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, November 28, 2005

Seahawks 24, NY Giants 21 (OT)

This is usually the post where I am supposed to recap the game and talk about how everyone did....

I can't do that.

Well, I can give a short answer: Most everyone did not play that well, and yet we won. We had an 8 point lead with 3 minutes left. The whole game might have been different if Engram doesn't fumble that ball when we were up by 7 and driving in the second quarter. The NY Giants are one of the best teams in the NFC, and, worst case, we would have lost by three.

Shorter answer: We won, and are now 9-2. The NY Giants are now 7-4.

Best answer: I can't watch enough of that clip during Feely's first miss where Jeremy Shockey is ALREADY starting to gloat on the sidelines, realizes that the kick hasn't gone in, and turns away in absolute shock. What a jerk.

Here's why I can't talk anymore about this game. We still (STILL!) are getting no respect from the media outside of Seattle.

Every week we talk about how, if we manage to win this week, that will finally be enough for people to start rating us highly. Every week we think if we beat Atlanta, if we win at St. Louis, if we beat Dallas, if we beat St. Louis at home, or if we beat the Giants, that will finally earn us the respect that has not been given us since the preseason picks came out.

We were picked to finish from 6-10 to 8-8. The Cardinals were supposed to rock our world. Notice that when we crushed the Cardinals in Week 3 the story wasn't about how good we were, but how disappointing the Cardinals were.

We have lost two games. One was at Jacksonville, the first game of our revamped defense. Matt looked terrible, we didn't give the ball to Shaun, and we still had a chance to win until Matt threw another one away late. The second was at Washington, where the goalpost "got in the way" of us winning as time expired. Besides that, we have beat all comers, the last seven coming without our best wide receiver, the last four coming without our emotional defensive leader, and the last two coming without our veteran linebacker.

Here are a smattering of quotes heard about the Hawks after our win:

Monday Quarterback (ESPN): They don't compliment the Hawks at all, but instead talk about how the Bears are the most complete and consistent team in the NFC. That is, frankly, ridiculous. Sure, I don't want to play the Bears on the road in the playoffs, but can a team really scare you when they can't score more than 13 points a game?

Monday Morning Quarterback (Peter King): In his Fine Fifteen, he jumps the Giants OVER the Seahawks, ranking them now 6 and the Hawks 7, claiming that the Giants, "make the biggest jump of the week, and they jump over Seattle, because of the flukiest day of a reliable kicker's life. They outplayed Seattle (490 yards to 355, 151 Tiki Barber rushing yards to Shaun Alexanders 110) in the Seahawks' lovely new home." You want to throw out stats? How about this one, genuis? The Giants, with their 490 yards, scored 21 points. The Seahawks, with their 355 yards, scored 24 points. The Giants had 16 penalties. Does a GREAT team commit 16 penalties in one game? The Giants had a first touchdown given to them (no, I don't believe that Shockey had possession) and a second touchdown that was one of those catches that only happens against Seattle (I swear, no one makes that catch outside of Madden). Besides all that, as a Seahawks fan, I know ALL TOO WELL that beating the team statistically means absolutely JACK SQUAT if you don't get a win. That's been my life as a fan. You can be damn sure that, if the Seahawks had massively outgained the Giants, and still lost, that they would not be ranked ahead of the Giants the next day. Eeergh.

John Clayton: "In perhaps the strangest game of the season, the Seahawks beat the Giants in overtime Sunday 24-21 even though they were outplayed, outhustled and outgained by a Giants team that is better than most folks on the West Coast imagined." Sigh. Whatever.

Clark Judge: "I don't care that Eli Manning and the New York Giants lost. Sunday's game against Seattle was another defining moment in the career of a quarterback destined to be extraordinary. Manning not only rallied the Giants to a tie with just under two minutes left, he twice -- no, three times -- had them in position to win. It wasn't Manning's fault the Giants lost another road game; it was kicker Jay Feely's. Manning did what he had to, which was set up the potential game-winning field-goal attempt. And he did it three times. So he's 1-3 outside of Giants Stadium this year; that will change." You know what, Manning did play well. But is that the #1 story in this game? NO IT IS NOT!!!

Random NFL Exec: “Run down the roster and it looks good,” an NFL executive said when asked about the Seahawks. “No big holes, good offensive line, solid quarterback, decent defense. But …”

The executive hesitated.

