November 30, 2010

Climbing Over a VERY Low Bar

I still desperately want the Seahawks to make the playoffs, but it'd be nice if they got to 8-8 and avoided the eternal label of WORST PLAYOFF TEAM EVER (hell, Football Outsiders is tracking this right now). Three of the four previous 8-8 playoff teams even WON a playoff game (we were victimized by the 8-8 2004 Rams.. Remember? Catch the ball, Bobby!).

The (pretty sad) truth is that the Seahawks can probably take the NFC West with a win over Carolina and a win over St. Louis in week 17. Yup. 7-9 will probably do it. Here's why:

Seattle has three major advantages in this division race going into the last 5 games:

1. They still get to play Carolina (STL already notched their win over the Panthers)
2. They have a 3-1 divisional record
3. They get STL at home on the season's final Sunday

So let's game this out- First, you can eliminate the Cardinals (duh) and even the Niners. San Fran has lost Frank Gore, and still has road games against Green Bay, San Diego, and St. Louis- Even without a loss to Seattle, that's 10 L's.

Here's STL's next 4 games: @AZ, @NO, KC, SF- I'll say they go W, L, L, W (2-2). That puts them at 7-8 going into week 17.

Let's be pessimistic and say the Hawks beat Carolina, but then lose 3 straight to SF, ATL and TB. They'd be 6-9, but still in a "win and in" situation against STL. Why? Seattle would split the season series with the Rams with a final Sunday win, making the next tiebreaker divisional record- Seattle would win THAT tiebreaker, since STL would then be 3-3 in the NFC West (and the Hawks would be 4-2).

The craziest thing? Unless Seattle or St. Louis has a 2-game lead after week 16 (super unlikely), that last game will decide the division. If the Rams come into the final Sunday a game BEHIND Seattle, they can force a tie with a win at Qwest, and take the division based on a head-to-head sweep. So, weirdly- If the teams are tied after week 15, the week 16 games (STL v SF and TB v SEA) will almost certainly be MEANINGLESS (in terms of deciding the division). Crazy, no?

Of course this gets ALL fucked up if the Seahawks lose to Carolina or the Niners pull the monumental upset at Lambeau this Sunday. But the bottom line is this: If the Seahawks beat the 1-10 Panthers on Sunday, they are virtually guaranteed a chance to win the NFC West at Qwest on January 2nd.

Feel free to challenge my assumptions or correct my math in the comments, fellow Twelves.

November 29, 2010

Chiefs 42, Seahawks 24

"We should all dance jaunty little jigs if the Hawks win half their games. An improvement of three games is significant, and would show the Twelve Army that the Carroll era is off to a solid start..." -Me, on this blog, May 2, 2010

There are many different ways Seahawks fans deal with adversity. Some (thankfully the minority) react like this hulking fat fuck in Section 125 yesterday: Giving the finger to his own team, cursing them, and braying "boooooo!" like some sort of farm animal. My wife always tells me that she knows a Seahawks game is going poorly when I'm quiet. This is true, but inside, I'm a swirling vortex of terrible emotions. Yesterday, standing down in borrowed seats in 125, I alternated between screaming on almost every Chiefs snap, cheering wildly on Seattle's few positive plays, and mostly just being silently stunned, on the verge of tears (or a panic attack). I deluded myself that we could still win, even when we were down 35-24 with 10 minutes left, but that slim, false hope was pounded out of me with another final, punishing Chiefs TD drive.

Kansas City whipped our collective asses yesterday. Yes, you can point to positives like two blocked kicks, solid overall special teams play, and the continuing emergence of Ben Obomanu... but overall, this game kicked me out of dreamland, and forced me to admit this: The 2010 Seahawks are not a very good team.

I know many of you come here for an optimistic perspective, and I'm not saying that all hope is lost. Today's Seahawks aren't among the NFL elite, but that doesn't mean they can't improve over the final five games, or that they can't win the NFC West, or even that they can't shock us and still finish with a winning record. I'm still happy to spread the Word of Sobchak: "Nothing is Fucked, Dude."

