I am 28 years old and have lived here my entire life. I was born in Redmond, raised in Bellevue, attended college at the University of Washington, and have since resided everywhere from Renton to Lynnwood. I can tell you about the best bars in the south end, how to avoid traffic in the north end, and get you in and out of Bellevue Square in under an hour on Christmas Eve. I have never left this place. I’ve never wanted to leave this place. The Greater Seattle area is my home and it always will be. I love it here. For better or worse, I will always love it here.
I’ll admit that a large part of what has entrenched me in this region, besides family and friends, are our sports teams. It doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. Over the course of my lifetime, none of our teams have enjoyed much success. There have been a handful of playoff trips here and there, a couple title appearances, a number of memorable players, and modest streaks of decency. But outside of Husky Football’s 1991 National Championship, we’ve never taken home a major sports crown since I’ve been alive. And even when Washington was anointed No. 1 over two decades ago, I was just seven years of age. I’d be lying if I told you I remembered it. What I’ve known, for the most part, is futility. And yes, it has been painful at times.
Memorable occasions have been few and far between. I can count on two hands the number of joyously significant sports moments I’ve paid witness to in Seattle. To tally the disappointments, however, I’d need to line up at least a hundred other fully-digited individuals. There have been so many letdowns that it hardly seems fair. Thankfully, I don’t exactly remember the frustrations, themselves — I’ve managed to repress those memories, it seems.
I do remember the aftermaths, though. The moments when I’d sit alone and wonder what the hell went wrong. When I’d grab a basketball and go shoot at the park until the sun went down. When I’d fill a notepad with my thoughts, then let it fester before throwing it away. I swear, if nothing else, this tragic run of championship abstinence has made me who I am today. If we had been winners my whole life, who knows if I’d have any desire to write. Writing, often times, is an outlet for pain. And as a lifelong Seattle sports fan, I’ve endured my fair share of heartbreaks.
I’m not the only one, of course. There are so many of you out there, just like me, who have dealt with our collective failures in sports in your own ways. It’s one of those things that unite us, that only those of us who were raised to worship at the altar of the Seattle sports scene can fully understand. Those from out of town who come here, who try to relate (bless their hearts), simply cannot. We appreciate your efforts to empathize, but this is something unique to the lifers, a wound we share that has never quite healed. Seattle sports fans have withstood dismay in spectacularly tragic fashion. It is that tragedy that brings us together.
Each passing year, we cynically write off our ballclubs at the first signs of ineptitude. We scoff as they sink to the bottom of the standings — “Knew it would happen. It always happens.” — then feign apathy as the remainder of a lost season plays out before dwindling crowds and only semi-interested onlookers.
But we’re fools for this sort of thing. Our fabricated indifference is a coping mechanism. How else do you deal with a broken record that keeps playing a horrible track? At some point, you tune out. Or at least pretend to. In doing so, you invite criticism — “You guys don’t even care about your teams. Seattle is a horrible sports town. Does anyone there do anything but drink coffee and listen to grunge? When was the last time you even went to a game? You guys don’t even deserve the teams you have. You’re not real fans. You don’t care.” — and turn yourself into a punching bag for any outsider who wants to kick you when you’re down.
When your teams fail time and time again to back you up, to represent you, to actually look like they give a damn, how can you fire back? You can’t. You just can’t. And so you keep faking listlessness, keep conjuring up detachment and disregard, even while your insides burn and your heart breaks more and more for these teams you can’t even will to victory. It sucks. It hurts.
But there is this year.
But there are the Seahawks.
There is always a “but.” Thank GOD for the “but.” And the Seahawks, these Seahawks, this year’s Seahawks — OUR SEAHAWKS! – are this tale’s “but.”
There have been other Seattle sports teams, as we know, that have enjoyed success.
There have been other Seattle sports teams that, to date, have delved farther into the postseason.
There have been other Seattle sports teams that have bubbled with captivating personalities, that have won in equally remarkable fashion, that have stumped critics, quieted detractors, and whipped our entire region into a frenzy.
But this team, quite frankly, has it all.
