The Seahawks Aren’t Great, Just Awesome

Seven years ago was the last time that Seattle got to see what a great team looks like. The Super Bowl XL team that rocked Qwest Field that year was a classically efficient West Coast offense team led by NFL MVP Shaun Alexander and his 28 touchdowns and a defense that was fine tuned to fundamental perfection. The 2005 team had a nearly perfect resume as they went 13-3, a perfect 10-0 at home, won the NFC West, and won the NFC Championship before losing* in the Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mike Holmgren trying to give a side judge in Super Bowl XL a piece of his mind

Andy Reid Mike Holmgren trying to give a side judge in Super Bowl XL a piece of his mind

But they weren’t quite as fun as this year’s edition of the Hawks. The Seattle Seahawks are 9-5 heading into an absolutely riveting litmus test against the seemingly dominant San Francisco 49ers on primetime television. Although they are not quite comparable to their 2005 counterparts with a division crown seemingly out of reach and have a much less paved road to the Super Bowl in front of them, this team has assumed an identity that is thoroughly more exciting to witness than any Seahawks team I have ever seen.

Nothing about this team is perfect or as seemingly unflappable as the Super Bowl team, led by Hall of Fame coach Mike Holmgren, an all-time great left side of the offensive line with Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson, and Alexander’s season for the ages. That team was a football purist’s dream. But what exactly does a football purist look like? My caricature of such a man is a John Gruden type, sitting in front of a dark theater with a roll of tape being fed into a dusty projector, playing and rewinding relentlessly the delicate intricacies of the pulling guard setting the edge for a seven yard run on first down to set up a methodically executed post route on second and short, all the while wishing that Lynn Swann still played, if only for the grace that he brought to the football field. Football purist guy loved the 2005 Seahawks, and there is nothing wrong with that. But I love this year’s version better, for the same reason that I was listening to Good Charlotte instead of Coldplay in middle school.

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Why We Are Fans

I haven’t written anything since LeBron James saved my soul by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder back in mid June. Nothing. I got halfway through an NBA Draft Review before reading Bill Simmons’ take on the same thing, realized mine sucked in comparison, and then scrapped it. Since that moment I have watched the entire first season of Workaholics 2.8 times, a miserable amount of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and put a fruit snack into a rotating fan and laughed like a four year old at it when it got smacked around the cage of the fan. The summer of snapchat has been fun to me, but I stopped writing when I shouldn’t have. For that reason, this article is about the roots of why if you’re reading this, you love sports, and if you love sports, why you love sports, because I love sports. We like sportz.

This is the kind of tomfoolery that kept me out of the game

If you missed me, I apologize. I let the 14 regular followers of this blog down. You probably didn’t though as I tend to inflate my own importance. But my obligation to write is not to the faithful 14, it is to myself.

My first sports memory is going to the Kingdome with my parents and my godparents for a Mariners game. I was afraid of the Mariner Moose (I just don’t trust the guy), and so my godfather took me up to the very last row of the stadium so the Moose wouldn’t come up there, and from that moment on I could watch the game in peace. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to like baseball when you aren’t living in constant fear of a seven foot tall woodland monster with crazy eyes. Baseball became from that point on not my favorite sport by any stretch, but a crutch. There’s nothing on TV at 8:30PM in mid-July, you know what, I’ll watch the M’s lose 4-1. I’ve never expected anything from my baseball team, I don’t really enjoy watching other teams play. I don’t get stoked for Sunday Night Baseball. But I always have the Mariners in my back pocket. They are terrible now, but I can make fun of them whenever I want while they are terrible, I can make Justin Smoak jokes (Smoaks), but when they get good in the 22nd century I will be one happy guy.