However, we've reached the point where every game is a death struggle, even next week's tussle with the 1-10 Panthers. Of course we SHOULD win, but if we don't play better than we did against KC, Carolina could steal one from us. If that happens? Ugh. It's just too terrible to contemplate.

But this team is still 3-1 in the NFC West. They can still win their last two division games, and coupled with a win over the Panthers, get to 8-8. BMW and Colin Cole will eventually return, hopefully in time to help the Hawks claw back to the level of football Seattle displayed against San Diego and Chicago.

I put that quote from May up at the top mostly as a reminder to myself: After two years of agonizingly bad, demoralizing football from the Seahawks, an 8-8 finish would be measurable, significant progress. If that came along with an NFC West title and another banner to hang from the Qwest rafters? Awesome.

Right now, I feel like I have a boulder of sorrow sitting on my chest. It's going to be there all week, and I desperately hope the Seahawks can remove it with a win over Carolina. They can, but it won't happen automatically. Beat the Panthers, and there's still meaningful football in December. There'd be a winnable game against the detestable 49ers, and hopefully, a game for the NFC West title against the Rams at Qwest week 17.

In happier news, my little brother James Swinyard and his Kamiakin Braves are headed to the Washington State 3A Championship after beating Capital 45-18 on Saturday. The title tilt is against Bellevue at 4 pm Friday in the Tacoma Dome, and can be seen on TV in the Pacific Northwest on Fox Sports Northwest.

At the risk of offending my readers in Bellevue: GO BRAVES! :)

November 25, 2010

Something is Beautiful and True

I've been going to Seahawks games since I was 8 years old, and I've been lucky enough to go to at least one home game almost every year since 1983. Aside from the dark times of the Behring years, professional football in Seattle has consistently been a strikingly intense experience.

I've been to NFL games in half a dozen stadiums outside Seattle, and none of them had an atmosphere that even approached the Kingdome or Qwest Field. It's not just the noise- Under the Nordstrom and Allen regimes, ownership has also been aggressive about providing a great environment for Seahawks fans. Fans in Denver or Kansas City might have good reason to disagree, but you'd have a hard time convincing me that there's a more exciting fan experience in the NFL than what we enjoy 8 times a year at Qwest Field.

One of the many things I'm thankful for today is that I get to be right in the middle of the Qwest Field Maelstrom on Sunday. I get to see old friends and fans of the blog at Touchdown City... I get to go down to field level and see the players up close... I get to feel the chilly air coming off Elliott Bay... I get to add my voice to the din assaulting Matt Cassell and the rest of the Chiefs' eardrums... I'll get to see another Seahawks win, and be part of the throngs chanting "SEA! HAWKS!" on the ramps after the game.

I'll be at the game with my little brother, who I've been taking to games since he was 10- Particularly since I live 2000 miles away now, these days I spend with him watching the Seahawks taken on additional significance (side note: He's a junior in High School, and plays football for Kamiakin out here in Kennewick- They play Capitol in the State 3A semi-finals here in the Tri-Cities Saturday- Go Braves!). In a few years, I'll start taking my own kids to Seahawks games, and hopefully the chain will continue unbroken...

When you strip everything else away, what is most intoxicating about a game at Qwest Field? What makes me so excited about returning to my seats above the south end zone? It's the fact that when I'm screaming my guts out this Sunday, I'll forget all of the nasty little things about adulthood, and go back to being an 8-year-old, and believing that anything is possible.

GO SEAHAWKS! (and Happy Thanksgiving)

November 24, 2010

Next time we talk, it'll be on pacific time...

There's my tickets for Sunday's game. I'm flying out of Detroit in a few hours, stopping in Minneapolis, then arriving in Pasco late tonight. Then it's Thanksgiving with my family, avoiding all commercial areas on Black Friday, watching my little brother's Kamiakin Braves whomp on the Capital Cougars in the State 3A semifinals on Saturday, then the Seahawks game at Qwest on Sunday.

I'll also be on 102.5 KZOK again Friday morning jabbering about the Seahawks- Haven't nailed down an exact time yet, but it should be between 7:30 and 8 am.

