I hate losing. I once sat in a 1991 Toyota Previa in the Factoria Square parking lot and bawled for an hour because I had pitched poorly in a Little League game and had cost my team a victory. My family went inside to eat dinner and I stayed in the van, refusing to eat, refusing to move. I don’t do well with defeat. I never have. Even now, there is little that can be done to assuage me when my team so much as drops a rec basketball game. I will either a) sit in grim silence for an entire car ride home, or b) verbally break down every single thing that went wrong on our failed quest for triumph. My friends deserve a lot of credit for dealing with that version of me that, to this day, struggles to cope with losing.
I guess in many ways it’s ironic that I am a Seattle sports fans — I don’t know how to lose, and seemingly all my teams do is just that. My whole life, I’ve encountered failure from these entities I hold so dear to me, and yet I’ve never learned how to accept the bitter taste of defeat. I sat through an entire childhood of Seahawks futility, labored through thousands (literally, thousands) of Mariner losses, had seats in the upper level for every home game of the only 0-12 season in University of Washington football history, then paid witness to the ultimate heartbreak when the Sonics were taken from us and moved to Oklahoma City.
When I started this website and began writing in a public forum, I didn’t really know what would happen next. On the day I embarked upon this journey — November 12th, 2008, officially — Seattle was in a rut. We were only a couple months removed from losing the Sonics, in the midst of that fateful 0-12 Husky football campaign, had just suffered through a 100-loss Mariners season, and were on the verge of watching the Seahawks put together a miserable 4-12 finish. Things were worse than usual and I felt compelled to share my emotions. For me, it was the only way to cope with, at that time, 24 years of misery come to a head.
Over the course of four-and-a-half years, I’ve witnessed firsthand what bonding over tragedy truly looks like. We tend to think of the loss of human life as one of the few instances where the term “tragedy” applies. On a much smaller (and undoubtedly, less important) scale, however, losing a game, a playoff berth, or a team is viewed as a tragedy in the microcosmic world of your typical sports fan. Knowing that, Seattle sports fans must be some of the most grief-stricken people in the history of organized athletics. We should be miserable. At all times. And occasionally we do get that way. But for all the shit we go through so frequently, there is this perpetual hope existing amongst all of us that bears mentioning. It is not at all insignificant in its existence.
I remember the day the Sonics left town back in 2008. I didn’t mourn that day, or anytime shortly thereafter. It took me until the opening day of the ’08-’09 season to realize that we weren’t getting our team back anytime soon. Up to that point, I had refused to accept the inevitable. I just could not do it. That might make me the least credible person in the world when it comes to saying what I’m about to say, but screw it, I’ll say it anyway.
I may be naive. I may be on an island. I may be the only one who still believes after the events of Monday afternoon that Seattle is destined to get its NBA team back. But I truly have faith that this good thing, this return, is going to happen. I have no sound logic behind my faith, because really, that’s not what faith is. Faith is believing in something not knowing if that thing actually exists. Faith is blind and sometimes stupid and often irrational and possibly inane. But faith is necessary. Faith exists to give us hope and reason to get up each morning. Faith exists to make us smile even though we’re sad, to persevere when times are tough. I have faith that, even though the NBA has told us we won’t get someone else’s basketball team on this day, we will still get our Sonics back.
On this day, things kind of suck. We’re hurting, and no one wants to hurt. We’ve been down this road before, this path to what appears to be yet another tragic ending. All along, though, we’ve never given up. This city and its fans have pulled together time and time again for reasons unknown. We’ve bonded in moments of adversity on countless occasions and we’ve done so with little more than faith holding us together. I don’t really know what it means to be truly exceptional, but I like to think that Seattle sports fans are exactly that. We don’t settle for the tragedy of losing. We fall, and then we rise again. Every single time. So why should this time be any different?
If the NBA spurns us — if the NBA spurns Seattle and Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer and all the good people who have made this new arena we’re going to build a reality — it will be a blow to our collective psyche that I don’t want to try to process right now. It appears today that the NBA may be one step closer to disappointing us, but I like to think there’s something else going on, something good, that maybe we don’t know about yet.
I have this unreasonable amount of hope for us. I know that. I may be foolish for that. Whatever. When you’ve been through as much crap as we have, there really is no other way to approach obstacles as they present themselves.
I believe in Seattle. I believe in Seattle’s sports fans. We are strong individually and even stronger together. We’re destined for good, I just know it.
So I leave you with this clip. As dumb as it is, it makes sense on this day. Because nothing is over until we say it is.
Filed under: Other Sports
Playing baseball on Sunday afternoons until the sky turned red and the shadows disappeared. Until my arm ached from hundreds and hundreds of tosses (forget pitch counts) and my legs tired from all the running. Until dirt stained my socks and sweat softened the bill of my cap.
