Sports Corner

I’m a little bit disappointed with the Seattle Seahawks. You see… I was getting jazzed for yet another 7-9, 8-8, or 9-7 record … the Seattle Seahawks franchise holding the NFL record for such records. It’s sort of like this: The Chicago Cubs fan secretly wants the Cubs to continue losing, and in their heart of hearts a few years ago were glad when Steve Bartman interfered with what would have been a key out in what would have thrown them into the World Series. To have it otherwise would be to destroy the identity. I believe a Seattle Seahawks fan needs their team to finish with a deadeningly average record… which basically entails that the team loses such big games as they managed to win a week ago.

In case you don’t remember, or didn’t care to begin with: the Seahawks snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Their offense struggled for 59 minutes of the game. Bill Purcells was content to allow his team to run down the clock on toward a 10 to 3 victory… for basically the entire freaking game. A statement of defiance: “We’re not even going to give you the dignity of losing in a blowout!” And then… the final minute… like a Sphynx rising from the ashes, touchdown, kick-off, Interception, field goal, Victory. The crowd at Seattle’s fabled Generic Corporate Conglomerate Stadium goes wild!

How do I console myself after something like that? With the knowledge that this team has been through this before. And before. And before. Check out this malarky!:

During the offseason, Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander, an unsigned “franchise” player who considered holding out of training camp, kept taking strange calls from his teammates. He was intrigued.

“I got calls during mini-camp saying, ‘Shaun, it’s different, I’m telling you,’ ” Alexander said following Sunday’s improbable 13-10 come-from-behind victory over the Cowboys. “I’d asked several different guys, ‘How’s practicing going?’ They’d say, ‘Dude, there is something different about this team.’ There is a little bit more maturity, a little bit more friendship, a little bit more ‘I got your back.’ “[…]

“It’s tough to articulate,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said of the different feeling about this edition of the Seahawks. “It’s a feeling that things are just different than they’ve been here in the past. I know a lot of us have always taken pride in being a Seahawk, and taken pride in doing our jobs. We’re probably a little bit closer as a team, closer as a group.

Examine the Seahawks’s games this season — the manner they lost in their two losses and the way they nearly gave away that game against Atlanta (in a “there’s something similar about this team” feel) and I wonder how this “new feeling” that the team felt managed to hide itself until either their victory against the Rams or their victory againt Dallas — Hence, these statements come across a bold-faced lie and just another attempt to sell tickets.

In fact, go back in time a year to just before the team’s melt down to the Rams — which threw the team back toward a 9 and 7 season… go back to the first Holmgren-run season where the team started 8-2, before stumbling to another brilliant 9-7 season… go back to the Warren Moon era, two seasons, the second where they stampeded their way to a 3-0 record with blow-out victories… (and the first season featuring a game where I very distinctly recall an exciting victory over the Oakland Raiders where they won despite a whole mass of things going wrong for the team as being called “a game the old Seahawks would have lost” — which is to say, exactly the same thing said about that last victory over the Dallas Cowboys.) Incidentally, the team went 8-8 both seasons.

I am convinced you will get the same article template and player-speechlet for every one of those seasons at various games… sometimes with a caveat that “this just feels different from those faux-success fits and starts they had in the past.) I wish I had the fortitude to dredge such articles up, but you will just have to trust me that they exist.

Therein lies my solace and assurance that the Seahawks will manage to muddle their way to a 7-9, 8-8, or 9-7 season. 10-6, if you must… even though that blows the whole “single digit middling” psychology.

So the New Orleans Saints are going to be moving to Oklahoma City or Los Angeles (or Oklahoma City on the way to Los Angeles)? Sure, there are assurances that they’re not moving… but such was the case for the Cleveland Browns, (even though they got a “Cleveland Browns” franchise back — and even a claim to the rich history of mediocrity that the Cleveland Browns have — they lost a franchise for a handful of years as the team moved to Baltimore.) That’s just great! I like how a Hurricane can just blow your city’s football franchise away! (Oh, and supposing this goes down: chalk up another great “Sports Illustrated Cover Curse” moment.)

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