April 30, 2009

What's next? Donut rain?

Wow! The Hawks had a great draft, picked up another 1st rounder for 2010, nabbed Ken Lucas and Justin Griffith, and managed to lock up Leroy Hill with a long-term deal. Nice week, huh? But here's some ways it could get better:

-The astonishing return of Jim Brown (as Seattle's starting RB)
-Tim Ruskell finds cure for Swine Flu
-NFL issues public apologies for Testaverde's Phantom TD, stopping the clock in the Ravens game back in '03, and Super Bowl XL
-1976 throwback unis for the Hawks/Bucs game this fall.. Both teams! Blue v. Pumpkin Orange!
-Qwest Field house band? Zep. From 1975. Kidnapped by Paul Allen and brought to the present with the time machine he had built underneath the EMP.

All in all, the Hawks just won April. Now let's translate that to some wins in January and February, dig?

April 26, 2009

Ladies love cool P.A.

You'd think Paul Allen would be able to afford an entire shirt for the young lady, no?

April 25, 2009

Suck Broncos, Suck!

After trading for Denver's 2010 First Rounder, I think I can speak for all of Seahawks Nation when I say I hope Neckbeard leads the Donkeys to a gloriously disastrous 2009 season.

Would 1-15 be too much to hope for? Probably, but we can dream.

It's Curry!

I love this pick. Well played, Ruskell. Well played.

April 22, 2009

Ranking the Squads #3: 1983

As usual, you can find the previous installments of the Ranking the Squads project here...

3. 1983
Record: 9-7
Postseason: AFC Wild Card, Lost in AFC Championship Game
Offensive Rank: 6th out of 28 teams
Defensive Rank: 24th out of 28
Turnover Ratio Rank: 2nd out of 28
Team MVP: Curt Warner
High Point: Seahawks 27, Dolphins 20
Low Point: Cowboys 35, Seahawks 10

First, as they'd say in Galaxy Quest: The historical documents..

I've always loved that one of the greatest moments in Seahawks history got the John Facenda treatment by NFL Films, by the way (mere months before "The Voice of God" passed away).

1983 was the season that hooked me on the Seattle Seahawks for life. I saw Curt Warner gallop for 60 yards on his first NFL carry. I fell in love with a QB named Dave Krieg when he led a valiant but futile comeback against the Steelers and won the starting job. I saw the Hawks win an insane 51-48 OT game against the Chiefs. I went to my first game at the Kingdome, which ended up being a tussle with the Patriots for a spot in the playoffs. I yelled myself hoarse, got to see Largent score, and hung around for the famous post-game "curtain call" by the team after the game.

I was eight years old. I didn't really understand that the Seahawks were supposed to lose that playoff game in Miami. I had no real comprehension of the magnitude of that upset (The Fins were defending AFC Champs, and would be AFC Champs again a year later.. Behind rookie phenom Dan Marino, they were 17-point favorites over Seattle). But I still felt unbridled, boundless joy as I watched the team carry Chuck Knox off the field in triumph. Everything was possible. The Super Bowl was within reach.

It wasn't going to be that easy, of course. Those L.A. Bastards were simply a better team, despite the regular-season sweep the Raiders suffered at Seattle's hands. After that game I cried like Mom had taken away my Intellivision console, but that lifetime bond was sealed.

The '83s are the reason this blog exists, and the reason I dream in Blue & Green.

Published Again

Y'all should be reading Sports Northwest Magazine anyway, but your humble author has another article published in the May issue of the mag... On newsstands now!

April 19, 2009

Ranking the Squads #4: 2007

As usual, you can find the previous installments of the Ranking the Squads project here...

4. 2007
Record: 10-6
Postseason: NFC West Champs, lost in Divisional Round
Offensive Rank: 9th out of 32 teams
Defensive Rank: 6th out of 32
Turnover Ratio Rank: 5th out of 32
Team MVP: Matt Hasselbeck
High Point: Seahawks 35, Redskins 14
Low Point: Packers 42, Seahawks 20

The '07s couldn't run the ball worth a damn, which was brutally evident when Shaun Alexander failed to convert a key 4th-and-1 in OT at Cleveland. After that loss, Holmgren put the team's fate squarely on the arm of Matt Hasselbeck. Beck responded with the best performance of his career, and the Hawks went much farther than a team utterly incapable of running the ball should ever should.

