Back in 1999 I ran into Christina Aguilera on a street in downtown Burbank, California. She had just released her first hit single, "Genie in a Bottle" and it would soon be Billboard gold.
In the song she explains that she's a genie in a bottle baby, and that you have to rub her in the proper way in order to get the wishes, honey. I promptly gave her a patdown and before I could say "voulez-vous coucher avec moi" I was being Gorilla-tackled by her bodyguard.
However, it did turn out that the debut single of Ms. Aguilera was more than just a catchy pop song. She actually does give you wishes if you rub her the right way! Apparently she got rubbed just as she pleased and granted me three wishes.
Wish #1: I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller, I wish I had a girl who looked good I would call her.
Christina explained to me that I had just accidentally made all three wishes. I felt so stupid and begged for her to let me take it back. She agreed to take the last two wishes back since I had not defined what it meant to be a "baller." However, I would become a little bit taller.
Wish #2: I was just about to wish for a rabbit in a hat with a bat and a six-four Impala when I realized this would really be a waste. Afterall, what good would a rabbit in a hat be without a magician's assistant? And what's he going to do with a bat? Rabbits don't have the paw dexterity necessary to even hold a bat.
So instead I wished for Y2K to be an absolute bust. You're welcome America. It was hilarious to watch you all scramble.
Wish #3: This is where I decided to do what everyone says they're going to do if they get 3 wishes. Of course, I wished for infinite wishes.
She said "No."
I wished for a billion wishes.
I wished for a million wishes?
Fine Christina. Well, is there any loophole I can exploit here? I mean come on, I just used one of my wishes on America and thefore the world. Where's the goodwill towards my goodwill? Where's the love?
She looked at me coldly and without sympathy and I decided I had to try and get on her good side. So I looked her directly in the eyes and I said:
"You are beautiful. No matter what they say. Words can't bring you down. Don't you bring me down today."
She was touched, and absolutely floored by my kind words. She agreed to give me a handful of extra wishes to use only sparingly until my dying day. Not all wishes will work out, but some will, and that they'll work best on football wishes. I know, I was really confused by the stipulations too. But that's the way it was going to be, so I had to live with it or get nothing.
Here are my wishes for week four. Not one of which includes the residual check I am owed from her for that song. I've given up hope of ever seeing a penny for that.
I Wish that Sidney Rice Would Continue to Catch 80% of His Targets
After weeks of waiting, and rumors that Rice would just end up on IR, we got our first taste of our biggest free agent acquisition of the offseason. It makes sense why Seattle would be bitter about a wide receiver coming to the Seahawks, and perhaps it's why at this point we only expect the worst.
Why would Sidney be any different than Deion Branch, Nate Burleson, or TJ Houshmandzadeh?
We still don't know if he will be different or not, but we did see him targeted 10 times against the Cardinals, and he caught 8 of those for 109 yards. He's already got more targets than Mike Williams and Zach Miller and the same amount as Golden Tate. By the 2nd half of Sunday he could be the team leader in yards and targets. He's already tied for the team lead in catches.
I will no longer waste wishes on Tarvaris Jackson. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well, you can't get fooled again.
However, the best wide receivers in the league should be able to produce during games in spite of the quarterback. Is Sidney Rice one of the best wide receivers in the league? It certainly looked that way in 2009. Let's see if that was just a fluke, if he'll never be completely healthy, or if we have our first elite wide receiver in a very long time.
I Wish Mike Williams and Zach Miller Would Come Out and Play
As the lone option in Seattle last season, Williams was the benefactor of 131 targets, catching 56.5% of those targets and 22.9% going for 15 yards or more. This season he has 9 targets in 3 games and has caught 5 of those with a long of 12 yards.
It's good that Seattle found themselves a diamond in the rough in Doug Baldwin and that they signed Sidney Rice to alleviate the pressure off of Mike Williams to be "the guy" but it's not good if the offense isn't improving as a whole. The idea, to me at least, is that you don't change much of what Williams does by adding Rice, you just add a weapon that you didn't have before and Williams becomes the "possession receiver" for third downs and such.
Blame falls on Tarvaris Jackson and Darrell Bevell after Williams dropped from 10 targets per game in 2010 to 3 targets per game so far this season, but now with Rice drawing attention on the opposite end, let's not have any more 0 catch games like he did in week 3.
Similarly, Miller was the most targeted player in Oakland last year and averaged over 6 targets per game. Assuming that Jackson would be terrible going into the season, we figured "Oh yeah, duh, Miller will look like an animated pork chop to a hungry dog to Jackson!" and that he'd catch 60 balls again.
