Poor sportsmanship looms over classic Super Bowl

By Brandon Clin, Staff Writer

The NFL has seen finer moments. The Super Bowl proved as much. While the game itself was a classic, off-the-field problems clouded the greatness of the game.

Near the end of the game, after the outcome was already decided, a fight broke out between the two teams.

Filled with frustration of losing the biggest game of their professional lives, some members of the Seattle defense went full speed on a meaningless play. Some New England players took offense to that, and within no time, haymakers were being thrown in the end zone.

The Seahawks’ Bruce Irvin was ejected and fined $10,000 for starting the fight, while teammate Michael Bennett, as well as the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski and Michael Hoomanawanui, were fined $8,268 for striking opponents, the NFL announced on Feb. 6.

Admittedly, I was too angry to care at the time, but as I look back on it, all involved should be ashamed. To his credit, Irvin apologized at his locker after the game, saying, “I was protecting a teammate, emotions flew. I saw somebody hit Mike Bennett, so I went and backed up my brother. I went about it wrong. Emotions were flying high, and I apologize.”

Apologies are nice, but as my mom says, “If you were truly sorry, you wouldn’t have done it.”

The embarrassing moment also took attention away from a nice gesture between two of the game’s best: Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Rather than being involved in the scuffle, Sherman and Brady shook hands.

The move was somewhat surprising, as there’s been a fiery history between the two for three seasons. In a game between the Seahawks and Patriots in 2012, Sherman tweeted, and later deleted, a meme of himself and Brady, captioned “U Mad Bro?”

In a press conference after the game in 2012, Sherman said, “Every TV timeout, I went up and said it right to [Brady]: ‘Please keep trying me. I’m going to take it from you.’ That was when they were winning. He just gave me that look and said, ‘Oh, I’ll see you after game.’ Well, I made sure I saw him after the game.”

It was a great sight to see between two of football’s great warriors.

But nice gestures like that were far and few between by the teams. In the Patriots’ Super Bowl parade on Feb. 4, LeGarrette Blount posed for a picture while holding up a shirt that said “[expletive] Mode” on it, a slight towards Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, whose nickname is “Beast Mode.”

Immature moments like that, and the fight at the end of the game, are why some people are staunchly against supporting the NFL and its billion dollar industry. One can hardly blame them.