June 29, 2010

Embracing the Situation is Our Only Chance to be Free...

A few days ago, John Morgan over on Field Gulls (the best Seahawks blog on planet Earth) posted a must-read article. The overarching point? The 2010 Seahawks are fucked. And you know what? If I was a betting man (and thank god I'm not), I would wager he'll be right. I'm not thrilled with our situation at QB or on the D-line either, frankly.

But still, as you've read here before.. I've thrown down the gauntlet and baldly arrested that the Seahawks are going to go 9-7 and win the NFC West.

What gives?

I'll openly admit that I pounce on any bit of evidence available that gives me hope for the upcoming season. Simply from a mental health perspective, I can't go into a season expecting or hoping for failure... It just doesn't work for me. I know a lot of people do the opposite: They build a fortress of low expectations and cynicism around their hearts, to cushion the inevitable blows that defeat and disappointment land upon all of us. That's their right, but I can't do likewise.

Maybe I live in a dream world of delusion and false hope, but.. shit. I probably would have taken the blue pill and stayed in The Matrix rather than face stupid reality.

Plus, Morgan is a steely-eyed, rational student of the game. I know more about pro football than some rando you'd pull off the street, but I'm not at his level by any means. I'm just an obsessive-compulsive fan with too much time on his hands... I'm more Paul Aufiero than Doug Farrar (btw, Big Fan is up on Netflix Instant Streaming, and it's well worth 90 minutes of your time).

If we are talking about XLV, yeah, I'll admit there is almost NO chance that the Seahawks will reach or win the roman numeral game this season. But winning the NFC West? Why the fuck not? I've got more faith in Hasselbeck than Alex Smith, Sam Bradford and Matt Leinart combined.. Don't y'all? I don't see ANY NFC West team hitting the 10-win plateau this season... Don't y'all?

Are the Seahawks a better team than they were last season? Almost certainly. It's not a given that being better will result in more wins, but it's reasonable to think that it will. Inching forward from 5-11 to 7-9 is completely plausible, and with just a few lucky breaks, just a play or two per game going our way, that could become 8-8 or 9-7.

Is that an inspirational speech worthy of Any Given Sunday or Friday Night Lights? Fuck no. But it's enough for me. I see lots of reasons to be excited about the future of this team, and if I simply see improvement this fall, I'll be pleased. If I see meaningful December football, with our boys still having a shot at the postseason, I'll be duly entertained.

Just give me some fuel for my delusions... that we could get a home playoff game... that anything could happen after that... and I can keep going.

Like I told one of my students yesterday, it beats being a Browns fan.

What do you think, sirs?

PS: Here's the great Wilco tune I lifted the title of this post from... enjoy!

June 24, 2010

In Defense of Golden Tate

"I officially hate Seattle! This traffic is AWFUL! I left the cubs game at 530 and have moved about a mile the last hour and a half! HELP!"
-Golden Tate, on his twitter account tonight.

This is already causing a spectacular collective hissyfit online, which is well-represented by the following tweets:

"your welcome to not sign your contract and go get drafted next year somewhere else."

"the back can read 'I steal doughnuts.' what an ass."

I'm not particularly offended by this, for a couple of reasons. Though I spent the first 24 years of my life in Washington state, I never actually lived IN Seattle (18 years in the Tri-Cities, 6 in Bellingham)... and I wholeheartedly agree with Tate on this tip: When I am stuck in that traffic, I hate Seattle too. When you throw in the incredibly high cost of living, Seattle isn't for everybody.

Seattle obviously has a lot of great qualities too, and Tate will figure that out (just like millions of others have.. why do you think the area keeps growing and growing and growing?). But to start hating on this dude, who might be one of the guys that leads us to promised land, over a FUCKING TWEET? That's fucking petulant and stupid, y'all.

Every Seattlite who is taking severe umbrage about this needs to A) lighten the fuck up and B) realize that the Seahawks have a REGIONAL fan base, and a non-trivial slice of the Twelve Army lives outside the Seattle metro area, spread from Anchorage to Boise and every point in between... and a lot of us non-Seattle fans, who drive or even fly long distances to attend games at Qwest, find plenty of little things about Seattle annoying too.

