The state of Arizona has plenty of ties to Super Bowl XLVIII, as former Cardinals (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Paris Lenon) and ASU Sun Devils (Brock Osweiler and Zach Miller) will be competing in New Jersey for the right to be named world champions.
But apparently, the biggest subplot from the Seattle Seahawks' 23-17 win in the NFC Championship Game Sunday -- a feud between San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman -- also originated in Arizona.
Sherman, whose incredible end zone tip led to a game-sealing interception on a pass intended for Crabtree, took the opportunity in his post-game interview with FOX Sports' Erin Andrews to call out the San Francisco wideout.
In addition to calling Crabtree a 'sorry receiver' on national television, the Seahawks' All-Pro corner reiterated in his post-game presser how he really felt about the former No. 10 overall pick.
"I was making sure everyone knew Crabtree was a mediocre receiver," Sherman told reporters. "And when you try the best corner in the game with a mediocre receiver, that's what happens. I appreciate that he knows that now. There has been a lot of talk from him running his mouth about me."
But the running of the mouths didn't stop there, as both took to Twitter to continue their back-and-forth war of words.
A lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) January 20, 2014
There was a lot of talk before the game.... Now I'm the bad guy lol.... Well if u judge my character on the field ....So many glass houses— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) January 20, 2014
So is the Crabtree-Sherman squabble just a case of bad divisional blood between two competitors? According to the latter, no.
In a piece for MMQB.com called 'To Those Who Would Call Me a Thug or Worse,' the former Stanford standout suggested that his post-game comments stemmed from an incident the two had last offseason at Larry Fitzgerald's charity softball event.
There are a lot of receivers playing good ball out there, and Josh Gordon needed 14 games to produce almost double what Crabtree can do in a full season. And Gordon had Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell playing quarterback.
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.
It was loud, it was in the moment, and it was just a small part of the person I am. I don't want to be a villain, because I'm not a villainous person.