I remember laughing for no reason and shouting for fun. Chasing ground balls and fly balls and bugs and just about anything else that was deemed worth chasing.
I think about diving into the grass over and over again, trying wholeheartedly to snag pop-ups that fell just out of reach. It wasn’t about the catch; it was about the leap and the fall. It was about the cushion that the cool, green earth somehow provided. That feeling of hitting the ground and caring about nothing else in the world besides getting up and doing it again.
These were nights when my biggest concern was making sure my homework got done. A set of math problems, a few lines of cursive, a book report on Maniac Magee, reproduced to the ignorance of my teachers on multiple occasions.
In the background, light standards would hum with electricity, their buzz commingling with the shrieks and yelps of those of us too young to worry about staying quiet for any amount of time.
The air would grow increasingly crisp as the hours wore on, the scent of a grill permeating the twilight, calling us to dinner without a word being uttered. We only ate when the playing stopped; barbecue in the springtime had a way of stopping the playing.
We would fight over nothing, make up minutes later after shoving and pouting, then return to the vagary of turning sticks into swords and trees into enemies.
These are the nights when I think about my memories here, all located in one neat little area of the map that sits between mountains and surrounds a sound. This is the one place on the globe that my spring nights are consistent, dating back forever and ever — or nearly three decades, if counting is a must.
See, when tomorrow hits and Monday morning lands squarely upon our calendars, we’ll go back to being adults. Our issues will center around work and finances and all sorts of varying realities. When it comes to sports, we’ll fret over a struggling Mariners squad and the fortunes of the NBA in this town of ours. We’ll agonize over so many things we can’t control and turn the littlest issues into the biggest deals. All of that will happen and we’ll accept it, because it’s who we are now.
But for today, for tonight, for every seemingly perfect spring evening that passes through this haven we call home, we can be young again. Enjoy the innocence.
Filed under: Other Sports
Seattle made another roster move Thursday night signing former quarterback Josh Portis. Seattle signed Portis to be the 3rd string Quarterback in 2011 backup Tavaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst. Portis then served on the practice squad last season before being let go later in the season. With the trade of Matt Flynn Seattle needed another quarterback who knew the system and decided to go with Portis.
Is Portis the quarterback Seattle feels can be the primary backup to Russell Wilson? I believe the answer is no. Portis shares many of the same skills that Wilson does, he is mobile, he can throw the ball down field and he can avoid pressure. Portis was a highly recruited Quarterback coming out of High School he attended Florida for a year before transferring to Maryland due to a lack of playing time. He was later suspended for the 2007 season due to cheating on an exam. Portis later transferred to California (PA). The fact that he was not able to find stability with a coaching staff his entire college career is concerning to me.
The problem I have with Josh Portis is he is not a great thrower in 2011 he played in three preseason games and failed to complete 50 percent of his passes coming out at an pedestrian 41.7 percent. The guy is simply not a great passer at this point and with Seattle aiming for a super bowl this year they need a backup quarterback who can move the offense. I believe if Portis gets thrown into a game that matters he will falter.
I really do like Portis as quarterback to develop for another year and see if he progresses, but the fact that Seattle was not willing to carry him on the practice squad for the entire year and another team did not take a chance on him is telling. I fully expect Seattle to sign another veteran quarterback such as Thigpen or Leinart and maybe draft a young quarterback too. Seattle needs a veteran quarterback with experience during Matt Hasselbeck’s tenure in Seattle his backups included Trent Dilfer, Brock Huard, Seneca Wallace, and Charlie Fry all Quarterbacks who had experience under their belt.
The Seattle Seahawks have stolen the stage during the off season after signing; Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, and trading for wide receiver Percy Harvin. Seattle added these three players to an all ready lethal squad that includes Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Zach Miller, and of course Russell Wilson. Seattle finished the 2012-2013 season in a gut wrenching loss to the Atlanta Falcons, losing a slim lead in the last 30-seconds to a Matt Bryant field goal. A lot of hype is headed Seattle’s way after adding the trio, and some are calling them the team to beat for the 2013-2014 NFL Season.
The addition of Percy Harvin has made Seattle even better on offense. Harvin will give Seattle a much needed deep threat at the wide receiver position that they lacked during Pete Carroll’s three first years in Seattle. Harvin also gives Seattle another element to us for the zone-read option. Harvin often lined up as Running back during his time at Florida with Tim Tebow, Minnesota also used Harvin at Running back on third down situations. The addition of Harvin also takes pressure off of Sidney Rice, and Golden Tate and will give Russell Wilson another weapon who will haul in a lot of receptions, and be able to gain yards after the catch, much like Golden Tate was able to last year.