The defense was one of the league's best before comprehensively collapsing in the snow globe of Lambeau Field... Patrick Kerney and Marcus Trufant had career years, and both terrorized the Redskins in a Wild Card Playoff win far more dramatic than the 35-14 final score indicated. As I wrote at the time:

It’s getting to be an cliche, isn’t it? Seahawks get overlooked, disrespected, and dismissed. Seahawks host playoff game; opponents dismiss the impact of the 12th Man. The Qwest Field crowd is louder than a Boeing Dreamliner, a bunch of crazy shit happens, and in dramatic fashion the Seahawks emerge victorious (and the losers later admit the crowd noise was a factor).

Where are you guys all at? All of you who were sure that Sean Taylor’s ghost would smother the Seahawks with burgundy ectoplasm? All of you who put sooooooo much emphasis on the Seattle defense allowing 44 points in a meaningless game? All of you who thought “momentum” was so important? All of you who thought DC would have an emotional edge, as if Seattle had nothing to play for (hmmm.. maybe for themselves, for the fans, etc)?

I’m not hearing a peep from any of you.. I wonder why. If we lived in a just world, so-called “experts” who spout lazy psuedo-analysis like I heard all week would be banished from the journalistic profession. However, they still have jobs and are getting ready to completely dismiss the Seattle Seahawks yet again. Fucking Come-swabs. Jesus.

Yeah, I was at that Redskins playoff game... and yes, it was AWESOME.

The '07s are one of only THREE squads in team history to win 10+ regular season games and at least one playoff game (the others were '84 and '05). For that, I figuratively tip my bonnet their way.

April 14, 2009

2009 Seattle Seahawks Schedule Released

1. 9/13 v STL
2. 9/20 @ SF
3. 9/27 v CHI
4. 10/4 @ IND (10 am)
5. 10/11 v JAX
6. 10/18 v AZ
7. 10/25 BYE
8. 11/1 @ DAL (10 am)
9. 11/8 v DET
10. 11/15 @ AZ
11. 11/22 @ MIN (10 am)
12. 11/29 @ STL (10 am)
13. 12/6 v SF
14. 12/13 @ HOU (10 am)
15. 12/20 v TB
16. 12/27 @ GB (10 am)
17. 1/3 v TEN

Wow. We got screwed. Six games at 10 am pacific, and we're one of only two teams that have to play three consecutive road games. We also play at Lambeau in late December and are one of only six teams with NO scheduled prime-time games.


At least I'll get my money's worth from the NFL Sunday Ticket package, I guess.

April 13, 2009

Ranking the Squads #5: 1986

As usual, you can find the previous installments of the Ranking the Squads project here...

5. 1986
Record: 10-6
Offensive Rank: 10th out of 28 teams
Defensive Rank: 8th out of 28
Turnover Ratio Rank: 7th out of 28
Team MVP: Curt Warner
High Point: Seahawks 41, Broncos 16
Low Point: Bengals 34, Seahawks 7

If you're wondering how a non-playoff squad can make the top 5, you're probably too young to remember the exhilarating conclusion to the 1986 season... First the set-up:

The Hawks exploded out of the gate, starting out 4-1 and pulling off one of the great comebacks in team history at Foxboro. Down 31-21 late, the Hawks scored 17 points in the last three minutes to win 38-31. Paul Moyer recovered a blocked punt in the end zone to tie the game, and Krieg hit Ray Butler on a 67-yard bomb for the game-winner.

Seattle also won a brutal 17-12 Kingdome blood-pisser over the eventual World Champion Giants to run their record to 5-2. Then the month of ash and doom... four losses... outscored 119-34... only four offensive touchdowns. Sure, each loss was to an eventual 10-win team, but it truly felt like Seattle might not ever win another game.

The next five games were, improbably, the greatest stretch of Seahawks football we'd see until 2005. This was the absolute peak of Dave Krieg's career: Over a 5-0 stretch he fired 11 touchdowns and one lonely interception. His QB rating? 130.96.

