August 19, 2013
A Horse Meat Appetizer
As I watched Saturday night's televised humiliation of the Denver Broncos, I had a thought that had never before occurred to me while watching a preseason game...
"Damn. I REALLY wish I was at this game."
In 30 years of watching the Seahawks, I have exactly TWO vivid memories of preseason football. Strangely enough, they both involve the Indianapolis Colts. In 1998, I was at the Hawks/Colts match-up in the Kingdome, and that was memorable for two reasons. First, Peyton Manning threw a touchdown pass on his first NFL snap. Secondly, the halftime entertainment (from a dog-and-Frisbee outfit called Team Zulu) quickly took on a vibe of uncontrolled chaos when the canine performers got... well... amorous. In 2006, I caught a Seahawks preseason game at the old RCA Dome (pics here), and my main memory of that one was heckling Jerome Bettis as he prepped for the NBC pregame show.
To the extent that ANY preseason game can have a lasting impact, Saturday night's Hawks victory was the closest you'll ever get. Seahawks Stadium was packed and the Twelve Army was boisterous, Seattle was facing a top XLVIII contender from the AFC, and (for a half, at least) both teams approached the game with a regular-season level of intensity. When both sets of starters headed to the locker room, it was 33-7 Seahawks. Even the most optimistic Twelve (raises hand) couldn't have predicted that level of domination, but that's what we got, and it left me in a state of blissful delirium.
Of course, there are things to criticize about Seattle's performance. Peyton Manning and the Denver starting offense moved the ball up and down the field with ease, and our pass rush still seems to be one of the team's few obvious weaknesses (for the time being). Other than that, Saturday's outing was an untrammeled triumph for the blue, silver and green.
The defense atoned for surrendering too many yards by forcing turnovers at key moments (including Brandon Browner's scintillating 106-yard scoop-and score), and Seattle's special teams easily outclassed their Denver counterparts. Russell Wilson looked regular-season sharp in limited action, and Jermaine Kearse's brace of scores highlighted the progress he's made over the past year into a potentially dangerous playmaker. Golden Tate also seems ready for a big year as he plays for a new contract, mixing in a shift 33-yard punt return with his pair of catches for 42 yards. Back on the defensive side of the ball, Kam Chancellor impressed with 11 tackles and a fumble recovery. The Seattle D forced four turnovers, and once the regular season starts, they are likely to transmogrify a healthy number of those takaways into touchdowns.
Preseason caveats aside, the Seahawks have spectacularly exceeded expectations thus far, routing their first two opponents by an aggregate score of 71-20. Once these games have turned into matchups of back-ups, Seattle's reserves have obliterated the opposition. This is a testament to the vast amount of talent PCJS have accumulated, and other teams will attack our castoffs with the fervor of Finding Nemo's gulls (MINE! MINE! MINE! shouts Gus Bradley).
Have any of you ever had that much fun watching a preseason game? I know I haven't. In three weeks, we start a regular season that will make us Twelves feel like children on a four-month tour of Disneyland, Space Camp, Hogwart's and Jurassic Park. September 8th can't get here quickly enough, can it?
What do you think, sirs?