August 30, 2008

Top 10 5 Seahawks Opening Days

Week 1 has been brutally unkind to the Seahawks over the years. In fact, Seattle has the NFL's 3rd worst overall winning percentage on kickoff weekend. Cripes... They lost their first EIGHT openers in a row! When they finally won on kickoff weekend in 1984, Curt Warner tore up his knee and was lost for the year... Stupid Kingdome astroturf! The good news is that the Hawks are a somewhat respectable 5-4 in openers on Mike Holmgren's watch...

I was going to list the top 10 Seahawks opening day wins, until I realized that we only HAVE 11 opening day wins. For what it's worth, here's the 5 best opening-day wins for your Seattle Seahawks:

5. 1985: Seahawks 28, Bengals 24
Our first opening day win on the road, and the first opening day win NOT marred by a horrific injury to an All-Pro caliber player... Dave Krieg fired three TD passes and Curt Warner returned to the NFL with the game winning TD in the 4th quarter.

4. 1986: Seahawks 30, Steelers 0
I was at this game as an 11-year-old snot-nosed punk, and it was immensely satisfying to watch the Hawks just absolutely flatten another team. Sure, it was just a Pittsburgh team that would limp to a 6-10 finish, but fuck the fucking Steelers. Curt Warner trampled the steel wool curtain for 114 yards on 21 carries.

3. 2004: Seahawks 21, Saints 7This was a fairly unremarkable game, but I was there in the flesh to witness Shaun gallop for 166 all-purpose yards and 3 TDs in pre-Katrina New Orleans. As I wrote at the time...

there was a good ol’ Nawlins torrential downpour emptying its bowels upon us… As we waited and waited and waited for the streetcar that would take us to the Superdome we both got repeatedly soaked by passing cars… In a credit to all Saints fans, a cab driver in a Duece McCallister jersey spotted us and gave us a ride to the game (for free no less! I tried to give him some cash, but he declined)..

To get to the dome, we had to walk through a mall/hotel that was creepily similar to the mall in GTA:Vice City… There were probably ten people in Saints jerseys for every Seahawks one I saw.. The vast majority were Duece, but I thought it was cool that a few had old-school Archie Manning jerseys too (Hell, I saw one hawks fan in a Jim Zorn jersey).. The Superdome reminded me of something out of a 70s vision of the future.. Very Logans Run/Rollerball, mang..

The best way to describe the Superdome (particularly for northwesterners) is to compare it to the old Kingdome. Imagine that they spent another $50 mil on the Kingdome putting down carpet, installing escalators, enclosing the ramps to the upper deck inside the building, and making it feel like a swanky convention center from 1976… Still a nice enough facility, but certainly of a bygone era.. Even the jumbotrons were quaintly small and fuzzy..

The game was technically a “sellout,” but it was blacked out on New Orleans TV and there was MAYBE a crowd of 45k on hand.. my section was less than half full, and most of the people in it were Seahawks fans (I got my tickets through the Hawks.. got a special deal as a season ticket holder).. Generally the Saints fans were ok.. they seemed more interested in getting tipsy than giving me crap…

2. 2006: Seahawks 9, Lions 6
Yeah, it was a snooze of a game, but we gained a TINY measure of revenge on the city of Detroit for the way they handled XL. JB's game winner at the gun made all the idiotic abuse I took that day worth it...

I expect to absorb some abuse in any environment where I am rooting against the home team, but people around me from ages 8 to 88 harassed and insulted me for the entire afternoon (I mean it… Two little kids were screaming at me the whole game; one repeatedly yelled “Hasselbeck Sucks!,” while the other jibber-jabbered in my direction for a good two hours straight… a dessicated bearded guy who probably went to high school with Bobby Layne also got in a few jabs).

My wife argues that through the sheer decibel level of my cheering, I am an intolerably annoying fan. However, I didn’t curse and I didn’t say nasty things about the Lions unless out of retaliation. Here’s some highlights of how the Lions fans responded to me:

-Their favorite line of attack against me was “Hey, remember what happened the last time you guys played here?”

Weak. Just weak. Think about that. The Lions are so bedraggled that Detroit fans have to live vicariously through a Super Bowl team that HAPPENED to have ONE dude from their city on it (to all the people I saw with Steelers gear on at the game, twisting the XL* knife for nothing but naked spite: No fate is too horrible for you… There must be a few spaces for the likes of them at Gitmo, right?)

In fact, that was part of this high-minded exchange after the game:

Teenage Guy: “Seattle Sucks!”
Us: “Then why’d we just win the game?”
TG: “Why’d you lose the Super Bowl”
Us: “Why weren’t you IN the Super Bowl?”
TG: “Because we suck!”

Touche, dude.

I was encircled by a posse of the willfully ignorant…

When screwed with and accosted, I liked to cite Detroit’s lack of Super Bowl appearances and/or their 21-59 record since ‘01. That didn’t exactly get them to chillax. The guy behind me kept telling me that I should quit saying that because the Lions have “won a national championship.” I eventually figured out that he was talking about their 1957 NFL title, but for a second I wondered if he thought the Lions used to be a college team. This seemed like a plausible option, given that people surrounding me were screaming for their coach to ‘GO FOR IT!” on 4th and 10 from our 19 yard line in a tie game…

-Dumbest thing yelled at me? “Sit down, hobo!” It wasn’t even the old guy who might have BEEN a hobo yelling it, either…

-Most evil moment? The Lions fans around me who cheered when it looked like Hass might be seriously injured. Runners-up? The foul-mouthed latino kid next to me and his pal (a lead-chip poisoned version of Seth Green) whose level of discourse was just below what you’d hear in a Halo 2 rumble pit match…

There were a few reasonable fans; One kid came up to me and gave me props for “making the game fun..” However, on balance these people were an embarrassment to their city and organization.

As JB’s winning kick sailed through the uprights, I screamed at peak volume “JOSH BROWN IS A GOD!!!!” In fact, I bellowed so loud that I almost passed out… I had to sit down for a spell, but then as the Lions fans headed for the exits, I gave them no quarter.. In a low point even for me, I made a “W” sign and yelled “That’s for WIN and for WEST COAST, baby!”

1. 1998: Seahawks 38, Eagles 0
If you didn't see this game, it's really difficult to understand the reaction of Seahawks fans at the time. The Hawks went cross country into that outhouse of a stadium called The Vet and DOMINATED the Eagles. In every phase of the game, the Seahawks looked Super Bowl Bound. Warren Moon tossed three TDs, Joey Galloway had 6 catches for 142 yards and 2 TDs, and we had a running back tandem of Ahman Green and Ricky Watters that looked unstoppable. The defense? They just posted three takeaways, nine sacks and a pick-six TD.

Wooo! Nothing could stop us!

Not really, huh? We'd finish 8-8 (in part victimized by Testaverde's Phantom Touchdown) and Erickson would get shit-canned. Philly turned out to just be fucking abysmal. They'd finish 3-13 in 1998.

But for one day, anything looked possible.

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