I'll be posting more if I have time between now and Sunday- Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

November 21, 2010

Saints 34, Seahawks 19

"Wanna do this again in 7 weeks at my place?"

There was plenty going on today to angry up the blood of any Seahawks fan: Marshawn Lynch's awful multi-fumble performance, Mike Carey's apparent officiating vendetta against Seattle, and our defense's inability to stop Drew Brees or some undrafted free-agent running back. Also, we'll have to wait and see how serious the injuries are to Mike Williams and Marcus Trufant as the week goes on- Hopefully they can both go against KC.

But be honest: This didn't feel like the other Seahawks losses this season. Matt Hasselbeck resembled his 2007 self for the 2nd week in a row, BMW and Obo had great games catching the rock, and even in the face of big deficits, Seattle fought for 60 minutes. This team has eradicated the mental weakness of 2008-2009; There is a clear difference between being beaten by a team with more talent and big-game experience and simply collapsing at the first serious sign of adversity. Today's game fell into that first category; Hell yes I'm upset we lost, and I'm pissed that we didn't offer up a better performance, but frankly Brees and the Saints do this to A LOT of teams- It's not a sign of inherent, unfixable weakness that they beat us by 15 points today.

The Saints were clearly the better team TODAY, but in 7 weeks, in Seattle, with a healthy roster and the Twelve Army there for back up? In that scenario, these Seahawks can WIN. Over these next six games, I don't think we'll see these Seahawks backslide. We'll see them develop. They'll learn, gain wisdom, and improve. They might even steal a game everyone expects them to lose. The great news is that 3 wins will probably be enough to clinch a playoff spot; I think we win 4 out the last 6 to enter the playoffs with a respectable 9-7 mark (wins over KC, CAR and STL at home, plus a victory at SF would do it).

A rematch with the Saints at Qwest is a real possibility in the Wild Card game (though if I could pick our opponent, it'd be the Chicago Bears), and that's a daunting assignment, but not an impossible one. This week's game against Kansas City is mildly challenging, but still one Seattle SHOULD win. KC's last road win was back in week 2. At Cleveland. By 2. I'm not exactly shaking in mortal terror at the idea of hosting them at Qwest.

I'd be lying if I said next week was a must-win, but a victory over a 6-4 foe would quiet SOME of the haters, and possibly expand our division lead to two games (STL starts a 3-game road swing at Denver; The Rams still haven't won on the road this season). Also, I'll be at the game up in section 325, and the Hawks are 13-1 with me in attendance at our new stadium... I'm not flying cross-country to see that mark go to 13-2.

Sidebar: after Matt Hasselbeck passed for 688 yards and no picks over the last two games, isn't it time for the Front Office to start seriously thinking about offering him a contract extension? We obviously still need to acquire his successor in the offseason, but why not keep Hass as the bridge/mentor to the new guy?

Sidebar 2: Brian Billick really shouldn't be allowed to talk into a microphone and describe things to people. He's almost as bad as Matt Millen, but at least Billick can at least say he led a team to a Super Bowl win rather than an 0-16 season.

Sidebar 3: I'm all about protecting QBs, but the flag on Brock for "hitting" Brees was abysmal officiating, and reeked of NBA-style protection of star players. That's not a road you want to start going down, NFL.

What do you think, sirs?

November 18, 2010

Back on the Air

Friday morning I'll be returning to the airwaves for the first time since my days DJing/hosting talk shows/doing basketball color commentary at KUGS-FM Bellingham back in the '90s... At 7 am Friday morning I'll be on 102.5 KZOK in Seattle talking about the Seahawks and this Sunday's game (I assume). You can listen on your radio, or online at their website... Spread the word!

November 17, 2010

Reflections on a Game of Little Importance

There are exactly two scenarios where I'd be sitting here thunderstruck and gobsmacked Sunday evening after the Saints game, thinking "well, THAT was a big deal..."

A) The Seahawks win! Not only would a 6-4 mark give Seattle a hammer-lock on the NFC West (with their closest competition likely STL at 4-6 after a home loss to Atlanta), but it would allow us fans to start thinking bigger than winning the division and hosting a Wild Card game. A win in New Orleans would also immeasurably change the narrative of the national football press regarding the Seahawks for the better.

