January 29, 2010

Come on let's get to it, I know that we can do it!

Less than a month ago, the future of the Seattle Seahawks seemed like a wind-blasted, irradiated death-scape.

Things have changed a bit, huh?

From Mora's firing to Carroll's hiring to today's retirement of Kurt Warner, January 2010 has been a sheet cake of victory for the Seahawks. Sure, everything could go all crap sandwich for the Hawks, Matt Leinart could morph into a latter-day Neil Lomax, and the Niners could finally live up to the rediculous pile of hype accumulated around them... but every year some bug-fuck crazy shit happens in the NFL, doesn't it? Jets in the AFC Championship game... Saints in the Super Bowl...

Why not Seattle back in the playoffs next year?

Even after Hasselbeck's awful season, he might be the best quarterback in the division now. The Seahawks have the money to lure free agents and the arsenal of draft picks needed to make an immediate leap forward. A mere 4-win improvement would get Seattle to 9-7, which has been good enough for a division crown four times in franchise history.

You know that scene in Magnolia where the frogs start dropping from the sky, and the quiz kid just starts repeating, "This happens.... This happens!" We've seen quick turnarounds over and over in today's NFL, and a 4-win leap is something we've seen our guys do more than once.

Heck, we've seen a new coach get the Hawks to 9-7 and a playoff berth twice before in franchise history. Knox in '83... Holmgren in '99... Carroll in '10?

This Happens... This Happens.

January 22, 2010

When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around

From the personal to the political, things look pretty bleak these days. I found a part-time teaching job, but it's two hours away from where I live, which means a 4-hour round trip two days a week. Did I mention that I live in my Mother-in-Law's basement? And my wife, my two kids, and I are all crammed into her parents' house?

Oh, and my wife's health insurance from Starbucks is so crappy that I can't afford to see a therapist to treat my various.. ahem.. mental issues. So, just suck it up, skippy!

On top of that, I'm a political science professor, and it's getting REALLY hard to not just flat-out tell my students that the political system is this country is pretty well fucked... We have one party populated by spineless pussies, and another dominated by batshit-crazy nihilistic sociopaths. Hooray for America!

So as I try to tread water in my personal life, and I see things get worse and worse in my own "profession," one thing gives me hope. One thing makes me think "hey, better days are ahead, brah."

The Seattle Seahawks.

Yeah, part of this is just my knee-jerk need to believe in SOMETHING, even if it's just a pro football team that probably doesn't deserve this level of devotion. Since I'm an agnostic leaning ever further towards atheism (thanks, Haitian earthquake), I have few things that I make leaps of faith about. The Seahawks are one of them.

I honestly love the moves the team is making... Not that I know fuck-all about whether these moves will actually succeed, but at least I see an organization striving to win, and making bold decisions. Just think how bleak things would look if you were a Bills fan, not only staring down a couple of years of Chan-ball, but also the real possibility that your beloved team might move far, far away.

We've been there, but then Paul Allen rode in on Captain Kirk's Chair and saved our Seahawks, then the most important figure in team history went out and hired the 2nd most important: Mike Holmgren. Allen is clearly hoping Pete Carroll repeats The Big Show's success, and while we won't know about that for a while, at least we aren't dreading the possibility of Jim Mora bringing Mike Vick in to be our starting QB (shudder).

The last 24 months or so, starting with that divisional round beating at Lambeau, have royally, regally SUCKED. But at least we have leadership at the top that recognized what was being done WASN'T WORKING. From Oakland to Buffalo, there are a lot of fanbases who just aren't that damn lucky.

So enjoy the playoffs, Twelve Army... and ask yourself this: Can the Seahawks improve by 4 wins next year? Probably not, but it's possible, and it's happened before. Can a 9-7 team win the West? Go to the Super Bowl? Hell yes to both, my friends.

No matter what other shit we might be dealing with in our lives, the Seahawks are there to distract us, to buoy our spirits, and bind us together. Take comfort in that.

January 13, 2010

Rally round your leaders, it's the mediator season

Coach Carroll wants YOU to join the Twelve Army...

There are millions of Seahawks fans around the world, and each one of us has their own little tale of how and why they became fans. One thing that is easy to see from a distance is that there are many different types of fandom, with many different levels of intensity... Many fans are pulled to or pushed away from the Seahawks like the ocean's tides: success draws them to shore, and failure pushes them back out to sea. It's silly to get too upset about the vagaries of casual fans, because their behavior is a good rough indicator of the overall health of the franchise...

