May 5, 2014
Welcome To The Empire Business, Twelves.
With Super Bowl XLVIII three months behind us, and the season opener against Green Bay still three long months away, I've been thinking a lot about something I heard a lot of people saying back in February.
"Well, we're just another team now. We're NORMAL."
I'm not here to tell you that it was a bad thing that we won the Super Bowl. Fuck that noise. It's been beyond blissful not just to be World Champions, but to feel all the pain and trauma from thirty years of bitter disappoint simply evaporate. The other day, I had a pleasant and informative conversation about the Hawks WITH A STEELERS FAN. There's no way I could have done that without deteriorating into a sputtering, foul-mouthed buffoon before we won it all. It's FUCKING AWESOME that we won the Super Bowl. Full Stop, End of Line, etc.
I don't know how excited I can possibly be about being "just another team." Yeah, in a lot of ways it sucked to be a Seahawks fan before February 2. But it sure did suck in varied and novel ways, didn't it? We were even special in the way we wallowed in our own weird purgatory of mediocrity. Twelves could always count on being able to compare scars and swap harrowing tales with other Twelves, like some gridiron version of the "USS Indianapolis" scene in Jaws. I don't particularly relish the notion of losing that part of ourselves. I don't want us to turn into the St. Louis Rams: One title, fading more quickly from memory with each passing season, and otherwise? Just another team.
I don't want the Seahawks to become just another team. The good news? They won't be. Just as they were unique in their previous mediocrity, they're poised to build an Emerald City Empire that's worth comparing to the '00s Patriots and '90s Cowboys. This team won't fade into the crowd after winning a single title. They're set to paint the NFL blue, grey and bright green for years to come. Why is that?
Seattle is the youngest team to win the Super Bowl, and they are well-positioned to lock up their "Big three" (Wilson, Sherman and Thomas) with long-term deals over the next two years. ETIII just got paid, Wilson will next year, and if a deal with Sherm can't be reached, he'll get the franchise tag until a new contract can be hammered out. The salary cap makes it incredibly hard to keep a core of Championship players together, but PCJS understand a fundamental, brutal logic: Pay your indispensable assets top dollar, let other players walk if their demands go north of your valuation of them, and fill those gaps in via the draft and, to a lesser extent, free agency. The Seahawks are young, supremely talented, and led by an owner with unlimited resources, a GM with a keen eye for talent, and a coach who is masterful motivator. Would you want to root for any other organization in sports right now? To re-purpose a line from our Bay Area rivals, No one has it better than the Twelve Army.
There's another factor that will help keep us at or near the top of the NFL food chain for a healthy spell: Disrespect. This has always been a motivating factor for the Twelve Army and the Seahawks themselves, and despite winning the Super Bowl, irksome displays of disrespect continue to manifest themselves. The NFL only gave us four national television games next season, which seems like a low number for a defending Champion. Only one of those four games will be played at Seahawks Stadium, evidently because the NFL and its television partners are tired of broadcasting Seattle beatdowns to huge national TV audiences. In addition, Seattle was given a ridiculously early Week 4 bye. I'm ALMOST surprised that we weren't sent to London this fall as well.
Super Bowl winners are supposed to attract bandwagon fans, right? I haven't seen ANY of that out here in Ohio. It's almost as if the rest of country has conspired to ignore what happened at MetLife Stadium last February. It's almost like it didn't count because it was that team from South Alaska, and it leaves me saltier than Rip Torn on a raging bender. I feel it. Y'all feel it. And it'll make us scream THAT much louder at every game this season.
Are we gonna win 5 straight Super Bowls or something? Probably not. But no team in football is better suited to dominate America's Game this decade than your Seattle Seahawks. Like Walter White, they've gone from Mr. Chips to Scarface (without all the illegal drugs and mass murder, of course). They'll be ANYTHING BUT "just another team."
What do you think, sirs?