We stand on the verge of perhaps the most anticipated season in Seahawks history. Not only does the team have VERY legitimate Super Bowl aspirations, but with the Sonics fleeing and Mariners floundering, the Hawks also bear the burden of Seattle's very civic pride.
Of course, I think this season will turn out great; but I'm an optimist at heart. I've felt this way before and been bitterly, savagely disappointed. The following seasons started out with spectacular promise and ended in a fog of confusion and anger. I present them to you in chronological order. Enjoy!
Seattle was coming off a 12-4 campaign without Curt Warner, so his return to the line-up meant a sure trip to Super Bowl XX, right? Playboy Magazine thought so, and so did my 10-year-old ass.
This was the year the Hawks won 2, lost 2 (repeat three more times for 8-8 record)... Given that the 1985 Broncos were the only 11-5 team to EVER miss the postseason, and they swept us, Seattle's fate was sealed before Thanksgiving with the loss that sent the Hawks to 6-5. However, we didn't know that at the time, and if you look at the numbers this was a respectable team: 8th in points allowed, 13th in points scored. A lot of players, particularly Steve Largent, had awesome individual seasons.. In '85, it just didn't add up.
Holmgren's first campaign brought only the 2nd AFC West title in Hawks history, but the aftertaste was like a mouthful of Shaq-ass. It began with an 8-2 start, a glorious MNF win at Lambeau Field, and Ricky Watters punctuating a rare Arrowhead win with one of the NFL's last legal "throat-slashing" gestures.
In week 11, Warren Sapp and the Bucs physically whipped the Hawks and forever exposed Jon Kitna as an at-best average NFL QB. The '99 Hawks never really recovered, and the season ended with an embarrassing home Wild-Card loss to Miami (made even worse by the Fins going down 62-7 the next week in Jacksonville)... I was at the Hawks final regular season win at the Kingdome (a crucial win over KC), and it was as loud that day as it's ever been at Qwest...
The 12th Man never gave up, but those '99 Hawks faded BADLY down the stretch.
New stadium! New uniforms! Same. Old. Seahawks.
It seems really weird now, but we were pretty excited about our prospects behind Trent Dilfer in '02 (Hasselbeck? Pfft. He SUCKS!). Number 4 was unlucky in 2002, getting hurt in preseason, and generally playing like white dogshit until he popped his Achilles in Dallas.
We tend to focus on the strong finish to 2002, where Seattle went 6-4 down the stretch.... That 1-5 start was a brutal kick in the teeth though, wasn't it?
How did a playoff season make me consider jumping off the nearest tall building into a vat of acid MULTIPLE times? How about two of the most traumatic 4th-quarter collapses in team history, capped by a home playoff loss to a hated divisional rival (who also, you know, beat us 3 times. In games against "Not Seattle" in 2004, STL went six-and-fucking-nine).
You know how bad things were? My most vivid positive memory of 2004 is Michael Boulware's game winning pick-six against the Dolphins. The 1-8 Miami Dolphins. Just yipes.