What I'm about to say isn't aimed at the girl wearing her boyfriend's Seahawks cap, or the dude that "follows" the Seahawks through highlights on SportsCenter. This is for the hard core... The ones with season tickets; The ones who used to trek out to Cheney for training camps; The ones who wear our colors in hostile stadiums and get Sunday Ticket in order to watch our Heroes of 12 from thousands of miles away. Y'all are the Twelve Army. You've lived through times of plenty and years of woe, but I've noticed a crisis of confidence among many of you.. It's time to stow that shit.

I'm stunned and amazed at how eager a lot of Seahawks fans are to assume Pete Carroll will fail as Head Coach. Like I've said before, I have to guess a lot of that is internal conflict between UW fandom (GRRRRR! Carroll Bad!) and Seahawks loyalty... If that is what you are going through mentally, I have to be an asshole and say: It's time to put away childish things. The college football thing is cute, but if there's any debate in your head between Seahawks or Huskies, you're already on the wrong track. You might be saying "but I went to UW!" Great. Cool. Give some money to the school. Don't let your lingering feelings of rivalry towards Coach Carroll push you out to sea with the unmoored masses...

Beyond the UW thing, I'm sick of the reflexive negativity among farrrr too many Seahawks fans these days. Perhaps Carroll will fail. There will be plenty of chances to gnash our teeth later on if this turns out to be a huge mistake... But why start off from such a hopeless, desolate place mentally? On twitter, some mopey yokel said that hiring Carroll meant that he'd no longer root for the Seahawks. That's such an overreaction, I have to start thinking there are people out there who would rather marinate in misery, with their pessimism proven right, that actually see the Seahawks succeed.

Remember that episode of Battlestar Galactica, where they were going on the desperate mission to rescue Hera, and Adama put that line of tape down the middle of the hangar bay? It's that kind of time for us Seahawks fans: On one side are those ready to embrace Coach Carroll, or at least give him some kind of chance before passing judgement on his coaching skills... On the other side are those ready to absorb the negative vibes that are pumped out by sports talk radio, Mike Sando, Pro Football Talk, and every mouth-breathing message board commenter who knows exactly two things: Fuck and All.

What side are you on?

January 11, 2010

Welcome Back to the Next Level, Coach Carroll

That thing is a mere trinket compared to what you're after now, Coach.

Dear Coach,
Let me be the first to welcome you to Seahawks Nation. You've chosen your NFL re-entry point wisely, sir. The Twelve Army controls more geographic territory than any other NFL fan base, with its lands stretching from Nome to Boise. You experienced the wrath of Northwest football fans as the enemy in Seattle, Pullman, Corvallis and Eugene... Imagine that passion collected, amplified, focused in one spot and ON YOUR SIDE. That's the raw, brutal power of the Twelve Army.

With your college ball experience, I'm sure you're an old pro at getting the fans riled up... It won't take much in Seattle... Just talk about how loud you need us to be in your press conferences, and take any perceived slight toward Seahawks fans and milk it shamelessly... We eat that up like Tim's Cascade Style chips.

Every home game will be a deafening sellout, and if you achieve even a modest level of success, you will soon be a Demi-God like figure to millions of fans. Win a Super Bowl? How do you like the idea of a statue in your likeness outside Qwest Field the size of a Na'vi warrior?

You already conquered college football, and are rich beyond even the limits of Han Solo's imagination. But you're no dummy: The resume of any football coach is incomplete without success in the NFL. You've proven yourself doubly astute by signing up with the Seahawks: Billionaire owner, best fans and best stadium in the NFL, best training facility, and 3 of the top 40 picks in April's draft.

Culturally, you're a great fit.. West coast guy, sorta new-agey, addled with ADD and an Obama voter. If you weren't ridiculously famous, you could easily blend into the crowd pretty much anywhere in Seattle. Many traditionalists assume you will fail, but I think they are discounting how well you and your new environment are going to mesh. The aspects of your personal style that drove folks nuts in NY and New England will barely register in Seattle.

Speaking of New England, I have a friend who is a Patriots fan, and judging from how HE talks about you, Pete Carroll is synonymous with "The Great Satan." He thinks you drove a talented Patriots team into the ground, but A) You did go 10-6, 9-7 and 8-8 in three years with two playoff trips and B) You have to have learned from those mistakes over the last decade (I hope).

Many Seahawks fans are skeptical of you, and are assuming the worst: That you are Dennis Erickson 2: The Meekquel. However, I like that you were smart enough to back off from your demands for Total Control, and you appear to be assembling an impressive, exciting coaching staff. Put me in the "cautiously optimistic" column right now. We all hope you and Tod Leiweke choose wisely when selecting a GM... We need a guy not only with a great eye for talent, but someone who can navigate through the uncertainty of the uncapped 2010 season and the possible labor chaos in 2011.

