August 31, 2010

"Let's Hope the Ship Has a Captain"

"...People would like to think that there's somebody up there who knows what he's doing. Since we don't participate, we don't control and we don't even think about questions of vital importance. We hope somebody is paying attention who has some competence. Let's hope the ship has a captain, in other words, since we're not taking part in what's going on...

It is an important feature of the igeological system to impose on people the feeling that they really are incompetent to deal with these complex and important issues: they'd better leave it to the captain. One device is to develop a star system, an array of figures who are media creations or creations of the academic propaganda establishment, whose deep insights we are supposed to admire and to whom we must happily and confidently assign the right to control our lives and to control international affairs...."

- Noam Chomsky

The Josh Wilson trade reminds us how utterly unempowered and helpless we are as fans. We are emotionally connected and committed to a sports franchise, and when they make a move we hate, our options are pretty fucking limited. If you wanted to retort to the Chomsky quote above, you could at least argue that as citizens in a democracy we could force social change through various actions at the ballot box, and if need be, in the streets.

However, as sports fans, what can we do? We can vote with our dollars by refusing to buy tickets, merchandise, etc... but if you do that, then come back once the team starts winning again, you'll be labeled a fair-weather, bandwagon-jumping mother fucker.

So we can gnash our teeth, howl at the darkness, write brilliant, impassioned blog posts... but at the end of the day, unless we are willing to follow through with threats to cut off our financial support for the team, it's sound and fury signifying blah blah blah...

What am I going to do? I'm going to hope and pray to the ghost of Dave Brown that Pete Carroll knows what the fuck he's doing. I'm going to hold off judgement until I see what the results are on the field. Here are the best-and-worst-case scenarios:

Worst: Thurmond doesn't live up to Schneider and Carroll's expectations. Our pass defense blows this season, leading to a 6-10 or worse finish. Josh Wilson hoists the Lombardi Trophy as a Baltimore Raven next February, and the pick we got in return never amounts to jack shit.

Best: Thurmond is a fucking revelation. He helps lead a young talented secondary to great success, and helps the Seahawks back into the playoffs (thus easing the blow of whatever success Wilson enjoys in Baltimore). In addition, the pick acquired in the Wilson trade turns into a valuable, contributing player.

The reality will be somewhere between those two extremes. Carroll will ultimately be revealed as a genius, a buffoon, or some variety of mediocrity in the middle of that spectrum. We simply don't know, and will receive NO answers AT ALL until the Seahawks hit the field on September 12 against the Niners.

For now, I am choosing to believe. I am choosing optimism, because pessimism is just too fucking painful. I have faith in this team, even if I STRONGLY disagree with this trade.

I hate quoting that evil fucker down in Oakland, but Just Win, Baby.

Pretty Please?

Predictions for the 2010 Seahawks

First, go over to Field Gulls to see my breakdown of the ENTIRE upcoming NFL season. Then come back here and look at my detailed predictions for our boys in blue and green...

-The lead: Seattle goes 9-7 and wins the NFC West based on a head-to-head sweep of the 49ers. In the Wild Card game against Minnesota, the favored Vikings fall 28-19 due to two Adrian Peterson fumbles and three Favre interceptions; With Seattle clinging to a 21-19 lead late in the game, the Vikings reach midfield before Pro Bowler Marcus Trufant steps in front of an ill-advised Favre pass- Tru runs it back 63 yards for the clinching TD, and Qwest goes absolutely apeshit.

The following week in the divisional playoff at the Georgia Dome, Seattle fights eventual XLV winner Atlanta for 60 minutes before finally succumbing 20-14.

-Postseason awards: Pete Carroll wins NFL Coach of the Year honors, and Earl Thomas is named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

-Pro Bowlers: Marcus Trufant, Lofa Tatupu, Earl Thomas

-Team MVP: Matt Hasselbeck, who starts 14 of 16 games. Seattle goes 9-5 with Beck under center, and Matthew puts up this stat line: 299/475 for 3672 yards, with 27 TDs and 11 interceptions. Passer rating? 96.0

Season highlights:

-Week 1 (Seahawks 31, 49ers 17)
Seattle jumps all over SF early, building a 17-0 halftime lead based thanks to a Leon Washington TD run and and Earl Thomas interception return. The Niners cut the lead to 24-17 in the 4th before Mike Williams takes a slant pattern 61 yards for the clinching TD.

-Week 7 (Seahawks 45, Cardinals 10)
The Hawks emphatically end Arizona's brief reign over the division behind four Hasselbeck TD passes and two defensive scores (one each from Tatupu and Trufant).