There is something special about these Seahawks. From Russell Wilson’s stoically consistent leadership, to Richard Sherman’s unwavering brashness, to Marshawn Lynch’s never-say-die running style, to Pete Carroll’s effervescent ebullience, to every player and every thing and every moment, every win, every tackle, every run, every pass, and every catch in-between. This is the team. This is the one. And my goodness, how many teams have we encountered that we thought could have been, should have been, that special, once-in-a-lifetime team? Too many to name.
We’ve been down this road before, only to encounter dead-ends. We’ve been told yes, only to experience no. We’ve been given hope when there was no basis for its arrival. We’ve been teased and taunted, tantalized and tormented. We have lost for so, so long. Wouldn’t it be nice to finally be the winners? Wouldn’t it be nice to finally see what the view from the top looks like?
This is the team that can take us there. They just have it. Whatever it is, they’ve got it. And everyone knows it. You can’t explain it. But you feel it when you cheer, when you giggle, when you high-five a friend, when you put on your blue-and-green shirt with the helmet on it. It’s confidence mixed with happiness mixed with swagger mixed with excitement and some other magical juju that can’t be defined. It’s amazing and awesome all at once. And it’s what they’re giving to us right now.
I hope we do it. I think we can do it. I know they believe they can do it, and that’s good enough for me.
We are Seattle, these are our Seahawks, we just won a playoff game, and we’re not gonna quit. We want one thing and one thing only: the Lombardi Trophy. And yeah, we deserve it. Go Hawks.
Filed under: Seahawks
1) Stop Em’ Cold
- The Redskins averaged 169 yards per game on the ground throughout the season. It’s no secret they are going to try and establish a consistent, time-consuming game plan to offset Seattle’s new found high-octane offense. It will be up to the ‘Hawks D to create 3rd and Long situations for RG3, and take Alfred Morris out of the equation by going up early and being stout at the point of attack to force Washington into obvious passing situations where the Seahawks can best utilize their speed in their pass rush. Look for Chris Clemons, and Bruce Irvin to come up big in this one.
2) Wear Em’ Out
- On the other side of the ball, the Redskins gave up an average of 378 yards to opposing offenses on the year. This bodes well for a peaking Seattle Offense, and its power run game. While Washington did hold opponents to just under a 100 yards per game on the ground, look for the ‘Hawks to ‘Feed the Beast’, and rely heavily on Marshawn Lynch as well as it’s vertical passing game out of play-action to keep the aging Redskins defense on the field for extended periods of time in the fridgid, bone aching cold of FedEx Field. I would look for Sidney Rice to benefit greatly in this matchup, as he must be frustrated from the lack of looks he received against St. Louis on top of the fact the Redskins pass-D has been giving up an average of almost 300 yards per game. Could be a big game for the Seahawks Wideouts.
- While there are distinct differences in schematics, and approach, the Seahawks and Redskins adopt very similar philosophies when it comes to their offensive game plans. Run the football, utilize their youth and athleticism at the Quarterback position, and maintain field position and game clock dominance. In doing this, both teams have the advantage of having seen a version of what the other team is going to be doing come Sunday, to a degree, in practice. While the Redskins utilize the Pistol formation in most of its read-option packages, the Seahawks Defense will have had a good amount of familiarity in defending this type of offense, as it does so a weekly basis at the VMAC. While both teams can claim to have this advantage, I think it can only bolster a team’s chances on the road in the playoffs.
4) Road Warriors
- The Seahawks haven’t won on the road since 1983. It’s been well documented in the lead up to the game. It’s true, winning on the road in the playoffs, let alone in the regular season, is a tough hill to climb. If the Seahawks have any chance of moving on in the tournament, they’ll have to knock down the 29 year old roadblock that stands in their way in our Nation’s Capitol. One could cite numerous occasions when a Wild Card team has ran the house on the road to end up in the Big Game. The Giants did it just recently. But it’s not commonplace. Not by a long shot. However, this Seattle team has found a new resilience, a new gusto, born in the last 2 drives in Chicago and has been with them ever since. With the Smooth Operator in Wilson at the helm, and a ferocious Defense on the road, the formula for success is in place. It’s up to the Seahawks to execute it.
