A wise man once said that perseverance is the hard work you do after you get done doing the hard work you already did. As Seahawks fans, I think we know the meaning of that better than most teams. We had to persevere through some very bad football the first 7-8 years of this franchise’s existence. We got a faint taste of success in the mid and late 80’s only to have someone come along and burn our taste buds with a blow torch. Oh, that’s right, that was Ken Behring and his disastrous regime. Perseverance I don’t think we knew we had was required when that piece of dog excrement actually moved the Hawks to Los Angeles for about three weeks back in the 90’s. It paid off though, didn’t it? We were rewarded with the richest owner in the NFL and someone with enough smarts to know you hire football people to run the football operations, not your son who didn’t know the difference between a draft where you get football players and a draft that blows through the house on a summer evening.
But I digress. It is this perseverance with this team that has led Seahawks fans once again to the promised land of the Super Bowl. Let’s see if we can’t have some fun with the folks from Colorado and preview this game through the adventures of Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne.
“That’s a lovely accent you have. New Jersey? Austria. Austria! Well, then. G’day mate! Let’s put another shrimp on the barbie!”: The Hawks return to the scene of the crime on Sunday. What crime you might ask? That would be the prolific burglary they committed on Eli Manning Dec. 15, selfishly keeping five of his passes for themselves. Now another Manning comes in to face the Hawks in the swamps of Jersey. Word on the street is that Peyton was asking Eli for tips on how best to play in the elements of MetLife Stadium. I’m thinking Eli’s biggest tip was “don’t play the Seahawks there”.
“I can’t believe we drove around all day, and there’s not a single job in this town. There is nothing, nada, zip! Yeah! Unless you wanna work forty hours a week.”: If productivity dropped 89.4 percent during the week leading up to the NFC Championship game in the Puget Sound region, I have to think it’s dropped by at least 94.7 percent this week. The remaining 5.3 percent is made up of those people who are still upset that we built Seahawks Stadium 12 years ago and the 49ers fans who somehow slipped across our border when we weren’t watching. Make peace with your bosses though. Vaguely promise them some overtime in the upcoming months and then just hope they forget.
“OK gang, you know the rules, no humping, no licking, no sniffing hineys.”: Well, then they should have just cancelled Media Day. This is one of the biggest issues with having two weeks between the Championship games and the Super Bowl. People are forced to create stories out of the smallest tidbits. Oh no, Marshawn Lynch doesn’t want to talk??!! Whatever shall we do? I know, let’s write stories about how he’s a bad guy and how dare he snub us, the vaunted football media??! Oh, hey, Richard Sherman! Can you give us some sound bites? Well, that wasn’t nearly as exciting as your post-game comments after the NFC Championship game that we ripped you for. I guess now we have to write stories about how boring you are. Time to get back on the bus so we can get our police escort back to our hotel. No lack of self-importance with this group.
“Hey, I guess they’re right. Senior citizens, although slow and dangerous behind the wheel, can still serve a purpose.”: The Seahawks main foe on Sunday? Peyton Manning. He’s definitely been serving a purpose this year for the Broncos, breaking both the record for passing yards and passing touchdowns in a season. However, I think there’s a couple cracks in his armor that the Seahawks can exploit. First, as Richard Sherman pointed out earlier this week, Manning has a tendency to throw ducks once in a while. For the uninitiated, that means he doesn’t throw the tightest spiral, potentially reducing the speed of the throw and allowing the defense to recover. Tell me, who is the fastest defense in the NFL and might just be able to capitalize on that weakness? Oh, that’s right. Second potential crack? His lack of mobility. Colin Kaepernick he is not. He can move around in the pocket a little bit, but there’s a better chance of me being the Super Bowl MVP than Peyton Manning running for 100 yards. This is a huge advantage for the Seahawks because now you can drop linebackers back into coverage rather than having them closer to the line to keep an eye on a QB who might take off. Peyton’s big advantage is that he gets rid of the ball quicker than anybody. Sure, when the team you’re playing against blitzes all the time and then plays zone behind it. The Seahawks don’t blitz much and are easily the best man defense team in the league. Meaning, Peyton’s going to have to hang on to the ball longer, increasing the potential for the defensive line to knock him around a bit.
“Wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?”: Normally that would be “Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhh”. However, this week, it’s the “experts” who have staked their claim that the Seahawks offense is terrible and if they get down 10 points, they have zero hope of coming back. Now, anyone out there, remind me, what happened the last time the Seahawks were down 10 points? Oh, that’s right they won the NFC Championship, putting 23 points on the board against the 2nd best defense in the NFL. Look, I’ve been just as frustrated at times with the Seahawks ineptness on offense. Mostly, that’s because I know they have the talent and ability to put 40+ points on most teams because they did it last year. I certainly understand Pete’s philosophy of run the ball, control the clock, throw sparingly, and win with defense. It’s worked pretty well this year. It would just be my hope that he lets Darrell Bevell use a few more pages in the playbook on Sunday and allow Russell and his receivers to keep the Broncos off balance.
“Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this… and totally redeem yourself!”: This is the part of the column where I give my mea culpa. In the words of The Fonz, I was wrrrooooonngh. When the powers that be decided that Jim Mora should be fired (which I was fine with by the way) and Pete Carroll was coming north from USC, I was livid. There may or may not have been a very serious threat that I was going to cancel my season tickets. Okay, there was, and it was captured on a message board. I just knew that Pom Pom Pete was trying to get out of town before the NCAA brought the hammer down on that program. We all knew that no college coach had been successful in the NFL since Jimmy Johnson and that was 20 years ago. We knew he couldn’t coach in the NFL because he’d already tried and was remarkably mediocre. This rah-rah stuff couldn’t possibly work with pro athletes, could it?
I couldn’t have been more wrong. Pete obviously learned some things while at USC and translated that to the pro game. With the help of John Schneider, they have done a masterful job of finding those diamonds in the rough and turning them into huge contributors. He’s been able to get everyone to buy in to the “always compete” mantra. Although, mostly that’s because if you don’t buy in, you’re gone. That’s the one thing I think most players coaches don’t do that makes them less successful than they could have be. You need to plant that seed in players’ minds that they can be gone in an instant, regardless of who they are, if they’re not willing to give it their all on every play. Pete has done a masterful job at this and we are obviously all enjoying the results.
“Yeah I called her up. She gave me a bunch of crap about me not listening to her, or something. I don’t know, I wasn’t really paying attention.”: I sincerely hope the Seahawks are following Harry’s philosophy. Very few in the media give the Hawks a chance to take down the Broncos. There’s no way they can stop Peyton Manning. The Seahawk offense hasn’t looked good for over a month. Seattle’s wide receivers don’t scare anybody. The Seattle defense has no answer for Wes Welker. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Actually, I take it back. I hope the Hawks are listening. Few teams have been able to translate the massive chips on their shoulders into exceptional play on the field like this one. Which leads us to…
“We got no food, no jobs… our PETS’ HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!”: I’m thinking this might just be the conversation inside the Broncos huddle come the 4th quarter on Sunday.
Seahawks 35, Broncos 24