Richard Sherman-Michael Crabtree beef supposedly started at offseason charity event

Richard-Sherman-Michael-Crabtree-butt-patHere is what we know for sure about the relationship between Richard Sherman and Michael Crabtree — it is not a good one. Sherman tore into Crabtree after the Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. Some of the animosity may have stemmed from comments Crabtree made last week about Sherman not being the best cornerback in the NFL. However, the feud may have started as far back as last offseason.

On Sunday evening, Sherman opened up to NFL.com’s Michael Silver and explained why he dislikes Crabtree.

Later, Sherman explained that he was angered by something Crabtree had said to him while the two were socializing with other players (including then-49ers receiver Kyle Williams, now with the Kansas City Chiefs) at a function associated with Fitzgerald’s charity softball game in Scottsdale, Ariz., last April. Sherman wouldn’t share specifics, saying only that ‘(Crabtree) said something to me, and I told him I’d make him pay for it on the field.'”

That story matches up with one that Sherman’s older brother Branton told Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times recently.

Sherman has been upset with Crabtree since last summer. Both attended Arizona star receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s charity event. While there, Sherman went to shake Crabtree’s hand, and Crabtree tried to start a fight, according to Sherman’s older brother, Branton.

‘I’m going to make a play and embarrass him,’ Richard Sherman vowed that day.”

So there you have it. These two players obviously dislike each other a great deal, and that hatred was just too much for Sherman to contain after he tipped a pass away from Crabtree that sealed the biggest victory of his career. Personally, I would have liked to see Sherman take the high road and not take attention away from a great team win. Considering Seattle is headed to the Super Bowl, I’m sure he’s already been forgiven.

Related: Richard Sherman goes off in hilarious interview with Ed Werder (Video)
Related: Richard Sherman goes on epic postgame rant with Erin Andrews (Video)
Related: Michael Crabtree fires back at Richard Sherman on Twitter

NFL looking into Seattle’s Jeremy Lane getting taken out by Niners’ sideline (GIF)

Jeremy-Lane-sidelineThe San Francisco 49ers saw their season end with a loss in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, and they could also be facing a fine after a certain play is reviewed. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday that the NFL is looking into a play where it appeared Seattle Seahawks special teamer Jeremy Lane was taken out by someone on the Niners’ sideline.

The Seahawks punted on 4th-and-20 from their own 41-yard line early in the second quarter. Lane was one of the gunners on the play, and he somehow ended up out of bounds. As he was making his way back toward the field of play, it appeared that a 49ers staff member got in his way and knocked him to the ground.

While it is difficult to tell if there was intent, the reaction from the Niners staffer certainly seemed suspicious. As we know, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was fined $100,000 earlier this season for a play where it appeared he intentionally stepped onto the field to get in the way of a kick return. In 2010, the New York Jets were fined the same amount when a strength and conditioning coach tripped a Miami Dolphins player who was running down the sideline.

GIF via Shutdown Corner

Aqib Talib supposedly told reporter ‘get out my face motherf—er’ after game

Aqib Talib cigar

Aqib Talib isn’t exactly the friendliest character around. He does interviews and talks to reporters, but he may not have been in the mood to talk with the media after he was knocked out of the AFC Championship Game in the second quarter and watched his team lose 26-16 to the Denver Broncos.

After the game, New York Post NFL reporter Bart Hubbuch tweeted about an interesting confrontation he had with Talib:

People usually don’t say “get out my face, motherf—er” unless they’re prompted in some way, so it’s possible that Hubbuch is leaving out a detail. Who knows? Maybe he jumped into Talib’s face before Talib was ready to speak. Or maybe Talib was just so upset he went off on Hubbuch because he really didn’t want to talk to the media. After the way his season ended, who can really blame him for being upset?

Also see: Aqib Talib knocked out of the game by Wes Welker

LaMichael James destroyed on punt return (GIF)

LaMichael James was absolutely crushed by Ricardo Lockette on a punt return attempt to start the second quarter of the NFC Championship Game in Seattle on Sunday.

