Isn't it hard to believe that these lowly, downtrodden schmucks were once, briefly, our most loathed/feared rivals? Yeah, I still hate them, but certainly less than I hate the Steelers, Niners, Cardinals, Broncos or Raiders. But back in 2003-2004? The Rams were the bullies of the new NFC West. They chopped us down, put the boots to us when we were on our knees, and then laughed in our faces about it. After the trifecta of trauma STL laid on us in 2004, which included the biggest 4th quarter collapse in team history AND a home playoff loss, it felt like we'd forever be the dirt under their hooves.
Ten wins in a row later, those wounds have healed nicely. Even in 2008/2009... Seattle's worst seasons since Nirvana was still actively smashing up their instruments, the Hawks swept their Arch-cowering nemeses. We were Boo, and they were Randall. We went from shivering in terror of these guys popping out of our closets to bashing them over the head with a wiffle bat (alright, having a 4-year-old may have made me overdose on Pixar flicks a bit). So the Seahawks visit STL on Sunday, and a 11th consecutive win seems probable, even with the Rams rising up to take down DC last week.. Here's the 5 greatest Seattle wins over the Rams, presented to give your post-SD-victory warm and fuzzies an extra boost...
The Rams could have tied Seattle for the division lead at 5-4 with a win in this one, and midway through the 4th things looked bleak. The Seahawks hadn't scored since before halftime, were trailing 16-14 and playing like Night of the Living Dead-type zombies. After Nate Burleson's electrifying 90 yard punt return, the Hawks took the lead and started playing like 28 Days Later-type zombies... Rage Virus! Grrrrr!
For the TV view of Nasty Nate's return, go to the 3:56 mark of this clip. I was at Qwest that day, and the Twelve Army erupted like a mob of fucking Uruk-Hai after Burleson scored. Still, the Rams scored later to retake the lead, and Seneca Wallace had to lead us into position for the winning score... You can see the exciting conclusion in this clip... Spoiler alert: Since it was 2006, the game ended with Josh Brown nailing a field goal for a Seahawks win.
Early in the 2003 season, Seattle was itching to prove they were a true playoff contender, and the mighty Rams visited what we were still calling Seahawks Stadium. The Hawks were behind 23-10 as the final quarter began, but then sprung to life like Uma Thurman getting a shot of adrenaline to the heart and stole a dramatic 24-23 win with a dramatic Hass-to-KRob TD in the final seconds.
We happened to be hosting an "end of summer" yard sale that day, and I'm pretty sure I scared business off with the various otherworldly shrieks I emitted throughout the afternoon.
Y'all remember this game, I'm sure. Shaun ran wild in the cold November rain and the Rams were rightly fustigated. But for me, just seeing the game involved some serious drama. In the academic racket, you gotta go where the jobs are, and a lot of those jobs are in places you don't really want to be. Coming out of grad school, beggars can't be choosy though. You're lucky to get INTERVIEWS, let alone jobs, so you jump at any potential offer of gainful employment. I snagged an interview at a school in the "Witness Protection" region of Nebraska, and while my pregnant wife wasn't very psyched about the idea, it beat not having a job. One big problem: they wanted me to fly in on a Sunday. During football season. Fuck.
I'm not a complete peanuthead... I wasn't about to turn down the interview. But there was no goddamn way I was going to miss a Seahawks game, particularly one against the Rams. I made sure that I booked the earliest flight possible on Sunday. I pored over NFL TV coverage maps. I called the TV station in the town I was headed for to make sure they would be airing the Seahawks game. I got a couple of my friends to text me updates on my cell phone until I got in front of a TV, and I packed my Beck jersey.
When we got to the hotel, I told my handlers that I needed to "unwind after that flight." They told me to meet them in the lobby at 6 pm local time for dinner, so I turned the game on just as the Hawks snuffed STL's harebrained fake FG attempt. I paced around that room for two hours, enduring a late comeback spasm by the Rams and nervously watching the clock... Imagine a guy in a shirt and tie, dress pants, dress shoes, with a Hasselbeck jersey on top of that... My plan was to strip off the jersey and head to dinner as soon as victory was assured, and jusssst in time SA galloped for six to lock down the win.
In a VERY good mood, I might have had one beer too many at dinner that night... and the next day during the interview, I probably blew it when I described my classroom style as "talk show host." The happy ending is that I'm not exiled to the forbidden zone of Nebraska, furthest from the bright center of the galaxy... and that the Seahawks won.
After that psyche-crushing 2004 season, breaking the Rams' psychological dominance was the first real order of business the following year. In the Mike Martz's final game as the smuggest, smarmiest coach in NFL history, the Hawks ran out to a 34-21 lead. Up 37-31 late, the Hawks had to punt to Shawn McDonald (who delivered the killing stroke in OT at Qwest the previous October). Deliciously, Big Play Babs forced McDonald to fumble, and JP Darche recovered. Martz's coaching career ended, and the Rams' mental edge over the Hawks dulled into a useless butterknife of futility.
At the time, I was stuck in a very remote corner of Ohio doing a 1-year teaching gig. The nearest outpost of modern civilization, a Target store, was 30 minutes away. This game is my single happiest memory of that year that doesn't involve my wife or son... It was one of the most exciting finishes in Seahawks history; The Hawks fought back from a 21-7 halftime deficit to take a late 27-21 lead. After a Mo Morris fumble deep in STL territory, Torry Holt made a ridiculous TD catch that looked like the death blow. Down by a point, Beck marched the Hawks into Rams territory. An illegal procedure flag was misinterpreted by Scott Linehan as a foul that included a 10-second, game-ending clock runoff. The jabbering dipstick was wrong, and left slack-jawed after Josh Brown nailed the 54-yard game winner at the final gun.
Man, I love the reaction of the Rams fans in that clip... The Seahawk fans celebrating though? Dude... DON'T tuck in your jersey. Massive fail there. Everyone else? Buy some team apparel... yeesh.
What are YOUR glorious memories of Ram beatings? Of course, there's far more on my home blog: Dave Krieg's Strike Beard.