We have been pretty generous, Pete Carroll. We, the Seahawks fans, have been reserved in our criticism and generous with our patience. It's not easy to take an already bad team, strip it of much of its young talent, throw your weight behind competing right away, and still somehow oversee the worst second half collapse in franchise history, but you have, and the somnolent, patient, inured faithful of the Pacific Northwest have abided with barely a "boo."
But it's primetime, Pete. It's primetime.
We are slow to judge. Smug in our awareness of sample size and relativity and the way the greatest achievements so often arise from the greatest crises. It's history. We know our history. We read, we respect, we don't react. We're patient, not so dogmatic to give much credence to "buy in" but trusting enough to assume there is something larger to buy into.
But it's primetime, Pete. This Sunday the Seahawks play primetime football, in front of the nation, with Qwest and the great Seattle metropolis in the spotlight, and the Seahawks, our pride, a symbol of our community, taking the field for the world to see.
We may have gotten a little too excited after 4-2. 4-2! Four wins! Two, two tiny losses. But give a starving man his bread. We needed that. We needed something to hang our hope on. We are smart, so smart, and literate, yes literate, and wise, with perspective, but we're fans, we're fans and this team has fallen so far so fast that we have felt punished and ashamed for our fandom. We need hope--sweet irrational hope!
We may have gotten a little too low after blowout loss after blowout loss. 17 conceded to the despicable Rams. 30! A 30 point blowout by the Raiders. 30! 30 scored before halftime by the putrid 49ers. We may have fled our hopes like rats from a burning building, but what an ugly, detestable end to the season. It hurts Pete, and it's hard to forgive.
But it's primetime, Pete. It's primetime football, and if you're any kind of competitor, this season has stabbed at you like an iron maiden. For every time we have dug our fingernails into our palms to bleeding, for every tirade launched at our televisions, for the pacing, the ranting, the--worst of all--the sweetness of hope crushed, again and again, until hope feels like the leading edge of defeat and dread, you, Pete Carroll, we trust that you felt sick and angry and doubly committed to end this embarrassment, this collapse, to ending the demise of this once proud franchise, to ending three years of Seahawks failure that has smothered Seattle in mud and ash and suffocating death like the Osceola Mudflow.
Because we are patient and loyal and aware of the great burden you were handed, Pete, but we are strong and proud and sick of being bottom feeders.
And it's primetime, Pete. It's primetime, and, we, the Seahawks, the Seahawks Nation, the Seahawks fans that welcomed your arrival and will watch you leave, do not demand victory. We demand everything you have.