I don’t like calling them “distractions”, because I don’t really think the players give two shits about all the crap people talk about in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. They may be in awe of the whole experience of just playing in the big game, but all this other stuff? It’s not going to affect how they prepare, how they practice, and ultimately how they play the game. Once we hit kickoff on Sunday, all of this will be immediately forgotten. As it should.
Of course, the biggest, most inescapable story of these last two weeks has been the circus surrounding the New England Patriots and their under-inflated footballs. I’ve been kind of passively following along with this bemused indifference, but I’m sure if I was a Pats fan I’d be outraged. You’re telling me that instead of celebrating our great season, everything is going to be boiled down to some bullshit that ultimately didn’t even matter?
Well, you know what? I’m sorry, but that’s too damn bad. Because for starters, people STILL won’t let go of the whole Seadderall Seahawks thing, even though like half of those suspensions were for marijuana anyway, and aside from all of that, adderall has about as much impact on a football game as under-inflated balls. So suck it, Patriots fans. Eat a dick. Also, your hands aren’t clean in the whole suspension for banned substances issue. Just be glad no one gives a shit about Aaron Hernandez anymore, because I’m pretty sure murdering multiple people out-weighs a simple brain stimulant.
Am I as tired of the issue with the footballs as everyone else? Of course. But, it speaks to a larger issue, and that’s how the Patriots are pathological cheaters. And what’s more: they’re obviously TERRIBLE at it! I know there probably aren’t a ton of ways you can cheat in this day and age, what with there being cameras everywhere, and with everyone capable of going on Twitter to rat out virtually anyone doing anything. But, you’d think with Belichick being this so-called “genius”, he’d figure out a way to cover his tracks better.
Obviously, them spying on the Jets is the bigger of the two scandals, but this thing with the footballs constitutes a trend. They absolutely deserved to be raked over the coals, even if it had no effect whatsoever in their crushing the Colts last week. Don’t forget, we’re talking about a team whose only focus is the legacy of their head coach and quarterback. Sure, they care about winning the championship, but they care for the wrong reasons. The Seahawks want to win for themselves and their teammates. The Patriots want to win so they can feel validated. So the franchise can be considered the most elite. They’re focused on nothing but the history books, while the Seahawks are living in the now. That’s not nothing.
The second-biggest story of Super Bowl week is the story that WE’RE all sick and tired of hearing about: Marshawn Lynch. Specifically: Marshawn Lynch Not Speaking To Reporters and Marshawn Lynch Grabbing His Nuts.
Oh, Pats fans are tired of talking about balls? Join the club.
It’s weird to hate something as much as I hate the NFL, while at the same time love an entity within the NFL as much as I do the Seahawks. Will the NFL’s bullshit policies stop me from watching the game of football? Of course not. Doesn’t mean I’m going to stop bitching about them endlessly for being hypocrites, evil fuckers, and all around punk bitches.
You know what I want to see? I want to see the Seahawks – in the waning moments of a triumphant victory this Sunday – collectively gather together and in unison grab their crotches. You want to penalize us? You want to fine us? Fuck you, NFL! If you’re going to do it to Marshawn, you’re going to do it to everyone! The whole post-Super Bowl celebration, nothing but crotch grabs. Count me in.
As far as the whole not talking to the media thing, I’m pretty much over my initial outrage. Lynch has found a way to circumvent the NFL’s draconian rules, he gets to keep his money, these twisted old fools in the national media get to stick it where the sun don’t shine, and maybe we can all finally get over it and move on. I mean, seriously, who cares?
One thing that causes me a little more concern are these reports of Marshawn Lynch retiring after the season. I tend to believe that he WON’T retire, because that just sounds crazy to me. But, then again, it sounded crazy to me when Barry Sanders retired. It sounded crazy to me when Ricky Watters couldn’t get a deal anywhere once his contract with the Seahawks ended. And, it was crazy when Robert Smith of the Vikings had the greatest season of his career and then CALLED it a career.
