March 22, 2010

I'm the Grand Marshall of the Parade of the Deluded

Our new QB!

I will admit this to y'all, at the risk of eroding my street cred within the 12 Army: As long as the Seahawks are decently competitive and entertaining, I'm a pretty happy fan. If Seattle was mathematically alive going into the week 17 every year, I honestly wouldn't have much to complain about.

I know that the idea of going between 7-9 and 9-7 every year sounds like torture to a lot of you (as well as sounding a lot like the vast majority of franchise history), but I have a highly developed ability to flat-out lie to myself about the Seattle Seahawks. No matter how solid the evidence is to the contrary, as long as the team is still mathematically alive, I'm still DEEPLY emotionally invested.

Even in a year like 2004 or 1999, when it was clear to any well-informed observer that the Hawks had ZERO chance at winning it all even if they stumbled into the playoffs, I told myself "hey, they could still get hot and go on a Cinderella run! I don't want to miss that shit!"

How is this relevant? Folks like John Morgan over on Field Gulls make a pretty compelling case that the Carroll Administration couldn't pour Jones Soda out of a pair of football cleats if the instructions were written on the heels. It's absolutely possible that the next couple of years could be a Flores-worthy death march of crappy, crappy football from our Seahawks.

But to paraphrase a Fox Mulder line, I HAVE TO believe. It's not that I think we should all shut up and never criticize the players, coaches, or management... It's more that the idea we are doomed to fail is too depressing and morale-crushing for me to accept.

So until proven otherwise, I have to believe that Pete Carroll is Chike Knoxgren. Until a big-ass pile of defeat and degradation smothers me, I have to believe that Charlie Whitehurst will kick more ass than Beef Supreme.

Who's with me?

March 18, 2010

Don't Shave, Charlie!

As you all know, a beard makes any guy instantly 1000% more awesome. From Jesus to Zach Galafinakis, beards have been THE SHIT. Even Saddam Hussein looked cooler with a beard before taking a ride on the ol' neck swing, and though I shave mine off once in a while, I always come crawling back to my glorious face-parka.

Charlie Whitehurst, you look fucking DOPE. You're gonna get a lot of pressure to trim that hair and shave the beard. DON'T! Who needs another naked-faced, short-haired QB? I love Hass, but from the neck up he's Mr. Bigglesworth. You're in the Pacific Northwest now, and the Vancouver-Seattle-Portland corridor is probably the beard capital of North America. Don't pull a Johnny Damon, my man... Us beardos need a champion, and you could be the one to lead us into a hirsute golden age!

If you lead Seattle back to contention, they'll be selling wigs and fake beards as "Whitehurst costumes" at fucking QFC, bro. Hell, they might give em out to the fans at Qwest! Just imagine 65,000 screaming lunatics striking a Jesus Christ Pose in your honor... Succeed, and you will be a legend. Succeed with that mighty beard, and Gillette might have to close up shop in South Alaska.

What do you think, sirs?

March 17, 2010

Ummm... Even I'm starting to panic a little... Umm... Even I overreact sometimes

I'm going to keep what I wrote in the heat of the moment up here, if only to keep myself humble. With some time to digest this move, and after reading some things from people I respect deeply, I feel better about this trade... For a good explanation why, head over to Seahawks Addicts...

So the Seahawks have just given Charlie Whitehurst a 2-year, $10 million contract, dropped from the #40 to #60 spot in this year's draft, and shipped a 2011 3rd-round pick to San Diego... all for a 28-year-old QB with ZERO NFL starts.

I'm obviously inclined to sit back and see how things play out before marching on the VMAC and hanging Carroll in effigy... But to paraphrase what Grand Moff Tarkin said to Darth Vader, you're taking an awful risk, Pete. This had better work.

We have to assume the Seahawks are not done making moves, and the Whitehurst trade means that Hasselbeck could easily be traded before the draft. Given that Beck is one of my favorite players, my mind wanders to how Behring ran Dave Krieg out of town too soon, and the next season was a 2-14 calamity.

These are either the bold moves that will pay off with a contending team in a couple of years, or the bat-shit crazy, desperate flailings of a cadre of jittery lunatics. Unfortunately, things could get very ugly for our Seahawks before we know which path the Carroll regime has traveled down...

