This has been a long season, hasn’t it? Someone came up to me the other day and asked, "Can you believe we are already at week 16? This season has gone by quickly!" It feels like a baseball season. Just a long, hard, grind where nothing has been easy and it has just been an absolute slog.
The Indianapolis Colts game feels like it happened so long ago. It’s really hard to believe that game happened this year. And it’s equally hard to believe that game would end up the highlight of the year. Well, at least, in terms of how complete a game the Seahawks would play from start to finish. Especially, against a (potential) playoff team (which, at the time, seemed like it was…and then it wasn’t - as the Colts started 0-3 - and then it was. But, by then it didn’t matter because the Seahawks were battling irrelevancy all year long, as it turns out). The highlight would be beating the Niners at home and sweeping them. At least, there’s that for 2021. Hang the banner up.
It’s been a weird couple of seasons for the Seahawks. Everything seemed to go as right as they possibly could have last year, to an extent. Obviously, we still had the blown lead against the Cardinals and the embarrassing loss to…Colt McCoy. But, those close games, those goal line stands, those come-from-behind victories all, for the most part, broke in Seattle’s direction.
The Patriots game, the Cowboys game, the Vikings game, the rematch versus the Cardinals, and the finale against the 49ers.
Time and time again that’s just how the ball has bounced for the Seahawks for the last decade. It seems like all that good fortune for years and years has caught up with Seattle this year and everything has gone wrong.
It all kind of started in the off-season with Russell Wilson seemingly very un-Russell Wilson like in terms of calling out his team in a public manner. Not that I blame him or anything like that. It was just weird to see headlines day after day and people talking about it nonstop about how he’s going to be traded, or he wants a trade and all that. It was very weird.
This wasn’t just a Richard Sherman deal where you expect someone like him to talk to the media and all that. It was just strange that after getting honored with the Walter Payton Man of the Year, a couple of days later he sort of ignites a flame and the media, and everyone else; creates a whole firestorm about it and all that.
Just a weird offseason, in general, and then we get the home home opener. 23-9 against the Titans; still hard to believe and incredibly sad. Then, arguably, the worst defensive performance under Pete Carroll losing to the Vikings. (The Bills game in 2020 gets an honorable mention, but when you consider the fact that fossil Mike Zimmer is head coach and Kirk Cousins is the quarterback…yikes. Embarrassing.)
Then, the unspeakable finally happened, as iron man Russell Wilson finally got injured in a significant fashion. So significant that he actually had to come out of a game. He couldn’t hop in a tent for half-a-second and come back out. He actually had to miss time and eventually future games.
The Steelers, the Saints, the Packers…to an extent, Football Team and the rematch versus the Rams. All close games that could have went Seattle’s way, but didn’t. Not to bellyache, but refs played a significant role in all five games to various degrees. But, regardless, the Seahawks couldn’t overcome and the ball just didn’t bounce their way. And let’s not forgot…Colt McCoy.
As I stated earlier, it’s been a weird last couple of seasons for the Seahawks. But, not only that, but in life in general, obviously. We’ve all had our personal struggles as we’ve have tried to traverse and live in this sort of "new normal" sort of world hoping to get back to an "old normal," and all that, I guess.
As I type this, we just lost to the Chicago Bears, at home, in the snow, in a very weird, depressing, yet sort of fitting way to, basically end this era. I’m in the middle of my own sort of deal in life with boxes all around me. Moving, looking to start over, to an extent. The whole…I don’t know…a sort of midlife crisis, if you will. That sort of fear, or urgency, or what have you that things could be a whole lot worse, but they could be better, as well.
The only comparison I’ve been making for myself is Russell Wilson. Now, granted, there’s definitely a lot of different levels and totally different circumstances, but you know, hey, why not? That’s how I’ve been rolling with it.
At the essence of it, for me, it’s the pursuit of something more and just trying to accomplish as much as you can, while you can. That’s how I’ve been viewing my life of late. And as for Wilson and the Seahawks there’s been this lingering fear for the past few years that we have a Hall of Fame quarterback, in his prime, and we only have one Super Bowl to show for it. The window of opportunity doesn’t last forever and its lasted a long time and it seems like it’s coming to a close, unfortunately.
Going back to a paragraph or two above, losing to the Bears is kind of fitting considering all the way back in 2012 beating the Bears, unofficially, kick started this era of Seahawks football. Wilson became unleashed and from that moment until, say around the one yard line in one particular game, the Seahawks were the best in National Football League.
Just as a quick side note, seeing the Dallas Cowboys curb stop their rivals, at home, on Sunday Night, is giving me vibes of that glorious 2012 game against the San Francisco 49ers. Still, one of my favorite games of all time in any sport. Easily top ten, for sure. Just having this game on in the background as I peck away is giving me that nostalgic vibe from back then.
Anyway, I digress. There’s just a lot of…feelings. There’s a lot of ways to go and just a lot to say, but how do you start? I don’t know, it’s just been a really unfortunate year.