The result again is 9 targets in 3 games.
It's cool that we got a win against the Cardinals and that we put up a season-high of 261 yards offense. It's not cool that 261 yards of offense is our season-high, or that we did it on a Cardinals defense that allowed well over 400 yards in each of the first two games.
Blame does not fall on one man's shoulders or even on several shoulders. The blame goes all around. The offensive line, the quarterback, the coaches, the wide receivers. At this moment I expect more out of Bevell than I do out of Tarvaris. There won't be any wishing for Tarvaris or James Carpenter or John Moffitt to turn into All-Pros over night because that would be a wasted wish. But it is definitely time to step up the coaching and find out a solution because a solution does exist. A solution always exists. It's not a total personnel problem because we have seen Williams and Miller perform before. They can't each finish the season with less than 50 targets.
I know its a broken record to say that "the Seahawks offense sucks!" but that's why I'm making my wishes. To spread the ball around more, score some points, use the weapons we thought we had, and do it on a Falcons defense that is 22nd in total defense and 24th in scoring defense.
But most importantly of all, why do we still say "broken record"? What's the last generation to still play records? We've almost entirely skipped over the CD generation without saying "I hate to sound like a scratched Taylor Swift CD," which is doubly bad because it's scratched and.. you know. Man, the next generation of kids with their MP3's will never know what its like to wear out your favorite album. Those little spoiled bastards.
I Wish for the Twelfth Man to be as Loud as Ever
I went to a high school that has a doormat of a football team for almost its entire existence. Then my junior year we went to the state championship game.
I went to Washington State University and the idea of being an "underdog" only magnified. The football team getting a couple of good seasons a decade while spending the rest of the time in the basement. The basketball team with a history only a little more rich than my winless high school football team.
I don't think you lose your love of a team after they win championships, that bond is too tight. But do you lose a little passion? Do you lose a little bit of that childhood spirit?
As fans we can't change how our teams play or how talented our players are, but we can show our spirit. The history of Seattle sports is no secret to you or me, and its understandable why Qwest (how long before I give in to CenturyLink?) is considered the loudest stadium in the NFL. A stadium so loud that the more we hear how loud we are and how much we affect the game, the louder we get.
Because we want to win. We are tired of losing. But until we finally do win, the rest of the league can expect to hear from us.
We're a bitch of an ex (boyfriend or girlfriend, no discrimination!) and we have got a lot of baggage.
I believe the Falcons will be distracted by the noise on Sunday. Maybe not enough for the Seahawks to win (the Falcons led 34-10 after three quarters last season in Seattle) but enough to let them know the fans are here to help. Because the team needs the fans to help.
Believe it or not, the Seahawks could be in first place in the NFC West after Sunday. We can say all we want about fans cheering for Charlie, or cheering for Luck, but ultimately fans cheer for victories and banners. We can't control the coaching decisions or the draft picks but we can control how well the Falcons can hear. And that's pretty cool because I don't think a team of Helen Kellers (two out of three ain't bad! Deaf and dumb that is) will blow out the Seahawks. At best they'll win by 10.
I Wish the Defensive Line Would Do Work on Matt Ryan
The Falcons QB was sacked a career-high 23 times last season. He's already been sacked 13 times in 2011. Atlanta's offensive line hasn't been very good, and Ryan has taken on some of the blame himself for his high number of takedowns.
In two road games he has been sacked nine times with one touchdown and two interceptions. I think an underrated aspect of the Seahawks 2005 season was their 47 sacks that year on defense.
It's awesome that this unit can stop the run when healthy and vital to any success they are going to have, but right now Ryan is getting beat up like the egg I'm going to make for dinner tonight because I'm broke.
There's a better chance of us stopping the passing game in the trenches than there is in stopping it with our corners.
Currently the Seahawks have 5 sacks on the year. I wish we would double that.
Finally, I wish to get hit by a Mercedes-Benz while I'm crossing the street and for the Benz to be owned by Lawrence Taylor. I don't want to be injured too badly, but just enough that Taylor freaks out because he knows his insurance ran out and he's got coke in the car so he just wants me to disappear and not press charges or call the police. He pulls out four stacks of $100 bills and hands them to me and says "Please just take this and pretend it never happened." I agree and limp off. The pain subsides in a few days but I'm $100,000 richer.
I know it's really detailed but I was hoping the more detailed I was, the more likely it is that it will happen. Damn you Christina Aguilera.