RENTON Richard Sherman was dressed like Harry Potter.
It was an infinitely better look than how he was three days earlier, in the locker room shaking and unable to walk after playing all 95 defensive snaps in the Seahawks’ 6-6 overtime tie at Arizona.
“I am a wizard,” the three-time All-Pro cornerback said Wednesday -- over the Harry Potter theme music playing from his phone -- at the start of his weekly press conference.
“It is Halloween. My son (age 2) told me he wanted to me to wear something. So, it’s happening.”
Indeed, it was. He was wearing black-rimmed eyeglasses atop his head, a black, Harry Potter Gryffindor robe outlined in maroon and gold, a matching neck tie over a white dress shirt -- even a pointer stick.
Asked what his son was going to be for Halloween, “I can’t give away his secrets. He told me to take it to my grave, so that’s what I am going to do.”
Sherman was asked which was more difficult: Playing five full quarters of football and 95 plays against the Cardinals three days earlier, or quidditch?
“Five quarters of football is tough,” Sherman said. “But quidditch, the beaters, the chasers, trying to find the ‘Golden Snitch,’ things like that? That’s tough.
“When you are a wizard, like we are, sometimes you have to show it to the muggles out there in the world. Earl Thomas does some magical things. Michael Bennett is ‘Black Santa’ -- but he’s also a wizard.”
Sherman, though, is not actually a wizard. At least he wasn’t Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. He gave up a catch and 40-yard gain on a missed tackle of Arizona wide receiver J.J. Nelson in overtime. Sherman’s secondary mate Kelcie McCray bailed him out with a tackle from behind at the 5-yard line, or else Seattle would have lost on a Nelson touchdown Sherman surrendered because his knee buckled.
He said his legs and his body, on that play, just shut down.
Sherman needed help from teammate Bobby Wagner -- the linebacker was also limping -- to get across the locker room last weekend following the game. He was seated silently at his locker slumped and shaking.
“They said I had fever, the shivers, some other stuff,” he said Wednesday. “It was bad. Bad stuff.”
He said at one point after the game he heard medical personnel talking about “paramedics and stretchers” to get him out of the stadium. He said he wasn’t having any of that.
Sunday was the third time in six games the defense has allowed 10 or fewer points. Seattle’s 95 plays faced against the Cardinals were the most in a game in NFL history without giving up a touchdown.
The Seahawks finished last season the first team to lead the league in fewest points allowed four consecutive years since the Cleveland Browns of the 1950s.
“I think our defense, and players on this defense, are going to remembered for a long time,” Sherman said. “But while we are in it, while we are playing, while we are in it and doing our thing, we don’t really think about the historical value. We don’t think about the ... games that we play. We just try to play as hard as we can ... until our bodies give out. Until guys don’t have it anymore.
“These windows don’t last forever. We are just trying to enjoy it while we are here.”
Sherman felt so much better Wednesday he was back to his usual, weekly jabs at authority. This time, it was the authority of the Cardinals.
Arizona coach Bruce Arians was still steaming Wednesday over what he said Sunday in his postgame press conference was bull(pucky): that officials allowed Wagner to leap over the Cardinals kick snapper on the linebacker’s way to blocking a field-goal attempt in the second quarter. Arians threw his challenge flag after Wagner’s block seeking a penalty for him touching the snapper but officials refused the challenge.
The NFL supervisor of officials Dean Blandino tweeted during the game the play is only illegal if the leaper lands on the snapper. It’s also illegal if a defender uses an offensive player to catapult himself towards a kick.
“The Competition Committee went through that play and officials wanted it taken out,” Arians said Wednesday on SiriusXM satellite radio. “The committee left it in, but it cannot be officiated. Whether he touches, whether it was leverage, was his foot within the framework of the defensive lineman’s feet before he jumped, all those things that go into that call, I think it’s bad for football.”
Sherman’s response: “It’s bad for his team.
“They have a predictable cadence.”
Sherman said the Seahawks figured out the Cardinals field-goal snap count, timed it, and Wagner went soaring over the snapper for the block -- just as Seattle had planned. He said if the Cardinals don’t fix their predictability it will happen again.
“It was a legal play,” Sherman said. “Every year, they are trying to get something else against the defense. Now you are saying we can’t jump over your snapper because you made your cadence so predictable, you made your snapper keep his head down and now you want to change the rules again because you got your kick blocked. That’s unfortunate...
“That rhetoric is denied.”
By the way, 40 minutes after his press conference started, back in the locker room a few minutes before practice was to begin, Sherman was still in his Harry Potter outfit. He took the practice off to rest, as did many starters.