I tried. I really tried to be outraged at Richard Sherman's creative inclusion of Lance Easley in his celebrity softball game schedule this summer. Alas, I cannot. Nathan Poole is a big reason why.
(Hat tip to @KCousineau09 for pairing the two stories Thursday morning on Twitter.)
Taking a step back: Sherman is the Seattle Seahawks' outspoken All-Pro cornerback. Easley is the NFL replacement official who first signaled for a touchdown in the Seahawks' "Fail Mary" victory over the Green Bay Packers last season. And Poole is the former NFL receiver whose touchdown catch for the Arizona Cardinals on the final play of the 2003 regular season flipped the NFC North standings, giving the Packers the division title and knocking the Minnesota Vikings out of the playoffs.
As you might recall, the Green Bay city government brought Poole to Lambeau Field for the following week's playoff game at Lambeau Field. Poole watched the first half from the 50-yard line, the second half from a suite and received a key to the city.
I thought "Nathan Poole Day" in Green Bay was funny and inspired 10 years ago, and that's pretty much how I feel about Sherman passively rubbing the "Fail Mary" in the Packers' faces. And yes, I realize the two events aren't exactly an apples-to-apples comparison: Poole caught a legal touchdown pass, while the "Fail Mary" was at best a disputed touchdown.
But at some point we all move on from heartbreak, anger and outrage. In the big picture, Sherman is just publicizing an event that will raise money for the Helping a Hero program, which provides homes for wounded military personnel and their families. If Lance Easley's inclusion can draw more attention and raise more money, then why not?