The Tampa Bay Times’s Greg Auman asked NFL writers around the country to give him their top three “most badass” players in the league—as well as vote on their choices for “most badass” team overall, ostensibly because, as Auman explains, Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter wants his team to be more “badass” (but Tampa received no votes).
The Seattle Seahawks? They did quite well.
In the team category, Seattle finished behind only the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in a close race—27 votes to 29. The next closest organization selected was the Pittsburgh Steelers, with 18 votes, and the Oakland Raiders fourth with only nine, putting the Seahawks and Patriots in an exclusive tier. The pair of squads gathered 54 votes combined against 65 total for the rest of the league, according to Auman.
However, Seattle separated itself with its individual selections, gaining 15 votes spread among four players—more than half of them belonging to Kam Chancellor who finished tied for fourth in the results with 8 votes himself. Moreover Marshawn Lynch, who now plays for the Raiders, was second in the NFL with 10 votes and obviously he is being evaluated based on his six years as a Seahawk since he has not yet appeared in a game for Oakland.
Lynch is presumably considered “badass” for his punishing runs, routinely seeking contact—and more, for breaking through those tackles especially on his famous earth-shattering touchdowns, that relentless ability to “run through a motherfucker face” and continually take that punishment over and over.
If you count Lynch’s illustrious body of work with Seattle’s figures they dominate the player side of the question with two in the top four and 25 combined tallies out of 126 (that’s one fifth of all votes, while only 16 rosters had any player gaining at least one nod). Then again, if you are using the data to project the badass mentality of teams going in to 2017, you have to consider him a Raider—in which case Beast Mode powers Oakland ahead barely with 16 votes. However the Seahawks still have more players named, with Richard Sherman (three), Michael Bennett (two) and Earl Thomas all receiving votes beside Chancellor.
The Steelers’ James Harrison got the top pick—”hands down” according to Auman, leading all vote-getters by four selections. Harrison is a hulk of a man, weighing 280 pounds at just six feet tall. He’s known for his outrageous feats of weightlifting power displayed on his Instagram, for his vicious hits and his BeastQuake-esque interception return during Super Bowl XLIII:
Harrison’s size and longevity at age 39 have caused him to be hounded by drug-enhancement rumors for years, but he has continually passed league testing and—when called by the commissioner to interview over allegations from the same report that linked Peyton Manning to HGH last year—demanded instead that Roger Goodell come meet him at Pittsburgh’s facility.
The Steelers’ Ryan Shazier, Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger also ranked among those receiving votes.
Meanwhile, Chancellor’s exploits are well known in these pages. He’s the kick-jumping, ball-punching, slobber-knocking, block-busting latch on the end zone’s gate; the enforcer of Seattle’s defense. On the SAT analogy section he is, with Vernon Davis, listed as “A)”, “B)”, “C)” and “D) all of the above” among answers to “As Ray Lewis:Eddie George::”. He is Barney Rubble’s and Sister Nancy’s Bam Bam, his hits the meeting place of ambition and creation together. His Hampton Roads voice has become the soul of the Seahawks, the sound of two pads clashing. The breath on Tom Brady’s backside, the sound an antelope makes as a lion rips its throat. “Have you heard the Newport News? It says LOB, love our brothers.”
Long may Marshawn Lynch prosper, we still got our Kam.