May 11, 2009

Ranking the Squads #1: 2005

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

1. 2005
Record: 13-3
Postseason: Won NFC West, Won NFC Title, Lost in Super Bowl XL
Offensive Rank: 1st out of 32 teams
Defensive Rank: 7th out of 32
Turnover Ratio Rank: 7th out of 32
Team Co-MVPs: Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander and Walter Jones
High Point: Seahawks 34, Panthers 14
Low Point: Steelers 21, Seahawks 10

2005 is still fresh in our minds. The joy we felt after the NFC Championship Game hasn't faded into oblivion, and the pain of XL won't completely dissolve until a Seahawk is holding the Lombardi Trophy skyward during a confetti blizzard.

I was lucky enough to attend three games in '05: The win over Atlanta, where we all worried that the Hawks would blow a 21-0 halftime lead; The Hawks took their first step towards erasing fears of a 2004 redux by holding onto a 21-18 win. Then I was at the Colts game, where we clinched HFA and saw the team echo 1983 and take a post-game victory lap...

I was one of 67,837 lucky bastards who got to see the Hawks win the NFC Championship in person... allow me to quote myself from back then:

When I was 8 years old, I started refusing to go to church to watch the Seattle Seahawks. That was the beginning of my march down the path of damnation, in both the spiritual and sports-fandom senses. My eternal soul may still be doomed depending on which thousands-years-old book you’ve taken to heart, but the Seattle Super Seahawks have freed my sporting spirit from the purgatory of mediocrity and broken dreams.

In a real sense, my experience at Qwest Field was as close as I’ll ever get to that sense of joy, bliss and peace that true believers enjoy. If my personal faith is the Seattle Seahawks, salvation arrived on Sunday night… Thirty years of dashed hopes, first-round busts, fourth-quarter collapses, phantom touchdowns and 8-8-ness were shattered in the deafening noise generated by 67,837 disciples and buried in a flurry of blue and green confetti.

Steve Smith? Erased. Those road-warrior Panthers? Reduced to quivering piss-stained wrecks by our smothering D and the assault of the 12th Man. Jake Delhomme? Don’t EVER claim he’s half the QB Hass is after that display of inept chucking and diving… The “soft” Seahawks? Ask Nick Going’s concussed brainpan about that one.

After the final kneel-down, grown men cried, including a little bit of misting up on my end.. Complete strangers hugged each other, and our howls of triumph cut through the damp Seattle night sky.

For 22 years I’ve waited for this, and it’s even better than all those scenarios I’ve imagined for years. Though I love the Sawx, this easily trumps the gleeful 2004 playoff run for me, and I’d say it’s the best moment of my life as a sports fan…

Beside that glorious January night, my most vivid memories of '05 are:

-Babs picking off Bledsoe and streaking into FG range, followed by Josh Brown nailing the game winner and throwing his helmet off after the final gun... Then, just delirium and joy.

-Feely missing, missing, missing and Shockey's premature celebration... and false starts galore for Eli and NYG.

-A sweep of the Rams begun with J.P. Darche falling on a fumble at STL, and ending with SA running for one of his 28 TDs in the rain at Qwest.

-Hasselbeck's great day against DC in the playoffs, after Alexander got knocked out of the game and we were supposed to implode. I'll never forget Hass beating Shawn Springs to the pylon, and SA's ecstatic reaction on the sidelines. Then of course, there was Mack's game-clinching run on a key 3rd down late in the game...

What are your favorite memories of 2005? NO XL talk on this one! Let's just speak of the good times for once.


Aaron Weinberg said...

How can it not be Steve Smith's meltdown or Delhomme's Int massacre.

gonzhawk said...

Easy, Hass leaving hater springs in the Dust!! oh, and a close second, Seneca's catch on Kenny Lucas...

I guess I get bitter about those trash talking CB's that left, but then we had the last laugh!!! springs did have a hole in his head, err, I mean hamstring....

Anonymous said...

I, too, thought the last 3 or so minutes of the Dallas game were some of the finest for the Seahawks. A backup tight end catches the tieing touchdown, Babs' interception, and without any timeout, Josh quickly trots onto the field and nails a 50 yarder....