I'm ready to take the leap of faith that you will lead the Seahawks to glory, Coach Carroll... I don't expect a playoff berth in year one, but I do expect to see a Seattle team that plays hard for 60 minutes every week. I'd say seven wins is a good goal for 2010, but don't tell the team that...

We're behind you, Coach. You have a chance to become a football immortal in Seattle. Don't blow it.

January 9, 2010

Seahawks stuff backpack full, set it on fire...

Coach Mora, your position is no longer available.

The situation at the VMAC is very fluid, but here's what we know for sure:

-Jim Mora has been fired as Seattle's head coach. This was entirely justified, and the bobbleheads in the media who were "shocked" by this development simply weren't paying attention to how the Seahawks played under Mora: Lethargic as sloths in a NyQuil stupor.

-It's highly probable that Pete Carroll is the Seahawks new head coach, though rumors continue to fly about a possible sticking point: Will Carroll have final say over personnel or not? Some Seahawks fans preemptively HATE this move, which I have to assume is entagled with loyalty to UW's football program to some extent. Since I don't give a crap about college football, I am unencumbered by such concerns.

-Would Carroll succeed? Who knows? At this point, I give the Seahawks organization a tremendous amount of credit for making bold moves, rather than just muddling through 2010 with Mora and vainly hoping for the best. Carroll could be Dennis Erickson, or he could be Mike Holmgren... or he might set new Seahawks standards for success or failure... Anyone who thinks they KNOW how this will turn out is fooling themselves, and the foolish fools who follow them.

-I'm 100% comfortable with Carroll as head coach at this point, but I hope the rumors are true that Allen won't give him TOTAL control over the team. We've tried that in recent history, and it didn't work out that well.

-Everyone publicly wondering why Carroll would leave the August majesty of USC to come coach the lowly Seahawks? I say fuck you right in the ear, you arrogant pricks. Last time I checked NFL > NCAA. If you think otherwise... Sorry, you're wrong.

-It's an exciting time to be a Seahawks fan.. Look! They're talking about us on SportsCenter! Woooo! Attention! It's nice to see some buzz around our franchise... Obviously, if Carroll sucks as coach, that sort of crap is irrelevant. But right now, I like that the Seahawks are a trending topic in the sports world.

-Like I wrote above, this is a very fluid situation, and this aint a breaking-news kind of blog... If you want more rapid-fire updates, check out my twitter feed, y'all.

Go Seahawks!

January 4, 2010

I'm Coming Outta My Cage and I'm Doing Just Fine

Thank god that dreadful, boring, annoying, frustrating, embarrassing season is finally over. I would have preferred a win yesterday, but as a buddy of mine said, the 6th overall pick is a nice consolation prize...

Now the fun begins, and I'm not being sarcastic. Sure, it will be tough to see some vets get traded/cut/run out of town by an angry mob, and there's always the chance that management will fuck things up (see: the 1990s), but to paraphrase Governor Blagojevich, we've got three of the first forty picks in the draft, and they are fucking GOLDEN.

I'm not going to pretend that I have any sort of informed opinion on who the Seahawks should draft, but I'll still be glued to Seahawks Draft Blog and about any other source of speculation/rumors/innuendo that I can get my hands on over the next few months... I'll be obsessive, but still won't have half a clue what the fuck I'm talking about when it comes to who we should spend millions of dollars in guaranteed money on... but that's the joy of being a fan, aint it?

Obviously, we all hope that the front office finds a new GM swiftly, and I think 30 Helens and all of us agree that the new bossman's first act should be leaving a red tag in Jim Mora's locker. I see the argument that Mora should be given one more year, if only on the basis of the impending possibility of a 2011 lockout by the owners, but I don't really buy it. I'd rather give Zorn a shot than suffer through another 16 games of Mora making excuses, pointing fingers at our players, and putting a team on the field that is utterly unmotivated and unprepared.

I truly believe that if the right moves are made, the Seahawks could be a competitive 7 or 8-win team next year, and have a real shot at the postseason in 2011 (assuming the owners don't blow up the season).

Let the speculation and rumor-mongering begin! This'll be an exciting few months for the legions of Twelve... Shit, it can't be any worse than watching this team the last two years, can it?

January 3, 2010

We Will Deal With This in the A.M., My Man

I'm too exhausted and depressed to provide any real insight right now... check back Monday, y'all.