-Week 13 (Seahawks 27, Niners 26)
By mid-December, the Hawks toasty 3-1 start cools to a 6-6 mark. The 49ers bounce back from an 0-4 start to stand at 7-5. Very few people give Seattle a chance to take back control of the division with a road win at Candlestick... But the Hawks find a way to force SF to kick FGs instead of score TDs, and Beck gets the ball with 1:47 left at his own 20, down by 2.

In the drive of the season, Hasselbeck whips the Seattle offense down the field, hitting Housh at midfield to convert on a 4th and 10... A draw to Justin Forsett gets Seattle to the SF 30, where Beck has to clock it with 10 seconds left. Mare buries the 47-yarder, and Seattle wins the game of the year in the NFC West.

-Week 17 (Seahawks 44, Rams 14)
Seattle enters the final day of the regular season needing a win over the 4-11 Rams or a Cardinals win over the Niners to clinch the NFC West. The 6-9 Cards trail the Niners all day and go down to defeat, but there isn't much cause for scoreboard watching with the Seahawks dropping a 40-burger on STL. Backed by 67,000 maniacs, Seattle takes the field in its bright green 3rd jerseys (SQUEEE!) and never gives Bradford and the Rams an opening... In an echo of 1983 and 2005, the Hawks take a curtain call after the game, mingling with the fans and reveling their return to the top of the NFC West.

You heard it here first, dear readers.

August 29, 2010

Vikings 24, Seahawks 13 (and a run-in with a Browns fan)

"Yay! I made it through the game without Jaren Allen snapping my legs off!"

First a pre-game anecdote:

I was at Jimmy John's to get some lunch to bring to my lovely wife (if you're not familiar with this chain, they're better than Subway but not as good as Potbelly's), and since it was gameday I was dressed to the twelves, so to speak. The clerks were a pair of teenagers (or perhaps young adults), a guy and a girl. The whole transaction gets off to a rough start, when the female wage slave pulls this move on me:

Me: "Can I please get a-"
FWS: "No."

Yes, witty. No one's ever done that before. Maybe that's why so many people have dropped the "please" and just bark orders at you sarcastic little shits.... anyway... Then, when I try to pay in cash, she gives me a look like "Dude, I've got a lot of tables." She literally has to ask the male wage slave for help making change. At this point, I'm just trying to complete this transaction and get out of there with my food. While they are making my sandwiches, I go to the bathroom. When I get out, my sandwiches are ready, but no pickle. I point this out, and female wage slave says "Nick, this guy needs you to grab his pickle."


So male wage slave wraps up a pickle, and out of nowhere tells me "you're lucky I'm even giving you a pickle, with what you are wearing."

Me: "What do you mean?"
MWS: "I hate the Seahawks."
Me: "What's your team?"

Now I'm expecting the reply to be Niners.. Rams... Cardinals... Raiders... Broncos... Hell, maybe even Steelers. His answer?

"The Browns."

I go shithouse on the guy- "What could possibly be the connection between liking the Browns and hating the Seahawks?" Female wage slave muses "ooh! Touchy!" (Fuck you!) Male wage slave: "I dunno... I just hate them."

Me: "Well enjoy our old coach making your crappy team decent!"
MWS: "Whatever."

The female wage slave sarcastically told me to have a nice day. Unfortunately, I was so blinded by rage I couldn't think of a pithy retort, so I just stormed out.

I can't tell you how often I run into completely unprovoked, random hostility towards the Seahawks... As I wrote in this space before, does this shit happen to fans of other teams? Feel free to share your tales of inexplicably intense hostility towards the Seahawks in the comments, friends.

Side note: Either I have met EVERY asshole in the Browns fan base, or I have to conclude that Cleveland fans are disproportionately ignorant, mean-spirited, bitter douchebuckets. Have fun with these guys, Coach Holmgren!

Onto the game: I don't have any insights more informed or novel than you'd find over at Field Gulls, but I'll say a few things anyway.

-Special teams seemed to take a step backwards this week, allowing too many big returns and missing a very make-able field goal.

-I feel like I've been saying this since about 1985, but our defense has to find a cure for its "can't get off the field on 3rd down" woes. Overall I think the defense is going to be MUCH improved compared to 2009, but this is our concern, dude.

-MVP today? Mansfield Wrotto. Thanks for keeping Matthew (and our season) intact.

-Did Kenny Easley hop in a Delorean back in 1985, show up in Minneapolis last night, and put on Earl Thomas' uniform?

