The Tip Heard ‘Round the World: Looking Back at one of the Greatest Plays of the Last Decade


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Richard Sherman in 2014 with the Seahawks, a little over a year after “The Tip.”

Ethan K.

It is January 19, 2014. 

The San Francisco 49ers are taking on their arch rival, the Seattle Seahawks, in the 2013 NFC Championship Game. Both teams had excellent seasons and looked to have bright futures ahead of them. With a win, the 49ers would be appearing in back-to-back Super Bowls, looking for their sixth Lombardi trophy.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was leading a drive into Seattle territory. With just 31 seconds to go in the game, the 49ers were set up at the 19 yard line on 1st down & 10. Kaepernick heaved a ball to the endzone, looking for wide receiver Michael Crabtree. 

Crabtree had just 26 yards in the game prior to this one and had recorded a mere 52 yards to this point in the NFC Championship ( Crabtree’s 2013 regular season was an abysmal one, playing in just five games and recording only 284 yards on 19 receptions ( A torn achilles tendon ( severely hampered his playing time but he bounced back in the postseason after recording 125 yards against the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card round, only the second time that Crabtree recorded over 100 yards all season. If Crabtree makes this play, he receives redemption for everything that went awry over the course of his 2013 season. 

Richard Sherman, the cornerback guarding Crabtree, has had one of the best seasons of his career, on the other hand. Sherman had a whopping eight interceptions, 16 passes defended, two fumble recoveries, an approximate value of 21 (the best of his career) and was a Defensive Player of the Year candidate ( during the regular season.

As Kaepernick let the ball fly, Sherman jumped into the air, reached back, and deflected the pass into the arms of teammate Malcom Smith. The 49ers season was over. Richard Sherman just sent the Seahawks to the Super Bowl and proved that he is the best cornerback in the NFL (to see the play click here).

After celebrating for a few seconds, Sherman ran over to a moping Crabtree to shake his hand and said the words, “good game.” Nothing more, nothing less. Crabtree took this as an insult, shoving Sherman before the referee broke the two up. Sherman sprinted back to the Seattle sideline to watch Russell Wilson kneel the football and let the time expire. 

Postgame, Erin Andrews was set to interview Sherman and asked the now infamous line, “Richard, let me ask you, the final play, take me through it.” 


Sherman’s reply was even better than one could have imagined.

“Well, I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you [are] gonna get. Don’t you ever talk about me.” 

Sherman went on to say, “Don’t you open your mouth about the best. Or I’mma shut it for you real quick. L.O.B.” (L.O.B. stands for Legion of Boom, the nickname for the Seattle defense at the time). 

In a very emotional moment, Sherman delivered the greatest interview of all time. While yes, it is hilarious, there is so much unappreciated emotion that caused this moment. Sherman and Crabtree had been battling each other for years in matchups with lots of personal hatred. Sherman tried to make things right with Crabtree, but he never listened. This interview is the icing on top of the situation, with Sherman getting the last laugh on Crabtree. 

This moment not only exemplifies Sherman’s greatness but it also marks the end of the trash-talking era in the NFL. Shortly after, the NFL would get less lenient about what players can say during interviews, even going to the extent of players being fined for not showing up to their interviews. 

Sherman’s interview, full of genuine passion and emotion, helps fans reminisce on the better days of NFL football, when players’ true colors were shown.