Evolution is a messy process, and never follows a neat, simple, direct path. In just three hours of football, the 2010 Seattle Seahawks crawled out of the primordial ooze of the NFC West, shed the skin of a 7-9 regular season, brandished their new-found talons, and took down the predators at the top of the food chain.
In just three hours of football, the reputation of these Seahawks morphed from weird, sub-par NFL triva question to FUCKING BAD ASS SLAYERS OF CHAMPIONS. All those regular season blowout losses, Hasselbeck interceptions and 3rd-and-short failures were rendered moot. Chicago or Atlanta can delude themselves into a false sense of security by falling back on the ancient history of 2 or more weeks ago, but this is the truth: The REAL Seahawks are the ones who just beat the Saints. All those tribulations from September to Boxing Day? As Liz Phair once sang: "All those other bastards were only practice."
This one instantly goes down as the 2nd biggest win in franchise history, bested only by the 2005 NFC Championship Game. This was better than the divisional playoff upset at Miami back on New Year's Eve 1983, better than the wins over DC in 05 and 07, better even than the "Romo game." In terms of joyous surprise, NOTHING tops this. Even in the '05 NFC Title Game, roughly half of observers thought Seattle would win. This week? Me, a few of my readers, and a smattering of other die-hard Twelves were the only ones giving Seattle a chance.
The two most gratifying parts of this win? The return to relevance of Matthew Hasselbeck and the Twelve Army. Even I was saying Beck was on the way out after this season... After coming up with a career-best sort of day against NOLA, does anyone doubt Hass is back next fall? Yeah, draft the QB of the future- but don't let Matthew end up playing against us for Arizona or San Francisco next season.
There were a LOT of whispers and more about how, just maybe, the atmosphere at Qwest Field wasn't quite as intimidating as it used to be.... Go ask the Saints what they think about that. I wasn't lucky enough to be at this game, but even on the NBC broadcast you could tell the Twelve Army was in post-season form. Just maybe, Seahawks fans will get one more chance to influence a playoff game in two weeks (GO PACKERS!).
Obviously, the play everyone will talk about forever is Marshawn Lynch's 67-yard, 8-tackle-breaking, electrifying, game-clinching TD run. It was a vindication of one of Pete Carroll's HUNDREDS of roster moves this year, just like the standout performances of Raheem Brock, Brandon Stokely, and Mike Williams (among others). It's a shame that NFL Coach of the Year is a regular season award, because Pete Carroll deserves STRONG consideration based solely on today's win.
Y'all know I'm also a Red Sox fan- All I can think about right now is the 2004 BoSox mantra of "Why Not Us?" Why can't the Seahawks win two more games and make it to XLV? Why can't they build on this and beat a vulnerable Atlanta or Chicago team? You might say "yeah, but that's on the road." Who gives a fuck? Everyone said the Saints would win today, and EVERYONE WAS DEAD FUCKING WRONG.
I've never been prouder to be a Seahawks fan, and I've never been prouder of the men and women who make up the organization from Paul Allen down the workers at Qwest and the VMAC. If anyone ever asks you "Why are you a Seahawks fan?"... You show them this game. THAT is why we are fans. This Seahawks thing is our little secret, and oh man... it is a glorious thing to have in your life, isn't it?
And to all the new fans we made today: Welcome! You're in for a helluva fuckin' ride.