B) The Seahawks not only lose, but suffer another rash of injuries. The most devastating possibility is Hasselbeck aggravating his wrist injury, leaving our playoff hopes in the hands of Charlie Whitehurst.

A mere loss, even if it's a blowout, simply wouldn't be that big of a deal. Yeah, if we get blown out, I'll be upset (like I am after every loss); Every Twelve will be. Some people are talking about this as a "must win" in terms of our chances of going beyond simply winning the NFC West, but I think that applies much more to the mentality of us Twelves than anything tangible about what might happen in the playoffs two months from now.

I really believe these are no longer the mentally fragile Seahawks we've seen at so many points in the past; even if they get outplayed Sunday, I doubt that would have ANY discernible impact on a possible rematch with New Orleans in the playoffs, or on how the Seahawks would play against any post-season opponent. Sure, we'll hear a lot of shit talked about our boys if they lose on Sunday, but I can fight through my bruised ego and hurt feelings with the knowledge that we still are in a great position to make the playoffs.

Even if Seattle loses, they'll likely be all alone in first at 5-5, because in addition to STL's tough assignment against the Falcons, the Cardinals have to go to Arrowhead and face a pissed KC team, and the Niners host the 6-3 Bucs. It's reasonable to think the whole division goes 0-4 Sunday- embarrassing on one level, but on balance good news for the Seahawks.

Obviously, the TEAM isn't looking at Sunday's game this way. That would be fucking stupid. I have no doubt they'll hit the Superdome turf with the same intensity they brought to Soldier Field and University of Phoenix Stadium, and offer up a competitive performance... But the simple fact is that our primary goal is to win our division, and a loss Sunday can really only knock us off the track towards that goal if we suffer additional, significant injuries.

I guess my message to all you Twelves this week is to take a breath, relax, and appreciate the great position the team is in now: Building towards the future, but with a real chance for success this season, regardless of Sunday's result.

If the Hawks actually win? Then, shit will have gotten mad real.

What do you think, sirs?

November 14, 2010

Seahawks 36, Cardinals 18

A lot of people didn't think that this was going to happen. A lot of people thought the Seahawks would just shrug and accept a lost season, like they did last year under Jim Mora's leadership. When Arizona jumped out to an early 7-0 nothing lead, you could FEEL the murmurs of "Same Old Seahawks" from Blaine to Walla Walla.

But memories are short. The same thing happened in Chicago last month, with the Seahawks falling behind early in a game no one really gave them a fighting chance to win. What happened in that game? My memory isn't what it used to be, but I think we won (against a team that is 6-3 and atop their division). Today the Seahawks played with fury, and won in a building where they were previously 0-4.

Yes, the Seahawks should have won this one by about 35-40 points. Yes, the Cardinals are a ragged collection of talentless turds and reprobates. There's plenty of stuff for Coach Carroll to correct in practice this week, but he's already succeeded in changing the mindset of a team that accepted losing far too easily over the last two seasons. Mora was wrong. This team didn't need "dirtbags." They needed leadership that developed mental toughness, and the creation of an attitude that doesn't accept any less than full effort. They also needed a lot of way better players, and Carroll/Schneider are in the process of remaking Seattle's roster. The fact that the Seahawks are all alone in 1st place in the middle of an all-out roster demolition/rebuilding is nothing short of amazing.

Seattle has just a 1-game lead in the NFC West, but they have a couple of big advantages over their divisional competitors: The Hawks are 3-1 in NFC West play, and have already notched two road wins (while the developing Rams haven't yet won a single road game). Eight wins, if they are the right ones, will get Seattle its 7th division title in franchise history.

The big stories today were Matt Hasselbeck, Mike Williams and Aaron Curry. Despite breaking a bone is his left wrist, Beck had his best game since 2007, passing for 333 yards, 1 TD and ZERO interceptions. If he keeps this up over the final 7 games, we may have to seriously consider bringing ReeBeck back in 2011. BMW had a ridiculous 145 yards on 11 catches (including one of the best catches we've seen in the NFL this season), and continued his march not just toward NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors, but towards a fairly big contract in the offseason (which better be an extension with the Seahawks).

