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6 money lessons from Seattle's trash-talking Richard Sherman

The outspoken Seahawks cornerback should be known for much more than trash talk. We can all learn from him.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 22, 2014 2:14PM

This post comes from Karen Datko at partner site Money Talks News. 

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWho is this Richard Sherman, whose TV interview rant after the NFC championship game has gotten so much media attention?

Is he just a trash-talking football player who can’t keep his trap shut? (He has apologized, by the way.)

Cornerback Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts on the sideline after tipping a pass which led to a Seahawks game-clinching interception late in the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers during the 2014 NFC Championship at CenturyLink Field on January 19, 2014 in Seattle © Otto Greule Jr/Getty ImagesNo.

Sherman is a thoughtful young man who brings the intellect and intense preparation to football that Peyton Manning, Sherman's opponent in the Super Bowl, is so famous for.

In fact, stories from Sherman's life contain important personal finance lessons that can apply to anyone. I gleaned them from a Sports Illustrated profile of Sherman  that first appeared in July.

1. Paying your kids for good grades can help motivate them

His mom, Beverly Sherman, paid him $5 for every A on his report card and $3 for B's. He graduated second in his high school class with a grade point average of 4.2, just a tiny bit behind the valedictorian.

2. Don't underestimate the importance of a good education

Sports Illustrated says Sherman was very vocal even in high school, with a special motivating message for the other guys on his team: "He was an academic snob who saved his most biting remarks for those who ditched classes or failed exams."

3. In fact, make education your top priority

University of Southern California football coach Pete Carroll, while recruiting Sherman, "had to wait 2½ hours in the football offices (at Sherman's high school) because his recruit had refused to duck out of an advanced placement course." Sherman went to Stanford instead, where he graduated with a degree in communications in 2010.

4. Volunteering broadens your outlook and experience

His mom works for California Children's Services, and sometimes he'd go with her to work. "There, at the rehabilitation center next to her office in Downey, he spent summer days completing math problems and building block towers with kids suffering from muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy," SI says.

5. Intense preparation can trump natural ability

Sherman says he's not the best athlete on the field, so he compensates by being better prepared. His attention to detail is remarkable. You can see that very clearly in this YouTube video.

6. Self-promotion isn't necessarily a bad thing

"Things I do probably look like madness, like I'm totally out of control, but there's always a plan," Sherman told SI. "It's part of a greater scheme to get some eyes, to grow the market, to grow Seattle. Now people are paying attention, and they'll probably be disappointed this year because I will be a lot more reserved."

SI added, "Time will tell if such restraint is possible." That hasn't happened quite yet.

What's your take on the Sherman post-game controversy? Did he misbehave outrageously or is the reaction overblown?

More on Money Talks News:

Jan 22, 2014 3:53PM
He is this generation's Ali, Sanders, Jordan, Payton, with the self promoting. This generation wouldn't be able to handle those same personalities because they are burning Sherman for it.People compare him to T.O. The difference between him and T.O. is that Terrell caused rifts on his team. He would sell out his teammates, and alienate his fellow peers. Sherman is loved by his teammates and gives them credit when credit is due.
Jan 22, 2014 3:22PM
Smart people sometimes say/do stupid things. Tracy Wolfson should know better to immediately cram a mike in front of a football player who just probably made the play of his career. Sherman's apology sounded sincere to me. 
Jan 22, 2014 3:49PM
Trash talk is part of the game. Move on.
Jan 22, 2014 4:56PM

He walks the walk so I say he can talk the talk.

He said nothing in the interview that I thought should earn so much attention; he merely stated the truth.  He IS the best corner in the NFL.

That being said, he is a 24 or 25 year old young man who just tipped the ball away from an opponent in order to advance to the Super Bowl.  The NFL has a rule about not interviewing players for 10-15 minutes after the end of a game to allow the adrenalin surging through these men's bodies to dissipate.  That rule is there for just this reason, to eliminate the possibility of someone blurting out like he did.  I hope this does not end up changing him in any way, either in his passion or ego, we in Seattle LOVE him and his personality. 

Go Seahawks, Go Sherman!!!

Jan 22, 2014 4:29PM
I find it funny how much time the media (and fans) are spending talking about Richard Sherman.  For him, all the publicity has boosted his marketability significantly...and as a  Communications major from Stanford, I'm sure he knows exactly how to take advantage of that.  This is the same formula that pop signers like Miley Cyrus use...say/do something outrageous, then watch your social media presence blow up.  

