April 30, 2012

Walk Unafraid with PCJS

This is the wrong place to look for informed draft analysis. I don't watch college football with any sort of focus, and the ONLY Seahawks draftee that I had heard of before last weekend was QB Russell Wilson. Anything that I would tell you about the 10 men Seattle just drafted would just be regurgitation of something I read somewhere else. What can I tell you today in the aftermath of the draft?

Pete and John have a plan. They are sticking to it. And they don't give a fuck what you, I or Mel Kiper Jr. think. They understand on a fundamental level that the sole criteria they'll be judged on is postseason success- not April draft grades or fanpanics that flare up on talk radio or twitter. They have a constituency of one: Paul Allen. Until his patience wears thin, PCJS will be given wide latitude to build this team as they see fit.

Think about how LITTLE is left of the 2009 Seahawks. Hell, even the uniforms are different now. By kickoff weekend this September, there will probably be about a half-dozen players left on our roster who donned those bright green MoraHawks jerseys. Naysayers can point to Carroll's 14-18 regular season record, but it takes breathtaking ignorance to miss the progress that has already been made: A vastly younger, faster, more aggressive roster that is led by a defense already among the league's top 10 units. PCJS' 2012 draft was designed with a singular purpose: to finish the construction of a championship-level defense. To paraphrase Emperor Palpatine- This fall the NFL shall witness the firepower of this fully armed and fully operational battle station!

Are PCJS gambling a bit on the offense progressing with pieces they already have on hand? Doy. They are betting that the offensive line regresses back to a normal level of overall health. They are betting that Matt Flynn or Russell Wilson emerges as the QB that can shepherd us to playoff success (sorry T-Jack... Don't see you making the Kickoff Weekend roster. I hope you prove me wrong). They are betting that Lynch and Turbin can tenderize enemy defenses, and that multiple solid contributors emerge from the crowded WR corps. But if the defense fulfills its frightening potential, the offense doesn't need to be dominant for Seattle to become a Super Bowl contender- It just needs to be above average (particularly at avoiding giveaways and controlling the ball).

Do you think ANYONE working at ESPN understands this? Do you think any of them has spent more than a few minutes learning about our team in recent months? No. They're too busy stalking New York back-up QBs to truly understand anything going down in South Alaska. So when PCJS fail to step the narrow path they've laid, the Seahawks get blasted on every "platform" at the World Wide Leader's disposal.

The great news is that PCJS completely, blissfully ignore this crap. Why shouldn't we do likewise? Why should ANY Twelve internalize this un-informed negativity, let alone AGREE with it?

A few minor summer transactions aside, the 2012 Seahawks have been assembled. I wish I could see them take the field tomorrow, because this will be a season not just of growth, but of triumph. Be joyful, Twelves. Let Fearless be your middle name.

April 24, 2012

Am I About to Flip-Flop on "12th Man" jerseys?

Over four years ago, near the dawn of this blog, I wrote this:

"To me, the 12 jersey is a cop out; It tells me you don't have the onions to commit to a current player on the roster. The jersey you wear says a lot, and to me a #12 jersey says you don't really like anyone on the team all that much."

Up until today, that was still pretty much my point of view. What has me wavering? What has me thinking about getting a #12 "FAN" jersey for the first time since I got a cheapo KIRO promotional version back in the 80s?

A) The cheapest Nike Seahawks jerseys are going to be not $70, not $80, but $100. Damn you to hell, Phil Knight. Even with the gift card money I got for my birthday, that's pricey.

B) I'm underemployed and not exactly flush with cash these days.

C) Even if I pinpoint a player who is young (or at least not OLD) and at the start of his contract, that player could still get hurt... and I HATE having to wear an injured player's jersey. This is why I've typically had at least two jerseys in my "rotation."