Aaron Curry undoubtedly had the best day of his career, and the entire Seahawks defense played with a wounded, angry pride after getting road-hauled for the past two weeks. It was a fun afternoon of football, and there will be a few more of these over the next 7+ weeks.

The Seahawks won their 5th game today. They won 5 games ALL of last season. That's progress, Holmes.. and we're going to see a lot more progress over the next couple of months.

If you'll excuse me, I have to chug some NyQuil and crawl into bed (stupid stomach flu)... Have at it in the comments, yo!

November 11, 2010

More Than a Game

20 years ago today, this happened:

I've written about this amazing moment in this space before, but in this current period of angst for the Twelve Army I thought I'd go a bit deeper into why this meant so much to me...

I was 15, and going through an incredibly lame period in my life. My parents were splitting up, but that was actually some of the BETTER news in my life. I was never close to my Dad, and my parents were absolutely miserable together by that point, so my father leaving the scene was a fairly welcome development. The worse news was that we were bankrupt (good move buying that RV and that pontoon boat, dad!), and we were being forced to sell our house in Richland.

When I've written about this before, I've noted that the Chiefs game was happening during an Open House being held by our Realtor, and I refused to vacate my Seahawks cave in the basement to watch the game somewhere else. Why? It's pretty clear to me now: Everything else in my life was uncertainty, instability, and bone-deep fear. The one thing I could count on every week was the three hours I'd get to spend with the Seattle Seahawks, and I'd be damned if I was going to give that up.

I remember as that game wore on, I fell into a deep, unfathomable sadness. It was an ugly, fairly boring game, but it looked like we might pull it out holding a 10-9 lead in the 3rd quarter. Then came one of Derrick Thomas' record-breaking sacks that day, forcing Krieg to fumble... KC recovered in the end zone for a TD, and even though there was a quarter left to play, the game and the season felt lost. We would fall to 3-6, and all realistic hope for the post season would die.

Every one of Thomas' sacks hit not just Dave Krieg, but me as well. Not only were we going to lose, but an opposing player was going to break records against us. I could already feel the taunts that would be hurled at me the next day in school. I was at that pivot point where the Seahawks went from being relief from the drudgery of my life as a high school dork to pushing me further into depression and despair...

Then those last 48 seconds... Then Krieg slipping away from Thomas on the final play... The perfect pass... Skansi's amazing catch in traffic... Seahawks win! Catharsis! Ecstasy!

I floated on air for a week... The Seahawks rose up and made their last 7 games meaningful; I even got to watch them beat Barry Sanders and the Lions from the 100 level of the Kingdome on the season's final Sunday. Seattle would miss the playoffs on a tiebreaker, but I still cherish my memories of the 1990 season.

Right now I'm underemployed and living with my in-laws. Things aren't as bad as they were for me in 1990, but I still NEED that three hours with the Seahawks every week. Every day I wake up thinking "Yes! One day closer to Sunday!" I need them to win at Arizona, and make the last two months of the season meaningful.

I want to sit at Qwest Field on January 2nd, and watch the Seahawks fight for their playoff lives while I scream myself hoarse. Anything more than that is a bonus. Maybe my expectations are too low; It's more likely that I just have a well-developed ability to fool myself into thinking the best about the Seahawks... because facing stupid reality is just too depressing most of the time.

What do you think, sirs?

November 8, 2010

The Sprint

I'm not here today to feed you bullshit, wild-eyed optimism. The Seahawks are teetering on the brink of utter, catastrophic collapse. They desperately need key players like Russell Okung, Brandon Mebane, and Matt Hasselbeck back on the field THIS WEEK, and they MUST win one of these next two games on the road. Obviously, there's a lower degree of difficulty to beating the Cardinals than the Super Bowl Champion Saints.

