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January 8, 2013 at 9:32 AM

USA Tawdry: Inside the Washington-Seahawks cat fight

Darrel Young says Seahawks tried to stomp on Alfred Morris
By Jim Corbett | USA Today, Jan. 7, 2013

Washington’s Pierre Garcon disses Seahawks cornerback
By Jim Corbett | USA Today, Jan. 5, 2013

Richard Sherman confident against Washington receivers
By David Moore | USA Today, Jan. 3, 2013

If you didn’t know any better, you might think that the USA Today went out of its way to accentuate every tawdry piece of conrontation surrounding Sunday’s game between Seattle and Washington in a shameless effort to attract attention.

Washington receiver Pierre Garcon claimed not to know Brandon Browner’s first name, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman motioned toward the Washington sideline that the team must be crazy to throw his way and then there was the “right smash” that Washington offensive tackle Trent Williams threw at Sherman after the game.

That last part is just wrong. But also, the exhaustive chronicling of every perceived slight leaves out the fact that Washington opted to receive the opening kickoff, an obvious dis to Seattle’s defense, and the two teams spent the next three hours hitting each other. Really hard.

I mean, seriously?

That playoff game on Sunday paired two rookie quarterbacks against each other, matched a well-regarded offensive coach like Mike Shanahan against a defensive guru like Pete Carroll and featured one team that hasn’t won a playoff game on the road in 29 years playing at a team that hasn’t hosted in 12, and the resulting accounts are shoolyard name calling?

I can tell you this without any doubt or hesitancy: If you ask enough players in the locker room after any game in the NFL if the opponent was playing dirty, taking cheap shots or just generally taking liberties, eventually you’re going to get someone who says, “Yes, those no good so-and-sos were dirty.” You know why? Because that happens. Every game. Guys do things to each other that make the other guy really mad. Every game.

And while there are times that rises to the relevance that it was a storyline, Sunday was not one of those games. Oh, it was feisty. No doubt about that. Garcon and Browner spent the better part of the afternoon tussling, DeAngelo Hall and Golden Tate went at it consistently and there were plenty of other confrontations.

You know why? It’s playoff football. The Seahawks are a chippy team and Washington very specifically tried to get a rise out of certain players it thought might rise to the bait. But we would better off in general doing as the officials did in Sunday’s game: Just ignore it.

But here’s your assignment: Given USA Today’s dogged effort to plumb the depths of the back-and-forth, what’s an appropriate nickname for the paper. I came up with USA Tawdry, but I think we can do better. Please help.

| Topics: brandon browner, nonsense, Richard Sherman


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