On the defensive side of the ball Seattle has added defensive end Cliff Avril, and Michael Bennett who can play tackle and defensive end much like Jason Jones was able to do last year for Seattle. These two combined for 18.5 sacks last year, add that to Seattle’s total of 36 last year that is a total of 54.5 sacks. I find it hard to believe Seattle will be able to rack up that many total sacks, especially with Chris Clemons who led the Seahawks in sacks last year with 11.5 is recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in the playoffs, and may not be ready for the 2013 NFL season. However it is not hard to believe with the growth of rookie Defensive End’s Bruce Irvin, and Greg Scruggs that those two can’t add to their total sack total. Irvin led all rookies with eight-sacks, and fellow rookie defensive end Greg Scruggs totaled just two-sacks in a very limited role, I expect both players to up their sack totals next year. I see no reason Seattle can’t get at least 42 –sacks which would put them in the top half of the league.
The latter part of the 2012-2013 NFL season Seattle arguably played better than any other team in the league, they dominated on offense, and defense and showed little weakness, a slow start in the playoff game to the Falcons led to the ending of the season for Seattle, despite outscoring the Falcons 28 to 10 in the second half.ed to be one of the most complete teams in the NFL, with two deep threats at wide receiver, one of the best running backs in the league and the team is young, they bring back every starter on offense, and nine of eleven starters on defense. It is logical to think this team is only going to be better, some fans are calling this team the “Dream Team”. Is it true? Is this team the best team in the league, and the team everybody in the league does not want to play? Is this team the most talented team in the entire league? My quick answer to all three of these questions would be simply, yes. I am however scared of a team that originally dubbed themselves the “Dream Team” (something no Seattle player has done, which I am very thankful for.)
The team I am speaking of is the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles like the Seahawks brought in big named players to a team that went 10-6 the year before, and had one of the most lethal Quarterbacks in the NFL in Michael Vick. They seem a seasoned coach in Andy Reid.
The eagles decided to add to an all ready potent roster, and brought in All-Pro corner back Nnamdi Asomogha, former pro bowler defensive end Jason Babin and seasoned veteran defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. These three starters along with former first round picks Ronnie Brown, and Vince young mixed with an all ready talented roster formed what was supposed to be the “Dream Team” as Vince Young famously called them during the 2011 off season. So with all these added additions what happened? A 11-5 NFL football team, ended up going 8-8. Poor coaching and management of the team is the simple answer, if you want a specific name it is on Andy Reid, he made the mistake of hiring Juan Castillo who coached the Offensive Line to become his Defensive Coordinator. I failed to see the logic in this, at the time and still do.
Reid also tried to buy himself a championship team, something in football you can’t do. He added a lot of high priced guys who did not fit with his or his staffs coaching. Injuries to Michael Vick also led to the demise of the Eagle’s football season but that should also be blamed on Reid for failing to give his franchise Quarterback Michael Vick a stable offensive line to protect him. I highly doubt this fate will be Seattle’s. They return the entire coaching staff besides defensive coordinator Gus Bradley who went on to become the Head Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Seattle replaced him with former Florida Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn who also worked under Gus Bradley through 2009-2010 in Seattle as the Defensive Line Coach. As long as Seattle stays with the current defensive system they have ran under Carroll I see no reason why the defense should suffer with the arrivals of Avril, and Bennett, and Dan Quinn.
The 2007 New England Patriots also took the route of free agency to improve an all ready talented team who went 12-4 the year before. The result turned into a 16-0 regular season finish, and a loss in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants.
The Patriots first move of the 2007 off season was trading for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Wes Welker giving up a 2nd and 7th round draft pick, to acquire the veteran pass catcher. The Patriots then looked to further boost a wide receiving group that lacked explosiveness and signed free agent wide receiver Donte Stallworth. New England then went a step further to acquire one more wide receiver to help out Tom Brady and traded for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Randy Moss. The end result was a 16-0 season and both Brady and Moss shattered the touchdown record for their respected positions on the football field. Moss was the biggest risk as many felt he played lazy and uninspired football during his stint with Oakland. Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick was able to keep the talented wide receiver happy. All three wide receivers contributed greatly to the season. Moss finished the season with 98 receptions, 1493 yards, and 23 touchdowns. Welker had 112 receptions, 1175 yards, and 8 touchdowns, and Donte Stallworth finished his season with 46 receptions, 697 yards, and three touchdowns. The result of spending in free agency can work if you have a good coach, stability at the quarterback position and the franchise. Patriots clearly had that, Eagles well they are still looking.