-Fuck you Brett Favre. Three turnovers, no TDs. What an overrated pile of cat turds.

-What was up with the Seahawks radio crew's constant Favre slurping? Who the fuck do they think is the audience for that amongst Seahawks fans?

-When Mare missed that field goal, I swear I could hear Jim Mora swearing loudly at his TV...

-There are tons of things to nitpick about this performance, but I'm pleased. I think we're on track to royally fuck up SF week 1.

What do you think, sirs?

Programming note: I killed the new DKSB facebook page after it got hacked overnight. Fuck that. I don't need to deal with that shit... we're still going strong here, on twitter, and sometimes on Field Gulls, though!

August 27, 2010

Green Revolution Update

I wore my new Touchdown Jeebus jersey out and about yesterday here in Toledo, and I can report a couple of things to y'all:

A) In one store somebody asked me where I got it, and in another, a kid told me it looked "awesome." If people had feelings of revulsion towards it or ran to the nearest eyewash station, they didn't mention it to me.

B) At Cardboard Heroes, which is a sports apparel shop in Toledo's Franklin Park Mall, they had a few bright green Tatupu jerseys for sale. I commented on it, and the clerk said "yeah, we've sold a few... They're very distinctive."

So there you go. Very unscientific, but it looks like the bright green is establishing a beachhead (at least with the younger folks). If YOU like the bright green jerseys, don't just sit there and let them stay "retired." Contact the Seahawks organization and let them know you want to see the Hawks festooned in Slurms MacKenzie's favorite jerseys... Wimmy-Wham-Wham-Wazzle!

Side note: I think the Seahawks are a slight uniform tweak for immortal awesomeness. For the home unis, all I'd do is change the shade of blue on the helmet to the darker blue on the pants and jersey sleeves. For road unis? Dark blue helmet, pants and sleeves with the bright green jerseys.


What do you think, sirs?

August 26, 2010

A Creeping Sense of Impending Doom

I don't know if I've ever been more nervous before a preseason game than I am right now. Every time I close my eyes, all I see is Wrotto missing an assignment, and E.J. Henderson (that fucker is back) tearing up Hasselbeck's knee... but this time he finishes the job. Beck ends up out for the year, and the Seahawks' 2010 season will be Boom. Roasted.

Because I'm not sitting here twiddling my thumbs waiting for Saint Jake to arrive in 2011. I want to win THIS YEAR, and our best chance to do that is with a healthy, unspoiled, upright Hasselbeck under center. I'm out of the broadcast area for Saturday's game, but I'm sure I'll find it streaming somewhere online... For the first time I can remember, a BIG part of me doesn't want to watch.

I feel like Adrian before Rocky fought Ivan Drago. I almost want to scream at Pete Carroll "You can't win!" I CERTAINLY would prefer that Beck not even take the field Saturday. We KNOW he's ready for the Niners in week 1; Why not give Whitehurst 4 quarters and see what we've got?

But I know that's kind of a wuss move, and won't happen. I also know (in this case thankfully) that my instincts, my gut, are wrong A LOT. Adrian was wrong about that Drago fight, and my pissing-myself anxiety is probably unjustified.

Still, I'll be watching with my eyes half covered. Be safe, Matthew. Be safe, Seahawks. Make it to the games that count.

To cheer us all up, here's the training montage from Rocky IV:

and a picture of me with my daughter Lily from earlier today

My Bat-Shit Crazy Fantasy League Rankings

The Fantasy League I run has its live draft on Sunday, and I've made the rules a bit... odd. QB play, special teams and defense are over-emphasized. For example, defensive and return touchdowns are worth 10 points rather than 6, because these TDs tend to have a disproportionate impact on the result of the game. Anyway, here's the projected top 25 players based on my wacky scoring system:

1. Chris Johnson
2. Peyton Manning
3. Maurice Jones-Drew
4. Drew Brees
5. Matt Schaub
6. Jamaal Charles
7. Ray Rice
8. Philip Rivers
9. Frank Gore
10. Adrian Peterson
11. Aaron Rodgers
12. Wes Welker
13. Felix Jones
14. Tony Romo
15. Cedric Benson
16. Larry Fitzgerald
17. Andre Johnson
18. DeSean Jackson
19. Joshua Cribbs
20. Pierre Thomas
21. Darren Sproles
22. Percy Harvin
23. Carson Palmer
24. Brett Favre
25. Baltimore

I realized the way I can have fun playing fantasy is if I make up the rules. Sweet, no?