Look, I’m like 85% confident that Lynch won’t retire. But, that needle keeps getting pushed a little more towards 50/50 with every new report that comes out. I mean, it DOES kinda make sense. The NFL keeps on with their bullshit rules and their bullshit crackdown … I mean seriously, with all the off-the-field trouble the NFL has had to deal with this year, from beating women to beating children to drunken driving to drug and alcohol suspensions, and THIS is their main focus? Preventing Lynch from grabbing his junk while at the same time forcing him to interact with the media? THIS is your big stand?
The NFL is pathetic. And, if they’re not careful, they’re going to push one of the greatest running backs in the game today right out of the league.
The more I watch Lynch and the more I see what he means to this team, the more convinced I am that we’re fucked the day he walks away from us. Think of how great we have it now, and think of how great we had it with Shaun Alexander. Now, think of how awful we were with Julius Jones & Co. Don’t take Beastmode for granted, because believe me, it can be A LOT worse.
A little more under the radar have been some interview comments in recent days. I’m, like, 100% convinced the media looks for perceived slights against an opponent more than the players of either team. It’s like everyone says: if you need bulletin board material at this point in the season, then you don’t deserve to be there in the first place. But, you gotta write about something, and the Super Bowl is the biggest event of the year.
Something that caught my eye was Jeremy Lane saying something to the effect of, “Gronk isn’t very good.” Granted, it’s just another comment in a long line of brash, cocky musings from this team, but I dunno. While I won’t condemn him, I’m more of the school of Let Your Play Do Your Talking. More than anything, I just don’t like hearing our third-best cornerback calling out probably the very best tight end in the league. I don’t NEED that! I don’t want to look back on a game we’ve lost because Gronk exploded for 170 yards and 3 touchdowns. I have all the confidence in the world that our defense will figure it out and keep his production to a dull roar, but you never know. I never thought Antonio Gates would have the kind of day he had earlier this season, for instance.
Then, there was that thing with Brandon Browner calling for his teammates to attack Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas because they’ve got a couple bum wings. For starters, stop it. Just STOP. He’s good friends with these guys. He’s also – not for nothing – not the most eloquent speaker in the world. I don’t think he literally wants people to hurt his friends. But, yeah, do you go after those guys a little bit more, knowing they have this weakness about them? Of course! If you were a Pats fan, you’d be outraged if they DIDN’T attack these guys!
Finally, out of the hullabaloo that was Media Day yesterday, we got a nice little bit of reciprocity from LeGarrette Blount, who said something to the effect of the Seahawks’ defense isn’t immortal. They can be beaten. There we go. If that’s not on par with what Jeremy Lane said, I don’t know what is. I happen to agree with the sentiment, mostly. CAN the Seahawks be beaten? Of course. We’re not out there shutting teams out every week; you CAN score on us. But, it’s tough to know what he really meant by it. We can be beat? Yeah, four teams beat us this year alone. But, what’s the context?
Does Blount think they can run up 30 points on us? That seems a bit far-fetched. Over 25? It’s possible, but not too likely. In the low 20s seems a bit more in range. But, I’ll tell you this much: if the Patriots beat the Seahawks, it will have more to do with how their defense shuts down our offense than their offense being overly dominant.
The difference between what Lane said and what Blount said should be pretty clear. Lane attacked one guy. And, Gronk is Gronk, I don’t think it’s going to phase him. It might lead to Brady targeting him more, to make a point. But, it’s not going to make Gronk run faster or catch better. See, but Blount talked about our entire defense. You don’t think he’s going to have guys barking in his face every time he’s stopped for a 2-yard gain? And, pity the moments where we stuff him in the backfield; he’ll never hear the end of it.
Anyway, that’s all I can stomach. We’re in the home stretch now. Two more days of build up, then we can all get rowdy as fuck on Saturday in anticipation of the big day on Sunday. Soak it all in.