How Do We Define Classlessness?

courtesy/katy-bourne.com

courtesy/katy-bourne.com

That there is 25-year-old Richard Sherman, a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks football team. It’s undeniable this young man is one of the best in the league. He’s had an amazing season. I won’t lie – I’m not a fan. I’m a 49ers fan…need I say more? However, I decided a recent rant by Sherman has provided an awesome chance for discussion and fits in with my theme of choices. Just where do we draw the line and how do we define classlessness?

If you haven’t heard by now Sherman went on a rant when sports reporter Erin Andrews asked him about the final play of the NFC Championship game. Instead of discussing the play, Sherman instead went on a rant talking about how he’s the best that ever was and Michael Crabtree (a 49ers wide receiver who missed the catch, or Collin Kaepernick made a poor decision – you pick, at the end of the game which would have meant the win for San Francisco instead) is mediocre, yadda yadda. There has been some more information that’s come to light about this giant chip that resides on Sherman’s shoulder, but that’s another discussion.

The Denver Broncos, my other team and first one really, is also headed to the Super Bowl in just less than two weeks now. Well, Sherman’s rant apparently prompted a Denver business to get a billboard showing a picture of Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, who to the best of my knowledge has never gone on a rant like Sherman’s or has displayed a massive ego, that says “class” and it’s set against a photo of Sherman, yelling no less, and above him it says “classless.” Read one article about it here.

Apparently the writer believes the business owner is displaying his own classlessness by getting such a billboard. He also argues that trash talk via billboards is lame…he may have a point there. As for classlessness…he may be right also, but that’s a tougher one to say if you ask me. Is it really classless to show support for your team and better yet, to display an opinion (the reality is it is an opinion which this person is allowed to have)? When a professional football player, who by the way is considered a celebrity and is subject to certain hypocrisies when it comes to the media (not that I condone this), then I think it fair that he’s going to get flack for it. He’s not the only athlete or celebrity who has done something outrageous and then received criticism.

That said – I think what the owner did was classless. It wasn’t necessary to do that and I worry that in doing so, he brings down Bailey’s name, which is unfair to a man who has been so classy and professional for 15 years. I think it’s fair for me to share my opinion and that doesn’t make me classless for doing so. I suppose the argument comes down to method? At the end of the day, I think the writer is probably correct. There’s no need to go that far. Opinions can be shared in a way that actually shows more class not less. That’s a matter of choice.

The owner chose to go big instead of going home. I, personally, am a fan of being the bigger person. As much as I don’t like this character and he continually shows his immaturity, those of us who don’t like or agree with him need to be the example of what being classy is like. I do firmly believe the Bailey has always been classy. He holds himself to a higher standard and I hope that his example will eventually wear off on Sherman.

This all translates into my own choices. While I don’t think I generally struggle with this one, there are still choices to be made in terms of how much behavior such as Sherman’s gets to me. I have to admit that I was pretty upset and yelling at the television. It was unnecessary for one. For another, he wins that way. Do I really want him to beat me like that too? Nah. Being classy takes many elements. It’s accepting responsibility, it’s not going on unnecessary rants, it’s being more patient when it’s most difficult, it’s having and displaying integrity, etc., etc. Again, while I think I have this mostly down, there’s always room for improvement and that always comes down to the choices we make. Sherman’s choice was in the heat of the moment and has since repented apparently. The owner’s was to respond with a billboard. Mine…to not let the Shermans of the world get so under my skin anymore. What will your’s be?

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One response to “How Do We Define Classlessness?

  1. So not what I think sportsmanship is and classlessness is a great word too! There is a time and place and most times you just have to shut the trap and be the bigger person. The look on Erin Andrews face pretty much sums it up. Put the ego and the attitude aside and think before going on a RANT of all RANTS! Great Post – Happy Tuesday:)

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