August 24, 2010

Go Forth and KILL!

I'm a football nerd. The parts of the game I enjoy most are strategy and athletic skill. Ideally, I want to see the Seahawks win by outsmarting the opposition and/or besting them through speed, agility and grace... Caveman ball is fine if it leads to wins, but on balance I prefer my teams to win pretty.

But sometimes, even I succumb to my Lizard Brain. Sometimes, there is an opposing player I so deeply detest that, yes, I root for him to get injured.

One of those players is Brett Favre.

I hope I don't really need to explain WHY I hate him. He's been playing for 20 years, and for, what... 15 or so of those years we've had to put up with his bullshit hick persona and the media flatworms who feed off his personal flaws (which they tirelessly try to convert from bugs into features). For HALF A DECADE we've had to endure his fucking annual ego-stroking "indecision" about whether he should keep playing. No matter how many playoff games he single-handedly pisses away like a disability check at an Indian casino, he is NEVER held responsible by his enablers.

In the cruelest twist, a fan base that loathed this fucker for like 15 years, and knew all about his petty bullcrap antics, is now forced to pretend like they FORGOT how much of a fuck-o this taintlicking unclefucker is.

So, for the good of the land, the Seattle Seahawks must grievously injure Brett Favre this Saturday. For Seahawks fans, who have seen Farve notch 2 of his THREE TOTAL PLAYOFF WINS SINCE 2002 against Seattle (in fact, Favre is the only QB to beat Seattle twice in the playoffs). For Packers fans, who were deeply, cruelly betrayed by this crusty shitstain. For Vikings fans, who I'm sure on some level HATE that they have to root for this sockhamper of a human being. For ALL MANKIND, who will finally be rid of this Mississippi menace if Curry and Bryant go high-low and tear up this assfuck's knee Saturday night.

Am I saying the Seahawks should intentionally try to injure Mr. Wrangler Jeans? Oh Heavens No! That wouldn't be sporting. I say go at him hard and hope for the best :)

Before anyone tsk-tsk's me, let me point out a couple of things: A) If Favre was permanently disabled or paralyzed, even I'd feel bad. I'm not rooting for anything that debilitating... Just career-ending. B) If Favre's knee went all 1984 Curt Warner? Boo-fucking-Hoo. Dude has more money than The Situation and David Lee Roth put together.. He could commission a team of scientists to craft him a pair of T-800 legs.

August 22, 2010

The Expendable Season

2nd Update: Well, Fuck.

UPDATE: Okung appears to only be out 2-4 weeks, so I'm feeling a bit better about things.. but the basic thesis of this post stands: For Seattle to compete for the NFC West title, we need a full, proficient season from our #1 draft choice.

I am well-known as an optimistic Seahawks fan. Even last year, when Mare's FG beat the Niners, I thought the 5-7 Hawks still had a shot at post season play. I'm not known to be a purveyor of gloom and doom...


The Okung injury REALLY casts a dark pall over the Seahawks prospects this season. If he truly does have a high ankle sprain, and could miss two months, our chances of competing for the NFC West title just took a massive hit. Why?

I think it's pretty clear that Seattle's main hope of contending this year largely rested upon a Pro Bowl-level Renaissance for Matthew Hasselbeck. Without Okung there to protect Beck, it's not hard to imagine Patrick Willis fucking up ANOTHER Seahawks season with a blind-side hit in the opener... Even if Beck survives a few weeks of abuse from opposing defenses in Okung's absence, #76's rookie season will likely be stunted and sub-optimal from a developmental standpoint.

The short version of all this? I just went from being CONFIDENT that the Seahawks could win 9 games to HOPING they MIGHT win 9 games. As Liz Lemon might say: Blerg.

In the big picture though, I hope that Seahawks management doesn't succumb to the urge to rush Okung back. It would be idiotic to push one of our franchise's cornerstones back on the field too quickly, particularly in a season where A) the head coach has some degree of job security and B) the franchise QB is 35 and a free agent after this season.

I would never wish ill upon Beck, who is one of my all-time favorite players, but if he goes down we will at least definitively see if Whitehurst can play, and then make a decision about going after a QB in the '11 draft.

Those ESPN bobbleheads like to talk about how NFL coaches break seasons up into "quarters." I think the first quarter of this season will be a fulcrum upon which the future of this franchise pivots... let's look at the realistic best and worst case scenarios:

Best: Hawks take care of SF, Denver and STL and start 3-1. Hasselbeck is protected well, Young Nastyman and Leon: The Professional get the ground game going, and our WR corps plays up to its potential. Even in this rosy (but plausible) scenario, there is no incentive to rush Okung back into action.