You are looking into the eyes of a menace

That’s what being a fan is. I’ve paid my dues. I have seen so much bad baseball, through my mullet phase, my lesbian Tim Lincecum phase, through my semi normal cut I have now that I am endowed with the ability to ride the Mariners train whenever I please. I feel bad for a fan base that has never experienced a dreadful era of baseball, or of any sport. Having a laughable sports team is something that I have based my entire life on. My dad taught me Take Me Out to the Ballgame with the addendum, “So root, root, root for the Mariners / If they don’t win it’s the same!” That is the only thing I know. The extension of this argument goes over to a section of sports that I care about more than anything.

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Lunchtime Links – 5/22

Another batch of lunchtime links coming right up!

  • The Sonics – Thunder saga continues, this time in regards to a shirt made by Warpaint Clothing. The front shows of the shirts shows the OKC skyline, resembling the iconic logo of the Supes. The back reads “Thank You Seattle – OKC.” As one would expect, a lot of hate has been sent to the Oklahoman company, some even as drastic as death threats. The company has since taken the shirts off of their shop. But, you be the judge, and vote in the poll below.

  • The first match of the Cascadia Cup was this weekend for the Sounders and they played Vancouver to a 2-2 draw north of the border. Whitecaps midfielder Davide Chumiento had a few words to say about the Sounders after the match. Big words for a player who has yet to beat the Rave Green since his team joined the MLS. The Sounders are in 3rd in the Western Conference standings, sitting three points back with two games in hand.
  • Mark Schlabach, writer for ESPN, came out with his second edition of the “Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25” and the Huskies broke into the rankings at #21. Yeah, nothing has been played in the 2012 college football season, but it’s always nice to see a national media writer show some respect for the Purple and Gold. Other Pac-12 teams to make the list are USC at #2, Oregon at #4, and Stanford at #12. The Huskies matchup in week 2, LSU, is listed as the #1 team. It should be an interesting start to the season, that’s for sure.
  • The Mariners picked up a solid win against the Rangers on Monday night, riding the pitching of King Felix. His stat line was impressive, conceding only 1 run over 8 innings while fanning 7 batters. He just continues to throw gems almost every time he takes the mound. The offensive production has been great on this four game win streak, so hopefully the M’s can keep it rolling.
  • Monday evening news broke that the Seahawks had acquired former Pro Bowler Kellen Winslow Jr. for only a 7th round pick that could be upgraded to a 6th rounder. I love the move by Pete Carroll here as Winslow has posted solid numbers over the recent years. The key will be if he can stay healthy and avoid off the field incidents. If that happens, he should fit nicely alongside Zach Miller, who is looking to bounce back after being injured for most of last season.

That’s it for now! Hope you enjoyed the light reading and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Lunchtime Links – 5/3

Something new here on SS&O will be the occurrence of “Lunchtime Links,” a rather straight and to the point post providing our viewers with notable links that are relevant to the Seattle sports world. Now, the goal is to do this intermittently around the lunchtime hours, hence the name, but I was a little late today so you will have to forgive me this time. Anyways, enough talking and more link-age.

  • Great article today on Deadspin by Jeremy Repanich, a former Sonics employee, giving his insights on the well known turnover and departure of our NBA franchise. I will warn you, it is a rather long read, but it brings a lot of interesting inside information to the table. Enjoy.
  • Bob Condotta, the Seattle Times Husky Football beat writer, released his unofficial depth chart following the end of the Huskies spring practices. Definitely worth a look for those of you Dawg fans out there.
  • This article is from Percy Allen, the Seattle Times Husky Basketball beat writer, and reports that the Husky hoops team will be taking a Summer trip to Europe and Africa, including Aziz N’Diaye’s home country of Senegal. 
  • Lastly, is an article written by Nick Eaton of the Seattle PI posing the question: Who should be the starting quarterback for the Seahawks? Worth the read, as it gives a background of each of the four signal callers currently on the roster.

That’s all I have for today. Let me know what you think about this new type of post; whether it’s worth your time or just a waste. We always encourage feedback. Thanks for reading!

