There are two ways to go into this game on Sunday. The first way – the one we’re all used to – is to expect the worst. We Seattle sports fans have suffered every type of heartbreak imaginable, in every major sport. Unlike most other cities, we’ve yet to experience that sweet taste of victory (except for the 1979 Supersonics, of course; but I feel like losing your franchise retroactively strips you of your championships. Because, what’s the point of being a fan except to brag about your team’s success? Well, if you don’t have a team anymore, then you really can’t brag about it, can you?).
Every instinct in my body wants to be doom & gloom about this Sunday’s game against the 49ers. The Seahawks are going to lose, because OF COURSE they’re going to lose. Because Seattle! Because we’re God damned cursed and that’s all there is to it! Some fucked up thing is going to happen that causes our most bitter rival to experience the joy that’s rightfully ours.
It’s our coping mechanism. Don’t get too excited about anything, because that other shoe is just dangling overhead by a thread. One stiff breeze will topple our house of cards, and we’ll be left come Monday miserable and depressed.
Except, that’s not totally true. Because we’ve been here before. In 2005/2006, we were in this very same position. I don’t remember a lot about that time in my life, because I have the booze-addled memory of a tsetse fly, but I do remember thinking, “There’s no fucking WAY we’re going to beat the Panthers and go to the Super Bowl. They’re too good! They’ve got too much talent on both sides of the ball and they’re going to come in here and mow us down!”
When I was in elementary school and middle school, I could never picture my life as an adult. It was like I was some sea captain in the Middle Ages on a course due West on the Atlantic Ocean: there would be no destination, only the edge of the world, of which I would sail right over into the great beyond. Life after grade school? I didn’t see it happening! Taking care of myself? With bills and a job and rent and the like? No way. In my pre-adolescent mind, life just ended once you graduated. You get your diploma, and you sail right over the edge of the world into nothingness.
That’s how I considered the Seahawks’ chances of ever even MAKING the Super Bowl. The idea just didn’t compute. To the point where I thought the odds of the Seahawks moving to another city was more likely! I have a $5,000 college bet to prove just how crazy the notion of the Seahawks ever contending for the Lombardi Trophy was to me. Still working to pay that down, by the way.
And yet, it happened. Granted, we lost, in the most miserable way possible (especially for a guy who has two good friends who also happen to be Steelers fans). But, that means if the unthinkable can actually come true, then why not the ultimate dream?
I’m coming around in my thinking. Partly, because the woe-is-me attitude gets a little old. Of course, if we lose on Sunday, don’t come ’round here unless you want to bear witness to the biggest pity party known to mankind. But, mostly I’m coming around because it’s time to start expecting greatness. If Baltimore, if New Orleans, if Tampa, if Indianapolis, if Pittsburgh, if Green Bay, if St. Louis can win Super Bowls, why not Seattle? What’s so special about those cities? What’s so great about those organizations? They were bad, then they were good, then they hit on a great season and BOOM, they’re champions. We’ve done the bad, we’ve done the good, now we’re in the midst of a great run of football … why can’t we be champions?
It’s time to stop dreading what’s to come and start looking forward to what’s possible.
This Seahawks team, when it plays its best, is better than every other team in football. Don’t ever forget that. We’ve already got the best defense. We’ve got a top notch punter, a rock solid kicker, and some of the best punt and kick coverage in the game. That’s two elite units of football that are second to no one. All we need is for the offense to start clicking, and we’re destined to roll through these next two games.
We’ve proven that we have a great offense over the last year and a half. We’re capable of big plays out of our play-action passing game, we’re capable of pounding the football down the defense’s throat, and we’re capable of hitting on the intermediate routes with regularity. Russell Wilson is an efficient and accurate quarterback. It’s not a stretch for him to have a game where he completes 3/4 of his passes. Our receivers are capable of getting open and winning the one-on-one battles. Even our running backs have great hands in the check-down game!
Remember that 3-game stretch last season where we averaged 50 points a game? That’s essentially the same offense we’ve got right now. All it takes is one game. One game for it all to start clicking.
I think this is it. This is our time. The bounces are going to go our way. The big plays are going to be won by the home team. And, in the end, the 49ers are going to go back to San Francisco frustrated and angry.
We know their defense. We’re experienced with what they have to offer. They’re not going to shock us now. But, we can shock them. And, I think we will. The Seahawks will be NFC champions for a second time. 38-12.