December 13, 2008

The futility of rooting for your team to lose

The Seahawks are in that spot where a lot of fans are hoping the team loses its last three games in order to secure the best possible draft choice. The reality is that the Hawks are likely to win at least one more game, and could horrify the draft-obsessed part of our fan base by winning the last three games. How, you say?

-STL is simply god awful. They've put up a league worst -225 point differential. That's 127 points worse than Seattle. That's analagous to the gap between the top team (Titans at +148) and the 16th (!) rated team (Bears at +29). Even without Big Walt and a bunch of other guys, the Hawks should roll tomorrow.

-NYJ: How are things on the West Coast for the Jets? Shit-ay.

@ SD? loss by 19
@ OAK? loss by 3
@ SF? loss by 10

Throw in the intangibles of Holmgren's possible final game against Favre, and his certain last home game as Seattle's head man, and you get a great shot for a Seattle victory.

-AZ: Arizona will likely have nothing to play for, and the Hawks COULD be playing for a winning record in the NFC West (wins v. STL and AZ would put the Hawks at 4-2 in divisional play). Another winnable game.

So... Horror! The Hawks could finish 5-11, tumbling down the first-round draft board. We've seen this happen over and over again around the NFL. Why?

Players have no incentive to lay down for the team to get a higher draft pick. They are hoping to keep their own jobs, or at least maximize the chances that they'll get picked up by another squad. In addition, playing half-assed is an excellent way to get greviously injured.

In our specific case, the players are auditioning for Jim Mora, and I'm sure no one wants to be seen as "running for the bus" by the incoming head coach.

So, don't be surprised if the team ends with a flourish... and don't be pissed at them if they do. That's plumb dumb, y'all.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I agree with you for the most part. One way to think about this is that if the Seahawks were to finish 2-14, that would be a pretty strong indictment of the players we've drafted the past three or four years. People should want to see guys like Ray Willis, Mansfield Wrotto, Baraka Atkins, Kelly Jennings and Leonard Weaver play well because it will mean we have a good young core of talent to build around. Otherwise, in a couple of years we'll be talking about players we drafted in '09 and hoping they, too, fail so that we can get someone in the draft.

One other thing...It's not inconceivable that, if the draft order somehow stays the way it is now, the first three picks could look like this:

1. Detroit - Matt Stafford, QB, Georgia
2. Cincinnati - Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
3. Seattle - Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma

See, Bradford just won the Heisman. You know what happens to Heisman Trophy winners, don't you? They suck. Do we want the next Ken Dorsey, Andre Ware or Geno Toretta? I think not. If we wind up picking fifth, maybe we get someone like Aaron Curry instead, who won't be the answer at quarterback but who could just end up going to ten Pro Bowls or something.