Monday, February 9, 2015

After the dust settles...

It's been more than a week since our beloved Seahawks Super Bowl hopes deflated like a Patriots game ball.  The shock has subsided but the pain lingers as strong as the day it happened. While I've tried to make peace with it, I'm haunted by the facts of the matter everywhere I turn.

While (begrudgingly) watching Grey's Anatomy with my girlfriend, I was treated to whimsical commercial of Patriots highlights cut with shots from the Magic Kingdom.  My stomach ached as Julian Edelman and Malcolm Butler embraced as the shouted "We're going to Disneyland!"

Sports media websites are flooded with dejected Seahawks photos and jubilant Patriots shots.  Stories questioning the Seahawks play call as well as their future-- other pieces question simply whether the Pats own the greatest dynasty or simply the greatest coach and QB duo.

Lord help you if you stumble into the comments section... 

Personally, I'm trying to adopt Russell Wilson's attitude about all this.  I just want to get next season underway as soon as possible.  Despite stating in my last piece that everyone is entitled to grieve/cheer/support this team however they choose-- there are a few things that have been bugging me.

A petition was brought to my attention recently that is gaining a lot of support. There's a faction of Seahawks fans out there that want/wanted to host a citywide celebration of the teams season despite the bitter ending.  This repulses me.  

Don't get me wrong-- I love this team.  This was a tremendous season full of memories I'll hold dear forever.  But losing doesn't get you a parade.  I've followed this team for almost 30 years and only once have they deserved a celebration.
(Left to Right) Me, my beautiful daughter and my best friend.

Last year's event was remarkable.  The players visibly enjoyed riding through a sea of damn near a million Seahawks fans, being heralded as Kings.  They earned it that year.  This year, they fell heart-breakingly short. I love them, but they need to be HUNGRY to experience that feeling again.

There's also been a lot of criticism lobbed at Pete Carroll for owning up to the play call.  There is a lot of blame and criticism to be dolled out for not adding to the trophy shelf this year.  You could not only dissect the entire Super Bowl performance but the entire season if you wanted. If it helps you sleep at night-- but I suspect it wont.

From Cris Collinsworth's in-game commentary right after the play occurred, to Matt Lauer's sit down interview with the coach on the Today Show to Hugh Millen's passionate defense of Carroll-- it's been discussed ad nauseam. 

Millen spit a fiery rebuttal against the typhoon of criticism mounted against Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll for his decision to pass the ball on the play that ended Seattle's Super Bowl hopes.

Hugh Millen is one of the football analysts I most admire.  He's a former Washington Husky with tremendous football acumen.  He's shared quarterback rooms with some of the All-Time Greats, including John Elway and Troy Aikman.  

After hearing Bevell, Carroll, Wilson and Millen breakdown the play: I get it.  They didn't want to leave too much time on the clock in fear of setting up Tom Brady for a spectacular comeback we all know he's capable of.  New England gave the defensive 'look' that favored the passing play call.  Millen indicated that the offensive line hadn't demonstrated the ability to impose their will confidently enough to ensure that running right at them would prevail. The match ups were favorable and they knew what they were doing.

I get it.  It makes sense. However...

They absolutely, 100%, without a doubt should have given the ball to #24 instead of passing on that particular play. Period. I would have to expect that every member of the Seahawks organization knows this in their heart of hearts.  

I hope that once the dust settles Pete and Darrell in particular will admit that although they believed at the time that their play call was appropriate-- the best decision in hindsight was to feed the beast.

Was it the worst play call of all time? Only because of the outcome.  They had justifiable reasons for making the call they did, but the best bet would've been keeping it on the ground.  Like comedian J.B. Smoove said on the Howard Stern show "You pass the ball when you need to.  You run the ball when you have to."

Does Pete Carroll deserve all of this criticism?  Absolutely not.  Some of it, sure-- but not all of the piling on we've heard since that play ended in tears. I'll even cut Bevell slack for the play call, though I hope he's not retained as the Offensive Coordinator next year.  I will not, however, cut him slack for throwing Ricardo Lockette under the bus.

The explanation for the call made sense.  Because of that, I'm concluding that Seattle's coaching staff is guilty of nothing more than over-thinking the situation.  

Giving the ball to Lynch was such an obvious no-brainer, it couldn't have been the right decision. The chain of events that lead to that call must have had the staff thinking that it was too good to be true, so it mustn't have been.  I'd be willing to be that Bill Belichick has this effect on a lot of coaches-- even the best of them.

They over thought it.  That's all.  We'll live with the call for the rest of our lives and the only thing that will provide any relief would be another shot made good.

Well, maybe a Mariners World Series would help.  

Let's not hold our breath...




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