Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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January 28, 2014

Sherman, Miller apples of the same tree

— There was a wide array of reactions to Seattle DB Richard Sherman’s post-game “interview” with Erin Andrews following the Seahawks’ NFC title win over San Francisco.

Mine? Laughter, as the shout-down was the most entertaining thing I saw all day.

As someone who is believed by many to hold the IHSAA record for personal fouls on one play (3), perhaps my point of view isn’t exactly mainstream. When dealing with a disrespectful foe, I support the “If we don’t win the game, let’s win the fight” philosophy, and if called out by said opponent, the “Embarrass them until they want to quit” tenant. So, Sherman’s cranked-up rant didn’t bother me in the least.

A large portion of America apparently didn’t feel that way, and if the avalanche of anger on Twitter was any indication, that included a sizeable swath of Hoosierland hypocrites.

After seeing many label Sherman as classless (in addition to many worse descriptions), the question I posed to them was, “So, was Reggie Miller classless, too?”

Miller, my favorite athlete of all-time, is primarily known by those outside of Indiana for two games, and in both, he did things that would now land him in the Doghouse of Delicate Sensibilities.

In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals of 1994, Reg gave the choke sign and grabbed his junk toward Spike Lee for a national TV audience. After scoring eight points in 8.9 seconds to beat New York in Game 1 of ‘95, he ran around the court like a methed-up psycho, screaming at the Knicks fans who remained in attendance. In the post-game interview following that one, he said John Starks choked and that the Pacers expected to sweep them.

Many of those who ate up Miller’s antics squawked like Sherman stole their child and ran over their foot with the getaway car last Sunday night. Most that I confronted had clear selective memory about their retired Pacers hero, saying he never did anything like Sherman. It would’ve taken a heck of a lot more than 140 characters to detail Reg’s comparative actions, and his lust for the mental destruction of his adversaries.

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