The first days after a big first-round playoff win are like the first minutes after a big ol’ orgasm. Not only do you take residence in Cloud 9, but your brain takes a temporary vacation (generally up your own ass). Yes, you’ve got the high of the win, the giddy anticipation of Another Game (when 24 other fanbases are unable to say the same thing): these would be the fun qualities. But, you’ve also got the delusion of thinking your team can do no wrong (when they’ve proven the exact opposite time after time in the regular season), and the even bigger delusion of thinking your team can go into Chicago on a sub-freezing Sunday morning and escape with a victory.
These are the not-so-fun qualities, only you don’t start to experience their repercussions until sometime in the early Sunday afternoon hours when you’re drunk, surly, throwing remote controls across the room, and kicking your friends out of your house before you release the hounds all over their bad-luck asses.
Let’s face it, NFL history is riddled with upstart teams coming off emotional wins in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, only to get smacked on their asses like Tracy Porter trying to tackle Beast Mode.
Where were you in early 2007, when the Seahawks were coming off of an insane 1-point victory over the Dallas Cowboys? Remember? Tony Romo bobbled the PAT snap and Big Play Babs tackled him at the 1-inch line thus preserving a draining, thrilling win. Thereby giving us the chance to go into … CHICAGO, playing Rex Grossman & The Gang. We lost in overtime to a team we may or may not have been better than, but nevertheless to a team who had a first round bye.
Or how about early 2008? You were there, I know you remember. We knocked off the second-consecutive Hall of Fame coach, this time blitzkrieging Joe Gibbs and his Redskins in Qwest Field. The very next week, we played fellow NFC North Chicago Bears rival … GREEN BAY. After taking a 14-0 lead in the snow, we got ran the fuck over, losing 42-20.
Both times, Seahawks fans had no rational reason to expect victory. Nevertheless, Seahawks fans went into those games on a euphoric high, only to get stampeded by the rested bye team with the superior record. It’s something to keep in mind.
Just not today. I know in my heart of hearts that Chicago is the better matchup for us than the Falcons, but regardless, it’s not as good as Seahawks fans will be led to believe. These Bears aren’t THOSE Bears of week 6. These Bears have ripped off some impressive wins, have figured out their offensive line issues, are rested and healthy, and they’re playing at home against a West Coast team prone for lapses in focus when playing 10am games. They should have no trouble dispatching an 8-9 team riddled with holes.
Knowing all that, I still can’t help but think there’s a chance. Because it’s the Monday after a win in the opening round of the playoffs. And I won’t be able to focus on anything else until we’re finally eliminated.
There’s nothing as exciting as when your team is in the playoffs. Even if they don’t belong, even if they don’t deserve it, even if they’re double-digit underdogs every week … the thrill of being involved trumps everything else. The thrill of one more week to keep hope alive.
History shows Wild Card Round winners overwhelmingly flop in the Divisional Round. But, every once in a while, a team sneaks through. Why not this team? Why can’t we atone for our 2007 playoff defeat the same way Chicago wants to atone for their week 6 defeat?