Expectations, in general, just sort of suck. Just seeing the way Pete Carroll and John Schneider build this team from the beginning was an absolute treat and the mission WAS accomplished. There’s a lot of flack and turd slinging at management, and, in particular, at Carroll that he’s an idiot and out-of-touch and yada, yada, yada.
Maybe it’s true, maybe I’m just in a sort of denial, in a way. I mean, I do see the faults and all that, but damn the way this team was constructed to begin this era was a treat. I know it was a decade ago, but it feels just like yesterday.
Taking over this franchise and making a thousand roster moves to shape this program in his image. A huge reason why, I believe, at least, the Seahawks hit at such a huge clip with draft picks for those first few years was because Pete recruited these guys. He followed them around, knew their skill set, knew which players could fit his system and knew which players he could maximize their respective potential and all that.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the longer Pete has been a way from the college game the less he knows about these players coming out and, yes, becoming out-of-touch to a somewhat significant degree. Having to rely on what Schneider, the front office, and company thinks would work under Pete’s sort of philosophy and all that. That’s just kind of what I’ve believed and just my own personal theory on that particular matter.
Anyway, back to expectations and just continuing to wax nostalgia. I don’t know about you, but those early years were fun. Obviously, the Super Bowl was fun and the playoffs and all that, but I’m talking about 2010 and 2011. That 2010 season was just weirdly fun and exciting to watch seeing that eclectic mix of old, washed up veterans to young players laying down the foundation for the future somehow win the West.
Winning the West and then knocking off the champs in the Wild Card round. *chef kiss*
While, 2011 produced the same record and no playoff appearance; there was significant improvement and a very bright future. The whole ‘you are what you’re record says you are’ is an adage I don’t really believe in. Football season is too short and there’s a lot of grey that the margin for error is extremely, extremely slim.
That 2011 team was significantly better than 2010. So much so that back when I used to freelance and write for various different blogs and websites trying to make it in the industry and make a living and all that. I pounded the table for the Seahawks as a team to watch. A headline I wrote for a website was something along the lines of 2012 Seattle Seahawks: Super Bowl Sleeper. Making sure you have the subject matter in the front, and it has to be attention grabbing and all that good stuff. Fun times.
I just felt it. Especially, after that 2012 NFL Draft. After every other expert, infamously, panned that draft. I felt so strongly that it was such an amazing draft that -,for this other website I wrote for - after that article they didn’t want me to write for them anymore. *insert the crying, laughing emoji here.
Time has a way of making all things insignificant, anyway, that those posts and websites are lost in cyber sea that it doesn’t matter anyway.
Sometimes you read or see something and it just sticks with you. After losing to the Falcons you could just feel the disappointment, but feel the optimism, as well about the future. There was a line from somewhere stating how Richard Sherman sat quietly contemplating the loss. Players and fans just felt like this was a special team. Better days were ahead and that something was building. The 2012 Seahawks felt very much like the 2002 USC Trojans.
Due to the BCS, the Trojans didn’t get an opportunity to play in any sort of playoffs or championship game, but I always felt that was the best team that year. As a Trojans fan, I’m biased, but I truly felt that. I felt like this was a dangerous team that nobody wanted to face and that something special was brewing. It was the same sort of feeling in 2012. The Seahawks, I felt, were the best team in football. They were just a little young and a little green.
Thankfully, it all came together in Carroll’s fourth year. 2013 was the perfect year. The Super Bowl was the pinnacle, but the NFC Championship was right there. Beating the 49ers, Jim Harbaugh; you couldn’t draw it up any better. The only thing, I guess, would be not giving up that garbage time touchdown in the Super Bowl. Pitching the very first shutout in Super Bowl history. Either way, the vision came true. Mission accomplished. This was a team destined for a dynasty.
Unfortunately, as we all know, that never happened. We all have our theories and have heard things. It’ll be interesting and very juicy to get the whole ESPN 30 for 30: The Dynasty That Never Was.
Unfortunately, the last few years the fanbase has fractured a bit with the whole Russ versus Pete debate. For awhile Pete could do no wrong, then Russ could do no wrong, now we’re in this state of affairs.
I feel like I have a lot more to say, but, at this point, I’m getting kind of tired and I sort of got a lot off my chest, for now. It’s a work day tomorrow. Plus, it’s kind of pain writing all this on my phone, so, we’ll wrap this up.
It’s just unfortunate that it has come to this. It’s been a heck of a ride filled with a lot more ups than downs, but its that want and could have and should have been more that sort of lingers. We’ll see what the future holds.
I always look forward to watching the press conferences after the game and during the week and all that. I look to Pete and Russ as inspiration on how to deal with hard times and just seeing how they react and all that.
I’ll look to take a page from Wilson’s playbook. The sun will rise tomorrow and tomorrow is its own day with its own history., You just have to make the most of it and do what you can and just get back to work. I try my best to apply that in my life and that’s exactly what I plan on doing tomorrow. No matter what happens, good or bad, I’ll look to take a page out of Pete’s book and just believe that something good is about to come. You just got give yourself a chance that there will be brighter days in the future.