Once Tate is scoring touchdowns in blue and green, I doubt anyone will remember one frustrated tweet from June 2010.

What do you think, sirs?

Since I REALLY want a John Carlson Jersey...

I'm parting with my Kenny Easley throwback jersey, which is listed here on eBay... It's in excellent condition... Check it out, y'all.

June 21, 2010

A Long Wait For a Train Don't Come

The San Francisco 49ers have an unbelievably rich history, and their fans are justifiably proud of their five world championships. Jeez, Jerry Rice is my favorite non-Seahawk player of all time (yes, I know he played for us for about 2/3rds of a season, but the dude is a Niner, period).


For the amount of squawking from their fans and acolytes, you'd think the current 49ers were among the NFL elite. The reality is that they haven't had a winning record or made the playoffs since 2002, and last year blew a chance at postseason play by losing to one of the worst squads in Seahawks history... Remember this?

Despite their terrible recent track record, despite their incredibly slight contemporary resume, you have people like Roger Craig running around talking about how SF is going to "annihilate the West." What possibly justifies this hubris? It sure isn't a spectacular 15-17 record over the last two years, or the vast amount of "talent" the Niners boast at QB these days.

Is it Singletary? His reputation? His blustery dong-waving macho act? His gym-teacher stopwatch? His giant, bullet-stopping, vampire-scaring wooden cross? None of that has amounted to a single notable coaching accomplishment yet.

I know what you're saying... "Well, you could say the same stuff about the Seahawks!" Of course you could. The difference is the Twelve Army doesn't have delusions of grandeur. I think the Seahawks will be competitive this year, and since I'm a huge homer, I think they'll win the West. But given recent history it's batshit insane to think ANY NFC West team is going to "annihilate" the rest of the division.

Hewing to recent history, 9-7 will probably be enough to win the division. It will be a 16-game slog between the Niners, Seahawks and Cardinals, and a trip to the playoffs will probably come down to head-to-head and/or division records. Thus, I can't remember a more pivotal kickoff weekend game than our opener at home against the Niners September 12th...

I'll be there in section 325 screaming my big fat head off... and I will laugh an evil laugh when our Seahawks take down the media-beloved, over-hyped 49ers, and completely fuck up the narrative that the football elites have cooked up for our division in 2010...

What do you think, sirs?

June 16, 2010

Pre-DKSB Re-Run: "Many of my fellow Seahawks fans are insufferable douchebags."

This one is from my now-defunct personal blog (blame facebook), and it's from September 22, 2007, right before our dramatic 24-21 win over the Bengals... and I was there!

We would go on to win the NFC West, and beat DC in the Wild Card game. Matt Hasselbeck earned his third trip to the Pro Bowl... New annotations have been added as needed...

Let me preface the following rant by saying that the loyal core of Seahawks fans are amazing. They’re the ones who pack Qwest Field, who create the biggest home-field advantage in the NFL, and who have supported this team through the Dark Times of the 1990s. I am proud to count myself as a member of that cadre, whose members are finally enjoying the fruits of years of loyalty. This is the Golden Age of Seahawks football, and I’m trying to enjoy the ride as much as I can (even though watching them for three hours each week STILL makes me a little nauseous… Of all the things the Seahawks are to me, “relaxing” will never be one of them).


While I was waiting to board my flight west yesterday, the bluetooth-sporting, business-deal making middle-aged white guyin line behind me noticed my Seahawks cap. Here is the conversation, as I remember it:

Bluetooth: “I was at the game in Arizona last week. It was totally pathetic. They can’t put in Frye soon enough…”

Me: “You mean Charlie Frye? The guy we just picked up from Cleveland? He won’t be ready any time soon… and why would we want to bench Hasselbeck?” (who, for the record, is the greatest QB in franchise history)

BT: “That fumble was pathetic, plus, he won’t last the season. He’ll get hurt.”

Me: “One bad play aside, Hass is having a great season so far. Plus, if he gets hurt, it will be Seneca who goes in.” (Like I said, Pro Bowl)

BT: “He can’t even see over the offensive line. We need to put in Frye.”

I was totally agasht at this point, but I tried to keep it civil…

Me: “I’m going to the game in St. Louis later this season.”

