Sherman's feud with Crabtree started well before the NFC Championship game
Sherman, of course, went on this rant about his elite status and Crabtree's shortcomings after having made a sensational play on a potentially game-winning touchdown throw. Sherman spun around to tip a pass that was intended for Crabtree, who was in the end zone, and the tipped pass ended up in the hands of Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, clinching the game and the Seahawks' trip to the Super Bowl.
Those who watched the game probably saw what Sherman did after the play - he went over to Crabtree, tried to shake his hand, and gave him a firm sports tap. While the gesture looked somewhat like sarcastic mockery, Sherman claims that he was saying "good game, good game" while genuinely congratulating Crabtree on a well fought battle. Crabtree, however, did not see Sherman's actions as genuine, and he put his hand in Sherman's face and shoved him. According to Sherman, that is what set him off in his post-game interviews.
This rivalry with Crabtree, however, is nothing new for Sherman. Yes, the shove to the face set Sherman off on Sunday night, but this feud reportedly started long before this year's NFC Championship game. "That's not why I don't like the man," Sherman said of Crabtree's "subpar" ability. "It goes back to something he said to me this offseason in Arizona, but you'd have to ask him about that. A lot of what I said to (Erin) Andrews was adrenaline talking, and some of that was Crabtree. I just don't like him."
The incident in Arizona that Sherman referred to was a charity event held by Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald over the summer. According to Sherman's brother, Branton, Sherman tried to shake Crabtree's hand at the event, and Crabtree tried to start a fight (sound familiar?). After that incident, Richard vowed to Branton that he would "make a play and embarrass [Crabtree]." As it turns out, Sherman is a man of his word - he out-dueled Crabtree on what was, so far, the biggest play of the entire NFL season.
The beef between Sherman and Crabtree coming to light will certainly make things fun in future seasons. The two trash talkers will face off at least twice a year for as long as they are playing for their respective teams.