The only difference is he did not deliberately plan this chain of events...he simply reacted to an over-eager reporter who shoved a mike in his face right after an extremely emotional situation (making the key play of the game against a hated rival with whom he had personal issues).  But because of the media's need for 24/7 spin and drama, he now has his "15 minutes" why not take advantage?  This is the world we live in in 2014....the one who makes the MOST noise gets all the gold.  Just sayin'
Jan 22, 2014 4:51PM
This is a great article!!!  Sherman rocks!!  He's an above average player, smart and he can be very articulate and very emotional.  SO WHAT!!! He plays a sport that he wants to play and put's 100% into it. The man does a lot of community work and cares about the fans - not about putting a show on for them - about winning the game and supporting them.  I am glad he ranted!!  People tend to forget why - as a classy gesture he xtends his hand to crabapple and in return get's a hand to the facemask?  Excuse me?  Why isn't this being discussed on the boards AND the fact that the 49'rs AND there sideline teammates CLOTHESLINED a Hawk and wouldn't let him back on the field during a play.....not cool....
Jan 22, 2014 5:07PM
This is an amazing young man, who has done so much for his home community as well as his new adopted community of Seattle.  He does not cuss, has never been in trouble, promotes education, helping others in need (and no he does not talk about THAT!) showed such compassion for the 49 player hurt and was disgusted with Seahawk fans being disrespectful of 49'er players  - he is a young man, who has never stated he is perfect - but he will learn from this as he has other events in his life. GO hawks (and yes, the first thing he always does is thank his teammates)
Jan 22, 2014 4:41PM

Being a Washington Native and an ardent Seahawks fan and 12th Man,  I expect nothing less from Sherm. He's very intelligent and sure knows how to market himself. In fact he's been somewhat subdued this season. GO HAWKS !!!!!!!

Jan 22, 2014 4:08PM

There is an ignorant side to many people, this is but one example in the NFL. The microphone should never have put  in front of his face to begin with especially someone of his volatile personality, and right after the game when he was hyped to the max.That being said the source must be considered here, and taken for what it is. These guys are the modern day gladiators minus the thumbs down death part. And instead of swords, spears, tridents and battleaxes to inflict injury(of course not purposely right?) they use their heads, shoulders and other body parts. We saw that this weekend numerous times didn't we? Exciting wasn't it? It’s what makes it what it is, this guy is a big part of the thrill you want. The Romans never expected their gladiators to be ''classy'' and we shouldn't either. We who are about to be crude salute you!

Jan 22, 2014 4:48PM
Richard had just put his team in the superbowl with an awsome play.  He offered a handshake to Crabtree who shoved him in the head.  Richard was totally emotional anyway, due to the historic moment, and Crabtree kicked it into a different plane.  Then the ref calls Richard for a personal foul.  So, what do you expect!  He was mad.  Putting the mike under him at that point was a risk. No doubt Richard will handle the next situation differently, I am sure.  A learning moment as his persona has become international and everything he says is relevant, not only to him, but to his team and all his followers big and small.  He is great.
Jan 22, 2014 5:07PM

Here I am, a Stanford grad deep in the heart of Niner territory, and I love Sir Richard.  I first noticed him at a Stanford game and wondered aloud, "OK, who is the dude with the dreads, flying through the air at quarterbacks like he's the next Troy Polamalu???"  I vowed to send a letter recommending him to Mike Tomlin & Dick LeBeau, but I didn't get it done and now my Steelers are so much the poorer for my neglect.  I'm sure the rest of the league is happy to never see Richard & Troy on the same team.

Serious, Richard, I wouldn't take you away from the Seahawks now. You've found your professional home, you have fans who love you, and I'm proud to have someone remove that stigma that says Stanford football players aren't tough enough for the NFL.

Stay focused, darlin', remember that there are those who will dis you just because you went to Stanford--we all get that, by the way. Keep using that big brain for good things, be careful out there, take care of Mr. Manning for us, and light up the world. 

Jan 22, 2014 3:49PM
Remember the days when someone like Barry Sanders carried the ball into the end-zone for like the two-hundredth time and he celebrated by tossing the ball to the ref and running to the sidelines. His classy behavior was likely a reaction against all the jive that was happening (end zone dances etc). Too bad it didn't rub off on anyone (or most I should not paint everyone with such a broad stroke brush)
Jan 22, 2014 3:53PM
I'm rooting for Peyton just so his dopey brother doesn't have more Super Bowl victories than him, but Seattle has a good young team that will be competitive as long as their success doesn't mess their salary cap situation up too fast.
Jan 22, 2014 5:52PM

Can we not focus on Sherman so much?  He's a fine, young player.  And he got caught up in "the moment" of making an outstanding play that sent his team to the Superbowl.  But I couldn't care less about what he has had to say subsequent to his post-game comments, which didn't bother me in the least. 

Play the game. Cut the hype. Forget the commercials.  Forget the half time "show". This matchup doesn't need any more than the NFL's best two teams going at each other.

Jan 22, 2014 5:59PM
The only people giving him attention is the media. If they would stop going on about it most of us would forget about him ad is rant.
Jan 22, 2014 6:20PM
Degree in Communication from Stanford.
Jan 22, 2014 5:57PM
This dude is cooool. All the haters and racist people out there can go cry a river. Sherman IS the best in game!!! I wish the Packers had this guy. I loved his interview after the game.
Jan 22, 2014 6:27PM
Sherman's a very intelligent young man, passionate about whatever he does and sometimes gets a little carried away.  His values are exemplary and should be emulated by millions of students in America.
Jan 22, 2014 7:26PM

He's a very talented, very bright young man who speaks his mind, particularly when it comes to people who he feels have shown him disrespect.  What he said was not as unfortunate as when he said it.  It detracted football fans from the merits of a very entertaining football game.

I'm glad he's on our team, and especially glad he's adopted our community.

Jan 22, 2014 7:08PM
Cornerback is one of the hardest positions to play.
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