Worst: Brutal home loss to the Niners. Road and home beatings from our old AFC West foes. A squeaker of a win at STL. Beck is hurt and/or ineffective. 1-3. Whitehurst takes over under center and starts at Chicago after the bye. With a season already spiraling out of control, it makes sense to wait for Okung's ankle to heal completely.

The bottom line? I'm still hopeful, but I can't shake the fact that my expectations just took a big, crippling blow. Maybe, just maybe, the Seahawks will EXCEED expectations for once?


Packers 27, Seahawks 24

It's 1:30 am out here in the Wilderness of Northwestern Ohio, so I'm going to lazily cut and paste some of my choice tweets from tonights game... share your own thoughts in the comments, dear readers...

(The bad news as I write this is that Russell Okung will miss some time with a sprained ankle... PLEASE not a high ankle sprain! Stay tuned on that, of course.)

-Two opinions that haven't changed tonight: Packers are Super Bowl contenders, and the Seahawks aren't (yet).

-Here's what a lot of ladies were thinking during that Nick Reed interview: Sploosh!

-Mr. Whitehurst, that interception was fucking abysmal. Matt Hasselbeck doesn't have to worry about his job with you making decisions like that.

-Julius Jones: Playing like he'd rather be selling insurance.

-Tyjuan Hagler looks EXACTLY like Todd Bridges. Thankfully he is better at football than Bridges was at acting.

-Might the 2010 Seahawks actually be able to competently execute screen plays? The duece you say!

-Nick Reed, sitting on the bench during Hawthorne interview, looks like he should be starring in a Jack Link's Beef Jerky ad.

-If the defense is physically unable to stop the opposition, it doesn't matter how ear-splittingly loud the Twelve Army is.

-A draw play on 3rd and long? Is The Big Show back in town? (I love you, Coach Holmgren... and I kid because I love).

-Nick Reed feeds upon fear, craps despair and pisses hopelessness.

-NFL ticket exchange! Now ticketmaster can gouge multiple people who buy the SAME ticket! woo!

-Seahawks home blues look disgusting when the players get sweaty... hasn't changed in 8 years.

-Anyone else find the Washington Lottery sponsoring the Seahawks a bit.. awkward? Hey! gamble on the lotto- but certainly not on NFL games!

Your reactions to the game? Let's all pray to God, Jesus, Allah, Gozer, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster that Okung will be back in the line-up soon.

August 21, 2010

Fuck you, Time Warner

Right now I live in my Mother-in-Law's basement (I know, I'm living the dream), and said basement is equipped with Time Warner cable, which means I have to venture out to a sports bar to watch the Seahawks on NFLN tonight. Blerg.

The good news is I'll be live-tweeing the game, which you can follow here.


August 20, 2010

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Slurm-Colored Seahawks Jerseys

Slurms McKenzie could be our mascot! Fuck Blitz!

My latest advertising deal with Qwest High-Speed Internet netted me enough money to buy a new electric lime green John Carlson jersey. Yay! It'll be here next week, delivered from Seattle Team Shop (that's a freebie, boys). I've added a blurb to the right column, so if you're looking to push your wares on my humble little blog, shoot me an email and maybe we can work something out. I don't have a fucking full-time job, and I need money to feed my crippling addiction to Sugar Free Red Bull.

Now I know a lot of you A) hate the bright green jerseys and/or B) think they are "retired." I had to warm up to them too, but for a lot of reasons, not only do I want Carroll to bring them back... I want to make them our permanent, full-time road jerseys.

Why? First of all, they are unique. Yes, perhaps they are also blinding and hideous, but they are certainly special. Our white road jerseys are about as exciting as Amish sex... Eight years ago, we tried to become the first NFL team to sport home and road helmets... Why not try to become the first team without a white jersey in the closet? No chance the NFL would let us do this, but is there really a compelling reason for them to shut it down? Either against a team in white OR a team wearing its colors, the bright greens would be easily discernible from the opposition, yes yes? If I had a copy of Madden handy, I'd mock-up pictures, but alas I don't.

Other people HATE the bright greens, but you know what? Fuck them. Fuck them right in the ear. Their derision and hatred makes me want to rub a ream of coarse, disease-infected lime green fabric in their eyes until they cry sassafras. I am absolutely not above wearing these jerseys as a "fuck you" to the rest of the league. How AWESOME would it be if we won XLV wearing the limes and IT WAS PRESERVED UNTIL THE END OF FUCKING TIME? Suck on that, guardians of football tradition and propriety! On a personal level, I LOVE the idea of wearing one of these to a road game (perhaps this October in Chicago in my case).

