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Emotional health: Was Richard Sherman's post-game rant emotional pollution?

Analysts said Richard Sherman was on fire during Seattle's playoff game against San Francisco Sunday, but for many viewers, the cornerback's angry, self-promoting antics after the Seahawks' victory overshadowed his winning plays.

Richard Sherman may have helped the Seahawks beat the 49ers, but his post-game rant didn't say much about his emotional health.
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

After beating the 49ers 23-17 for the NFC championship, and securing a spot in Super Bowl 48, Sherman went after the 49ers' Michael Crabtree. According to the NFL's "Around the League," Sherman was angered by a comment his opponent reportedly made about him during the off-season.

Sherman was still steaming in a post-game interview with FOX's Erin Andrews.

The ABC station in Los Angeles quoted Sherman: "I'm the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's the result you gonna get! Don't you ever talk about me!"

Prompted by Andrews, Sherman elaborated, "Crabtree...Don't you open your mouth about the best, or I'm gonna settle it for you real quick!"

Psychology Today once published a story about emotional pollution. Steven Stosny, Ph.D., notes that many negative emotions often have processing priority over positive ones because they are often tied to our survival instincts. Ironically, science shows that the positive emotions are more important to overall health and long-term survival.

Stosny explains how negative thinking, for which there are justifiable circumstances, often gets tangled up in ego. That may have been the case with Sherman, leading to his rant and so-called emotional pollution:

"Unfortunately, it [negative thinking] has been hijacked in modern times to include threats to the ego. When ego grows, emotional pollution flows."

On February 2, Sherman will have a chance to once again use his God-given talents on the field. When it comes to his post-game interview, win or lose, perhaps he'll forego the trash talk. Wouldn't it be great if he chose instead to keep his ego in check, the air clean and his emotional state positive.

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