Another great memory was the MNF game against the Eagles. Remember Shaun Alexander's prophetic run-up commercial "You may not know me...?" And then it was a total effort...a crushingly long touchdown drive with Matt throwing across his body for the TD and three TDs from the Defense. I cried from laughter during that game...

The Panthers playoff game was great, but the goddamn ticket ordering process flumoxxed me. I had my cordless phone and laptop in my hand at the same time, made sure my laptop was set to the Naval observatory clock and concurrently called and refreshed the ticket ordering page for 15 of the most frustrating minutes of my life. There was no hold queue, I just never could get through.

Sorry...just the good stuff....focusing back in now.

How great was it to see us receiving some national attention? Remember being featured as the #2 team in the league (behind the Colts) in ESPN's Power Rankings? Here's a link:

I couldn't get enough news on the Seahawks that year. It just seemed magical. I went to an Olive Garden in the Lakewood area right after the NFC Championship game and saw jerseys all over the place in the restaurant. Got hugged by a guy I didn't know (we were both wearing jerseys and for true fans, that was enough, I suppose).

Anyways, great blog. And I happen to live in Belleville, if you go to the Seahawks-Rams game in St Louis, stop by and say hi. I have front row seats immediately to the right of the visitors tunnel at the bottom of the stadium.


El Toro said...

1. Hass sliding into the end zone holding the ball up in the air.

2. Tatupu's int for TD on MNF

3. Chanting SuperBowl! SuperBowl with 6 minutes left in the NFC Championship game

Unofficial Voice said...

"all this hollerin' don't mean nuthin, this is our house!"

Famous last words from the NFC Championship game in 2005.

See it at about 2:45 in my "ode to the 12th man" called "Unspeakable"

etherbrand said...

Romo mishandling the FG attempt and Babs coming around the corner dropping Romo short of the first and the goal line. I've never seen my dad cry like he did that day. Class

JRuss said...

I have very personal memories of that Superbowl year. My Dad -- a transplanted Texan, retired school superintendent, former coach and lover of all things football --enjoyed going to the Seahawk games immensely. Dad became a Hawk fan soon after our family move to the PNW and he relished going to Qwest to cheer on "the team with class."

In 2003, about a month after we had moved here, we took Dad to his first professional football game at Qwest. He was gobstruck at the beauty of the stadium and the kindness of the fans who noticed his struggle to climb to our nosebleed seats. We weren't wearing Hawk gear, but no fewer than three groups of fans offered to trade seats so my father would be more comfortable. It brings tears to my eyes just to recall my dad's reaction. The die was cast from that day on: we were Hawk fans.

My Dad soaked in the atmosphere at every game we attended in 2005. He believed that team was something special. Of course, he was right. However, dad got ill quite suddenly the first week of January 2006. He passed peacefully one week later at age 89.

That run up to the Superbowl was something I'll never forget because, not only was it special as a fan, it was something incredibly satisfying we shared with my Dad.

Hope I didn't go on too much about this, but that Superbowl year is a flood of memories for me.

Edward said...

I was a double lucky bastard that year because I was at both the Giants game where Feely missed those three field goals (the SNL skit about it the following week was sweeeet!), and I took my dad to the NFC Championship game @ Qwest.

Before the Giants game, on the Bremerton-Seattle ferry ride over, a guy was at the front of the pedestrian ferry deck holding his 12th Man Flag. The ferry crew unscrewed a mop handle and tied it to the guy's flag so he could fly it without accidentally losing it in the sound. The passengers first booed because they thought that the crew was going to make him stop, but then cheered loud as they helped him fly the flag.

I remember those poor souls wearing Panthers jerseys @ the NFC Championship game, and they were like the loneliest people in Seattle that day because no one wanted to talk to them...or gave them bad looks...or shouted at them from the many bars leading to qwest...

When the Panthers fans got to the stadium it was even worse because the crowd booed them row after row in unison until they got to their seats.

I hugged strangers. A really hot chick kissed me on the cheek on the street outside a bar after the game. The Bremerton ferry chanted "Super Bowl! Super Bowl!" The whole ride. Never seen anything like it.