So will the Seahawk’s season end in dismay like the Eagle’s, or will it end in record breaking success like the patriots. I feel somewhere in between, I do not believe Russell Wilson will throw for 50 touchdowns, and that Harvin will haul in 21 touchdown receptions, or haul in 112 receptions the team is too balanced for that to happen, nor do I believe they will go 16-0 at the moment. I do believe however they can achieve something the 2007 New England Patriots were not able to achieve and that is a Super Bowl. I do believe this Seattle team is the Dream Team and team to beat for the 2013 NFL season.
Tags: Advanced Analysis, Andy Reid, Chris Clemons, Cliff Avril, Dream Team, featured, football, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Bennett, Michael Vick, News, nfl, Percy Harvin, Philadelphia Eagles, Popular, Previews, Randy Moss, Russell Wilson, Seahawks, Seattle, Seattle Seahawks, Tom Brady
This Super Bowl was just plain weird. Not that I really cared who won, but I’m glad San Francisco lost. I don’t like Jim Harbaugh and I don’t like San Francisco fans, at least the ones I have had contact with, and you know who you are… Just kidding! Seriously! You’re great people, really…
Since the Seahawks got totally screwed by the NFL with that early morning game in Atlanta I didn’t really have a dog in this fight (so much for journalist impartiality). The way the 49ers fans thought they deserved to be in this game after the butt whoopin the Hawks handed them in Seattle was just ignoring the truth. The Niners backed into this game by not having to face Seattle and they know it. Sure they beat Atlanta…barely. Try doing that at 0-dark thirty west coast time. And if not for SF’s tie against the Rams the Hawks would have had your conference title and your bye week. But I digress…
Did anyone else go get a pedicure during the national anthem? MAN that was long! Well done, but tooooo looooong. And that whole halftime show was BOOOOORING. Sorry. Beyonce is a lovely and talented singer/dancer but I think she sang the same word for something like 15 minutes! Besides that, it was like watching a 30 minute Bud Light commercial. Where’s a good marching band when you need one?
The power outage was interesting. I’ve seen a QB change make a game turn. I’ve seen a snow storm make a game turn. But I’ve NEVER seen a power outage totally turn a game around like this. The Seahawks should remember that trick next time they find themselves down by 20 at home. In the end, the 49ers got screwed by the refs on that last non-call for holding; so welcome to Seattle’s world SF. One wonders if they might have gotten “Bettised”; you remember the love-fest the league and network was giving the retiring Jerome Bettis before the Seattle/Pittsburgh Super Bowl in which Seattle suffered a number of bad calls. It’s heart warming to think the refs might have been “letting them play” for Ray Lewis, a guy who plea bargained away a double homicide a few years back, getting 12 months probation instead of double life in prison. (There I go digressing again! Dang!) Yes, getting hosed by the refs in the Big Game is great fun, and now the Niners know how it feels. And so ends their 5-0 Superbowl streak.
Now it’s on to the NFL draft and next season. I fully expect it’ll be the Seahawks and Russell Wilson who will get it done next year. With his learning curve well in the past, Wilson will be unstoppable. I wish I could have seen him in this game, but next year will be even more incredible. Seattle was the team no one wanted to play the second half of the year. Next year, it will be that way from week one on because Russell is ready. As for the rest of the NFC West, don’t get too excited. You’re getting better, but as long as Wilson, Carroll, and Schneider are in the picture it’s going to be tough going to get past Seattle.
I just got back from a weekend of skiing and finally feel like I can look back at the Seahawks’ 2012 season without feeling too large a pang of disappointment. Sometimes it takes stepping away to gain some perspective. The only football I watched was the third quarter of the NFC Championship game and had to walk away because I saw two teams Seattle could certainly beat.
If someone had asked me nine months ago how I’d feel if Seattle were to go 11-5 with a playoff win on the road I would have taken it in a heartbeat. However, winning makes a person greedy and leaves them craving more. Once it was apparent all the talent and potential that John Schneider and Pete Carroll had stacked onto a roster that still had some significant weakness, I set my sight on an even further horizon. When Seattle wasn’t able to reach it, it left the city in somewhat of a state of shock. Especially with the emotional whiplash that took place in the fourth quarter of the game in divisional game.
All cities are unified when their sports teams do well. It’s one of the great things that sports teams bring to communities. I believe that Seattle is a little different from cities like Atlanta, New York, San Francisco, and Miami. Every team has their true fans, but Seattle itself seems to suffer when the Seahawks don’t do well (everyone is used to the Mariners sucking). It’s easy to lose sight of that when the team has a few rough years but is obvious when look at the incredibly civic pride and enthusiasm that takes place when the team succeeds. In that regard Seattle is like a Cleveland, Kansas City, or Green Bay. Labeling Seattle fans fair weather is ridiculous and ignorant. Fair weather fans don’t cause seismic activity last time I checked.
