Ok, show of hands, who has started taking anti-anxiety medication because they can’t stand having to wait any longer for football to start? Just me? Ok, I can live with that. I think we can safely say this town has never been more on its ear waiting for a season to start than we are with the anticipation of the 2013 Seahawks. It wasn’t even remotely like this in 2006 after the Hawks were coming off the Super Bowl year. Sitting in my seats for the Broncos game on the 17th, it was even more palpable. That was not a preseason atmosphere. People in that stadium were treating it like the Super Bowl preview we hope that it is.
But before we start sizing ourselves for replica Super Bowl rings and sketching out how that Lombardi Trophy tattoo is going to look on our inner thigh, there is a regular season to be played. There are some very important and pivotal games that could spell ultimate success or soul-crushing doom for our Fighting Birds of Renton. These are in order of when they’re played, not necessarily their overall importance.
#1: Home vs. San Francisco Week 2. You knew this one was going to make the list. Al Michaels and the traveling circus known as Sunday Night Football comes back to the Emerald City. Remind me what happened the last time they were here. Oh that’s right, the Hawks took the Niners back behind the woodshed and sent them directly through the chipper. That performance has to be repeated. As I think we all know by now, this team has to have playoff games at home to give them the best chance to reach the Super Bowl. Getting a win in the division against your biggest rival helps that cause. Lose this game and you dig yourself a hole that could be very tough to get out of.
#2: At Arizona Week 7. At first glance, this game doesn’t seem all that important does it? Arizona’s smack dab in the middle of rebuilding and really shouldn’t pose a threat to anybody. However, remind me how important this game was last year. If somehow our vaunted defense had been able to stop Kevin Kolb, we would have had that home playoff game and potentially everything’s different. This game will show if the Hawks have the mental fortitude to be able to get up for a game against a lesser opponent on a short week in front of an apathetic crowd. Also, it’s a division game and those tiebreakers could easily come into play at the end of the year.
#3: At Atlanta Week 10. Talk about circling a game on the calendar. I guarantee if you went down to the VMAC and asked those players when the Atlanta game is, every one of them will be able to tell you in 0.05 seconds. This game could very easily be for the #1 seed in the playoffs. If you’re so inclined to hop on a plane to see this game, you’ll still be able to walk up that morning and get a face-value ticket for the game, given Atlanta’s well-known inability to sell out important sporting events.
#4: At San Francisco Week 14. It’s entirely possible we get an early Christmas gift and have Percy Harvin back for this game. It’ll be the Hawks last look at that piece of garbage they call Candlestick Park and it could very well be the most important game they’ve ever played there. If the Hawks can take out Frisco (and I call it Frisco if for no other reason than their citizens hate it) in this game and if they took care of business in week 2, that more than likely sews up the division. Douchebag Harbaugh Style is awfully tough to beat at home though so the Hawks will need to bring their Kevlar jock straps that day.
#5 Home vs. St. Louis Week 17. Jeff Fisher’s little Lambs wind up the regular season yet again here in Seattle and the last few years it’s been a very important game. This one shouldn’t be any different. This could easily be for the division title. It could be for the #1 seed in the playoffs. It could also be a game the Hawks need just to get into the playoffs. Thankfully the 12th Man will be ready to go regardless of the circumstances and they’ve done a masterful job of causing Sam Bradford to pee down his leg the last number of years. This year’s no different and I think we walk out in sheer jubilation on that chilly December day.