Now a lot of people are saying "oh, the bright greens are retired!" Last time I checked, Jim Mora aint drawing much water at the VMAC these days, and until I hear that the retirement is definitively continuing from Pete Carroll, the limes are still in play. I think it's also worth noting that I saw bright green Okung and Tate jerseys at multiple shops in the Seattle area last week. Maybe they aren't intending to wear the limes in a game this season, but I haven't seen any evidence that would convince me that they are permanently mothballed.

What do y'all think? Embrace highlighter-green unis, or let them fade into trivial oblivion?

UPDATE: Photographic proof of the Okung bright green jersey I saw in a store at Bellevue Square...

August 16, 2010

"I Change by Not Changing at All"

I came out to Seattle for a friend's wedding this weekend, and, as usual, someone else's big day semi-forced me into self-examination. People around me are growing up, some people I care deeply about are drifting away from me, while other friends, new and old, surprise by showing how much they care about me. The brother who was a month old when I was dropped off at the Fairhaven dorms will be 17 this month, and wants to go to Western like I did (or UW.. but I'm rooting for WWU).

Change scares the living fuck out of me, which is one reason I hold my (admittedly one-sided) relationship to the Seahawks dear. As R.E.M. sang once, "oceans fall and mountains drift" in my life, but every weekend from September to (hopefully) February, I know there will be a Seahawks game to watch. While the outcome of the games are not predictable, the routines around the games are. I need this.

Even though I was never a Sonics fan, it breaks my heart to see what Supes partisans have gone through... because I know that my connection to my Seahawks is more than just an occasional outlet for barely-veiled male hostility, or an excuse to get fucking hammered. It's not just an interest or a hobby; It's emulsified into my personhood, second only to my loyalty to my wife, children, parents, and friends. You could change my social status, my nationality, even my gender, and I'd be able to piece together "this is who I am." Take away the Seahawks, and the whole rickety jenga pile that is my psyche could easily collapse.

So this connection needs to be maintained and renewed constantly. I worked out my travel plans to hit the VMAC last Thursday, and I came away duly impressed (all the pics are up on flickr). The facility is amazing, the setting is beautiful, and the energy is palpable. My very weak criticisms are mainly that it seemed easier to interact with the players in Cheney, and that the contemporary Hip-Hop soundtrack got a bit monotonous (but I'm a 35-year-old ofay, so who gives a fuck what I think?).

What stood out to me were a couple of isolated moments of negativity... One "fan" near me on the fence line loudly and openly bleated his desire to see Deion Branch grievously injured, mainly because he's been a disappointment since we traded to get him from New England.

Of course Branch hasn't been all we hoped he'd be, but what kind of a spiteful, ignorant, dick-breathed fucktard wishes ill upon on a Seahawks player like that? Even if you don't like a player, shouldn't you wish he stays healthy and plays well? Wouldn't that either A) help the team win or B) increase said player's trade value? As Patton Oswalt once said to a heckler, "you're going to miss everything cool and die angry."

Same thing goes for grown-ass adults who feel entitled to autographs from players at training camp, and spit curdled rage at Seahawks who don't pay appropriate homage to them through penmanship... It was great that Golden Tate came over and signed stuff for folks like my little brother, but if he hadn't, I wouldn't have blamed him. I want him to play well, help the team win, and ideally not be a shitty human being. Whether or not he signs for people doesn't really affect any of those three things I just rattled off... Twelves who choose to be indignant that players would rather go shower after a grueling practice session than scribble illegible blurbs on trinkets REALLY need to rethink their priorities.

I'm sounding like a pissy brat, but overall it was a great experience. As practice ended I got pleasantly accosted by a fan of the blog and by another Seahawks/Red Sox hybrid fan who noticed my Boston cap. If Tamara from Canadian Seahawkers is reading this, I officially confer upon you "dope" status... keep holding it down for the Twelve Army and Red Sox Nation up in Vancouver, m'lady!

Time for me to get some shuteye before flying back east on Monday... If you're interested, I'm also selling my tickets to the Packers game on eBay.

August 10, 2010

Home News

I'm jetting back to the Pacific Northwest tomorrow for my college bestie's wedding this weekend, but I'm also fixin' to take in practice at the VMAC Thursday. My internet access might be spotty, but I'll be posting to twitter via my phone quite a bit... If you aren't already, follow me on twitter here.