The Seahawks over 2012 reminded Seattle why they stuck with a team that had been disparaged and struggled for the last six years. The team from South Alaska that was always too small, too hurt, too slow, too whatever became big, strong, loud, and a force unto themselves. Win or lose, a team was going to remember that they played Seattle last Sunday. Watching that and experiencing it with a great community of 12th Men made it that much hard to realize it was over. Even my dad who can be very jaded and reserved when it comes to sports (game 7 of the 1993 Western Conference finals between the Sonics and Suns is still very much remembered) couldn’t help but get excited at what just might be.
The reason I bring up these seemingly random aspects of the 2012 season is because they are what stand out in my mind looking back. Seattle became a team that would walk up to anybody and punch them in the mouth. Led by a calm, cool, and incredibly talented quarterback a team comprised of many castoffs and unknowns turned into a wrecking ball and the 12th Man was the crane that swung it. The connection between the team and fans in Seattle can’t be overstated. From completely open training camps to showing up at Children’s Hospital every week the connection is real. That is what I love. I realize I’m not part of the team but to feel part of it is either the greatest marketing gimmick ever or a true community-franchise connection. I choose to believe it’s the latter in this case. (Every article I write, I have to go and take out any “we’s” and replace them with “Seahawks.”)
Fortunately, Seattle doesn’t have many free agents going into the off-season which means that many of the personalities and people that the make up this great team will be back. And they will be hungry; hungry to prove to themselves and the 12th Man that they are good enough to win a Super Bowl. For that, I am just as excited as I was this season.
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
It’s no secret that the Seattle Mariners are in big need of some strong offense. General Manager Jack Zduriencik is very active at the 2012 winter MLB meetings in Nashville, Tennessee.
Rumor has it that there are three prospects for pitchers for the Seattle team: Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker who may be up for trade when the Mariners go batter-hunting. While the Mariners do have some funds freed up to pick up a free agent this year, they may still need to pull some trade strings to get someone who will work hard for their team. It boils down to a big decision for the Mariners’ team management: Trade away young, unproven prospects for players that have shown their stuff or spend more money on their payroll for the roster.
With attendance falling, and confidence in the team low, the pressure is on for Zduriencik to build a team that can compete. A lot more than bringing in the walls at SafeCo Field is necessary in order to develop a winning team. The question is, will the team be able to gain the members it needs in order to compete against big-budget teams like the New York Yankees?
If the Oakland Athletics could pull out of a slump to become the AL West Champions this past year under the logic put forth by the Billy Beane Moneyball tactics that changed the face of baseball, perhaps the Mariners need to start thinking in an out-of-the box way as well.Who will get on base, and more importantly, once on base, who will be able to get home for the all-important score?
Some of the players the Mariners are rumored to be interested in include:
- Josh Hamilton
- Justin Upton
- Mike Napoli
- Nick Swisher
- Cody Ross
- Ryan Ludwick
- Mark Reynolds
- Garrett Jones
A lot of this will be contingent upon how much the M’s are able to put forward financially and who they are willing to trade for the various players on their wish list. What do you think the beloved Seattle team should be looking at in order to get to a pennant win in the 2013 season?
Tags: 2013 Season, Baseball General, Danny Hultzen, featured, Jack Zduriencik, Major League Baseball, Oakland Athletics, Popular, Safeco Field, Seattle, seattle mariners, Trade Theorys, winter meetings
There have been a lot of stories about Russell Wilson and Seattle’s offense and how they will have to play better to beat New England. But I think the game will really be decided when New England’s offense is on the field against Seattle’s defense. Because if Brady has a good game, even Seattle’s vaunted defense could be in trouble. My focus here is on the pocket, Brady’s pocket that is. Tom Brady was drafted in a late round because on one thing, he is SLOW. Really slow. That translates into limited mobility on the field. He is a pure pocket passer and not a serious threat to run around and make yards with his feet.
So this begs the obvious question; how does the Seahawk defense put pressure on Brady? This is an interesting problem. Brady isn’t one to sit around in the pocket and wait for the pressure. He gets rid of the ball fast. If he has time he can hit receivers on medium to long routes. Seattle can shut those routes down most of the time. So Brady will be looking for quicker passes over the middle, inside the hash marks. For this he has two world class tight ends who make their living 5 or 10 yards at a time. New England is a disciplined team. They can do that all day long, mistake free, every series. And if Seattle’s defense starts hanging out in the middle trying to stop those short passes, Brady can burn them on the outside with his wide receivers. They also have a decent running game which is designed to open up with the help of multiple tight end sets.
