told the woman. ''Did you do your research? I wish this had been a better debate, but it's not. The levels aren't there for us to properly debate this.''

And if that wasn't enough, the son of a Compton, California, garbage man had enough time since the conference final to pen a column for Sports Illustrated, where he talked about the impending birth of his son and the different world he will come into than the one his father did.

''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,'' Sherman wrote. ''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.''

And you thought Sherman just berated opponents on national television. This is a guy so multitalented that Kraft, the razor salesman, called him a ''very smart marketing whiz'' Tuesday even after Sherman questioned his relationship with Goodell.

''He's an extraordinary guy,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. ''He's got a great mind. He's bright, he's sharp. He's got wit, he's got creativity to him which is really what his game is like as well. It's just the whole person that we're talking about.''

Seattle fans hope that whole person is actually whole come Sunday, when he and the secondary that has dominated for the past two seasons take on Tom Brady and the Patriots. Sherman suffered a sprained elbow against the Green Bay Packers, but he said it is responding to treatment.

One thing that isn't hurting is Sherman's mouth. He's not hesitant to take on any opponent, as he showed in 2012 when he went up against Brady who was yelling at the game officials about some calls.

''You mad, Bro?'' Sherman asked.

The conversations usually last longer but, well, Sherman had some game left to play. He's got an even bigger one Sunday, when the play of he and the Seahawks secondary will almost surely be the key in the Super Bowl.

Someone suggested that perhaps the thought of facing the fearsome secondary was giving Brady nightmares.

Ever ready with a quip, Sherman didn't disappoint.

''I didn't know I was in his dream-sphere,'' he said.

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Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg

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