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Richard Sherman: Pokémon Master?

Ahead of Super Bowl 50, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman proclaimed his passion for Pokémon, as the popular gaming company readies to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

If you were one of the 111.9 million viewers who tuned into this past Sunday's Super Bowl between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, you might have seen the Pokémon commercial that aired near the start of the third quarter, a unique spot celebrating the 20th anniversary of the popular gaming company.

What you might not have seen - or heard, for that matter - was Richard Sherman's support of the brand in a series of interviews on 'radio row' during the week leading up to Super Bowl 50 and the commercial's airing. 

The Seahawks cornerback joined various media outlets to talk about his Pokémon passion and pump the product that he said he's enjoyed ever since he was a kid. 

"They're celebrating 20 years now and I've probably been there for 19 of the 20 years," the 27-year-old Sherman told ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show last week. "It's always been a part of my life."

Sherman reminisced about playing Pokémon video games and the Pokémon trading card game during his time at Stanford, noting he was most elated to catch a Dratini so that he could raise it into a Dragonite, because as Pokémon fans know, "Dragonite is a frickin beast," said Sherman.

"Being at Stanford and 'Nerd Nation' and all that stuff, you say only nerds go there, and I mean people there played it and enjoyed it," said Sherman, who in a separate interview added that he still plays the game with Seahawks teammate and fellow 'Nerd Nation' alum Doug Baldwin. "Not even just the card game. The card game is awesome, but they also played the game on the Game Boy, Nintendo 64. It's always been cool to me."

When it comes to the trading card game, Sherman said it took him "a long time" to get his hands on a "holographic Charizard" - one of the more powerful and rare cards from the game's base set. But once he did, he felt as though his "whole collection was complete."

"Now it's 721 Pokemon," said Sherman. "It used to only be 151 and I think I had everything. But I'm just kind of a strange guy like that."

Sherman's strangeness doesn't start and end with the Pokémon franchise. He also admitted to eating up the likes of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and The Elder Scrolls video game series. Pokémon, though, "would obviously win the gold" in an Olympic ceremony awarding medals for Sherman's levels of nerdom.

"I am totally all about it," he said.

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