Our lofty dreams of home field advantage and the Super Bowl have dissolved in a 74-10 fortnight of demolition, but that doesn't mean all hope is lost. Seattle is still tied for first in the NFC West at 4-4, and there's no compelling reason to think the Niners, Cardinals or Rams are going to magically conjure up a 5-game winning streak this year. It's going to be a brutal (and ugly) war of attrition in the NFC West the rest of the way, and Seattle's hopes lie primarily on two things happening:

A) That the worst of the injury epidemic is over, and Seattle will get healthier (and better) over the next two months.

B) That Matt Hasselbeck can outplay Derek Anderson and Troy Smith, and at least fight Sam Bradford to a draw at Qwest Field in week 17.

Before we delve into particulars about the Seahawks, let's look at our division foes:

49ers: 2-6 right now; projected final record? 5-11
There's a lot of yapping about the Niners getting back into the divisional race, but can you really see them beating Tampa Bay? Green Bay? San Diego? When they meet the Hawks in week 14, I have them coming in at 4-8.. If Seattle can't beat a 4-8 team regardless of venue, our problems are even deeper than I imagined.

Cardinals: 3-5 right now; projected final record? 7-9
I'd love to give AZ a worse record than this, but look at their schedule- After playing (and losing) to Seattle next week, then likely falling at KC, they get a procession of potentially easy W's: Denver, Carolina, Dallas, etc.

Rams: 4-4 right now; projected final record? 8-8
I think that the Rams will solve their issues on the road to a some degree, but not enough to win at Qwest Field in week 17. I've got them winning games at Denver and Arizona, as well as beating the Chiefs and Niners at their dome. They'll lose to the Niners, Falcons and Saints before the de-facto playoff game at Qwest January 2nd.

Seahawks: 4-4 right now; Projected final record? 8-8, NFC West Champs.
I'm trying my best to not be a raging homer, so I'm not going to predict wins over playoff-caliber teams like the Saints, Chiefs, Falcons or Bucs at this point. I think it's plausible that the Seahawks will improve/get healthy enough to bring down one or more of these teams, but that's an argument for another time.

Right now I have the Seahawks winning divisional games at Arizona and San Fransisco, a home game against Carolina, and of course the finale at Qwest against the Rams.

Why do the Seahawks advance? They'd end up with a better divisional record than STL (It'd be impossible for the Rams to beat or match a 5-1 divisional mark). The skeptics out there probably scoff at the notion we can win at AZ or SF, but these people probably doubt Seattle will win ANY more games this season (so fuck em!). It hasn't been THAT long since the Hawks went to Chicago and knocked off the now-5-3 Bears... Why couldn't we defeat the mediocre-at-best Cards or Niners?

Some of you are groaning at the notion of making the playoffs as an 8-8 division winner.. To you I say: Grow the fuck up. Getting a home playoff game isn't something that should be dismissed lightly... and guess what? Three of the four 8-8 teams to make the playoffs WON A PLAYOFF GAME (04 Rams, 04 Vikings, 08 Chargers).. So I'm not going to let the misplaced pride of some members of our fan base shame me into dismissing the desire for another championship banner hanging from the Qwest Field rafters.

What do you think, sirs?

November 7, 2010

Giants 41, Seahawks 7

Losses are depressing. Losses like today? They are soul-shaking. They conjure up all sorts of negative memories; A loss as humiliating as today's makes me think back to horrible childhood embarrassments.... The girls who dumped me, that time I had an uncontrollable spasm of farting in gym class after eating a McRib, that girl I dated from the trailer park who gave me head lice... Everything bad feels like it's immediately happening, right now, all over again. This was the kind of loss that makes you think "Why do I do this? Why do I get so emotionally invested in something I cannot control, and about half the time makes me feel like complete, utter dogshit?"

The best thing I can say is: This game is over, and there will still be another game next week (and, thank god, a meaningful game). We just endured the worst Seahawks loss ever at Qwest Field, but we are still here. I'm depressed, borderline despondent, but I'll shake it off to some degree as the week goes on and be right back here ready to watch us take it to Arizona.

I don't really have much to say about today's game. Even fielding a depleted lineup, even against an excellent Giants team, 41-7 at home is inexcusable. The offense is approaching 1992 levels of ineptitude, and is unlikely to be a team strength this year even with healthy personnel. We needed to dominate on special teams and win the turnover battle, and we didn't come close to either goal.

