Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Seahawks 13, Cowboys 10

I can't do a normal recap post for this game.

Here was my afternoon. I'm still getting over a raging sinus infection, but took time to head out to a local sports bar since the FOX station decided to show infomercials over the game.

As I enter the bar, Hasselbeck throws the interception. I watched the replay, and that was Peter Warrick's fault. Another dropped pass turned interception. There must have been at least five of those last year.

The rain was falling for the first time in Qwest Field's history. Our offensive line couldn't gain any traction, leaving no holes for Shaun Alexander. Our wide receivers couldn't hang onto the football in the first half, especially Urban.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys got a "Redskins" type touchdown drive where they converted on several third-down plays, got one ticky-tack pass interference call on Herndon, and got a diving catch for the TD by Keyshawn Johnson that, again, brought back baaaaad memories of the touchdown catch that wasn't from last year. By the way, why does ESPN show that catch before any sporting event as part of their opening montage? Don't they realize that even the NFL apologized for that missed call after the game? Why in the world.....

Our defense was playing alright, but we were allowing Marion Barber the 13th to run Julius Jones-ish on us, gaining almost 100 yards for the day. Our attempts at playing field position were continually ruined by the punting of Tom Rouen. Is it too much to ask that there are 35 people in the world who can punt a football at least 40 yards consistently? Man, our punting game has sucked ever since Feagles left.

My Sam Adams was tasting like dirt, and there were several annoying Cowboys fans in the bar that would shout, "COWBOYS!! COWBOYS!!" with every 8 yard run and every time they tackled Shaun. Even after Boulware came up with the big pick leading to the field goal before halftime, I was considering leaving at the half.

But I stayed. And got upset at Holmgren in the second half for playing entirely too conservatively, running the ball on every 2nd and 2o play we found ourselves in on holding calls on Tobeck. Our offensive line still couldn't open any holes, our dump passes were going for 2 yards instead of 8, and we couldn't seem to go down the field at all.

However, our defense started to shine. Every time I almost left, we would sack Bledsoe, or tip a pass away from Keyshawn.

Jimmy Williams? I got the check when he idiotically tried to run with that punt return and gave the football to the Cowboys at our 10 yard line. However, I decided, one last time, to stay when Jose Cortez shanked the 28 yard attempt.

Then Hasselbeck threw that final pick. That was it. I left.

I called Gavin on my way home, and got the play-by-play on the defensive stand, holding the Cowboys to a field goal. I told him how terrible it was that I was going to have to write a recap of this game.

We continued talking, until Gavin realized that we had a chance of tying the game. Catch by Urban. Catch by Stevens. PI call. Run by Alexander. Catch by Hackett. Alexander stuffed. Catch by Hannam. Touchdown. Tie ball game.

As a Seahawks fan, I wasn't considering going back to the bar. No, I'm superstitious. I was kicking myself for not leaving earlier.

All of a sudden Gavin starts yelling at me that Babineaux has picked off Bledsoe and we have a 50 yard chance to win the game. I'm stunned. These are the Seahawks. These type of endings don't happen to the Men in Blue. I allowed Gavin to call the kick for me, and celebrated in the privacy of my office as Josh Brown connected, making up for that loss in Washington.

Of course, the rest of the afternoon consisted of me watching ESPN to see how they would analyze the game. Waste of time, because the talking heads spent all of 30 seconds discussing the Cowboys and none on the Seahawks. But these are the type of wins that Gavin and I thought were possible with this team, simply because Tim Ruskell radically revamped not only the personnel, but the character of this team. We are deep this year. Deep deep. Each place on the roster is valuable. Hackett. Manuel. Babineaux. Bernard.

Read some of these pieces:
PI recap
81 yards in 86 seconds
Art Thiel's take
Times recap
Steve Kelley's take

Definitely read this piece by John Clayton

Money quote:

During the offseason, Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander, an unsigned "franchise" player who considered holding out of training camp, kept taking strange calls from his teammates. He was intrigued. "I got calls during mini-camp saying, 'Shaun, it's different, I'm telling you,' " Alexander said following Sunday's improbable 13-10 come-from-behind victory over the Cowboys. "I'd asked several different guys, 'How's practicing going?' They'd say, 'Dude, there is something different about this team.' There is a little bit more maturity, a little bit more friendship, a little bit more 'I got your back.' "

The team that Torry Holt said didn't have the mental toughness to win close games at the end scored 10 points in the final 40 seconds to beat a Cowboys team that dominated them most of the day. For two years, the Seahawks lost game like these -- at home and on the road. Sunday, we witnessed the continued growth of a team that is suddenly becoming a factor at 5-2.

John Clayton says it better then I could. The overall character of this football team is different.

These are games that the Seahawks do not win. Listen, if I was to give grades to guys this game, most everyone would have C's and D's besides Josh Brown, Lofa Tatupu, Babineaux, and our pass rush. This was not a pretty game. But it was a winnable game in the closing minutes, and the Seahawks pulled it out. This would have been a very long bye week with a hard, back-breaking loss to the Cowboys. Now? The Hawks should be flush with confidance, ready to come down here to Phoenix in 2 weeks and remind the Cardinals once again who is the best team in the NFC West.

What a game. Remarkable. I really don't know what else to write. Analysis sometimes falters in the face of a truly special win; one that shouldn't have happened, but did.

5-2. Life is good.

posted by colin_hesse @ 9:49 AM  0 comments


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