Happy Blue Friday 12s!
Tawk about excellence, the Seattle Seahawks are prepping, as we Tawk, for Super Bowl XLVIII. Way back when Hawk Tawk was just getting started, I made some bold predictions. Some of those predictions were slightly off mark, some were right on point. I, as it turns out, am no Nostradamus. I do however relish in the fact that the Seattle Seahawks finished the season with 13 wins, won a hard fought NFC Championship game against the most worthy of opponents, and are on their way to the big show. Let’s Tawk Hawk.
The night before the game, we had some friends come by to help with the finishing touches to the Hawks Nest. We stayed up until 0130 in the morning re-felting the pool table, leveling and assembling said table, and hanging the cool old light that I acquired from the Army 10 years ago. I was able to get 1.5 hours of sleep before firing up the smoker at 0330 and putting the brisket on at 0400. When my wife woke up the next morning tears filled her eyes, for the beauty of the room was something to behold. That was the true finishing touch, the tears of my woman, filled with love, telling me I had done well. Does your wife cry because she absolutely loves your man cave? Mine does, because she is awesome. The cave was ready for game day, and what a game day it was.
The brisket had about eleven hours to soak in the hickory, mesquite, and apple wood. The kegerator was filled with frosty cold Dos Equis, Baracho Charro beans had been slow cooking all night, and Sherry had made a batch of homemade potato salad, with the peels still on, it was shaping up to be a perfect day. The flag was flying majestically in the wind, and the gnome was placed carefully in front of the living room tv, so he could see the game. Around 1300, friends would start filling the rooms in the house, coming to watch my beloved Seahawks battle it out with the San Francisco 49ers. Some would even come to root on their own teams, if you can imagine.
The Broncos made quick work of the Patriots, which gave me valuable time to wander around being as social as I could muster. The anticipation of the upcoming game had my stomach in knots, not out of fear, but anticipation. This was going to be a game for the ages, just as I had predicted in my previous weeks article. Like them or not, the 49ers are the Seahawks best opponent, their bitter rival, and this year, the second best team in the NFC. It was game time.
The first play from scrimmage for the Seahawks would set the tone for what was to come. Everybody knew it was going to be a fist fight, nobody knew it would be so epic. The Seattle defense and the Legion of Boom gained the first of many small victories by holding San Fran to a field goal after that ugly turnover. In the first half, the Seahawks continued to apply pressure on Kapernick, flushing him out of the pocket, and it wasn’t working how they wanted it to. Kapernick used his legs and arm to march down the field and at the end of the half Seattle trailed 10-3. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis during the halftime show must have caught the 49ers attention, because while Kapernick and his boys were dancing, Seattle was adjusting, and adjusting well.
The second half started with a quality Seattle defensive showing. San Fran got one first down and then was shut down and forced to punt. This is when the fun started. A few warm up touches for Marshawn and Russell Wilson was overheard telling Pete and Bevell that, “They are soft in the middle, keep going up the middle.” Well, 40 yards later, Marshawn was celebrating the touchdown.
The 49ers next drive was a missed opportunity for Seattle. San Fran drove into Seattle territory before Bennet sacked Kapernick and forced the fumble. Unfortunately Seattle could not get on the ball and San Fran recovered. Kapernick then hit Boldin, just over the fingertips of Earl Thomas for the touchdown. The last points San Fran would be allowed.
Seattle’s next possesion would end in a a 40-yard field goal. After the kick off, Seattle forced San Fran into a three and out, and Tater returned the punt out to the 38. Seattle started moving the ball, but finished the 3rd quarter with a Russell Wilson intentional grounding call. Seattle had the ball and it was 3rd and 22, from the 50 yard line. Wilson hit Zach Miller for 15 of the 22 they needed. The kicking team came out, but then there was a timeout. Hauschka allegedly told coach Carroll that they shouldn’t kick it, it was into the wind, it would give the 49ers too good of field position if he missed. Russell Wilson told coach, “let’s go for it, they are jumping on anything.” So it went. Russell’s hard count drew San Francisco off-sides. The receivers saw the jump and everyone adjusted their routes accordingly. Everyone to the end zone. Russell let it zip and there was Jermaine Kearse to take the ball in tight coverage, touchdown, Seahawks. Oh, how glorious it was, what a throw, what a catch, what a play. I fell in love all over again.
If you are lucky enough to have the NFL Network, you know by now that it was about that time that the loquacious Richard Sherman was holding court on the Seattle sideline. He said, “this is going to come down to us.” Oh what prophetic words from the mouth of mouths.
The next San Francisco drive saw Kapernick hit Boldin for a 25-yard gain before Cliff Avril gave Seattle another opportunity, one they would not miss. Bennett picked up the ball this time and even got a little 17-yard return to the San Fran 6 yard line. Seahawks ball.
This possession was ugly. and it went no where. there were fumbles that were real and fumbles that it seemed no one knew the real answer to. At any rate it ended up with zero points for Seattle, and San Fran had the ball. I was bummed, big time.
But then, Kapernick lightened the mood by throwing a perfect pass to Kam Chancellor at the 40. Alright, now they were in business. The drive was ugly with more mishandling of the ball, but ultimately ended up with three points for Seattle, so I was happy.
On the sideline, Richard Sherman said, “they are going to try me, they are going to try me, and I am going to make them pay.” Boy did he. What a game, one of the best most hard fought football games I have seen. And that kids, is how your Uncle Mike’s team ended up in the Super Bowl.
I will get a more thoughtful piece up early next week, once the flu is done ravaging me. For now, let’s just be happy that our team has made it this far, and that they are nowhere near done. This is their year. 12thman now, 12thman forever. Go Hawks!