Whitehurst looked OK, but Hasselbeck will surely start next week in Arizona unless he fails his post-concussion tests again this week. As long as the Seahawks are in playoff contention (and yes, they still are), and as long as Matthew is healthy, he needs to start at QB. Presumably, we'll get healthier this week, and field a team that can compete and win next Sunday in Glendale. It's now an 8-game season, and the good news is that we start this season tied for first place in the NFC West.

Looking forward, we have a winnable game against a 3-5 team that is absolutely doomed because of their abysmal quarterback play. Even after the Giants debacle, this game at the Cards is one that we should be able to win. If we are fortunate, we will have players like Hasselbeck, Okung, and Mebane back on the the field, and begin the process of obscuring the painful memories of this awful, endless afternoon of despair.

I'm in a dark, ugly place right now. But I'm still here. I still have faith that the Seahawks can fulfill the promise I saw in them all the way back in April. Their goals are still very much within their grasp, and they still have this Solider of Twelve behind them.

We will survive, and eventually, we will win. *Sigh*

November 4, 2010

You're Up, Charlie

Charlie Whitehurst will start at QB for the Seahawks this Sunday after Matt Hasselbeck was not physically cleared to play following his concussion in Oakland. This means a number of things:

1. I'll be wearing my bright green Carlson jersey Sunday, since I have a weird aversion to wearing the jersey of an injured player.

2. I don't think this really impacts our chances of winning on Sunday very much; It was going to be up to the defense, special teams and Twelve Army anyway. Whitehurst just needs to avoid turnovers... If he actually jump starts the offense, that's be a HUGE bonus.

3. It's tempting to make the comparison to the switch from Zorn to Krieg in '83. Going into a week 8 home game, Seattle was 4-3, and Zorn wasn't exactly playing at an all-pro level. Krieg replaced Zorn at halftime of that Steelers game, and never looked back, leading Seattle to the playoffs and starting at QB for most of the following decade. While I certainly hope Whitehurst plays that well, the more likely scenario is the return of a healthy Hasselbeck under center for the Arizona game.

4. Offensively, the key is going to be getting the running game going to take pressure off Whitehurst. This is exactly why we traded for Lynch; Hopefully Beast Mode and Young Nastyman combine for 35-40 carries and open up play-action opportunities for Buddy Christ to find BMW and/or Deon deep.

5. As a Hasselbeck loyalist, I'm a bit torn. I'd prefer the Seahawks to win behind a healthy, productive Beck, but more than anything I want to WIN- period. If CW plays great and gives us a better chance to win, I will fully support him being named the starter for the remainder of this season. I'm oddly energized by this move, and I hope the same goes for all the fans at Qwest Sunday. If the offense gets introduced, I hope Charlie draws the biggest cheers- He needs all the help we can give him.

What do you think, sirs?

November 3, 2010

Why We'll Win

Usually, I'll leave the X's and O's talk to sites like Field Gulls and Hawkblogger, who are both better at the high-end football strategy and statistical stuff. But I'm looking around, and I'm not seeing much in terms of hope for a victory this Sunday. The mighty Giants are rolling into Qwest, and the Seahawks are beat-up, far from full-strength, and coming off an embarrassing blowout road loss.

Sounds like the situation after week 2, doesn't it? Weren't the talented Chargers supposed to truck us? I'm here to tell you the Seahawks will win Sunday, and they will do it much the same way they took down San Diego a few weeks ago. Let's look at some numbers that break in Seattle's FAVOR (feel free to use all this as ammo against the haters this week)

-According to Football Outsider's DVOA rankings, the Seahawks have the best Special Teams unit in the NFL, while New York's is next-to-last. Seattle's win on Sunday will include Jon Ryan pinning the Giants deep, and Leon Washington setting up a short field for Hasselbeck and the offense. It will probably also include multiple long FGs from Mare, and a bushel of touchbacks. A special teams takeaway or touchdown? That could be the clincher for Seattle.

