Monday, March 2, 2009

Why My Favorite Team is My Favorite Team: The Seattle Seahawks

So I figured this would be a good idea for a series posts each of us can make. Explaining why we follow the teams we do and detailing every heartbreaking moment along the way.

People ask me "why the hell do you like the Seahawks? That makes no sense." No, it doesn't really, but I'll try to make some sense of it.

Here's the short answer:

A couple generations back, most of my family resided in Washington state and followed the sports teams pretty heavily (Huskies, Mariners, Seahawks, Sonics, etc.) Well it was my grandfather that got me hooked on the Seabags, and I'm glad that none of the other teams stuck with me because Seattle had arguably the worst sports year of any city this year...that kind of failure would probably have led to me being on suicide watch. My real teams didn't fare much better, but things are looking up.

Things are looking way up today for the Seahawks with T.J. Houshmandzadeh signing a 5-year deal. This is just what we needed, a proven veteran receiver to come in and be an explosive and reliable target for Matt Hasselbeck. We probably won't take a gamble on Crabtree now with the first pick, though it would still be tempting. I would love to see us draft Kenny Britt (Rutgers) or Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland). Our receiving situation was dreadful last year... you know you're in trouble when you're signing Koren Robinson and trading for Keary Colbert.

Now with Houshamizilli and (hopefully) a young talented receiver in the draft, our passing game can get back to the way it was our Super Bowl year. The defense had a dismal year, but I'm confident they can get back into form as well. I just wish our running game was a little more stable. I never was a big fan of signing Julius Jones or T.J. Duckett especially since we would've been just fine with Maurice Morris and Leonard Weaver, but them's the breaks sometimes. MoMo is off to Detroit now and Weaver may very well be out the door as well. Oh well, I would love to see more of Owen "The Runaway Beer Truck" Schmitt anyways.

I didn't start religiously following the Seahawks until the 99-2000 season. Back then we were still in the AFC West and our biggest rivals were the Jokeland Raiders. Around that time, the biggest story with the team was that we had the longest playoff-victory drought of any active team in the NFL. That drought continued through to the year of the infamous "we want the ball and we're gonna score" line. Then came the year we lost to the freaking Rams THREE TIMES IN ONE SEASON!!! I honestly thought I would go my entire life without seeing the Hawks win one stupid playoff game. Then came the magical year of 2005. What a great year...record setting MVP Shaun Alexander had himself a year. We locked up the #1 seed, beat the Redskins, beat the Panthers, and finally got that damn monkey off our back. Oh yeah and we went on to our first Super Bowl only to lose to the refs... I mean the Steelers (DID YOU KNOW JEROME BETTIS IS FROM DETROIT?!?!? ONE FOR THE THUMB!!!!!!11111111111). I could type about how bad that officiating was until I get carpal tunnel, but what's the point?

Outlook for next season:

Best Case Scenario:

All of the key players stay healthy, Hasselbeck and the Hawks passing attack torch defenses and Houshyomamma has another pro bowl year. The defense goes back to their top-10 form and stuff the run while not getting burned for big passing plays. We win the NFC West and march all the way to Miami for Super Bowl XLIV and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 75-3 (yes I will always be bitter about that Super Bowl).

Worst Case Scenario:

Um.. can it get much worse than last year? Wait...Don't answer that...

We get stricken with more injuries, Seneca Wallace has to start again, Houshbag becomes yet another Seahawk WR that never lives up to his expectations.. (See: Burleson, Nate and Branch, Deion). The Cardinals win the NFC West again while sweeping the Seahawks, and the Hawks end up with another top-10 pick...but not the number 1 pick, more like 8, 9, or 10th. Jim Mora Jr. goes off on a "PLAYOFFS?!?!'"-esque rant a la his father.

What Will Probably Happen:

We compete for the crown in the division that we've owned this decade. The Rams and 49ers actually show signs of life while the Cardinals come back down to earth and suddenly the NFC West is one of the more competitive divisions. I'm gonna predict that Seattle wins the division (unbiased!) at 10-6..wins their home playoff game and loses in the 2nd round. Keep in mind this is ridiculously early to be making any kind of plausible prediction but that's what the offseason is all about...making ridiculous predictions that eventually don't come true...and then deleting them later so they can't be used against you.

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