James muffed the punt return and was nailed by Lockette to the point that his helmet went flying off. Luckily the Niners jumped on the ball, so James’ error didn’t cost his team. They ended up scoring a touchdown on the drive to go up 10-0, so all worked out well … except for James’ health.

The poor guy was examined by doctors after the big hit. We hope he’s OK.

Here’s what it looked like after he got clotheslined:

LaMichael James punt return

GIF via @_MarcusD_

Aqib Talib suffered rib or knee injury on hit from Wes Welker (GIF)

Aqib Talib Wes WelkerAqib Talib was knocked out of the AFC Championship Game early on after being picked by Wes Welker on a crossing route the Denver Broncos ran in the second quarter, costing the New England Patriots one of their key defensive stars.

The Broncos ran several short drags and crossing routes early in the game and used their receivers to pick off New England’s defensive backs. On the play in question, Welker collided with Talib, knocking the Pats cornerback out of the game.

Talib was taken to the locker room for examination and later returned to the team’s sideline, though he did not go back into the game. The injury was initially said to be a rib injury, but the Patriots later said it was a knee injury. Whatever the case, the Patriots were without their best defensive stopper, which left them extremely vulnerable against Denver’s stellar passing game.

[Related: Bill Belichick rips Wes Welker for hit on Aqib Talib]

Many people were wondering whether Welker’s hit on Talib was legal, and FOX NFL rules guru Mike Pereira explained that it was.

The Broncos were expected to move the ball whether Talib was in the game or not, but it certainly hurt New England being without him.

GIF via The Big Lead

Tom Brady playing up underdog role in advance of AFC Championship

Tom-Brady-PatriotsThe New England Patriots are technically underdogs as they head into their AFC Championship matchup against the Denver Broncos. Oddsmakers currently have the Pats somewhere in the neighborhood of a four-point underdog, but would anyone really be surprised if they won? After all, this is a team that has appeared in five Super Bowls since 2002.

No one is going to be shocked if Tom Brady and company beat Peyton Manning’s crew, but that isn’t stopping Brady from embracing the underdog role.

“Truthfully, I don’t turn the TV on, I don’t read anything,” Brady told WEEI on Monday, via ESPNBoston.com. “I just try to focus on what I need to do and, like I said, put all that stuff around us — I know different times, Coach will make us aware of, I know when we played Baltimore nobody picked us to win, and I’m sure no one is going to pick us to win this week.

“We’ve got a bunch of underdogs on our team and we’ll be an underdog again, and we’ll see how that shapes up at the end of the week. But I know we’re as tough, as physical as we’ve ever been, and that’s how we’re going to need to go out and play this game.”

Brady certainly isn’t an underdog. He has three championship rings and a super model wife who makes more money than he does. That said, guys like Julian Edelman and LeGarrette Blount aren’t exactly viewed as championship-caliber players. Yet, they have still managed to carry the team in recent weeks.

Bill Belichick uses anything and everything as motivation for his team before a big game. He’ll certainly harp on the fact that the Patriots are Vegas underdogs, but they are hardly your traditional underdog story. You know how most people usually root for the underdog? Something tells me that won’t be the case on Sunday.

Broncos only selling playoff tickets to people in Rocky Mountain area

Peyton Manning BroncosRemember how we told you that the Seattle Seahawks are limiting their NFC Championship ticket sales to certain regions of the country to protect their home field advantage? Apparently that is a thing now, as the Denver Broncos are doing the same.

According to CBS Denver, Broncos tickets — which go on sale Monday — will only be available to buyers with a valid billing address in the Rocky Mountain region. That means if you don’t live in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota or Western Kansas, you might as well hop on StubHub.com and start shopping now.

Ticket prices for the AFC Championship Game at Sports Authority Field start at $90 through the Broncos’ ticket office. The cheapest ticket on StubHub.com is currently listed for $387.

Denver’s decision to only sell tickets to certain areas will likely have an even greater effect than the Seahawks doing the same. San Francisco is much closer to Seattle than the New England area is to Denver. Pricey tickets on the secondary market and cross-country travel will likely discourage most Patriots fans from making the trip.

H/T Eye on Football