5) Silence is Golden
- While the 12th Man will be represented with a strong showing in Washington D.C., it will still be a rough go for the ‘Hawks if the 85-90,000+ at FedEx Field get going in a frenzy. As is true with any road game, the deflation of any home team momentum goes a long way to the overall feel and ‘buzz’ of the game. Look for the Seahawks to get things going early with a shot or 2 down the field to muzzle the efforts of the Redskins faithful. A nice completion to a streaking Golden Tate off of play-action on 2nd and 2 would definitely put a hush on the largest capacity venue in the NFL. Hey, maybe the 12th Man will turn it into a home game of sorts for the visiting Hawks. One can only hope…Best of luck to our beloved Seahawks, and all my 12th Men and Women around the world. I 3elieve. HAWKS!!
It’s Week 16 and the playoff scenario is starting to become clearer and clearer as we go. Here’s a quick look at where we are as we approach the big matchup against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football.
- It’s simple. Beat the 49ers, and the Hawks are in as a Wild Card. If the Niners lose in Week 17 to Arizona at home and the Seahawks beat the Rams, then the ‘Hawks claim the NFC West crown, and at least one home field playoff game against the 6th seed. The Bears, Vikings, and Giants are prime contenders for this endeavor.
- There is a scenario where if the Seahawks claim the NFC West, and the Green Bay Packers lose one of their remaining games, then the ‘Hawks end up the #2 Seed, and a First Round Bye.
- If the ‘Hawks beat the 49ers on Sunday Night, but the ‘Niners win in Week 17, then the ‘Hawks still go in as the 5 seed, and likely will play at either Dallas, or Washington. The Giants are also a possibility here.
- If the ‘Hawks lose on Sunday Night, but beat the Rams in Week 17, they still go in as the 5 seed against either the Redskins, or Cowboys, on the road. The Giants are a possibility as well, depending on how the NFC East shakes out.
- I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t include all scenarios, including the worst of them. If the Seahawks lose out, then it will take some help from other teams to get in as the 6th seed. Namely a Redskins victory over the Cowboys in Week 17 in what is looking like one of the games of the year.
This is where the Seahawks sit going into what may be one of the greatest games in the HISTORY of this franchise. Every day leading up to Sunday Night is becoming longer than the last, as I’m sure my fellow 12th Men and Women are just aching to open what could be the greatest Holiday present given to its fans in years. Playoffs baby, Playoffs.
Just when I said the Seattle Seahawks are not going to make the playoffs, guess what happens. Not only do the Seahawks defeat the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night, the four teams directly ahead of them in the wild card standings all lose on Sunday. Go figure.
The Seahawks’ chances are still remote, but they are significantly better than they were a week ago. Almost every outcome on Sunday worked in Seattle’s favor, with the possible exception of Arizona defeating Dallas. Even victories by the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers helped Seattle. Green Bay’s victory increased the likelihood that they will be the #1 seed in the NFC. San Francisco locked up the NFC West Championship, and with the possibility of overtaking the Packers diminishing, the 49ers may have very little to play for when they face the Seahawks on Christmas Eve.
The Seahawks have some control of their destiny. They play Chicago in Soldier Field in just under two weeks, and play the season finale against Arizona that could conceivably have playoff implications.
Let’s take a look at the teams currently ahead of Seattle in playoff seeding. The Chicago Bears are currently the #5 seed, but they have lost their last two and are reeling from the losses of Jay Cutler and Matt Forte to injury. There is definitely a sense of panic here in Chicago. The Bears travel to Denver this Sunday to face the inexplicably hot Broncos. The game against the Seahawks the next week could be significant for both teams.
The Atlanta Falcons are the #6 seed as of today. The Falcons are going to be the hardest team for the Seahawks to overtake because Atlanta defeated Seattle in early October. Atlanta has had an up and down season, but their remaining schedule is soft and the team is fairly healthy. … [visit site to read more]