I also just posted another piece over on Field Gulls just now... Go check it out!

UPDATE: New look for my trip west, y'all

August 8, 2010

An XL Challenge to my Readers

Since the Leavy admissions the other day, we have TONS of Seahawks fans exhuming the notion that Super Bowl XL was fixed. The most common version of this that I have seen is that at the highest levels of NFL leadership, the decision was made to rig the outcome in favor of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

My challenge to you, particularly to those of you who believe this, is to present a convincing argument as to WHY the NFL would do such a thing.

Don't say it was about money, because there's no plausible connection between the result of XL on the field and the size of the NFL's next set of TV contracts. As I hope you all know, selling broadcast rights accounts for the VAST majority of the NFL's revenue. Merchandise sales create a pittance of dollars compared to what NBC, CBS, FOX, ESPN and DirecTV pay to broadcast the games, so even if your argument is "A Steelers win would create bigger sales of Super Bowl Champions gear," that's laughably out of whack. Why would the NFL risk a criminal conspiracy that could theoretically destroy the popularity of the league (and cost billions), so they could sell a couple million more T-shirts? It simply doesn't track.

Also, if there was an actual conspiracy, who was involved in it? This is a weakness of bat-shit crazy conspiracy theories in general, but in this specific case, how many people would have been involved? Wouldn't the risks of such a conspiracy outweigh the potential benefits?

Finally, a more philosophical point: If you TRULY believe that XL was rigged, why the fuck do you still follow the sport? I'd love to hear the explanations on that one.

Let's use Occam's Razor for a minute: What is more plausible... That there was a criminal conspiracy involving god knows how many people to fix the Super Bowl for nebulous, ill-defined reasons? Or that a group of officials expecting a typical, VIP-heavy Super Bowl crowd were shocked/intimidated by a wildly partisan Pro-Steelers throng in the stands, and simply, cowardly, CHOKED?

I await your cogent arguments, fellow Twelves.

August 6, 2010

"I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game as an official"

If you are a Seahawks fan, Super Bowl XL was one of the most traumatic events of your life. You saw your team outplay the opposition in the NFL's ultimate game, only to see our opportunity to hoist the Lombardi Trophy taken away by callow officials pulling an all-time choke job. No, the fix wasn't in. No, there wasn't a grand conspiracy. Unfortunately, incompetence piled upon indifference was enough to tip the scales Pittsburgh's way.

I've talked about XL many times on these pages before. For the Twelve Army, Bill Leavy is (Grady Little + Steve Bartman)x1000. His apology Friday for blowing multiple calls in XL was shocking, but not comforting for Seahawks fans. In fact, he may have admitted more than he intended. Let's take a look at what Leavy said:

"It was a tough thing for me. I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game and as an official you never want to do that. It left me with a lot of sleepless nights and I think about it constantly. I'll go to my grave wishing that I'd been better. I know that I did my best at that time, but it wasn't good enough. When we make mistakes, you got to step up and own them. It's something that all officials have to deal with, but unfortunately when you have to deal with it in the Super Bowl it's difficult."

Leavy doesn't talk about individual plays, but his direct address of the 4th quarter specifically can only mean one thing: He's GOT to be talking about the mind-meltingly ticky-tack holding call on Sean Locklear in the final quarter of the game. Just to refresh y'all:

The Seahawks trailed 14-10, and were in the middle of what would have been an epic 99-yard go-ahead touchdown drive. The momentum had swung entirely Seattle's direction. The Steelers were half-dead on their feet, and one more body shot would have been the death blow. Matt Hasselbeck dropped back, fired it over the middle, and Jerramy Stevens made a spectacular catch to set up Seattle at the Pittsburgh 1. No one watching that game, no one who could perceive the flow of the action, could have doubted that league MVP Shaun Alexander would have punched it in on the following play, and the Seahawks would have won XL going away...

But there was a flag on the field. Holding. Was it technically a foul? Perhaps. Was it the kind of call that is typically made in an NFL playoff game, or the kind of flag that would have been thrown against the Steelers that day? Fuck. No. In the litany of terrible calls going against the Seahawks that day, that was the single most devastating error by the officials.

Almost certainly, Leavy's apology applies to that THAT call, which makes it an nearly unfathomable admission of failure. I can feel the urge to kill rising yet again.

I guess on some level I welcome Leavy's admission of guilt, and I guess it's nice that the rage of the Twelve Army is in some way validated by this, but still...

