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If we get to 12 we win: A one-act Seahawks play

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A private discussion of particular interest to gamblers and match-fixing investigators

Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Field Gulls obtained the transcript of a recording made last week inside the Seattle Seahawks locker room that gives unusual insight into Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins. The source declined to be named but assures us the document, detailing a conversation between quarterback Russell Wilson and receiver Doug Baldwin, is 100 percent, word for word authentic:

Doug: Hey Russ, let me talk to you a minute.

Russell: I told you already, Doug: I’m not wearing your other black leather glove. Nike will only let me use the ones that have the RW3 logo on them.

Doug: It’s not about that. I’ve got something else planned for that. But look, Twitter came to me with an offer to promote their new official NFL hashtags. They wanted me to say, “We are 12,” during the postgame interview…

Russell: Uh huh.

Doug: But I thought that made me sound ridiculous, like I’m some twins at a family reunion or like a group of nine year olds trying to talk their way onto the Riptide at Wild Waves. So I came up with something even better.

Russ: Dude that’s great! I love competing at the negotiating table. You know? Audibling into a counter offer. It reminds me of when I pitched Bose on crafting a new—wait why did they approach you?

Doug: Don’t worry, Russell. You’ll be involved, I promise. That’s what’s so great about my idea! I’m so excited it makes me want to cry almost…

Russell: But I’m the quarterback. What will the guys say? First you get the big extension… now you’re getting multimedia deals… next you’ll be getting married!

Doug: Russ, I’ve been engaged since March.

Russell: I—You are? How did I not …know that?

Doug: That’s because I don’t make it such a… —never mind. Trust me, Russ. You’re fine. Don’t worry about the endorsements or the Taco night invitations or— Look, you’re still our quarterback. You’re our leader.

Russell: [beaming]

Doug: We all follow you, no matter what. So don’t worry about it. Twitter just understands how busy you’ve been preparing for the year, and it was during wedding season and…

Russell: Say the other part, Doug. You know I love it when you say that.

Doug: Russ—

Russell: Say it.

Doug: [Sighs] … Into darkness. We’ll follow you into darkness.

Russell: Haha! Yessss! I love that movie. “My crew is my family, Kirk.” Ha! [Bleeping] Cumberbatch!

Doug: Right. So here’s the idea: Instead of just me saying, “We are 12,” we all—as a team—together—become 12 …by scoring exactly 12 points.

Russell: What? 12 points???

Doug: Yep. I thought it would be a nice expression, you know, #buildabridge to honor our fans.

Russell: Why did you just say hashtag? You’re speaking words in the air. There’s nowhere for me to click or tap.

Doug: Forget it—

Russell: But why only 12 points? Why not, like, 36? Wouldn’t 36 be better?

Doug: Because it’s the hashtag. Twitter wants us to promote #WeAre12 because that’s what they picked for the official Seahawks topic thread.

Russell: But we don’t even have anybody on our team who wears 12.

Doug: That’s the point, numbskull. The 12 represents the fans and their connection to the team. It’s a demonstration of unity.

Russell: Oh you mean the 12th Man.

Doug: Shhhh. We’re not supposed to say that anymore. Paul Allen has to pay Texas A&M 500 dollars every time someone says it out loud.

Russell: But Paul has bi—

Doug: Believe me it adds up.

Russell: The worst part is A&M ends up hurting its own former players. Schneider told me the A&M fees are why they had to find a backup center even cheaper than Patrick Lewis. And the same thing is what’s holding up Michael Bennett’s deal…

Doug: Well, Mike told me Texas A&M doesn’t care anything about its ex-athletes.

Russell: Yeah for real. They’ve even got Johnny Manziel paying full tuition now, and the reason they had to restructure the Seahawks licensing deal was the athletic department’s debt from when they paid Johnny the first time around!

Doug: Anyway, so that’s the gig: We’re 12. They’re 12s. 12 on the scoreboard. Easy.

Russell: Boy, that’s going to make it a lot harder to win.

Doug: I don’t think so: See, it’s the Dolphins against our defense. Our guys are dope, right? We should hold them to, what, 4.0 yards a play, right? We’ve got Richard Sherman. Michael Bennett. What are they gonna be able to do? I see their quarterback throwing for 100 yards, maybe, 150 if we have any lapses. So what’s that? 215? 220 yards total offense? And even if Miami does end up in any high-leverage short-yardage type situations just send Kam Chancellor ricocheting across the formation and blow up the play before the back can reach the line of scrimmage. Those dudes do their jobs and spread any gains out over a bunch of possessions, keep them out of the end zone. We do our thing, dominate time of possession and yardage… then just happen to miss some timely third downs, kick a few field goals—and go home. Believe me, if we get to 12 we win.

Russell: How are we going to dominate time of possession if we don’t pick up third downs?

Doug: Not every third down. Just certain key third downs.

Russell: I don’t like this. It feels like point shaving.

Doug: You won’t have to lower your game at all. I can arrange for Lockett to drop some balls…

Russell: No I can handle it. I know how to slide right before the sticks. But why get Lockett’s hands dirty? Why don’t you just drop the balls yourself?

Doug: Russ, don’t you understand? Have you seen my catch rate? Didn’t you ever watch a Columbo special movie? We have to make it look like an accident.

Russell: I still don’t know. Controlling the game that way and holding ourselves back may be an even worse form of showboating than running up the score. What if something goes wrong?

Doug: Trust me, Russ. Milton Berle never hurt anyone’s feelings by keeping his pants on. How about this? Start out the first few drives passing. You know, just throw after throw like the Pittsburgh Steelers. No one can accuse us of deliberately trying not to score if you set a career high in attempts. Remember, it’s for the fans. And if we pull it off, it’s still 1-0.

Russell: But what if something …else… goes wrong? [Looks at camera.]

Doug: Who are you looking at?

Russell: I mean what if the Dolphins get lucky? What if they get some big plays? It happens.

Doug: Big plays? We got the best free safety in the game! Earl Thomas doesn’t miss tackles, tackles send Earl Thomas late night texts because tackles miss him. What are they gonna do, beat Earl Thomas deep over the top? Earl Thomas is Denzel Washington in Crimson Tide, Earl beats Top over the deep.

Russell: You’re right, you’re right. Of course, you’re right. I try two or three of those deep bombs a game and it’s never complete. But what if something freaky happens and we mess around too long and it turns out we need a touchdown at the end?

Doug: No problem. If it comes to a fourth down or something and the game is on the line, just strap your [bleep] up and look for me. That’s what you like anyway, right? Being the hero? Leading us down the field? Just look for me on fourth down. I got you, dog.

Russell: I‘m not worried about you, Doug. I‘m thinking about the score. How are we going to get to 12 if we have to suddenly score a touchdown?

Doug: That’s a good question. That’s why you’re my quarterback, Russ. Hmm… I’ve got an idea, though. Hey Hauschka! You ever watch Columbo?