BT: “Good luck with that. They have our number.”

Me: “We’ve won our LAST FOUR GAMES against them! They are 0-2. Orlando Pace is OUT FOR THE YEAR. We are going to KILL them.” (We did)

BT: “Maybe… but they usually find a way to screw it up.”

This is where I pop off..

Me: “Man, you are the most negative Seahawks fan I have EVER met” (I left out “stupidest”)

BT: “I’m a realist. I’ve had season tickets since day one, and they always find a way to screw up in the end.”

At this point, I was on the verge of punching this guy, but I let it drop, got on the plane, and stewed about it.

Fuck. I guess all teams have “fans” like this, but the Seahawks seem to have more than their share. Seriously: Take your negative attitudes and FUCK OFF. I haven’t even really mentioned the fact that Matt Hasselbeck has done more for this franchise than a stupid dicklicking fuckstick like you could ever fathom.

You don’t deserve to enjoy this team’s success. Get the fuck off the bandwagon, prick.

June 10, 2010

Looks like Pete was a Naughty Boy at USC... Ummm... So?

So USC's athletic program is about to get hit with major sanctions related to improper benefits given to O.J. Mayo and Reggie Bush, and there has already been a chorus of self-appointed guardians of virtue stroking their beards and clucking their tongues... The main point appears to be: "See! This is why Carroll left mighty USC to coach the lowly Seahawks!"

To quote Dr. Robert Doback: I... Don't give... a FUCK.

Let's inventory the various reasons this is an absolute non-story in my book:

1. I have no emotional investment in college football, and I think the whole system is rotten to the core anyway. As I've said in this space before:

The college fans I know like to prattle on about how NCAA ball is more "pure" than the NFL. What a crock of fucking bullshit.

NCAA football is a multi-billion dollar machine, raking in vast sums of cash from advertising, merchandising, ticket sales and subscription services like ESPN Game Plan. The main difference between the NCAA and the NFL? The players don't get jack fucking squat until they get the the pros.

It's the NFL that provides the more "pure" product: It's about the money. The players are professional gladiators, and they are well-compensated to play a game that could leave them crippled for the rest of their lives.

Plus, since I'm not a rabid UW or WSU fan, I get no satisfaction from USC getting punished.

2. I'm sure USC deserves punishment for violating NCAA rules, but what are we talking about? Boosters giving free shit to Reggie Bush and his family? No, it's not cool to break the established rules, but these rules DON'T APPLY TO NFL TEAMS, and seem irrelevant to Carroll's ability to lead the Seahawks effectively.

Did Carroll videotape opposing teams' practices? Did he pump his players full of steroids? As far as I can tell, nothing that happened under Pete Carroll's watch at USC approached the level of say, The U or OU under Switzer, or even Bill Belichik's malfeasance.

3. Another deeply flawed argument is that this shows that Carroll won't be a successful NFL coach. First of all, stewarding the MUCH dirtier Miami program back in the 80s didn't keep Jimmy Johnson from winning two Super Bowls, did it? This doesn't mean the Seahawks WILL succeed on Carroll's watch, but it DOES mean that his triumphs and tribulations will have nothing to do with what happened at USC years ago.

4. The thing that really bothers me is the notion that Carroll would only take the Seahawks job because he knew these sanctions were coming down soon. First of all, ANY NFL job is more prestigious than ANY college job... Sorry, NCAA fans... That's just stark reality. Beyond that, the Seahawks can offer a coach almost boundless resources, amazing facilities, and one of the NFL's most rabid fanbases. Yeah, why would anyone want to coach in Seattle, huh?

Even if Carroll WAS running from NCAA sanctions, I don't care. If he turns out to be a great NFL coach this time around, I don't give a frak how he decided to take the job. Do you? He will be judged by the Twelve Army on Ws and Ls, and I guarantee that if he turns things around for the Hawks, NO ONE WILL REMEMBER ANY OF THIS USC SHIT.

Plus, it was fairly obvious SOME sort of NCAA penalty was coming, which means Seahawks ownership knew this day might come and hired Carroll anyway.

Like me, it appears that Paul Allen didn't give a crap about this noise.