In my estimation, Seattle’s job will be to force things outside to the wide receivers. That’s right, I said OUTSIDE. This is a choice between the lesser of two evils, short quick plays or longer plays that take time to develop. They need to shut down the quick over the middle passes to the tight ends. Period. That is the Patriots bread and butter and they wear down defenses with it. Seattle has to stop that tactic. With the short, quick passes unavailable, Brady will have to wait in the pocket for his wide receivers to get open downfield. When Brady holds the ball for too long, his completion rate goes way down…if there is pressure.
Enter Bruce Irvin. He needs to have not just a good game, but a GREAT game. Same with Chris Clemons. If either of them can get a paw on Brady they will spoil his comfort level in the pocket, causing his accuracy to suffer. Accuracy is important if you’re trying to hit a streaking wide receiver in single coverage. This is what Seattle did to a much more mobile Aaron Rogers. Without Rogers-like mobility, Brady will look like a giraffe in a hanging lamp store if he’s constantly getting hurried. Seattle’s defensive backs are the strength of the team. If Brady’s passes are just slightly off target, the best thing he can hope for is an incompletion.
Well, there it is. The Seahawks game plan in a nutshell. Or I could be completely wrong. We may see Russell Wilson be given the keys to the playbook and go wild for 400+ yards on a mediocre Patriots defense, thereby keeping Brady and friends off the field. Hawks fans can only hope. Wilson and the Seattle offense did look better last week, making 50% of their third downs. Still, their red zone performance was about what we’ve seen all year long. Ok, I think this second scenario is pretty unlikely, but it’s still fun to wildly fantasize about…oh…maybe…two touchdowns??? Yeah I know; the Seahawks D had better show up big time!
First of all, everybody calm down! In the replacement rules, it CLEARLY STATES that if a receiver has so much as A FINGER on the ball, it is BY REPLACEMENT RULE a reception. You cannot argue with the replacement rules. The replacement rules are enforced by the replacement officials TO A TEE! If you don’t like it, that’s too bad. If a travel leads to a home run on a wicked googly, JUST GO WITH IT! A win is a win and you can’t deny it! It feels so good!
Look, folks. Let’s get serious here for a moment. I’ll be honest. If I was a Green Bay fan, I’d be mad, too. Was that a reception? Was that an interception? Who really knows. How closely did those replacement refs really double-check that last play? Not close enough, I’d wager. Was it worth a discount double-check? Yeah, probably.
But seriously. How beautiful was that game? It was so ugly. So freakin’ ugly! And yet so amazingly beautiful. It was Sarah Jessica Parker. It was Taylor Swift. It was Lindsay Lohan. Are you ugly? Are you beautiful? I can’t tell right now, but you know what? I’m happy anyway. And that’s what really matters.
I’ve never seen anything like that before. I don’t even really know what to say. To spare you from further disorganization, here’s a bulleted list of the muddled thoughts in my head:
Brandon Browner shoving Greg Jennings for no real reason whatsoever was AWESOME! I’m hardly a fan of cheap shots, but that single play set a tone for what this defense and this team is all about.
No one cares about or respects the Seattle Seahawks. It’s just a fact of life. The nation will downplay the defense’s effort in this very ballgame because of one decisive, game-ending play. The disrespect will continue. The lack of acknowledgement is perpetual.
But what Browner and his defensive cohorts did tonight will absolutely have lasting repercussions. They scared the piss out of the Packers’ offense. And in the process, they sent a clear message to every other offense in the NFL: the Seahawks will not be messed with. Teams will fear the Seahawks. It’s moments like the Browner-Jennings scuffle which will instill that fear. And at the end of the day, a feared ballclub is a dangerous one. If danger equals winning, then by all means bring it on.
I believe in Russell Wilson. I do. And I have all year. The difference between a good Russell Wilson and a bad one is the play-calling, plain and simple. This has nothing to do with Wilson’s skill or ability; he’s talented, without a doubt. But when fans turn on Wilson, it’s a direct result of the plays called for him by the coaching staff and hardly dependent on his physical, in-game performance.
Can you blame Russell Wilson for not throwing the ball when the coaching staff calls a run play? No. Can you fault him for scrambling when the pocket collapses around him? No. Is he perfect? Not by any means. Will he make mistakes? Of course. But when all is said and done, is Russell Wilson more often better than he is worse? A thousand times, yes. He has poise under pressure, a great arm, keeps plays alive with his feet, and has that “It” factor that takes a good player and turns him into a champion.
Whether you like it or not, Russell Wilson is here to stay. I’m thankful we have Matt Flynn as our backup, but I’m perfectly content with Flynn being nothing more than that. Wilson has been impressive, simple as that.
