I watched Sunday's game because I'm a Raiders fan and I abhor the Broncos. It's nothing personal, it's just a kind of code among Raiders fans. And for the record, Broncos fans hate Raiders fans. I saw Sherman's interview outburst like the rest of America. And I've read all the Facebook posts about how people are going to root for the Broncos now because one player had a meltdown. And that kind of makes me sad.
First, I have to wonder if some of his critics, like Greta Van Susteren, have ever been to a football game much less a championship game. The energy at a championship game is palpable. It's electric. Everyone is pumped up. And everyone leaves the game with crazy emotion. Adrenaline is pumping for both teams and their fans. When you're with the winning team, you feel invincible. You feel proud. You are in shock. When you're with the losing team, you feel, well, you feel defeated. To the core. As if the whole world has come to an end.
I know this because, I'm a Raiders fan. We've had some amazing victories and some devastating losses. I was at the 2003 AFC Championship game when we won. It was a high like no other. And a couple weeks later, I was at Super Bowl 37 where we lost pitifully. I felt sick walking out of that stadium.
So all these people who are condemning Sherman for his outburst, I have to ask you 1 question: do you ever get mad and say something stupid? Act like an idiot? Pitch a temper tantrum like a two-year-old even though you're a grown adult?
I thought so.
What's that? You're not on national TV? You're not a role model for kids? Really?! Are you a parent? A teacher? A pastor?
Oh. So you're a role model for kids too even though you're not on TV.
I'm not praising Sherman for his outburst and I'm not excusing it. But on the other hand, where's your grace, American Christian? You're upset about a football player mouthing off in a TV interview. Seriously, don't you have bigger fish to fry? You know Christians are being killed in Syria, a kid in your city is hungry and cold, your widow neighbor down the street is lonely and depressed, orphans all over the world need a home. And you're indignant about an angry football player?
Here's what I've learned from this Sherman thing: we all make mistakes. We all get angry. We all say stupid things and do dumb things. We all act like big idiots from time to time. Usually on Facebook, usually making a point about something for which we feel passion. And like Sherman, we're wrong to do so. But we all do it.
Romans 3:23 says We ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
Here we are fresh off the football field and right back at the foot of the cross. See that's the thing about being a Christian. We have to take the cross everywhere, we have to look at everything in light of the cross. Sherman didn't attack the faith, he didn't even call Crabtree names. (side note: no one is commenting on Crabtree's unsportsmanlike conduct?)
And that's what I've learned from all of this: I can't throw Sherman under the bus because I get angry too. I yell. I scream. I can't make a big issue out of Sherman's pride because I am proud. Anger + Pride = Stupid Mistakes. So the Sherman thing really just convicted me of my own sins and made me look back at the cross and say, "Whew. Thank you Jesus."
If you want to root for the Broncos because Sherman got mouthy, go right ahead. Next time you get angry, take a look around at who is watching and pray they give you the grace you didn't extend to Sherman.