March 16, 2010

OH NOES! They're breaking up our shitty, shitty team!

The overall reaction to the Seahawks off-season moves so far has been, well... negative. Actually, it's getting to be closer to a collective flat-out piss-yourself hissy fit.

Time to cut the fucking shit, y'all...

Yeah, I was the last to figure this out, but I HAVE figured it out: The Seahawks, as currently constituted, suck. And they suck HAAAAAARRRD.

9 wins out of the last 32 games.

4 of those wins were against St. Louis, who has only won THREE out of their last 32.

In the last two years, the Seahawks have a grand total of THREE non-NFC West wins. They have ZERO non-divisional road wins during this stretch.

It wasn't all craptacular coaching. It wasn't ALL Mora and Ruskell...

It's not like the front office is breaking up the 1985 Bears, my friends. We can quibble about the details of these moves, but do we really know any better than the FO? Shit, I didn't want to draft Tatupu in 2005, and I would have drafted Crabtree last year. I clearly shouldn't be running the team, and you probably shouldn't be either....

Shocking news: New management wants to bring in their own guys, and stockpile draft picks and get way younger. I wouldn't have made the Tapp trade, but I also wouldn't have traded Nomar in 2004 either.

I don't know how these moves are going to work out, but I DO know everyone is jumping ahead to blind panic a little soon, even for us Seahawks fans.

March 15, 2010

When I am King, You Will be First Against the Wall...

Last night I was watching that ESPN 30 for 30 Doc about the Pacers/Knicks rivalry back in the 1990s, and I remarked over on twitter that if I was as rich as Spike Lee, I'd probably be his Seahawks equivalent... Which led Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times to wonder: Who's our Reggie Miller, then?

These days, I'm not sure who that would be, but that got me thinking: Who is the All-Time Most HATED individual in Seahawks history? Here are my nominees, in alphabetical order:

Marcus Allen
Crimes against Hawkmanity:

-Had a Hall of Fame career playing for two of our divisional rivals
-Instrumental in beating Seattle in 1983 AFC title game

Ken Behring
Crimes against Hawkmanity:

-Ran team into the ground, then tried to move the team to L.A.
-Ran Chuck Knox and Dave Krieg out of town
-Hired Tom Flores as head coach

Stephen Burbank (hat tip to Seth Weniger- trepidation on twitter)
Crimes against Hawkmanity:

-Arbitrator of the Steve Hutchinson poison pill dispute who ruled in the Vikings favor

John Elway
Crimes against Hawkmanity:

-Ruining my childhood
-Owning the Seahawks for a decade and a half

Marshall Faulk
Crimes against Hawkmanity:

-Main offensive weapon for the fucking Rams 02-04
-Total dick towards the Seahawks on NFLN

Tom Flores
Crimes against Hawkmanity:

-Coached the Raiders to two Super Bowl wins in early 80s
-Beat Seahawks in 1983 AFC title game
-Coached the Seahawks to their worst record ever in 1992

Bill Leavy
Crimes against Hawkmanity:

-Referee of Super Bowl XL (do I really need to add anything to that?)

Phil Luckett
Crimes against Hawkmanity:

-Referee of "Phantom TD" game in 98
-Idiotic call probably kept Seattle out of playoffs

Mike Martz
Crimes against Hawkmanity:

-Being a smug, arrogant douchebag
-Leading the Rams dominant strecth over Hawks from 2002-2004

Ben Roethlisberger
Crimes against Hawkmanity:

-QBing the Steelers in XL, winning despite playing like shit
-Being an boorish, boozing dickhole and maybe-raper

What do you think, sirs? Poll in sidebar, y'all..

March 14, 2010

Pre-DKSB Highlights: Seahawks 21, Cowboys 20

To steal a line from Jim Anchower, I know I haven't rapped at y'all for a while... In part this is because I've been doing stuff for other blogs like Field Gulls and No Logo Needed, but also because I've been dealing with some pretty serious writer's block.. Until that clears up, I'm digging up some gems from my old blog (pre-January 2008) and reposting them here... Here's my account of our 2006 Wild Card playoff win over the Cowboys... Enjoy!

