Today is Super Bowl Sunday & the New England Patriots will be facing off with defending champions the Seattle Seahawks. Two names that we have been hearing a lot about leading up to the game are 2 of the big names on the Seahawks, Marshawn Lynch & Richard Sherman. Both men are known for what they do both on & off of the field. We thought to kick off Black History Month it would be great to start with these two black men making history in the NFL.
Many people have been talking about Richard Sherman for the past 2 seasons in particular. Many people, including himself, believe that he is the best cornerback in the NFL. He has certainly made his mark as one of the leaders of the Legion of Boom, the name given to the Seahawks defensive secondary for their pass defense. Sherman has been accomplishing great things since high school & he is only 26 years old.
Sherman was born in Compton & while attending high school there he excelled in both football & track and field. He played as both a wide receiver & cornerback. As a receiver he caught four 870 yards & returned 3 punts for touchdowns. He also had 45 tackles & an interception. As a track star, he was All-American. All of this while graduating as salutatorian with a 4.2 gpa.
He got a scholarship to Stanford & played football all 4 years. He started as a receiver, becoming Freshman All-American. He is also a member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. He graduated in 2010 with a degree in communications.
He has continued his greatness in the NFL. Yes he talks a lot of trash & can come off as cocky, but he has the skills to back his words & is extremely intelligent. He has his own foundation geared towards low-income kids, where he assists them in achieving success academically. All while his father continues to drive a sanitation truck. A great man, who loves to talk & often says very intelligent things.
On the other end we have Marshawn “Money” Lynch, who does not like to talk at all. He has been in the news for simply repeating phrases when asked questions by press. This started after Marshawn was fined $50,000 for refusing to do press in 2013. He was then fined another $100,000 for not speaking to media on November 19th. After that he responded to media saying only “Yeah”. Next time it was “Thank You for asking” & “I appreciate you asking”. Most recently it has been “I’m only here so I don’t get fined” & “You know why I’m here”.
Although he is not much of a talker, Marshawn has been in Beast mode since high school. He was born & raised in Oakland. He was a 4 sport star at Oakland Tech High School. He played football, basketball, ran track, & wrestled. He was All-American & Eastbay Player of the Year in high school. He excelled in track & played as quarterback, wide receiver & linebacker. He was ranked #2 in the country.
He then went on to the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in social welfare. That is where he got the nickname Money. Over the course of his college career he was named the 8th best player in the nation, received multiple All-American awards, all while also running track. He left his junior year to enter the Draft.
He was drafted to the Buffalo Bills in 2007. He entered the league as a running back, but still threw a touchdown pass his rookie season. He finished his rookie season over 1,000 yards. He has had 6 total seasons over 1,000 yards. He was traded to Seattle in 2010.
Many know about Marshawn’s tradition of eating Skittles in games, a tradition he started in high school. He now endorses Skittles & his foundation, called Fam First, will receive $10,000 from Skittles for every touchdown he scores in the Super Bowl. Marshawn has given some interviews in which he stated he doesn’t speak to press because he does not like being forced.
These 2 men are incredibly skilled & generous. They are misunderstood, but they will no doubt be future Hall of Famers. Salute to these great black men & good luck to them today.