“They’re not going to hit you in the mouth. They don’t play tough. They’re not nasty. I don’t think anybody is afraid to go to their place and play. I know they haven’t lost at home this season, but it’s not because it’s some gritty, tough place where it’s hard to play. They’re just on a nice roll." So we're not tough enough? We're not nasty enough? What in the world does that even mean? No one is afraid to come to Seattle, a place that, outside of Foxboro, has been the toughest place to play since 2003? If they aren't, maybe they should be!

The MAIN HEADLINE on NO RESPECT DUE, talking about the Seahawks. That is the main banner headline? That we shouldn't get any respect after beating the Giants? Really?

Howie Long: Not impressed with anything about Seattle, but REALLY impressed with those Giants, who, "are improving on both offense and defense."

Alan Grant, Brian Murphy, and Patrick Hruby on Page 2, responding to the question of who wins if the Seahawks and Giants meet again in the playoffs: "Giants. Easily." "Giants. The Pacific Northwest makes teams soggy." "Anyone with Tiki Barber on their fantasy team."

The Daily Quickie: "Wins on Sunday were supposed to serve as "Prove It" moments for the Seahawks and the Bears. But only one proved they have the stuff actually to win the NFC.Seattle got lucky: Three straight shanked game-winning field goals by the Giants? Seahawks fans who consider that proof of anything but Jay Feely choking are fooling themselves. For now, Seattle's inside track to home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs signals only that this will be its most painful playoff implosion yet."

Adam Schein: "So much was shoved down our throats Sunday about the Seahawks' quest for respect. Broadcasters wondered aloud about the East Coast bias.

Enough already.

Seattle is a very good football team, strong in all phases, and a Super Bowl contender especially if it gets home-field advantage throughout in the postseason.

But you can't forget Seattle blowing a 21-13 fourth-quarter lead with a few minutes to go. And this isn't about geography getting in the way of the Seahawks' quest for respect.

All we can say is that Seattle is in the mix with Chicago, Carolina, Dallas and New York for the best team in the NFC. Perhaps Tampa and Atlanta, too." Hey, Adam? Who won the ballgame? Who WON the ballgame? Again, who WON the ballgame?

Basically, here is the media's take on this game:

1. Eli Manning is really good

2. Jay Feely really screwed up

3. The Giants gave one away

4. The Bears are the best team in the NFC

5. The Giants statistically blew the Hawks out of our building

6. Oh yeah. The Hawks might end up getting home-field advantage in the NFC.

Am I bitter? Absolutely, and only because I don't remember another 9-2 team that is treated with as little respect as the Seahawks. The media will go ga-ga over the Bears, the Bengals, the Chargers, the Cowboys, the Patriots, the Giants, the Steelers, but there is no love for the Seahawks. The only positive story written about them all YEAR was by John Clayton after the home win over the Rams. I really don't understand this whatsoever, and it burns me.

That's why I can't write anything about this game. I am speechless because of the total and utter lack of respect given us by the media. Ridiculous.

If you want a good recap, go to The 12th Man. If you want to, like me, stew over this, leave a comment.

posted by colin_hesse @ 8:54 AM  10 comments


At 10:17 AM, Blogger nach said...

I don't know what you were talking about when you mentioned "warmth" and "Thanksgiving" together last week, but I do know that's the longest rant I've ever heard a speechless man make. I feel you all the way out here in K-stan. Football just doesn't make it into many conversations here, unless it's Monday morning as Jon, Mattm Noah and I check the 'net for scores.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Gavin said...

Nice post man. At some point we'll get respect, but it may not happen until we clinch home field through the playoffs.

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Thumper said...

