August 27, 2012
Of the beginning, of the beginning...
One of my favorite threads that weaves through Mad Men is Don Draper's tendency to throw his support behind people/things/trends that would eventually end up on the wrong side of history- He backed Nixon over Kennedy... Liston over Ali... He couldn't even make it all the way through The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" without turning that damn racket off. Of course, Don is also open to new possibilities and opportunities when they present themselves, even if it might take him a bit of time to come around. Russell Wilson is Peggy Olson to Pete Carroll's Draper, in a way. The unconventional talent that almost everyone dismisses for an irrelevant, reflexive reason- But HE sees it, and he isn't blinded by tradition or convention.
In my last few (hilarious in retrospect) blog posts, I've hammered away at one big idea: Russell Wilson might be our future, but Matt Flynn was the QB we needed to lead us here in the present. I was Draper backing Nixon or Liston...
Then DangeRuss happened, and now I'm SO glad I didn't already drop $100 on a Matt Flynn jersey. Wilson's spectacular showing at Arrowhead last Friday swayed me- I sincerely think that he has cleanly won the starting job, and he has justified both Pete Carroll's belief in his abilities and (most of) the hype surrounding him. The ONLY thing that should possibly make someone skeptical is his height, and he's showing that being 5'10" won't be a significant issue. On every other metric (Arm strength, field awareness, athleticism, leadership abilities, etc) the kid has the potential to be a 10-year starter.. And yes, to be the QB that finally leads Seattle to a Super Bowl Victory.
I'm excited about the dawn of the RW3 era, but doubt also gnaws at me- I can't shake the feeling that simply based on Wilson's inevitable rookie learning curve, we'll lose one or two more games with him under center in 2012 than we would if Flynn was the quarterback. The difference between 10-6 and 11-5 or 12-4 could cost us a first round bye, a home playoff game, or even straight-up cost us a playoff spot. This team is primed to win NOW, not in 2013 or 2014- and I worry that in such a competitive NFC field, a rookie QB figuring it out on the job might not be a luxury we can afford...
But... Fuck it! Wilson might just figure out quickly, and have a Roethlisberger-or-Marino-esque rookie season. Even if he struggles, that defense and our ground attack may allow Wilson to hide his rookie-year deficiencies. If he (implausibly) goes full-on Kelly Stouffer on us, I have no doubt that Coach Carroll will yank the kid in favor of Flynn before the playoffs drift out of reach for Seattle.
With Tarvaris Jackson's trade to Buffalo, it's clear that Flynn is staying put with the Seahawks through 2012. My gut feeling is Flynn will have to win a game or two for us this season- Not because I think Wilson will stink, but because his style of play might get him hurt. I think Flynn will be ready for that opportunity and seize it- So if you're one of those Wilson enthusiasts who is inexplicably shitting on Matt Flynn, cut it the fuck out. If Wilson struggles badly, Flynn might still get a real shot in Seattle (but if Wilson shines, I expect to see Flynn traded next Spring).
Pete Carroll has once again shown his disdain for the NFL's conventional wisdom, and for the unwritten rules of the game. I'd want ANY Seahawks coach to win a Super Bowl, but if Carroll is the one who actually pulls it off, it would be even more meaningful and resonant. It would be a victory for the outsiders, the visionaries, and the iconoclasts who refuse to bow to unthinking tradition.
Pete Carroll has bet his Seahawks career on Russell Wilson. They are now likely to be linked forever in either joint victory or collective failure. On way or another, it's going to be a spectacular, compelling ride.
What do you think, sirs?