National Football League
Richard Sherman reflects on 10th anniversary of iconic 'Crabtree' postgame interview
National Football League

Richard Sherman reflects on 10th anniversary of iconic 'Crabtree' postgame interview

Updated Jan. 26, 2024 1:49 p.m. ET

Ten years ago, Seahawks All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman made the game-sealing play against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game to send Seattle to Super Bowl XLVIII — then gave one of the most legendary postgame interviews of all time.

"I'm the best corner in the game," Sherman told FOX Sports sideline reporter Erin Andrews following Seattle's dramatic 23-17 victory on Jan. 19, 2014. "When you try me with a sorry receiver like [Michael] Crabtree, that's the result you're gonna get. Don't you ever talk about me. … Don't you open your mouth about the best, or I'm gonna shut it for you real quick."

On the defining play, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick underthrew Crabtree in the end zone, and Sherman leaped to tip the ball into the hands of teammate Malcolm Smith for an interception to seal the win. Later footage showed Crabtree shoving Sherman in the facemask when Sherman ran up to him for a postgame handshake.

A decade later, Sherman is now part of the FOX Sports family himself and can be seen multiple times per week on "Undisputed" alongside co-hosts Skip Bayless, Keyshawn Johnson and Michael Irvin


During an appearance this week on Johnson's new podcast "Undisputed Presents: All Facts No Brakes," Sherman recounted the iconic moment, saying he should have had the interception himself on that play, but Crabtree shoved him in the back. 

Sherman also said his instantly viral postgame rant, while in the heat of the moment, was genuine.

"Every time I played [Crabtree], I was like, ‘You're a bum,'" Sherman said. "It's a long history behind that. We had some conversations. … When I saw him, that's what I saw."

Sherman said he would go as far as arguing with one of his teammates, famed "Legion of Boom," safety Earl Thomas, about Crabtree's abilities. When Thomas and Crabtree were in college, Thomas was a star defensive back for Texas while Crabtree became the best wide receiver in the country, winning back-to-back Biletnikoff Awards at Big 12 rival Texas Tech

Crabtree even caught the game-winning touchdown — with Thomas in coverage — in the Red Raiders' famous 2008 upset of the then-No. 1 ranked Longhorns. Sherman said Thomas still carried the scars from that game over five years later.

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"I told Earl, I didn't know what they were doing at Texas, where y'all were letting this boy eat off y'all's plate like that, but y'all didn't have people built like me," Sherman said.

Ironically enough, Sherman played his college football at Stanford for Crabtree's then-coach on the 49ers, and now newly-hired Los Angeles Chargers head coach, Jim Harbaugh.

Sherman said he and Thomas even argued about Crabtree again in the locker room hot tub before that fateful NFC title game in 2014.

"Earl's respect for him is out of this world," Sherman said. "He was a little nervous. He was like, ‘Sherm, man, he's one of them.' I said ‘E, we've played this man six or seven times since I've been here. Are you not really believing that I'm really one of them?'"

Sherman also claims that iconic tipped pass was the only time he was targeted throughout the entirety of the game. For good reason — Sherman had just won back-to-back first-team All-Pro nods and led the NFL in interceptions that year. And yet, the 49ers threw at him with their season on the line.

"That's what I think became a factor — they had pride," Sherman said. "They wanted to end this [game] on me. They wanted to say, ‘Hey, let's shut this one up right now, for the game, on him.'"

Instead, Sherman turned in the most memorable moment of his NFL career — one that follows him to this day, a full decade later. 

The 49ers, meanwhile, are back in the NFC Championship Game, facing off against the Detroit Lions at 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday on FOX and the FOX Sports App.

Check out full episodes of "All Facts No Brakes" below, and wherever you get your podcasts.


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