January 17, 2011
All I Need
It was hard to motivate myself to write today- My wife finally got out of the hospital (stupid pneumonia)- but I'm also fighting the paralyzing desolation and sadness I feel at the end of any Seahawks season. Part of the price of emotional investment in a sports team is spectacular emptiness when the months-long struggle of a season finally ends, and this time around the end, while not unexpected, still hit me like an Earl Thomas safety blitz. I had convinced myself that the impossible dream was within reach- That our ragtag 7-9 crew could beat the odds and make it all the way to the Super Bowl. Reality mashed my face into the shredded turf of Soldier Field yesterday- The 2010 Seahawks gave us everything they had, but it wasn't enough.
The good news is that when we look back on 2010, we won't remember the particulars of the 10 losses- They'll sort of just fade into a dull blur over time. But what will remain crystal clear? Punking out the Niners on Kickoff Weekend... Leon Washington sailing into the end zone and helping us upset the Chargers... Mike Williams stabbing the ball out of midair over and over... Earl Thomas and Russell Okung kick-starting long, productive Seattle careers... A sunny fall day in Chicago that ended in unexpected triumph... A sweep of the two-time defending division champion Cardinals... Lofa streaking into the end zone against Carolina... Charlie Whitehurst leading us to an unlikely division-title-clinching win... and then...
One glorious January afternoon that saw The Hasselbeck Renaissance, the massive, earth-rattling roar of the Twelve Army, and Marshawn Lynch obliterating every fucking New Orleans Saint foolish enough to get in his way. In the process, the Seahawks pulled off the biggest upset in NFL postseason history and dignified what was easily the strangest seasons in franchise history. Instead of going down as a weird footnote that happened to be the best of a weak NFC West field, the Seahawks knocked out the World Champs and reached the divisional playoffs for only the 7th time in team history. These Seahawks weren't of elite talent, but they fought til they were burger. After the humiliating surrender of the MoraHawks, that was more than enough for this Soldier of Twelve.
What of the future? I don't think there will be a significant work stoppage, but there will be plenty of aggravating uncertainty before a new CBA is reached. The Seahawks are pointed in the right direction, but the brutal truth is that the team could improve next fall and miss the playoffs, or it could even take a step back in year two of the Carroll era. Eventually though, I sincerely believe that Pete Carroll will bring a Vince Lombardi Trophy back to the VMAC.
Thank you for an amazing season, Seahawks... and thank YOU for reading this year. Don't worry, I'll still be posting regularly- My obsession doesn't abate much when the season ends.