-Speaking of "ball security," only the Panthers and Cardinals have barfed up more turnovers than the 21 the Giants have surrendered. A Seattle win is going to include winning the turnover battle, probably by a +2 or greater margin.

-Under Coughlin, the Giants are 3-3 coming off bye weeks. They are also only 3-4 on the road in the Pacific Time Zone during the Coughlin era. Not exactly fearsome history, huh?

-The biggest thing? Qwest Field. Playing in front of the Twelve Army just makes the Seahawks a smidgen faster, stronger, and BETTER... While making the opposition a bit slower, weaker, and WORSE. The Giants know this well, but I doubt they are going to show up with a solution to the problem this Sunday. A raucous, NFC-Championship type atmosphere will help lead the Seahawks to an upset win.

-Plus, it's a 50/50 proposition that it'll rain... I can't see rain as anything but another advantage for Seattle.

The formula that beat the Chargers can and WILL work to beat the Giants. Go forth and spread the word, minions!

November 1, 2010

Mark Schlereth is a Piss-Stained, Nine-Year-Old Bully

Anyone with working eyeballs and access to the internet knows this: The Seahawks SUCKED yesterday. There's no other way to spin it. Yup, those Oakland fuckers put the boots to us.. big time.

Still, there's no excuse for an ESPN on-air personality, someone who is ostensibly an OBJECTIVE, PROFESSIONAL JOURNALIST, tweeting this:

markschlereth: Just watched the Raiders crush the Sea about dominating the LOS!

Sea. Chickens. What... The... FUCK? If you are a Twelve, you know this as common schoolyard taunt flung at us by haters and opposing fans. It is not something that can be taken as anything but a raw, vile insult by a Seahawks fan. It's also childish, immature, and trite.... and it was dug back up by an ESPN personality who, it should be restated, is supposed to be an OBJECTIVE, PROFESSIONAL JOURNALIST. Soooooo... this was my reply:

DKSB17: @markschlereth Sea Chickens? Fuck you, dude. God damn overrated pants-pissing piece of shit.

(Yes, Schlereth admits to intentionally pissing himself during games when he played for the Broncos... Yuk!)

DKSB17: Former Bronco + incompetent ESPN bobblehead @markschlereth just called the #seahawks "Sea Chickens." Join me in telling him to fuck off

As I wrote on twitter, I highly doubt that Schlereth would EVER refer to another NFL team in such starkly negative terms. Can you really see him calling Dallas the Cowgirls? Even with that team at 1-6? Can you see him calling DC's team the Deadskins, even after that debacle in Detroit yesterday? No, you fucking can't.

I can take neglect from ESPN. I can even take criticism after we play like ass. What I can't take is incompetent, overpaid, under-informed bobbleheads going OUT OF THEIR WAY to insult the Seahawks (who, by the way- have a winning record, lead their division, and STILL HAVE A BETTER RECORD THAN OAKLAND!).

More tweets from the asshead:

As a northwest guy we used to call them the Sea Chickens all the time! Wasn't supposed to be disrespectful but they did get trucked!

Seahawks fan, do you want to talk trash? Bring it

@DKSB17 boohoo!

Let's unpack this: No, you moron... It's not OK for you to call the Seahawks the Sea Chickens just because you are a "Northwest Guy." (side note: he grew up in Alaska and went to college in Idaho... no disrespect to Twelves in either state, but the fucker isn't even from Washington state.) In some ways, it's WORSE. That means you just remind me of every piece of shit who taunted me after Seahawks losses in grade school. Yup, that's your level of discourse: Grade school dipshit.

Since when is it acceptable for an OBJECTIVE, PROFESSIONAL JOURNALIST to "talk trash" to viewers/fans/possible sources of ESPN revenue? Also, his witty retort to me? Nothing but class, professionalism, and wit.

I hope that unhousebroken shitheel reads this. You are an embarrassment to ESPN and to your whole profession. I sincerely hope you get fired and end up in some backwater doing shitty day-time sports talk radio to eke out a living.

Fuck you very much.

If y'all want to put some pressure on him, markschlereth is his twitter account, and you can email ESPN's ombudsman here.