Richard Sherman's end-of-game interview with Erin Andrews quickly became the source of controversy. The Seahawks defensive back was angry, aggressive and none too pleased with wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who drew his ire.
Now there is an account of why Sherman was so angry.
The rivalry between Sherman and Crabtree transcended the field last year, according to Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times.
Sherman has been upset with Crabtree since last summer. Both attended Arizona star receiver Larry Fitzgerald's charity event. While there, Sherman went to shake Crabtree's hand, and Crabtree tried to start a fight, according to Sherman's older brother, Branton.
This is one secondary source with a vested interest in defending his family member, but at the least it speaks to a larger picture shown in vignette on Sunday night. Most would probably agree there are better ways to air dirty laundry than in front of millions on TV, but these are emotional people playing an emotional game, being required to give a soundbite as the game ends.
Perhaps it was a "heat of the battle" moment, but at the very least these players don't like each other. Sherman has his reasons for deciding to deride Crabtree publicly, while the 49ers receiver is doing his best to portray his rival as a carnival barker (albeit talented).
Said Crabtree of Sherman: "He's a TV guy. I'm not a TV guy. I play ball. He made one play and he talks. It was a good play."
The NFL as a whole is kept on a rolling boil to distill teams into a battle of heroes and villains. Events that took place on Sunday night merely simplified casting. The 49ers and Seahawks will remain in the NFC West for the foreseeable future, as will two star players who could meet another dozen times before age catches up to them. Perhaps time heals some open wounds, but there's plenty of salt being rubbed in right now.