Seattle needed big plays to beat the sad-sack Eagles 24-20 (72 yard bomb to Darryl Turner, Eric Lane blocked punt, BJ Edmonds punt return), but four days later they ruined Turkey Day in Big D with a decisive 31-14 victory. This is still the BEST. THANKSGIVING. EVAR. The Hawks somehow topped this with a 37-0 MNF wipeout of the L.A. Raiders at the Dome the next week, which included an 11-sack beating of Jim Plunkett. On a personal note, my parents decided to dramatically reveal our new big-screen TV when I got home from school that day, just in time for the game... Just like Ice Cube, I gotta say it was a good day.

In San Diego the Hawks kept rolling behind four TD strikes and 305 yards passing from ol' Mudbone, setting up a final showdown with the eventual AFC Champion Broncos... It was instantly apparent that Denver brought a knife to a gunfight that day, as Curt Warner romped for 192 yards rushing and three TDs in a 41-16 demolition of Mr. Ed and his minions.

So why did Seattle miss the playoffs? They lost tiebreakers to the Bengals, Jets and Chiefs (all of whom the Hawks lost to during that forlorn 0-4 stretch at midseason).

On my deathbed, I will still believe that if the '86ers had just squeaked into the playoffs, they would have won Super Bowl XXI. Maybe that's why the 1986 team is so beloved by those of us who witnessed their exploits: They showed us a quick glimpse of championship-level football, and we wouldn't really see that from the Hawks again for damn near 20 years.

April 5, 2009

Ranking the Squads #6: 2003

As usual, you can find the previous installments of the Ranking the Squads project here...

6. 2003
Record: 10-6
Postseason: Lost in NFC Wild Card round
Offensive Rank: 7th out of 32 teams
Defensive Rank: 15th out of 32 teams
Turnover Ratio Rank: 18th out of 32 teams
Team MVP: Matt Hasselbeck
High Point: Seahawks 24, 49ers 17
Low Point: Ravens 44, Seahawks 41

If your average NFL fan remembers anything about the 2003 Hawks, it's "We want the ball and we're going to score," followed by Al Harris and his stupid dreads streaking into the end zone to win the wild card game for Green Bay.

That's a damn shame, because the '03 Hawks were a lot more than that. They were frustrating, but exhilarating. They won (and lost) games in dramatic fashion. They were amazing at home (8-0), but only 2-6 on the road. In fact, they were riding a six-game road losing streak into the regular season finale at Candlestick Park. Seattle needed a win to keep its playoff hopes alive, and they were facing former coach Dennis Erickson (who would have loved to ruin the Seahawks season). The Hawks quickly fell behind 14-0 that day, but clawed their way back and pulled out a hard-won 24-17 victory (punctuated by an astounding pitch & catch TD from Hass to K-Rob).

I was visiting my parents in the Tri-Cities, and caught a flight back to Ohio that night after the game. We got back to Columbus just in time to see the right combination of Sunday results to put the Hawks in the postseason for only the 2nd time since 1988.

Yeah, the next game in Green Bay left me looking like this:

...but I was still very proud of that 2003 team. Despite fading after a 5-1 start, they showed real heart by smashing their way into the postseason and taking the heavily favored Pack to overtime. They were the first Seahawks team win 10 regular season games in 17 years, and still stand as one of only five Seattle squads to reach that plateau.

April 2, 2009

Cutler, Bears will visit Qwest this fall...

From PFT:

Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com reports that the Chicago Bears have sent two first-round picks, a third-round pick, and quarterback Kyle Orton to the Broncos for quarterback Jay Cutler and a fifth-round draft pick.

The Bears held the 18th pick in the first round of the draft.

Per NFLPA records, Orton is signed through 2009, at a base salary of $995,000.

Wow. That is a LOT to give up for Cutler, but given the Bears' terrible history at the QB position, they had to make a serious play for Jay.

So everyone's favorite Emo QB will be throwing picks at Qwest Field sometime this fall, and the chances of Matthew Stafford falling to the Hawks just plummeted.