Check the box score: the Seahawks allowed a mere 12 points. Twelve freakin’ points! To one of the best offenses in the league. Replacement refs or no replacement refs, win or no win, you cannot argue against the importance of that very metric.
One might even argue that if the real refs were officiating this game, the points allowed might have even been lower. Each team was impacted by odd rule enforcement, but it was the respective offenses that seemingly benefited most from questionable calls. Sure, the Seahawks came out on top, but Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay weren’t spared from a few generous breaks along the way. Did that prevent the Hawks defense from recording eight sacks and limiting the Packers to just 268 total yards? Nope.
And say what you will, but the Pack held the ball for seven minutes longer than the hometown eleven, AND totaled 30 more yards than Russell Wilson, et al. Did Green Bay have opportunities to win? Absolutely. But it was the Seahawks’ defense that shut them down when it mattered most.
Fact is, a win is a win is a win is a win. Take the victories however you can get ‘em and move on happily. Undoubtedly, the media contingency will frown upon this Seahawks triumph. But you know what? They don’t know that we’re usually on the losing end of these things. They don’t know how often we’ve had wins taken from us. They don’t know and they don’t care. And frankly, they don’t need to care.
When the final whistle sounded on Monday night, the Seattle Seahawks were victorious. The Seattle Seahawks improved to 2-1. The Seattle Seahawks looked like one of the best teams in the NFC, and no one can take all that away.
It’s time we got one of those stolen victories. And on Monday night, we did.
Screw the rest of the world. This one’s for us.
Filed under: Seahawks
A lot of attention has been paid to Pete Carroll’s emphasis of the running game, with his acquisition of another bruising back in Robert Turbin, and his stated philosophy of putting a tough, punishing rushing team on the field. But a quick check of the league’s 2011 statistics reveals a few interesting realities.
The top running teams in the league are not all that common among the 12 playoff teams. The top 2 rushing teams, Denver and Texas were playoff teams. But the number 3 team was Carolina which finished well out of the running. In fact only 5 of the 12 playoff teams were top 12 rushing teams. So where did Seattle fall last year? Most people wouldn’t think this if asked that question, but Seattle finished just 21st out of 32 in rushing in 2011. Interestingly, 2011 Super Bowl loser New England was just 20th in rushing. Even more surprising, Super Bowl winner NY Giants were dead LAST in rushing.
So, it must be the passing game that leads to the playoffs, right? Well, not so fast. While it’s true more passing teams (7) were in the top 12 last year, there were 5 who were not in the top 12 in passing (the same 5 who were top 12 rushing teams). Last years surprise team the SF 49ers, were 29th in receiving yards. The Ravens, Texans, Broncos, and Bengals were also not in the top 12 in receiving but made the playoffs. Many other top receiving teams including Carolina, San Diego, Tennessee, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Oakland finished out of contention.
So what gives? Do the Seahawks need to be a good rushing team or a good passing team to make the playoffs in 2012?
The answer is; Both would be nice. They could be top 12 in rushing and mediocre in the passing game and possibly make it to the post season. Or they could be top 12 in passing and mediocre in rushing and have a slightly better chance of making it. But the best chance the Hawks have at making the post season, looking strictly at Offensive performance, is to have a more balanced output. A top 10 finish in rushing and perhaps a top 15 in passing might do it. That would put them in Steelers/Falcons/Lions territory.
This analysis doesn’t take into consideration the Defensive and Special Teams statistics, so the Hawks could help themselves, as did San Francisco last year by having a top 5 Defense . That obviously will produce wins even with low to middle of the pack Offensive stats. So given where the Seahawks were at the end of last year, where did Pete Carroll put his resources?
Well, Offensively, he definitely upgraded the QB position with the addition of Wilson and Flynn. He added a playmaker in Braylon Edwards at WR. He drafted another bruising RB in Turbin to back up Lynch to avoid those Cleveland games of last year. The O-line didn’t necessarily improve, but they seem at least as good as last year’s bunch and did get a little younger by getting rid of Robert Gallery. If Carpenter makes an early return at Guard around mid season he could give a timely boost to the offense.
The only thing to do now is wait and see if the new additions perform as expected. The receiving corps, particularly Golden Tate, will need to show marked improvement over last year. Edwards will have to show why he made the team using his height and jumping ability and Sydney Rice needs to live up to his reputation. The running game improved the last half of last season and should continue to get better as the blocking gels. If Carroll’s changes can propel the Seahawks into the top 12 either rushing or receiving, playoffs are within the realm of possibility. If they finish in the top 12 in both, as only the Saints did last season, and the defense is top 5 or 6 as expected, their odds of going to the playoffs skyrockets. An early season win over one or two of last years playoff teams should be an indicator of things to come.
