When Seattle Seahawks’ defensive back Richard Sherman isn’t blanketing wide receivers, you might find him on the virtual playing field racking up kills in Call of Duty:Black Ops III. With the NFL draft behind us, the self-proclaimed hardcore player recently spent a weekend in New York as part of a promo event with Activision. In between giving out shirts to amazed fans in the street, Sherman also took part in a live stream with Youtubers Hike the Gamer and Typical Gamer. The star cornerback then shared his thoughts on why he’ll never be better than a nine year old in COD, and despite beating the odds and becoming one of the top players in the NFL; his work is still not done.
WatchLOUD: How long have you been playing the Call of Duty series?
Richard Sherman: I’d say for about six or seven years.
Dope, so would you consider yourself a hardcore player?
Most definitely, at least more hardcore than you would expect the typical athlete to be.
I saw you and your teammate Bobby Wagner played Black Ops III with some fans at Emerald City Comicon in April. That looked like a thrill for everyone involved.
That was definitely a lot of fun but when you play against kids that are professionals you realize you may not be as good as you think (laughs). Man there was a kid there that was like nine or ten years old tearing us apart, I don’t think he died once.
How much of a thrill was it for you to see fellow teammate Marshall Lynch selected as the first athlete to be a character in Black Ops III?
Oh that was pretty sweet. You know he’s a unique and fun guy and it was cool to see him kind of step outside his element and get in there.
Is there any correlation as far as the instincts required to play cornerback and the instincts needed for playing a shooter like COD?
Yeah I think maybe a little bit. For things like reaction time and anticipation it helps a bit, but some of these kids are so adept at the movement of the game and understanding the way these guns work, shooting thru walls, some of it (instincts) helps but a lot of times it doesn’t come into play because these kids are just too good at the game. When it comes to reacting to speed it helps a little bit but then it gets to the point where physically I know I’m better than these kids but they’re so good you’re at their mercy. Like the nine year old kid telling me he killed me seven times, I’m like oh man. (laughs)
Kids out here trash talking Richard Sherman now huh. I would wager he has a bit more free time on your hands than you do.
(Laughs). Exactly, they need to get out the house and shut those games down for a few weeks.
Do you squad up with anyone else on the Seahawks?
I play with Golden Tate sometimes but not too many other guys on the team play. I usually play with my cousin a lot and some former teammates.
With the NFL draft wrapping up, how excited are you about the new additions to the Seahawks, in particular Jarran Reed the defensive tackle from Alabama the team selected in the 2nd round?
Oh we’re real excited, he (Reed) did some great things in college and we’re hoping he can do some similar things for us. Obviously playing in the NFL is different but we’re hoping he can come out there and make some plays for us. He’s a serious player, a real two-gapper.
Do you typically watch the entire draft, or are the later rounds where you pay the most attention?
Oh yeah the later rounds are where I pay the most attention, that’s the sweet spot of the draft.
Especially the fifth round I bet.
(Laughs) Exactly, especially the fifth round.
What was your mindset coming into the league having been passed over multiple times and not being selected until the fifth round?
I was pissed off and frustrated, I felt I was a better player than most people thought. There were players taken before me that weren’t better than me and I’ve proved that as my career has progressed. I turned around being snubbed and used it as motivation I was like; I’m going to do whatever it takes to become the best corner in the league. But yeah I was frustrated, and I’m still kind of pissed off to this day.
So it has to be gratifying that you’re now regarded as the top corner in the league.
It is to some degree, but it’s still frustrating in some ways. I’ve never had that chance to exhale. I’m always looking to find ways to get better, some new challenge or motivation. You never really get a chance to enjoy the moments, where you’re playing your best football and you’re on top of the world. Everybody’s like man, how does this feel, and I really don’t know because I’m still looking for next, I’m still working hard to get better than whoever y’all are talking about now. I guess once I’m done playing, I can pat myself on the back and say I’ve had a heck of a football career but while I’m still in it, I’m still going hard. I think once you stop to pat yourself on the back before your career is over, you’re done.
What kind of advice do you give other players who may have been drafted low or not even drafted at all?
I tell them once you’re drafted the journey has just started. It’s not where you start and it doesn’t matter where you’re taken in the draft because I’ve seen plenty of first round guys who aren’t even in the league anymore. So you have to put the work in regardless of where you’re taken. The dream doesn’t stop once you’re drafted it’s just beginning. I mean you take a guy like Doug Baldwin (Seahawks wider receiver) who went un-drafted and now he’s going to be on his third contract in this league. It’s about the work you put in once you get there. I mean if you don’t put in the work you’re not going to make it no matter where you’re drafted. If you don’t grind, you won’t last in this league. I think some guys forget that when they’re drafted because they’re so enamored with the process. A lot of that is the fault of social media and the media in general as they’re hyping these kids up to something way more than it is. They make these kids feel like they’re the most important thing in the world and once they get to the league they’re at the bottom of the league. When rookies come into our league it’s not like they are the top dogs anymore, they’re like freshmen again. You may’ve been the top dog in college but none of that matters in our league, you have to earn your respect because none of the stuff you did in college matters. This is what new guys coming in need to understand and this is what I tell them.
That’s one to learn on. On a lighter note I saw you recently did undercover Lyft, where you were incognito as one of their drivers. How was that experience seeing people’s reaction when they found out who you really were?
That was a good time. When they (Lyft) first asked me to do it, I thought it was going to be real annoying with everybody that sat in the car would be like, “oh my God you’re Richard Sherman” and ask all these questions, but most of them who got in they had no idea. Those not expecting me to be the Lyft driver made it a lot more fun when they did find out at the end. I really had a lot of fun, we had good people.
You dropped numerous hints about who you were even saying your real name at one point and they still weren’t catching on.
(Laughs) That was what made the experience even funnier, most of the people were clueless to who I really was. I was just Richie the driver to them.
DJ Rhude | watchloud.com | May 10, 2016