Since I'm not likely to be able to afford a 2nd jersey for a spell, the arguments in favor of a #12 jersey are starting to look more persuasive: Mainly the unique relationship between the team and its fans (The 12th Man Flag ceremony, the retirement of the #12, etc), and the simple fact that #12 isn't going to get injured, cut, or traded. If one takes proper care of their #12 jersey, it'll be "current" for a good long while.

Just to dwell on the tradition for a bit: The Seahawks are still the only NFL team that has retired the number 12 for the fans. If Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers came to the Seahawks, they'd have to switch numbers (unless they could successfully bribe all of us). That's pretty fucking awesome, and if anyone asks why you're wearing a jersey with "FAN" on the back, that's an opportunity to drop said awesomeness upon that Philistine.

I'm trying HARD to talk myself into this, aren't I? I'm not really convincing myself about it, though. What do y'all think? Does the price tag of the new Nike jerseys make a #12 model more appealing to you? Who do you think is closer to the truth? 2008 me or 2012 me? Deep down, I still want a Lynch jersey... but dammit, running backs get hurt. A lot.

What do you think, sirs?

April 3, 2012

This Is What Champions Will Wear

"Marge, I know what I hate... and I don't hate this." -C. Montgomery Burns

Here's tons of photos of the new Nike Seahawks uniforms.

Let's get this out first: I don't like Nike. I kinda HATE Nike. They're fairly evil, even for a huge multi-national corporation. I also don't like their overall impact on the sports world, on both substantive matters and on the comparatively superficial topic of how teams dress themselves. I wear New Balance sneakers personally, and the ONLY way that I buy Nike gear is if it's Seahawks or Red Sox merchandise.

But now Nike has the NFL contract, so here we are. I'm not nearly hard-core enough to give up buying new Seahawks stuff until this contract between Nike and the NFL lapses, so I'm now Phil Knight's captive audience. So what do I think of these new unis?

In my perfect world, the Seahawks would have copied the Buffalo Bills and reverted to something close to their 1983-2001 look. Obviously, Nike and the team decided to go in another direction, and a very vocal cadre of Twelves HATE the new look. Let me tell you why I like it, and why I think I'll grow to love it.

-It's forward-looking. To some degree I see myself as a Seahawks historian, and I can be as susceptible to nostalgia as anyone else. But as Don Draper once said, nostalgia literally means "the pain from an old wound." MANY wounds were inflicted on us Twelves while the Seahawks were cloaked in those classical, comforting unis. Coach Carroll and any player on the roster would tell you this: These Seahawks are about the future, not the past. The new uniforms underline that point nicely.

-They are FIERCE. I dug the 2002-2011 unis, but let's be blunt: They inspired fear in no one. These new Nike duds look MENACING. Like I said earlier today on twitter, the new unis make the Seahawks look like an evil football team from the 2030s (who are possibly replicants or Cyberball-style robots) who have traveled back in time to lay waste to today's NFL. That sounds like a lot of fun to me.

-We are going to win, and win big, wearing them. You can sense how excited the players are about these new uniforms just by reading their twitter feeds. Add that to the reality that this is a young team on the rise, and their imminent success is going to sell a SHIT-TON of Nike jerseys. Winning is what will convert the critics of these uniforms. Even for skeptics and haters, very soon these uniforms will be intimately connected to rousing, spectacular success... Like, 1997-98-Denver-Broncos-in-new-Nike-unis success.

Personally, I hope the main home look will be blue jerseys paired with grey pants, and if I had my way, we'd ditch the whites entirely and just go all-grey on the road. Once the jerseys are for sale, I plan to get a home blue Marshawn Lynch model. If I have the means (the necessary means) I will follow that with a Kam Chancellor "Wolf Grey" alternate jersey.

I think the new uniforms are bold, futuristic, and FAR better than I had feared Nike would crap out. Despite what some are claiming, we DON'T look like Oregon now- These unis are much cleaner and more tightly designed that what the Ducks wear. I've already started happily imagining the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl in these uniforms... and I have no doubt about the fact that we WILL win it all soon, and it will be in these fancy new garments.

What do you think, sirs?