I understand your frustration regarding the lack of respect given the Seahawks by the national media. But I think you should look at this from another perspective.
First – what the media says DOESN’T MEAN JACK. Seriously – if media predictions actually mattered, then the Patriots wouldn’t be the latest NFL dynasty. Think about the last few Super Bowls. Teams like the Bucs, the Panthers, the Rams, the Patriots, the Ravens…they all came out of nowhere. Veeeeery few media members gave those teams any respect, either. And this year, when the media finally decides to anoint Tom Brady as the new messiah and the Patriots appear in about 3.5 million TV commercials, the Pats look incredibly mediocre, at best. I also find it hard not to get caught up in the Power Rankings and weekly wrap-ups from the NFL media – but you have to remember that when it really comes down to it, the guys creating those rankings aren’t any better at predicting football outcomes than you or I, and the statistics bear this out. I mean, Peter King predicted the Vikings to go to the Super Bowl and said Julius Jones would be one of the best players in the league. We can enjoy his coverage of the NFL, but why should we give a flying crap about any of his predictions or his Fine Fifteen? We shouldn’t.
Second – on a more local level, Seattle teams seems to do better when they aren’t weighed down with the expectations that “national respect” seems to create. Good examples of this include the 1995 Mariners, the 2001 Mariners, last year’s Sonics, and this year’s Seahawks. The best teams in Seattle sports history are usually ones that DON’T receive a lot of national attention. Conversely, when Seattle teams get hyped up, they tend to struggle. Look at the 1994-1995 Sonics, or the 2004 Seahawks. I LIKE the fact that the Hawks aren’t getting any respect right now. It will make it easier to sneak up on teams, and all the more sweet if they do manage to beat the crap out of some teams the rest of the way.
Third – I agree that the coverage of yesterday’s game is infuriating. All the talk is about Feely’s missed field goals, but how about the fact that the ‘Hawks defense didn’t allow the Giants any closer than they did? A lot of teams, especially by the third Giants drive, would have folded and allowed NY to move in for a chip shot, which maybe even Feely could have made. For an example of a defense folding in such a manner, take a look at how the Giants defense crumbled after Hasselbeck hooked up with DJ Hackett in overtime. Also, nobody (with the possible exception of Mike Sando) seems to be talking about how the GIANTS were the lucky ones throughout much of the game. How about the Jeremy Shockey TD that was not, in fact, an actual catch? How about the ridiculous circus catch by Amani Toomer in the end zone, that may or may not have actually been a touchdown? How about the fact that Andre Dyson might have had an interception returned for touchdown had Eli Manning not accidentally JV’ed his throw, causing Dyson to be a step too early?
The bottom line is that the Seahawks won, they’re 9-2, and nobody can do anything to change that. Who cares if they’re getting a little luck? It balances out in the end (see: Josh Brown doinking one off the post in Washington). Plus, if any franchise deserves to have a few breaks go its way, it’s the Seahawks. Can you think of a team that, in the past few years, has had as many heartbreaking losses as Seattle? No way. So screw the national media. Hopefully, come playoff time, the ‘Hawks will take the media’s predictions and shove them up their collective asses.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger colin_hesse said...


Excellent points all. I know, I've grown up trying not to pay attention to "the experts". It's just that this is the first year that I really like the Seahawks chances to go deep in the playoffs, and it seems like people are just coming up with reasons out of nowhere to give us no respect.

By the way, you are totally right about the luck that was going the Giants way this game as well. You didn't even mention that fumble by Engram that shifted the entire game in the second quarter.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Thumper said...

Yeah that fumble sucked. Also, in the last 2 minutes of the game, Walter Jones was called for a questionable holding penalty that negated a big first-down run by Alexander. That was a huge play. I also think the Seahawks have a good shot at going deep in the playoffs, and in the long term I'm optimistic as well, as I think this year has really shown that we are in good hands with Ruskell at the helm. Regardless of what happens in the rest of the season, I think the 'Hawks are in good hands. His draft was solid, and his free agent signings were even better. Most of all, I think he is sloooowly turning around the "culture of losing" that has dogged this franchise for so long.

At 2:58 PM, Blogger colin_hesse said...

Absolutely. That's almost the best thing about this season. This isn't just a one time thing. Ruskell and Reinfeldt are solid, the core of the team is solid (if Alexander is resigned), and the fan base and money behind the team is solid.

At 2:59 PM, Blogger Gavin said...


Agree with the comments on Ruskell. Any draft that nets us two starting linebackers and a free agent class that includes Jurevicius and Sharper are signs of good things to come.

When it comes to the game yesterday, we took the best the Giants had to offer with our worst and came out on top. They can moan all they want about losing to a worse team, but the fact remains that they lost. The bigger story should be that the Giants had a chance to make a statement in the NFC and they blew it and now face a must win game next week against Dallas.

The other thing that's funny about the "respect" thing is that we're still ranked above everyone in all the power rankings. So they might not lavish praise on the Hawks, but when push comes to shove they rank us where we should be.

Anyways, much better to have this discussion after a win. Go Hawks!

At 5:15 PM, Anonymous rr said...

Interesting post. I am an avid online gambler and fantasy sports player and place most of my bets online. I find the internet to be a great tool and even use resources like StatShark to help me make my picks. What a great sports forecastings tool.

At 10:43 PM, Blogger Thumper said...

At 9:09 AM, Blogger colin_hesse said...

Putting a post about that now....


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