While the national press is acting as if the only reason for Seattle’s win was Romo’s 100-megaton fuck-up, this was an inspiring performance by a battered, flawed, ferocious Seahawks club. Absolutely NOTHING has come easily for the Hawks this year, including this victory. Through injuries and adversity, they once again bit, clawed, shanked and gouged their way to a win (side note: The Hawks won the three regular season/playoff games I attended this year by a total of six points).

Specific moments really stick in my head:

-Jerramy Stevens’ two big touchdown catches. I’ve criticized him before, but also defended him against those who treated him like a puppy-maiming pederast… We don’t win the game without his performance.

-The safety.. Jennings causes the fumble… Lofa makes a great basketball play to keep the ball in bounds… Boulware grabs the ball, taps his feet inbounds like Steve Largent.. The TD was correctly reversed and turned into a safety, but it was a series of amazing individual efforts from our defense.

-The late Cowboys’ possession.. Lofa Tatupu and Julian Peterson combine on an amazing play to keep Jason Whitten from earning a game-ending first down (another play correctly overturned on replay in a generally well-officiated game)…

-The Romo play… watch Babs in the replay: He gets “blocked” by Gramatica, has to leap over Kelly Jennings, but still chases down the Dallas QB, keeping him from a first down or the go-ahead touchdown. Another stunning individual effort…

-From our own two, Shaun Alexander breaks off a game-clinching 22-yard dash. If anyone else EVER calls him soft or bitches about his running style, they’re going to get a punch in the dick from me.

I couldn’t be any prouder of these guys. Babs and Jennings were amazing at the corners, holding Owens and Glenn to a total of six catches for 67 yards… Pete Hunter came in off the street to make four tackles and recover a fumble… Peterson and Tatupu more than justified their Pro Bowl selections, and Bryce Fisher notched two sacks.

Hass got off to an awful start, but he made the big throws in the 2nd half to put us ahead… DB and Bobby collected a bushel of drive-saving catches, and our maligned offensive line gave up ZERO sacks.

The Seahawks also won their sixth game in a row against the “mighty” NFC east.

Enough of this positive stuff… Let’s get to the shameful joy!

-I wonder if T.O. still thinks that Dallas reporters could cover him as well as our secondary did. Two catches, and three drops by my count. Owens is no longer even close to a dominant player.

-My wife said that she felt bad for Tony Romo after he botched that snap. I guess I do on some larger, philosophical level… but my real emotions are the darkest, blackest, most brutal schadenfreude. Could there have been any more perfect ending? Before the kick, I was still very confident. My thought process was that they’d make the kick, then Hass would drive us close enough for JB to win it…

But to see Dallas lose because the media’s newest darling fucked up one of the most basic tasks in football? That, my friends, is magically delicious

So what was it like at Qwest Field?

-The 12th Man more than did its job, noticeably rattling the Cowboys on many occasions. However, I could also tell that the 5 pm start led to a more drunken, surly crowd. I was in line for the men’s room at one point, and I got treated to hearing a frat boy blather about how it was “bullshit” that women didn’t have to wait in as long of a line for the bathroom.. He even started yelling at girls going into the ladies room, which is a sure sign he’s a chick magnet.

Then this asswedge starts pounding on the locked door of the family bathroom, losing his place in the urinal line. I yelled back at him: “that move really worked out for you, huh?” Did I mention this guy also told everyone around him that he got arrested for public urination on Friday? Classy!

-After we failed on 4th and goal midway through the final quarter, the mood got very ugly and very negative. When the guy in front of me made some comment akin to the game being over, I snapped.


The next play? The game-turning safety. Thankfully he gave me props for helping him stay positive, rather than starting some shit…

-Particularly at the end, there was nothing but strangers hugging and delirious jubilation… Except for the three Cowboys fans sitting in front of us (including the punk with an obviously bootleg Staubach jersey he probably won at the county fair)…

Suck it, you Dallas fucks.

March 1, 2010

Fuzzy Kingdome Memories: August 31, 1997

Seahawks history is chock full of humiliation and disappointment, but this day in team history really stands out: In the first game under the stewardship of new owner Paul Allen, just 10 weeks after Washington voters approved funding to build what would become Qwest Field, the Seahawks showed their appreciation by losing 41-3. At home. To a team that had lost 28 of its last 32 games...

But let me start earlier...

