Think about your favorite NFL rivalries. Likely you'd come up with Falcons-Saints, maybe Bears-Packers, possibly even Giants-Cowboys if you're the kind of fan that pays attention to the wider world of football. Yet the rivalries between players are rarely that fierce in this team-focused league.
That's why this Roddy White feud with Richard Sherman has been growing on me. It started off as the notoriously loud-mouthed Sherman baiting the notoriously loud-mouthed White, but it's evolved into a mutual display of disdain that actually threatens to overshadow the NFL Top 100 list, at least for the Falcons and Seahawks fanbases.
So what's going on here? It all began with some tweaking between Sherman and Roddy leading into the team's Divisional Round matchup, tweaking that continued apace from Sherman's end even after Roddy burned him for a long touchdown. The off-season brought the Top 100 list, and here's some of the gems that have been bandied about since:
"His strengths are in their system, within their system," Sherman said. "His strengths aren't his own."
Sherman lobbed some criticism beyond this toward Roddy when he was announced as the #39 player on the list. Roddy responded in kind:
"He's a front-runner," White said. "When things are going good, he's all good. When things ain't going his way, he has nothing to say -- that's just how he is. You let him talk in the offseason because that's what he likes to do. You let guys like that talk, but at some point when September rolls around, you got to come play football."
Part of what makes this so great is that both are terrific players, yet they're entirely dismissive of the other's abilities, which allows our respective fanbases to get unduly riled up. Both of them love to talk, and the two teams will meet in the regular season again in Week 10 and seem likely to spar again in the 2013 playoffs. It's a burgeoning, ridiculous rivalry that both will have claim to have won every time they meet on the field or Tweet off it.
Frankly, there's not enough of this in today's overly corporate NFL. I have no particular fondness for Sherman, but he's turning into a terrific foil for our beloved top receiver. That Week 10 matchup is going to receive plenty of attention, and we haven't heard the last of these two.
What do you think of the feud?