PITTSBURGH - There are a couple of ways to look at Richard Sherman's rant following the Seattle Seahawks' victory in Sunday's AFC Championship game:
1. It detracted from the Seahawks' accomplishment in beating San Francisco.
2. It made a lot of people aware of who Richard Sherman is.
The lasting effect will be No. 2.
Sherman suddenly has a national profile. He may be the best-known player among the Seahawks, who don't have a lot of names who are easily recognized by casual fans.
But everyone knows Richard Sherman, thanks to his loud and hostile response to Erin Andrews' question after the game.
Sherman came across like a pro wrestling heel, insulting his opponent and bragging about his own talent. The only surprise was he didn't drop any profanity in his monologue.
Give Andrews credit for handling the situation. She asked a quick follow-up question, then threw it back to the booth when it was obvious a producer communicated it was time to end the interview.
For as overbearing as he was in the moment, Sherman rebounded and expressed regret about the way he approached the opportunity to speak.
By most accounts, he's an intelligent player who got caught up in the moment. It happens.
Defensive backs play with a gunslinger mentality. They're alone back there for the world to see if they fail.
It's a high-stress business, and it figures that there's going to emotion attached, especially on the big stage.
Sherman's performance will live forever, thanks to the Internet.
But he'll probably get some commercial opportunities out of this, too.
You can debate whether he's the team's best player. There's no doubt he's now the best-known.
The NFL has an interestingh proposal to eliminate kicks for extra points.
Here's a modest suggestion: Keep the kick, but add to the distance.
As things stand now, the extra point kick only fails if there's a bad snap or a mishandled hold. Nobody just misses one.
Back it up, and maybe coaches would have something to think about.
Bill Belichick made a good point when he addressed the issue.
He said that kickers used to be players who were regular position players rather than specialists.
Way back when, the Steelers' kicker was Lou Michaels, a 6-foot-2, 245-pound defensive end.
Teams didn't carry someone just to kick. Now most teams have a player who is exclusively a long snapper.
The specialists have taken the drama out of a lot of the kicks.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org