There's apparently a good reason why Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was so upset at 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree during his TV interview after Sunday's NFC Championship.
According to the Seattle Times, Sherman's game-saving tipped pass in front of Crabtree that sealed the Seahawks' 23-17 victory with 22 seconds left was something that the former Stanford standout envisioned for some time.
Directly from the Seattle Times:
"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.
In an online column he wrote after the game, Sherman made mention of his summer encounter with Crabtree.
"Erin Andrews interviewed me after the game and I yelled what was obvious: If you put a subpar player across from a great one, most of the time you're going to get one result.
"But that's not why I don't like the man. 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 Andrews was adrenaline talking, and some of that was Crabtree. I just don't like him."
Here are some other insights from the participants in the NFC Championship
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh:
"The way I assess it is that not many people get to be in this competition at this level. I thought our guys had tremendous fight. I think our guys are great football players, and congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks. They were also in this arena, and they won the football game and they're moving on. That's how I assess it."
"It was one drive. One touchdown drive and we move on. That's what our guys believed would happen."
"... the final interception, the ball thrown to Crabtree, could have gone either way. If that goes by an inch or two, Crabtree catches it for a touchdown, and we win.
"But Richard Sherman made a terrific play -- he made a great athletic play batting the ball, getting a hand on it, and deflecting the pass. That's what I saw."
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick:
"I didn't play good enough to win. I turned the ball over three times. I cost us that game."
49ers receiver Michael Crabtree on Seahawks' Richard Sherman:
"I ain't getting into that. You know what time it is. When you're on the field, he ain't doing nothing. That's one play. He knows it.
"That's probably the only play he made the whole game."
49ers receiver Anquan Boldin on whether the best team won Sunday.
"Nah, I still think we're the best team."
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll:
"This is really special. It would really be a mistake to not remember the connection and the relationship between this football team and the 12th Man and these fans. It's unbelievable."
"The 12s, it's just woven into the fabric of what Seattle is all about. I love the fact that we have the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl and represent the Northwest and our fans ... because they deserve it."
Video of Carroll: http://www.seahawks.com/videos-photos/videos/Pete-Carroll-NFC-Championship-Locker-Room-Speech/51d36358-5263-4731-a04b-50d165d761e1
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson:
"We played so hard. We talked at the beginning of year, `Why not us? Why not us?' That's kind of been our mind-set."
More from Sherman:
"To those who would call me a thug or worse because I show passion on a football field -- don't judge a person's character by what they do between the lines. Judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family.
"But people find it easy to take shots on Twitter, and to use racial slurs and bullying language far worse than what you'll see from me. It's sad and somewhat unbelievable to me that the world is still this way, but it is. I can handle it."