Some people don't like Richard Sherman and his act — I've read the emails and seen the comments, trust me — but that group appears to be a vocal minority.
There are a few ways to judge popularity, and one (admittedly flawed) measure is the vote for the cover of EA Sports' "Madden" video game. This year, the winner of the vote for "Madden 15" was Sherman. He beat Carolina quarterback Cam Newton in the finals, and that probably won't quiet his legendary bragging.
After winning that honor, even Sherman's critics have to admit that he is undeniably one of the most popular players in the NFL and one of the faces of the league. He has vaulted himself into a spot usually reserved for quarterbacks and other skill-position players.
Usually the "Madden" honor goes to an offensive player. The last defensive player to appear solo on the cover was Ray Lewis on the 2005 game, released in 2004, and that was before fans voted. The fact that Sherman beat out high-profile young offensive players like Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck, LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles and A.J. Green says a lot about Sherman's appeal to the masses. True, only a certain demographic is voting on who appears on a video-game cover, and goodness knows Seahawks fans have been out in full force since the Super Bowl and probably contributed more than their share of votes (and maybe many voted for Sherman just to invoke the "Madden" curse), but it still seems like a pretty clear announcement that Sherman is a favorite of many, many fans. That's a great message too, considering Sherman is one of the few players in a league full of robots who is unafraid to show some personality. Maybe others will catch on, which could only make the league more interesting.
If you complain that Sherman talks too much trash on the field, if you didn't like his screaming at the end of the NFC championship game about Michael Crabtree, if you're already sick of seeing him on your television and Twitter feed, if you think that Sherman's outspoken manner is bad for the NFL ... you might just be in the minority.
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- Richard Sherman