What do you think, sirs?

June 5, 2010

Origin Myth

If you want to understand why this blog has such a weird name, watch this Hulu clip:

and as I've said in this space before:

I was 12 in 1987, and even then I had some notion that the scab games were deeply wrong. I watched the last one where Largent crossed the picket line and torched the Lions, but I still felt kind of dirty about it. I still refuse to watch The Replacements because of the contempt I held for those scab games in '87.

When the players came back, I vividly remember that Dave Krieg had grown a glorious, Castro-level beard during the strike. I was convinced that beard led Seattle to a 35-13 road win in L.A. against the Raiders, and as I remember it (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) we lost the first game after he shaved it off, and the season ended with a crushing OT loss in the Wild-Card game at Houston.

So there you go. Blog named explained. Any questions?

Our Junior

Last week Ken Griffey Jr.'s amazing career came to an end, and the Pacific Northwest uncorked an immense amount of adoration upon Junior. Quite simply, he is the most significant figure in the history of Seattle professional sports, and it got me thinking about who Griff's Seahawks equivalent is...

First of all, there isn't one. No Seahawk has matched Junior's professional or cultural impact. Not Big Walt, not Largent... No one. So then the question becomes: Which Seahawk is the closest thing to an NFL Junior?

Shaun Alexander.

A LOT of you aren't going to buy that. Hell, Shaun Alexander was never my favorite player either; but that says more about the differences between the two sports and their fans than anything else.

First, the similarities... both substantive and superficial:

-Both men have roots in the Cincinnati area
-Both of their Seattle glory days ended around age 29
-Both were the first player from their franchise to be named league MVP
-Both were spectacularly skilled offensive weapons
-Both specialized in producing dramatic, Sportscenter-worthy plays
-Both were photogenic and avoided any significant off-the-field problems

There's more, but you get the idea: The only Seahawk to come close to Junior's profile of cultural impact, on-the-field success, and national recognition is Shaun Alexander. Just to once more emphasize Alexander's resume:

-2005 NFL MVP (including 28 touchdowns and 1880 rushing yards)
-112 career touchdowns (#1 in Seahawks history; #14 in NFL history)
-9,429 career rushing yards (#1 in Seahawks history)

And let's not forget the signature moments of his career:

-201 yards on 40(!) carries in the snow v. GB on MNF in 2006
-His 88-yard TD run at Arizona in 2005
-FIVE first-half TDs v. Minnesota on SNF in 2002
-266 yards and 3 TDs on Sunday Night Football v. Oakland in 2001
-132 yards on 34 carries/2 TDs in the 2005 NFC Title Game victory over Carolina

But then, there are the usual complaints levied against SA:

-The "stab in the back" comment after failing to win the NFL rushing crown in 2004.
-Rightly or wrongly, his rushing style made him often look like a douche. It may have saved wear and tear and prolonged his career, but it also didn't help him look like a hard-nosed tough guy.
-The fact that his best season occurred when he was up for a huge new contract, followed by a dizzying decline in production thereafter.
-His lack of abilty/enthusiasm in pass blocking and/or pass catching out of the backfield, forcing Holmgren to take one of his best players off the field in a lot of situations.

Junior could also be aloof at times, and wasn't always a classic example of a team player. Why was SA judged so much more harshly?

1. Baseball is a series of individual battles, and much less dependent on coordinated team play/strategy; If Junior hit home runs, made amazing catches, and wasn't a huge steroid-taking dickwad, that was enough to achieve folk-hero status.
2. Junior quite literally saved baseball in Seattle, to the extent that we should probably call it Griffey Field. By the time SA came around, pro football's future in Seattle was already secure.
3. SA's performance was dependent on the skill of other players around him (Big Walt, Hutch, Mack Strong, etc) in a way that Griffey's never was. Junior being selfish = team success. Shaun being selfish = coach-killing cancer.
4. The passage of time: When Junior bolted for Cincy, he wasn't exactly Homecoming King for Seattle fans... But that was a looooong decade ago, and last season he was welcomed back with a monsoon of worship from M's fans. The passage of a few more years might do similar wonders for Alexander's reputation among Seahawks fans.

What do you think, sirs?