In a fit of joy after Referendum 48 squeaked by (no doubt helped by my constant push for "yes" votes on my KUGS-FM talk show "The Democratic Circus"), I plunked down the kingly sum (for a college student) of $200 for a pair of season tickets in the top row of the 300 level above the Kingdome's south end zone. Labor Day Weekend 1997 was going to be epic: I had a friend's wedding to attend in Seattle on Saturday, and then I'd get to watch the Hawks waylay the pathetic New York Jets.

Sure the Hawks were coming off a 7-9 campaign in '96, but Rick Mirer had been traded, Joey Galloway was a budding superstar, and John Friesz was looking to build on a competent six-game stretch as the starter in '96 (4-2 record, 86.4 passer rating). They also had the 5th best rushing attack in the NFL in 1996, spearheaded by 3-time Pro Bowler Chris Warren. Sure, the defense looked pretty weak, but it still boasted All-Pro talent in Michael Sinclair and Cortez Kennedy up front. Even so, we'd win plenty of games with that Friesz/Warren/Galloway offensive attack, right? On top of all that, they would be debuting a couple of promising rookies: Walter Jones and Shawn Springs.

You can see how easy it has always been to delude myself about the Seahawks, huh?

The weekend started out with my Western friends in Seattle: We hit Gameworks, where I saw Brian and Bennie Blades hanging out with their kids... I was too starstruck to say anything (which was probably for the best... who knows if they might have gone all Quantrell Bishop on my ass), but I took it as a good omen for the game. Walking back to my car, I saw a kid in a Jets jersey and thought "holy shit, your boys are going to get POUNDED tomorrow."

Of course, we underestimated how much time it would take to get ready for my friend's wedding, got stuck in traffic, and ended up getting to the church late. After the reception, I went straight to bed in a drunken stupor. In the AM, I fought through a hangover to go pick up my friend Ed and head for the game. I was rocking my Galloway jersey, and was primed to scream at top volume for about three hours or so...

I stopped at a QFC to get a red bull, and all over every newspaper were headlines screaming about the death of Princess Diana early that morning in Paris. I was shocked, but beyond that I sort of brushed it off... Sad and everything, of course, but there was an NFL game in a few hours!

I picked my friend Ed up and we headed to the dome... There was a small smattering of Jets fans, but no larger than you'd expect from a shitty opponent who wasn't a divisional rival. This had all the earmarks of a severe beatdown.

Right before kickoff, Paul Allen was introduced to the crowd, and recieved thunderous applause. This was the guy who saved our Seahawks. Everyone in that stadium KNEW that without Allen, this game would be kicking off in the L.A. Coliseum or at the "Big A." The only question was if Behring would have pulled a quickie name change, or if they would have, however briefly, been the L.A. Seahawks (how weird does that sound?). It was a hugely emotional moment, and seemed like the last nail in NYJ's pine box. A one-win team quarterbacked by Neil O'Donnell wasn't going to withstand this, even with Parcells as head coach.

All these notions were burned to ash and blown away within minutes after kickoff. By the end of the 1st quarter, the Jets led 17-0. Midway through the 2nd, they led 27-0. John Friesz not only looked awful, but got injured. Warren Moon stepped in and managed to look even worse. O'Donnell? That XXX goat fired FIVE touchdown passes, two to Value Village Largent (Wayne Chrebet).

By the end of the 3rd, it was 41-3 and the Dome had pretty much emptied out. Ed bellowed "What a weekend. First Princess Di gets killed, then the Seahawks!" I managed a sour laugh, but it seemed like the Seahawks would never win another game. It was one of the most profound "same old Seahawks" moments I had ever experienced, and I found myself hopelessly, deeply depressed.

The Hawks would get blown out again at home by the Broncos the next week, before winning 5 out of their next 6 games, capped with that 45-34 thrilling defeat of the Raiders at midseason. Seattle eventually stood at 6-4 and looked primed for a playoff run... before losing 4 in a row to fall out of contention. Fuck.

However, Warren Moon had a season for the ages, and we salvaged an 8-8 record after looking destined for the Peyton Manning/Ryan Leaf lotto for an afternoon.

The lesson, I guess, is let's not freak out if Carroll's boys get blown out in week 1 this fall... It might have little to do with how the team performs the rest of the season, even if that 3-hour stretch is deeply humiliating on its own.

What are your memories of that detestable 97 opener, y'all?