As I watched Richard Sherman go off on his epic rant following the game, the thought that crossed my mind was “Man, that dude is amped!” And who wouldn’t be, following the incredible play he just made. How do any of us feel after we’ve just done something incredible - made the best pitch of our life, just saved a project from disaster with a heroic effort or even in our own sports lives, just kicked the winning goal or hit the winning single?
Frankly, I have been really surprised by the negative reaction. Seriously, in one of the most physical games I have seen in a long time, between two teams that seem to honestly hate each other, you expected politeness? But aside from that, here’s what I really find incredible. That within minutes of it occurring, there was a robust, lively debate raging on the internet. And as it progressed, you could start to see it sort itself out into three camps - those with racial issues, those who felt it was crass or impolite and those who found it normal and even funny (queue the mashups with WWE). Fortunately, it seems the last group is prevailing.
Just 10 years ago, this would have been very different. Yes, we would have seen it and had our same reactions. What’s different is we would have had to wait until the news media shared it online to have a platform to discuss it. We would have gone to work the next day and talked about it with a few people. Maybe emailed some folks or got on a sports forum. And at that time we would have marveled at the modern age of communication. Today, millions of people started discussing it immediately. I was able to reach my own conclusions based on an incredibly broad spectrum of thought and opinion. Some well reasoned, some, well, crazy. But all good.
I hear a lot of complaining about social media and how we’re focused on recording our lives rather than living them. And that’s true to some extent. But I would much rather live in a world where I can revel in what others are thinking or saying. Not having to depend on what a powerful few decide to tell me is a very, very good thing.