The SS&O “Mock”

We have another guest writer here at SS&O, this time being the talented “draft guru” Tyler Propst, (@TylerPropst). This is truly a quality piece, as I know many hours were spent to round it out. And if you like “in-depth” pieces, this is the place to be. Look for Tyler later in the year for more Seahawks and NFL coverage. Without further adieu, the 2012 Seattle Sports & Otherwise Mock Draft…

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford)

Luck is the consensus number one pick. He has been labeled a “once in a generation” prospect by many scouts and at this point, I would have to agree with them. Luck already has experience in a pro-style system, which should make his transition to the Colts an easy one. He consistently audibles out of bad plays, makes all of the right progressions, and dissects defenses with ease. Luck draws many comparisons to Peyton Manning, the man he is set to replace come April 26th.

2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor)

The Redskins mortgaged the future of their franchise to obtain the second overall pick, and will no doubt take RG3 come draft day. Griffin is a natural playmaker that possesses outstanding deep ball accuracy. He has the ability to extend plays with his feet and should provide a much needed spark to a stagnant Redskins offense.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil (OT, USC)

Kalil was a dominant right tackle in college. He is easily the best tackle in this class, and should solidify the right side of the Vikings line for years to come. This is the first step in rebuilding an aging offensive line in Minnesota.

4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson (RB, Alabama)

Richardson is a rare talent that possesses a mix of power and open-field elusiveness. He’s a dynamic back with outstanding balance and vision, and can make an impact early for the Browns. Richardson will give them a serious running threat, and should open things up nicely in the passing game for McCoy.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne (CB, LSU)

Claiborne is the premier corner in this draft. He is an instinctive football player that can come in and start right away for Bucs. His natural playmaking ability and cover skills instantly upgrade a troubled Buccaneers secondary. Ronde Barber is in the twilight of his career. It’s time to replace him.

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Seahawks Jersey Unveiling

With the new deal between Nike and the NFL in affect, all 32 teams’ new jerseys were unveiled to the public this morning. The Seahawks jerseys seem to be receiving mixed reviews and garnering a lot of attention due to their rather drastic changes. Here’s a quick slideshow that shows their new home, away, and alternate uniforms. Leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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Flynn It To Win It

The Seahawks made quite the splash in free agency earlier this week when they signed the likes of Matt Flynn. The biggest quarterback free agent without the last name of Manning, Flynn brings tremendous upside to a position that the Seahawks desperately needed to improve.

Matt Flynn is a 26 year old Texan who has had two constants during his playing career: quarterback and winning. Although Flynn never won a Texas state championship while in high school, he went on to lead the LSU Tigers to a BCS National Championship in 2008 and was a part of the Packers Super Bowl run in 2010. He has been in the shadow of Aaron Rodgers during his entire professional career, but when he has been given the chance to play, he has not disappointed. In his two starts during the NFL regular season, his numbers are as follows:

  • @ NE: 24/37, 251 yds, 3 TD’s, 1 Int
  • vs. Det: 31/44, 480 yds, 6 TD’s, 1 Int (Set single-game franchise records for yardage and touchdowns)

Just to do the math for you, that would be a completion percentage of 68%, 366 passing yards/game, and 4.5:1 touchdown to interception ratio. Any team in America would take numbers like that.

Now I know this is a small sample size to draw conclusions from, but look at the situation. Green Bay runs a variation of the West Coast offense, which is what the Seahawks run as well. The Packers also have one of the best quarterbacks coaches in the game in Tom Clements. He has been vital in the development of Aaron Rodgers, who has become one of the best, if not the best, quarterbacks in the NFL. And on top of this, remember what Matt Hasslebeck was doing before he came to Seattle? Backing up a different quarterback in the Packers organization. With all of this in mind, the Seahawks current general manager John Schneider was the person who drafted Flynn in Green Bay in the 7th round of the ’08 draft. He obviously saw something in him then, and he still sees it in him now.

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