In the Five Stages Of Grief, as soon as it happened, I flew right by Denial and went straight into Anger. “Why didn’t we run the ball?” my cries wailed out to my gobsmacked family. “Why didn’t we run the fucking ball?” Over and over, it’s all I could bring myself to say or think.
This transitioned quickly into Bargaining, but only for a moment, as I took a quick glance at the clock and timeout situation and realized there was no way in hell we’d be getting the ball back. Maybe a safety? With them backed up on the 1-yard line? No, nevermind, offsides. And fights.
Back to Anger.
Ever since, it’s been nothing but waffling back and forth between Anger and Depression. Depression not so much because the season is over, but exclusively for HOW the fucking thing ended.
I wouldn’t say that this was a game where the better team lost. Quite frankly, both teams have an argument for that “Better Team” moniker, and if you think about it, the coaching staff IS a part of the team. Having your coach and/or coordinator completely brain-fart away the game in that situation sort of takes your team down a peg. More appropriate would be: the Seahawks SHOULD have won, but for the idiocy at the top.
And, as a side note, if you don’t think that was the dumbest play call in the history of the Super Bowl, or in the entirety of the sport of football, then you’re a fool. You’re a hopeless homer and you should probably stop pretending to be impartial or objective, Hugh Millen. That was, without question, the most retarded thing I’ve ever seen in my life. And I saw this country elect George W. Bush TWICE for president of the United States! Quite frankly, heads deserve to roll after a decision like that.
Now, whether I think heads SHOULD roll, that’s an issue for another day. I’m no fan of Darrell Bevell, but if it’s true that the head coach called for the play to be a pass, what the hell are you gonna do? Just flat out call your boss a moran over the headsets and defy him in the biggest moment of your lives?
What I will say is this: why not a safe fade route to Chris Matthews in the corner of the endzone? Something to your tallest player, where either he catches it and miraculously gets two feet inbounds, or it goes out of bounds and we’re no worse for wear? Why risk having your quarterback slam something into the most crowded part of the endzone, where it can be picked off, or tipped and THEN picked off?
But, that’s neither here nor there. What’s done is done. My main concern now isn’t with the team, or how the coaching staff looks in the public eye. My concern is with ME. How do I recover? Because, I’m not gonna lie to you, there were a couple days there where I thought, “What the fuck am I doing?”
Why is this so important to me? Why am I letting something so trivial get me so worked up?
A part of my fanhood died in that instant. I was expecting the run. The run would have worked. We didn’t run, even though literally EVERYONE in the world would have, because it would’ve fucking worked, and there I sat, broken hearted. How do you recover from something like that? The rise to glory with this team was so swift and so awe-inspiring since Pete Carroll & John Schneider took over. Granted, there have been the occasional set-backs. Not EVERY decision made by this organization in the last five years has been a winner. But, the overwhelming majority of them HAVE been great, and so it led to the kind of trust I’ve never experienced with any organization in all of my 33-going-on-34 years. And, in one play, that trust has been shattered.
It’s like when you’re a kid and you realize that not everything your parents tell you is right. Or, that first time you’ve been deeply, emotionally hurt by a loved one. You don’t stop caring for them, but you’re a little more wary the next time an issue comes up.
What’s the easiest way to get over something like this? It’s to write them off. It’s saying to yourself, “I really shouldn’t be so dependant upon this thing or this person for my happiness.” It all flashed before my eyes, this vision of a life without football. I could spend my weeks reading about something else. I could spend my Sundays during the season DOING something else. I could take up a new hobby to fill the time. I wouldn’t have to play fantasy football anymore, and Christ knows I’ve been looking for ANY excuse to stop with that nonsense! And, considering the very long odds of winning even ONE Super Bowl, let alone many – considering the vast, vast, VAST majority of seasons ultimately end in failure – I wouldn’t have to be hurt like this anymore.
Yeah, you break up with something (or someone), and you consider writing it off altogether. You won’t be hurt again, but you also won’t experience those tremendous highs either. And that’s what ultimately pulls you back in. Either to that same relationship, or to a new one in the same realm.
But, to be fair, I shouldn’t let it get to me like it does. I should have a healthy detachment in the first place, so I can be one of those slobs who’s able to say – in the heat of the moment of agonizing defeat – that while I’m disappointed now, I’ll always look back on the season with fondness for how enjoyable the ride was.
There was a lot to like about the 2014 Seahawks. It’s unfair to write it all off based on one insanely stupid play in the Super Bowl. While I’ll never change my mind about that play call, at least I can eventually see this season for what it was.
Hell, there are even parts of that Super Bowl that deserve some semblance of praise. I mean, shit, almost our entire secondary was injured, and they still managed to keep us in the game. There was that falling-down catch by Kearse. The touchdown by Baldwin and his funny celebration that we didn’t get to see on the broadcast. The way we were able to move the ball as well as we did, given our serious limitations on offense. One of these days, I’ll be able to re-watch that game again and take it all in.
But, not anytime soon. The best thing for me right now is: the football season doesn’t start for another six months or so. Never have I needed a six month break from something like I need a six month break from football.
My plan, for now, is to scale back the football talk. Gonna scale back the time I read about the game. There’s a lot of shitty aspects to the NFL anyway, so it’ll be nice to not have to think about how rotten this league is at its core.
I’ll move on from football the best way I know how: by digging into the new Mariners season that’s starting in about a month (Spring Training, anyway). I’ll still pop in to talk about any major Seahawks moves. But, for the most part, I’ll be scaling things back a little bit. For my own sanity, more than anything.
Besides, the month of February sucks all the dicks anyway when it comes to sports.
P.S. Because I just thought of it, and I couldn’t find a good spot to wedge it in earlier, I’ll talk about what Keith Olbermann said here.
No, of course not. You don’t “blow up the Seahawks”. That’s asinine. I mean, it’s an interesting Hot Take, and one I hadn’t expected from anyone outside of an overly emotional sect of Seahawks fans. But, seriously, what would you have us do? NOT extend Russell Wilson long term, knowing how difficult it is to find a franchise quarterback? Are we supposed to cut Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, and all of our other big-money players who we just signed to long extensions? Or, even worse, trade them for pennies on the dollar? Do we let Bobby Wagner go, and all of our other young, talented guys we drafted and cultivated since they were rookies?
How would that work, exactly? You know how literally just about everyone with a brain is lambasting the decision to pass the ball there on the 1-yard line? Yeah, compound that by a million and you’ll get to the number of people who agree that this team should be blown up.
I’m not saying NOTHING should be done. Obviously, you’re looking at a team with very real needs in the wide receiver and tight end groups, and in our pass rush, both interior and on the edge. There are A LOT of holes on this team. But, you don’t get rid of the players who WORK!
And, I know the whole point: how does a franchise recover from a devastating defeat like this? To be honest, I don’t know. Apparently – according to Olbermann – they go immediately in the tank and never recover until things have been sufficiently blown up by the natural course of sports.
I highly doubt the Seahawks are going to start sucking balls starting in 2015. We’re still too young and too talented. If we did run into a losing season, or a season where we failed to make the playoffs, it would be entirely due to coincidence and not because of some mystical “dark cloud” hanging over the franchise due to one batshit crazy playcall. Like, Russell Wilson and half the defense would have to be lost to injury for much of the year. Off the top of my head, that would probably do the trick.
That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. Shove your hot takes in a sack.