I feel like if you took a poll of football fans, the vast majority just wants it to be Sunday already. Let’s face it, in the two full weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, you can be inundated with just the most trivial of bullshit. I mean, really, who gives a FUCK if Marshawn Lynch doesn’t want to talk to the media? Well, besides the media, of course, who by and large are entitled cuntbags who whine at the drop of a hat if everything doesn’t go their way. Lynch makes a good point: if the fans don’t care, then what’s the problem? Trying to say that he’s being a “distraction” is completely asinine. Do you REALLY think the Seahawks are losing their focus on this game because Marshawn Lynch did a couple of 6-minute interviews during Super Bowl week, when he was supposed to be there longer? Do you REALLY think Marshawn Lynch is going to sweat all this noise when he’s got the football in his hands Sunday afternoon, following his lead-blocker into battle?
It’s all just contrived nonsense by the media who gets paid really good money to cover a child’s game. Just like the weather. Who cares that it’s cold in New York? The media. Because you gotta write about something. That’s why, when Richard Sherman did his thing at the end of the NFC Championship, we’re talking about throwing a raw piece of meat to a starving pack of wolves. You want to make a media member’s day? Say something the least bit controversial.
Except, where has the controversy been this week? After Richard Sherman did his “I’m So Sorry” parade across America, there’s been nothing. No locker-room material, no outrageous stand on gay people or gun laws, and no taking the bait of the loonies walking around with media credentials. Ergo, the media has nothing to talk about, so they make up some bullshit about how Beastmode is a distraction. And you know what sucks about it? If the Seahawks end up losing, or if Lynch has a key fumble or something, they’re going to go back after the fact and say, “Yep, we were right! His not talking to the media was a distraction and that’s why they lost!”
IT’S INSANE! It’s absolutely and totally insane. The Seahawks don’t have to win to disprove that idea, but you better bet your ass that’ll be the narrative anyway. Because members of the media are all susceptible to groupthink, whether they realize it or not. You hear them on the radio, you read their articles, and you get the same nonsense from each and every one of them.
So, yeah, I get it. I get why people are ready for it to be over with already. And, furthermore, if you’re a fan of the Seahawks or the Broncos specifically, you’re REALLY itching for this game to get going. You’re probably bouncing off the walls! Your sleep has likely been affected, your productivity at work has probably declined, and therefore you’re just a little bit irritable (like I am) about these stories you’re reading.
But, you know what? A small part of me wishes that these two weeks would last forever. As long as the Super Bowl has yet to be played, the season is still going. My team is still alive. And, most importantly, my team hasn’t LOST. I almost dread the thought of losing more than I relish the notion of us being world champs.
For the record, I do think the Seahawks are going to win on Sunday. I’ve said it many times throughout the year: the Seahawks at their best are better than every other team in this league. It’s a fact. But, that’s just it, you never know what version of this team you’re going to get. You know regardless, it’s going to be pretty good. It’s a team that’s going to be IN every game it plays. I would never for one second anticipate a blowout loss. But, will we get the team that thrashed the Saints on Monday Night Football? Or, will we get the team that came VERY close to blowing that game in St. Louis (also on Monday Night)?
The phrase “on any given Sunday” applies to the Seahawks just as it applies to every other team in the league. When you’re as good as Seattle has been, you know that more often than not, on any given Sunday we’ll be looking at a Seahawks victory. When you know your team is as good as this one, that makes the regular season stakes pretty low. The edge ramps up in the playoffs, but still, you’re talking about the #1 team with home field advantage. There was no good reason why the Seahawks should have lost those games against the Saints & 49ers, because we were just plain better than those teams.
But here, we’ve got the Super Bowl. The last game. It’s not just Win Or Go Home, it’s Win Or Have Your Soul Crushed. Win or lose, you’re going to hear the same narrative coming out of this game: The Seahawks Are Set Up For A Long Run Of Greatness. You’ll be told that this won’t be our only Super Bowl appearance. But, you don’t know! Yeah, I’m a firm believer that we’ve got a dynasty on our hands, but this team’s meteoric rise in such a short time (with such a young roster) is no guarantee of future success. I’m sure Dan Marino thought he’d be playing in multiple Super Bowls throughout his career after he made the big game in his second season. 15 seasons and a Hall of Fame career after that Super Bowl defeat, Dan Marino had exactly zero other Super Bowl appearances. It’s not fair and it’s not logical, but that’s how it went down. There’s nothing saying the Seahawks are assured of shit going forward.
That’s why Super Bowl XL was so important, and that’s why Super Bowl XLVIII is so important. You never know when you’ll make it back. Hell, there are still teams who’ve never been! In one sense, we’re lucky we’ve got these Seahawks. But, in another sense, we need them to take advantage of this opportunity while we’ve got it.
As I wrote yesterday, the Seahawks SHOULD have won Super Bowl XL. It took crippling mistakes on 11 of 12 offensive possessions for us to lose that game (as well as numerous defensive mistakes and refereeing blunders, but that’s neither here nor there).