With the first-round of the 2012 NFL Draft over, many are still feeling the aftermath. Last night football fans were witnesses to eight different trades, including three in the top ten.
Round 1 Draft Trades:
- Cleveland sent picks 4(round 1), … [visit site to read more]
Imagine, for a minute, that I am a pimp boss. I run this town. I oversee all the pimps on these streets and offer them my protection. I also coordinate their hos. Here ho, go to this pimp, he’ll treat you real nice. That’s how I do it.
Now imagine that you are my top pimp. You’re damn good at what you do. You take your hos out to the track on Pacific Highway South and pull in thousands of dollars every single night. I don’t know how you do it, I just know that I get my biggest cut from you, so in turn, I like you. We get along, you and I. I’m a fan of yours. You’re good to me, I’m good to you, it works.
Now let’s pretend that we just got this new chick. She’s fine. Real fine. She probably shouldn’t be doing this, but we don’t tell her that. This girl could be a model if she wanted to be. But for some reason she wants to turn tricks. So whatever, it’s cool. We can help her out. We’ll call her Brandy.
I know Brandy is gonna be our golden goose. She’ll pull in more money all by herself than most of our girls combined. She is that good. Because I like you so much, I want you to take care of her. I want you to be Brandy’s pimp. You’re gonna make more money off this girl than you can possibly imagine. And me? I’ll still just be taking my usual cut at the back end, that 10-percent I’m entitled to. That’s all I ask. You’ve been good to me, man. Consider this a gift.
Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, This is too good to be true. And you’re right. It is. There is no denying that. You’re getting a nicely-wrapped package from me that will financially benefit you. You’ll be wearing fur coats and driving a Maybach in no time. All I’m asking for is my cut. And you know what I plan to do with that cut? Here’s the good news, I plan to use the extra money we make off Brandy to reinvest in my pimping operation. I’m gonna go out and get more girls, scout more talent, and find you the best hos on the face of the earth. I’m gonna get rich off this. And so will you. This is unprecedented. One girl, Brandy, making all this impact on our organization.
So how does that sound? Sound like a good deal? We in this together? Here’s Brandy, you can have her. Say hi, girl. Say hi to a pimp. Alright. This is chill. I like this. I’m excited for the future. We’re gonna do big things together…
For those of you who don’t know how analogies work, here you go:
1. The committee launching this project (consisting of investor Chris Hansen, the City of Seattle, and King County) is the pimp boss.
2. The City of Seattle and King County taxpayers (i.e., you, the tax-paying constituency) are the top pimp.
3. Brandy is the proposed arena that Hansen wants to build in Seattle’s SODO district.
4. The money the pimp makes off Brandy is the revenue generated by the proposed arena. This revenue comes at no cost to the pimp, i.e. the tax-paying constituency. Consider it profit, because as we once upon a time learned in economics class, profit is revenue minus expenses. And since we, the pimp, have no expenses for this transaction, it’s ALL profit. Boom.
5. The money going to the pimp boss on the back end are the taxes generated by the proposed arena.
6. The plan to reinvest in the pimping operation is essentially the plan laid out by the City of Seattle and King County to use the tax money generated by the proposed arena to offset the initial public cost (a public cost picked up by the city and county from existing taxes, not new or additional ones) of funding the arena.
The message? This costs you nothing. NOTHING.
Financially, we, the taxpayers, are completely off the hook. This is a gift. This is a sports fan doing something great for other sports fans. Chris Hansen is paying it forward with this investment. Never forget that. He is donating — donating! — this land and the arena that will sit upon it to the City of Seattle and King County. He’s just giving it away. We will all benefit from this.
The State of Washington is a non-entity; they’re not paying for shit, yet they’ll end up pocketing some tax revenue off this endeavor. The city and county are involved in giving the A-okay, accepting the gift of the land and the arena from Hansen, and being the primary benefactor of all revenue generation from the facility.
And you? You get to sit back and watch this happen, all while knowing no money is coming out of your pocket. You aren’t paying for anything. So stop acting like it. If you think you are, then move away. If you’re paranoid, we don’t want you here. Someone is doing something great for our city: Enjoy it! You will benefit from all of this. Learn to love it.
I hope I’ve provided some education. Please pass this on to all those people who aren’t as smart as you. Thank you.
Filed under: Sonics
Tags: Aaron Rodgers, Arizona, featured, football, Free agent, green bay, head of football operationsm, John Schneider, Kevin Kolb, Lions, matt cassel, matt flynn, matt haselbeck, Matt Leinart, Matt Schaub, Miami Dolphins, nfl, Patriots, quarterback, receiving corps, Seahawks, Seattle, Sydney Rice, tarvaris jackson