If you feel you don’t already have enough of Richard Sherman in your face, there’s a new app for that.
The Seattle Seahawks cornerback has lent his brash persona to Letters of Boom, a word game ($1.99) that is on Apple’s iTunes store.
Sherman tells USA TODAY that one constant in his journey from Compton to Stanford University to the NFL has been an enduring love of word games, a passion he hopes to ignite in his fans via a spelling game he created with app makers Digital Kitchen.
“My message is, knowledge is power,” says Sherman, who even on the phone has the terse delivery of a coiled cobra. “You should want to be powerful in all aspects of your life. It would be fantastic to attract a crowd of kids who are mainly into sports, and get them to fall in love with books and reading.”
The premise of Letters of Boom is addictively simple. Think Scrabble without the annoying wait for others to take their turn.
Fire up the app, and Sherman greets you with a booming “Boom!” In Classic mode, a stream of tiles present themselves and you choose to place them on one of two virtual racks. Each time you spell a word, points accrue and more letters appear. In Blitz mode, there’s a 60-second countdown clock.
The somewhat cheesy game-show music aside, the best soundtrack is provided by Sherman’s occasional outbursts (for those needing a refresher, Sherman made his name after last year’s winning NFC Championship Game, when he boasted about being the best corner in the league and called his opponent a “sorry” receiver).
Beyond screaming things like “Don’t make me laugh” (for an easy three-letter word) and “That’s not a word,” Sherman also is quick to prop the use of so-called Shermanisms built into the game. These include phrases such as “umadbro” and “picksix,” all allowed in an effort “to get Richard’s personality across,” says Anthony Vitagliano, director of experience design in Digital Kitchen’s Chicago offices.
“On the one hand, the idea of creating a word-game app for him did at first seem super weird,” says Vitagliano, noting that the company was approached by Sherman’s representatives at the Creative Artists Agency. “But he’s not just some meathead football player, he’s very smart. So we wanted to bring that duality that he brings to football, the brains and the brawn, to his game.”
Vitagliano says that while the word-game app market is packed with competitors, he was motivated by the possibility that Sherman’s “could leverage his professional success to reach into a market demographic that might only play this game if it was a more intense experience.”
For Sherman, it all started with staples such as Scrabble and newspaper crossword puzzles. The mental challenge of summoning a word from random letters was something the football player always found exciting.
“We didn’t have much at home in terms of technology when I was growing up, but I can remember being 7 or 8 and loving word games,” he says. “Seeing words appear from letter combinations that on the surface seem random is just a thrill.”
In creating Letters of Boom, Sherman says he wanted to combine his love of action (his favorite app mode is, not surprisingly, Blitz) with a nod to his own admittedly out-there personality. “That’s why you get rewarded with extra points if you know me and what I say,” he says.
Asked whether a word-game app and a football player isn’t an incongruous pairing, Sherman’s famously feisty side rears up: “Well maybe, but maybe you also shouldn’t be so quick to judge something like that.”
Words of boom, indeed.
Source: USA Today