These Seahawks SHOULD win Super Bowl XLVIII, but the same things are at play. We can talk about turnovers and “big plays” until we’re blue in the face, but there are other ways to screw up this game. Untimely penalties. Uncharacteristic drops. Shoddy play-calling. Soft defense. An inaccurate quarterback. Or, just flat out being tied with two minutes to go, kicking off to Peyton Manning for the go-ahead score.
Anything can happen. And if enough of this bad shit happens, we’re looking down the barrel of another Super Bowl defeat while Peyton Manning gets to cement his legacy as the world’s greatest quarterback. Is that what you want? Do you want the Seahawks to help cement another man’s legacy as one of the greatest? Do you want to give John Elway the satisfaction on his smug, butchered face? Do you want to see Horseteeth McGee holding up yet another Lombardi Trophy? Oh, real impressive work, Elway! You won a championship by roping in a hired gun hall of famer in his prime! Like any one of us couldn’t have done what you did!
So yeah, actually, I CAN wait for the Super Bowl to happen. In fact, I was perfectly calm before I started writing this fucking post. Now my heart’s beating fast and I’ve got all these worries … what the Hell am I doing on here anyway?
If the Seahawks lose this Sunday, bank on it being because Peyton Manning was able to do what Colin Kaepernick couldn’t: come through with the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds. Bank on our defense not getting the requisite turnovers it needs to really thrive. Bank on Denver receivers somehow finding ways to get open time and time again. I’m not necessarily expecting Denver to run the ball all that well, but that’s always a concern. And, of course, bank on the Seahawks not being able to throw the ball as well as we’d like.
Of all the bullshit media narratives going on this week, the one I’m sick of the most is probably, “The Russell Wilson Problem”. It goes by many alternatives: The Offensive Line Problem, The Wide Receiver Problem, and so on, but essentially it boils down to this: the Seahawks have struggled when the passing game has struggled. Look at the best game of the year – the first Saints contest. Is it a coincidence that it also happened to be Wilson’s best game? I’ll admit, I’m sick and tired of hearing about this issue, but it’s also the issue I’m most afraid of coming true.
It’s why I’ve been calling for this team to open things up a little bit and start throwing the ball around more. Our offense is never better than when it’s playing from behind and is forced to throw its way back into a ballgame. You know all the examples by now. But, get this, in that Saints game, there was a remarkable dedication to the pass from the get-go, and we were rewarded with one of our most comfortable victories of the season. It wasn’t the shutout against the Giants, but again, you’re looking at an offense that should’ve scored 40! Instead, we scored 23 and one of those touchdowns was off of an interception that gave us the ball at the Giants’ 16 yard line.
Now, obviously, I’m not going to sit here and expect them to change their whole philosophy (even though, as I stated before, what better time to install a radical new gameplan than in the two weeks before the Super Bowl?). So, that means that we’re going to come out heavy, running the ball a lot, and slowing the game down. It also means we’re going to need Russell Wilson to be perfect in those few situations where a pass is absolutely necessary. Like, on third down and more than 3 yards to go.
And, here’s the key element to all of this: we can’t wait around for Russell Wilson to settle into a groove. What are some of his flaws? He tends to overthrow receivers early in games (probably due to being amped up for the game). He tends to abandon the pocket prematurely. He tends to miss open receivers because he’s so worried about someone hitting him from behind (because we’re a little TOO preoccupied with preventing turnovers). Well, normally, it’s okay, because our defense is good enough to keep us in games until Wilson figures it out.
But, we’re playing the Denver Fucking Broncos and Peyton Fucking Manning. They’re going to get theirs. It’s unrealistic to believe we’re going to hold them to just field goals. It’s especially unrealistic to believe we’re going to shut them down entirely. To be honest with you, I’d be shocked if we won the turnover battle on Sunday. I think, if nothing else, it’s going to be even. But, I’m afraid that we’re going to lose it by a fumble or two. I can’t help but see a clean game out of Denver, especially if their defense is able to whoop up on our asses. Because they know, if their defense comes to play, it’s only a matter of time before Manning and Co. puts up some crooked numbers on the scoreboard. So, their offense won’t necessarily have to take the risky chances it would if they were down by a couple scores. Eventually, they will just push through with points by being careful and precise.
If we play a clean game and they play a clean game, it might be enough to just limit turnovers and big plays. It might be enough to force Denver into a bunch of 10-play drives because they’re dinking & dunking their way down the field. It might be enough to be the team who has the ball last. But, if we’re not getting them to turn the ball over (which I fear we won’t), and Russell Wilson comes in with a stinker of a game until the fourth quarter, when our comeback is all for naught, then I’m afraid we’re in for another disappointing end to a once-promising season.
It’s almost enough to make me lose my mind. Maybe I should save myself four hours of grief and anxiety and hit up a movie theater instead.