Super Bowl 2014: Seahawks are embracing the Black Hat
By Mark Demaray
As the great Yogi Berra said, “it’s deja vu all over again”. If you’ve been watching any national coverage of the Seahawks the last 10 days or so, you know that this is a team the country does not want to win the Super Bowl. It’s not that they’re rooting against the Hawks per se, but it’s just that the team on the other side of the field has the feel good story that the media would rather not have the Hawks get in the way of. Picture it…Detroit, February 2006. A snowy Detroit welcomes Seattle to their first ever Super Bowl. Unless you weren’t born yet or you were in a remote village in the Amazon (and maybe not even then) you would have heard that Jerome Bettis was from Detroit and he was likely to retire after that Super Bowl. The team standing between him and his ability to ride out in a blaze of glory? Yep, those pesky birds from Seattle.
Flash forward to present day. Somehow in a league that wants to only have its biggest game in warm weather cities or in domes, the Seahawks are again playing in a cold weather city and this time it’s outdoors. We better win this one or we may have to wait until they give Minneapolis a Super Bowl in their new stadium. But I digress. The Seahawks again find themselves on the wrong end of the national rooting spectrum. This time, it’s the universally beloved bright red forehead attached to Peyton Manning. Rumblings abound that if Peyton wins this game, he rides off into the sunset like that horse face that is the Broncos VP of Football Operations, John Elway.
So, our beloved Seahawks are once again put in the position of wearing the black hat as the villain that would deny a sure Hall-of-Famer a ring as they are set to file their retirement papers. There are two sides one could fall on if they’re a Seahawks fan. First, we could be very concerned as those who don the black hat lately have not fared well. Some examples:
- Last year. The 49ers put on the black hat as the rest of the nation inexplicably got behind the bloody-white-suit-wearing, deer antler spray enthusiast Ray Lewis.
- The last two Patriots Super Bowls after Spygate resulted in absolutely soul-crushing defeats as the nation cheered that the “cheaters” were getting their come-uppance
- Three years ago, the Steelers tried to get in the way of Aaron Rodgers breakout from Brett Favre’s shadow and were sent back to Pittsburgh sans trophy.
- The Bears in Super Bowl XLI tried to deny Peyton Manning his first ring and were dispatched with relative ease.
On the other hand (and this is where I fall), we could embrace the wearing of the black hat. We could channel our inner Muhammad Ali and be brash, cocky, a little arrogant, and not give one care as to how the nation feels about us. Personally, I think this team is already there. Look no further than “InterviewGate” with Richard Sherman. He wants that black hat and he wants the world to know he’s wearing it. Our defense prides themselves on being just a little more physical than everyone’s comfortable with. I say we jump on board with our team, Seahawks fans. Puff out that chest a little bit. Be a little obnoxious with those Bronco fans that are in your office. Make fun of Pizza Boy Manning. If they’re going to give us that label, let’s own it!
Here’s just a few more stats to facilitate the puffing of the chest. Kudos to Gregg Easterbrook of Tuesday Morning Quarterback on some of these:
- There have been four Super Bowls prior to this one where the league’s top offense met the league’s top defense. The team with the top defense is 3-1.
- Teams with orange on their primary jerseys are 2-6 in the Super Bowl. Teams with green are 5-3.
- The Broncos are the NFL’s highest-scoring team ever. Of the previous 10 highest-scoring teams, only the 1999 Rams won the Super Bowl that season.
- Denver has worn orange jerseys in the Super Bowl three times, and lost all three.
Ultimately, it boils down to this Seahawks fans. Enjoy this ride. As we know all too well, it doesn’t come along very often and there’s no guarantee it will ever come again (…cut to Dan Marino nodding his head). I was out there on Sunday morning with the 30,000 screaming Seahawks fans lining the street waiting just to wave at the buses as they made their way to Sea-Tac airport. It was a great time of just drinking in all the energy that a run like this can produce.