July 25, 2010

Irrational Loyalty (Thank God I'm not the G.M.)

John Morgan over on Field Gulls has been KILLING Matt Hasselbeck lately. I can barely get through that article, frankly. Each word is a shank stabbing my brainpan. It's not that Morgan is wrong, or that his reasoning is flawed. I just am emotionally invested in Hasselbeck's fate in a way that I haven't been since Steve Largent. His jersey is the one I drape over my ample frame on game days, and I've never felt as personally connected to a player since I've been a fan.

Beck is a fan favorite in general because he comes off as down-to-Earth while having a dorky/spazzy streak that you rarely see in an NFL Quarterback. In addition, he's led the Seahawks through the longest period of sustained success in franchise history while playing with toughness (verging on recklessness). He's the leader of our team, despite two sub-par seasons.

Personally, I also feel connected to Hass given that we are almost exactly the same age (I'm 35, and he'll turn 35 in September). Irrationally, I sort of take it personally when people talk about Beck as a broken-down-heap of an old man, which makes me root for him that much harder. We're both married with kids, both Red Sox fans. I love the guy.

Morgan makes the logical case that even a great year from Hasselbeck would be counter-productive to the Seahawks' long-term interests. He might be right, but I don't care. Even if it makes no sense to resign Hasselbeck after this season, I want him to leave Seattle on a high note. In my deluded fantasy land, Beck has a crazy late-career renaissance, resigns with the Seahawks, and keeps kicking ass well into Obama's 2nd Administration. The chances of that happening are on par with Mel Gibson winning another Oscar, so I'm left just hoping for one last entertaining, competitive (and hopefully winning) season from Beck before he retires or signs with another team.

I'm not entirely myopic. If Beck sucks, or gets hurt, or the team is sitting at 2-6 at midseason, it's clearly Whitehurst/Losman time. In all those scenarios, however, I'll be more than a little heartbroken. Not just because of another doomed season, but because that last connection to the Holmgren glory days will truly be gone.

Training Camp is just days away. I want to see every player at the top of their games, but personally what I want most is to see Beck zipping the ball to Housh, JC, Tate, etc. I want to see him not just hang onto the starting job because he's the grizzled, experienced vet. I want him to WIN that job by giving us all a look at a man who has returned to Pro Bowl form. When I am at Training Camp on August 12, I will there in my Hasselbeck jersey, cheering him and the rest of the Hawks on.

What do you all think? Is it absolute madness to think Beck has one more great year left in him?


bleedshawkblue said...

Given that his supporting cast is 10 times better than it was for the last 2 years:

1) Okung is a better Left Tackle than Brandon Fry or an injured Locklear. Hamilton is a better ZBS blocker than Sims. Spencer played ok in Knapp's idiotic system with a broken hand, and has received a full vote of confidence from the best and most blunt of ZBS coaches. Unger has a full year of starting experience. Locklear is playing at a position where he helped create an MVP rusher and a Super Bowl run, and sent Matt to the Pro Bowl.

2) Tate, Mike Williams, Housh, Carlson, Branch and Butler are all better than Koren with a blown up knee and the likes of Billy McMullen.

3) Forsett gets more touches, Leon Washington will be ready for the regular season, and Julius is still a better option than Edge.

4) Aaron Curry has been shifted back to the position that made him a top pick, and Carroll is implementing the Leo, which has made superstars out of a bunch of guys at Linebacker U 2.0.

5) The secondary got infinitely better: Tru isn't injured anymore, Jennings turned in a decent year (no broken ribs - it only hurts to put your hands above your head, wrap tackles and hit...) last year, Pistol is more developed, Thomas is the real deal, and on and on.

6) The lameassed conditioning staff (Tru ad the same back injury as Matt the year before? 2 dozen groin pulls? Really???) has been replaced by guys recognized by their peers as the best in the business.

The upgrades on the Defense will give better field position and more Offensive touches, and the upgrades on the conditioning staff will mean fewer starters lost to injury.

Remember ow everyone knew Warner completely sucked and was done, then he lit the league on fire when he had time to throw to Boldin and Fitz?

Koolaid line starts here.

Mark Stoecker said...

It's madness I tell you! But seriously, I agree. Beck gave me a reason to believe in the Hawks again after cheering on a perennial cellar-dwelling team while growing up in Montana and listening to all of our jackass bronco-loving retards....err, friends and neighbors. Even if it's just one more, I want to see Beck have one more great season and go out on top.

Conor said...

Well, since you're asking...

I kinda think Johm Morgan secretly WANTS us to fail so he can proclaim himself as some kind of authority with a smugly written "I told you so"

I haven't heard a single word of optimism - no, even simply a positive angle - from him since last season ended. But he's spooned on heavy helpings of "Oh this was such a hard piece for me to write" as he rips gleefully into another fault.

Some fans (I use the term loosely) are forever happiest when picking holes. The kind that, after a successful season, will point to large slices of luck and predict doom and gloom for the following season.

As I've said on your fine blog previously, right now we're not the best team in the land, but we're not the worst. And I'll support them and shout and pray for miracles on game days.

Keep up the good work.

JohnDoeAt30Below said...

Now that Losman has arrived, isn't there a chance we trade Whitehurst to the first team whose #1 goes down?

Get through '10 with Matt/Losman/Some body, sign both to 3- year deals in the offseason, draft the QBOTF in '11, start him in '12.

I don't think anyone still believes Charlie is The Answer. If he ain't, move him while he has some value and use Losman as your mopup/emergency guy.

JohnDoeAt30Below said...

BTW, how come no one mentions Kevin Ellison?