FUCK YOU LEAVY!!!! FUUUUUUUUUUCK YOU!!!!!!! (spittle flies at screen, middle fingers stab the sky) FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCKKKKKKK FUCK!!!!

What do you think, sirs?

August 4, 2010

Your 2010 Seahawks Jersey Buying Guide

With training camp in full swing, it's time for those of us with the necessary means to start thinking about which new Seahawks jersey we want to wrap ourselves in this fall. I'm pretty happy with my Hasselbeck home replica, but I'm hoping to score another jersey when I'm out in Seattle next week.

As I've said in this space before, I'm not big on the "replithentic/semi-authentic" jerseys because I don't think you actually get enough added value to make up for the increased delicacy of the garments. Authentic jerseys? If I had $250 to throw around, I'd use it to buy an Xbox 360, not a shirt. Throwbacks can be cool, but those that are readily available to buy are "semi-authentic" and a bit of a pain to take care of properly. Number 12 "fan" jerseys? A personalized jersey with your name on it? Total cop outs in my book.

It takes guts to put yourself out there and plunk $70 on a player's jersey, but it takes some brains to make sure that it's a good investment. What should you look for in a jersey (besides liking the player)?

-Is he any good? (duh)
-Is he at least not an obvious asshole off the field?
-Is he likely to be with the Seahawks for at least a couple more seasons?
-Is everyone else at Qwest going to be wearing the same damn jersey?

With these (and other) criteria in mind, I decided to rank the replica jerseys that are readily available online. I checked NFL Shop, the Seahawks Pro Shop, Seattle Teams, and a couple of other sites... Here's a baker's dozen +1 of jersey choices: Let's count 'em down! (Yeah, it's lame that there don't seem to be Mebane or Forsett replicas easily available online... What other jerseys do you wish were available, y'all?)

14. Leroy Hill
Um... No. Why don't you just go buy a Mike Vick jersey while you're at it?

13. Owen Schmitt
Unless you are into self-injury or from West Virginia, there's really no reason to spend your hard earned Nixon Fun Bucks on Captain Bloodface's jersey.

12. Deion Branch
I used to have a Branch jersey. I like the guy, and I think he is a solid WR when healthy.. Problem is he rarely stays that way. Unless he has a very productive 2010, he aint gonna be in town a year from now.

11. Julius Jones
JJ might not start this year.. Hell, he MIGHT not make the final roster. In any case, I wouldn't bet $70 to $80 on Jones being a Hawk that long.

10. Kelly Jennings
Free agent after this season... Stay away.

9. Russell Okung
As I'm writing this, Okung hasn't yet signed a contract. The longer he waits to get into camp, the less effective he will be this season.. I'd say stay away from his jersey for now.

8. Matt Hasselbeck
I love me some Beck, but it's highly likely that he's not a Seahawk next season. If I didn't already have my Hass jersey, I would wait to see if he gets an extension.

7. Earl Thomas
Thomas is in camp, and already flashing his first-round talent. I'm always hesitant to buy a rookie jersey, but Thomas looks set to be a perennial Pro-Bowler.

6. Golden Tate
I think this kid is going to be a superstar, and frankly the Top Pot thing doesn't dissuade me at all... The best choice if you are willing to buy a rookie's jersey.

5. T.J. Housmandzadeh
Should bounce back from a somewhat disappointing 2009, but you won't really stand out among the sea of dudes and chick dudes who got his jersey last season. Unlikely to be around through the end of his contract in 2013, but should be productive and in Seattle through 2011...

4. Marcus Trufant
An all-time Seahawks great, bound for the Ring of Honor. He's also a Tacoma native, a Wazzu legend, and as far as I know, not a turdy fellow. Also locked up in Seattle through 2013.

3.Lofa Tatupu
Already a Seahawks legend, and wildly popular despite that drunk-driving arrest a couple years back. Tons of people already have his jersey (which is a bit of a deterrent in my book), and he'll be patrolling the middle for the Hawks through 2015.

2. Aaron Curry
Curry didn't set the world on fire last season, but I'm among those who think he's going to go all 1987 Fredd Young on everyone's asses this year. He's also going to be in Seahawks blue through 2014 at least, so unless he starts sucking or gets all rapey and shit, his jersey is a good choice.

1. John Carlson
Great young up-and-coming player, by all accounts a decent guy, and will be a Seahawk at least through 2011. On a personal note, I also met his parents last season. I think it's your best choice, fellow Twelves.