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!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Ultimate Explosion!!

Since Colin is currently unavailable (with the ol' in-laws), I suppose it is up to me to carry the proverbial torch for the next couple of days. While the pressure is intense, I hope to be up to the challenge of writing weird prose that five people read.

On to the prose!

- Carl Peterson of the Kansas City Chiefs is starting to push for a seven team playoff system, as opposed to the NFL's current six team format. The pro for this would be that only the first seed would get the needed playoff bye. Also, teams like Kansas City wouldn't miss out on the playoffs. The con to this (and where I agree with John Clayton) is easy. If the Chiefs didn't want to miss out on the playoffs, they should've tried tackling Tiki Barber. The NFL is better than the NBA in that it doesn't reward mediocrity with playoff berths and playoff money. Only three 10-6 teams before this year have missed the playoffs. To me, that's a system working. Let's look back to just last year, when 8-8 St. Louis and 8-8 Minnesota made the playoffs. Should we have allowed a 7-9 team in to satisfy Peterson's urgings? That would be nuts. NFL games are best when the teams play with desperation. Let's not get rid of that.

- The Seahawks continue to have people write about them, and today it's even generally positive. Greg Garber writes about how cool it would be for the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl for players like Jim Zorn and Mack Strong. Umm... yes. Thanks for writing that. Bet those were some hard-hitting interviews. Len Pasquarelli sucks up to Tim Ruskell some, and even gives credit to Mike Reinfeldt, a man without whom none of this success would be possible. Basically, I will post here any article that sucks up to Tim Ruskell. I just can't believe we actually have a GM I can be proud of. When's the last time we could say that? Anyone? Anyone? Pat Gillick? Couldn't draft worth anything. Rick Sund? You have to be kidding me. Woody? HAHAHAHA. Ruskell could be a rock star out here simply be being decent. We don't ask for much, just a lack of idiocy. That means you, Bavasi.

- John Clayton writes a pretty good roundup of the question of the offseason. What to do with Shaun Alexander? After the first few weeks of the season, I was firmly in Shaun's camp. He was playing with power and passion, and really he hasn't let up since, as evidenced by the NFL record 27 rushing touchdowns. Here's my problem... there is no way that Shaun will last for another six years at the type of money he is asking for. We all thought Marshall Faulk didn't take too many hits, he was so elusive. That was only a few years ago. We all thought Priest Holmes was worth the huge deal two years ago after setting the NFL touchdown record. He was a backup for so long, we reasoned, that he hadn't had the type of abuse other starters had. Now he's seeking third opinions to see if he can play another down. Curtis Martin, long held as the gold standard of aging backs, finally shut down this year at age 32. The truth is that Shaun has two-four good years left. I'm fine giving him an enormous signing bonus. We have Paul Allen as an owner for a reason. However, I'm starting to be against a long term deal for our MVP back (not to mention that Matt Hasselbeck is our MVP).

- Art Theil (it only seems like I post every one of his articles) and Danny O'Neil have two good stories on the Seahawk defense, which is the biggest surprise of the year. There are two reasons I believe that defense will have success in the playoffs which are illustrated in these articles. 1. We are ranked #4 in scoring defense. Basically, as we showed Indianapolis, you can exploit our inexperience only to where it matters. Then they become very disciplined in their zones when those zones shrink. This showed against the playoff teams we played this year. Dallas couldn't put it in when we turned the ball over deep. The Giants needed two iffy touchdowns to break it. Peyton Manning couldn't do it. That bodes well for us playing teams like Chicago. 2. Our rushing defense has gone from spotty to solid, the largest jump in the league. In fact, this statistic may surprise you. Which team out of these three is giving up the fewest rushing yards? Seattle, Chicago, Tampa Bay? Would you believe your Seahawks? That's impressive.

- While we're on the subject of football, Don Ruiz of the Tacoma News Tribune has one of the better ideas for fixing the BCS I've ever read. To quickly recap... 6 conference champions and 2 at-large bids out of independent and mid-majors. I completely agree. To be considered as national champion, you need to win your division. I also love the ability to have a mid-major in the mix. Utah deserved better last year. When's the next time they will be that good? Perhaps never. Yes, there are instances (like USC a few years ago), when teams turn it on at the end although they do not win their division. What's better? The pollsters picking that team over the champion or for the teams to decide it on the field. These aren't difficult solutions. To complain about student-athlete stuff is hypocritical for schools only focused on profits. At some point perhaps they fix the BCS. Until then, I can watch the Sun Bowl and care less about some stupid exhibition game.

- On to the Sonics (man, this Explosion is turning out longer than most). I watched much of the second half last night (112-105 win over Denver) and saw something I hadn't at all this year. Bob Weiss playing Damien Wilkins significant minutes and assigning him to the other team's best player. The result was exactly what happened last year. Wilkins shut Carmelo Anthony down after shutting Andre Miller down in the first half. If Weiss gives Wilkins a chance, he can be our Bruce Bowen, easily. He has the ability. At least he's quitting giving important minutes to Vladimir Radmonovic, who won't even post up Earl Boykins when he has the chance. I'm sick of "Broadway Joe". I'm also sick of Flip Murray, who is an awful point guard. If he's a backup two, I'm fine with him, but this point guard experiment is a total failure. That's why I am a huge fan of trading him for Earl Watson (and like that Ray and Rashard have also chimed in positively). While Watson is earning way too much money, he would be a younger Antonio Daniels. I couldn't wait to see what the Sonics would look like with a younger Antonio Daniels. I know it would be a difficult move... maybe we would have to also give up (gasp) Vitaly Potapenko. Memo to Rick Sund... DO IT.

- Finally, the Pac-10 season opener for the Washington Huskies only served to get me more excited about this year. Arizona State tried the "thug" approach that worked several times last year, as physical fouls got into the heads of our finesse team. This year it only took them a while to adjust to it. Then Brandon Roy took over. To be a great team, you need a great player. While the 10 wins have been great, we had yet to see Roy be the Pac-10 player of the year potential we know he can be. 35 points last night was a giant step forward in the right direction. Memo to all comers. This team is for real.
Note: I linked above to Steve Kelley's last article. This article does contain one inane argument.

Washington will go as far as Roy can take them. It isn't as deep or as experienced as last season's conference-tournament champion. It can't win big games unless Roy has big games like Thursday's career-high, 35-point night, which made him the 31st Husky to surpass 1,000 points for his career.
Umm... didn't we beat Gonzaga a couple of weeks back? Remember that, Steve Kelley? Remember how we won? That seemed to me a little like a big game. Are you literally saying that the Huskies need 30 points from Roy to win big games? That seems pretty weak. I also take umbrage that this year's team isn't as deep as last year's. Last year's squad needed Tre Simmons and Nate Robinson to win. This year we have shown we can win using 12 different players. That seems pretty darn deep to me. Not a smart paragraph. Then again, it's Steve Kelley.

posted by Gavin @ 3:08 PM  0 comments

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