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, December 04, 2006

The Crush of Optimism

Well, I finally found a time to blog. Midnight. It's late enough that I don't trust myself to write a sentence coherent enough to be graded, but I do trust myself enough to write a few words for you losers. Seriously, this semester...... let us just say that I'll be glad when this one is in the history books.

Enough of my whining. A few of you perhaps noticed that the Seattle Seahawks now stand with a record of 8-4. They are a whopping three games up in the NFC West, and have the #3 seed overall in the NFC. Hasselbeck is back. Alexander is back. Walter Jones does not appear to be injured. Oh. They just won at Denver, perhaps the hardest place to win on the road in all of football (outside of Qwest, of course).

As a long-time Seahawks fan, I should be ecstatic. I should be singing hymns, walking around campus with a ginormous smile plastered all over my face. I should relish the fact that, once again, the Seahawks will make it to the postseason, after so many seasons mired in mediocrity, when hope seemed dim.

Here's the problem (and it is a problem.... my problem).

I was not happy with our victory on Sunday night.

Don't get me wrong. I leaped into the air with joy after the final Denver turnover. I threw my dog up in the air after Josh Brown kicked yet another game-winning field goal.

BUT.....

I entered this season with dreams of grandeur, with as much optimism about a sports team as it is possible to have. I saw our roster as extremely solid (except in the secondary), and a January trip to Miami loomed large. It all seemed doable back in August. The sky was the limit for this Hawks fan.

I just feel that it is time to face facts. This team does not play like a championship team. Hasselbeck is regressing, though one must give him a few breaks, as he has dealt with a grand amount of injuries. Alexander flashed greatness the last two games, but there is still not the consistent pounding presence of the running game in our offense. D-Jack has reverted to drops-ville, as has Stevens, with Burleson completely disappearing as a factor on offense until Sunday night. Mack Strong suddenly appears mortal, with the end in sight. The offensive line, unbeatable for the last few years, looks mediocre. Basically, this offense, this #1 offense of a year ago, just can not seem to find the spark of last year.

I don't know what it is. The loss of Hutchinson can't have hurt this much. Perhaps it is a lack of a consistent lineup, with the laundry list of injuries. Maybe there has been a touch of a Super Bowl hangover. The stats simply do not lie, however. We are on a pace to have our worst offensive performance in five years. I was watching the majority of the game Sunday night with a sinking feeling in my chest, as our offense appeared less potent than Baltimore. Sure, Denver is a good defense, but we made them look like the Chicago Bears, which they are not. Indy destroyed them. Ditto Pittsburgh, who would have beat them if not for a few horrific turnovers by Big Ben. Ditto San Diego. Ditto Kansas City. You get the picture.

This is why I was entirely gloomy on Sunday, even as I watched the Hawks pull a gigantic win out of their collective behinds. But, hey, let's be honest here. The Hawks didn't so much win that game as Mike Shanahan lost it by deciding to start Jay Cutler. C'mon. We lose that game if Jake Plummer starts. Think about it. We scored how many points off Cutler turnovers? Their offense did what in the second half? Sure, Denver's offense wasn't exactly potent with Plummer, but it sure was better than what was on the field Sunday night.

Oh, and Josh Brown with four game-winning field goals? Two conclusions can be reached from that stat. First, our offense does find an on switch with two minutes to go in a ballgame. I like that. Second, our defense consistently can not hold a lead in the 4th quarter. We had a lead against the Lions. Gone. We had leads in both Rams games. One was lost on that ridiculous Tory Holt reception; the other on a Marc Bulger/Stephen Jackson march right down our collective throats. Oh, and the game-tying touchdown on Sunday? Worst bit of tackling I have ever seen. I want to argue for the inclusion of Michael Boulware, but when he pulls a stunt like that in limited playint time, I can't argue any longer.

Listen, I don't mean to pull a Steve Kelley here. Heaven forbid.

It's just that, for the first time in my life, I entered this season thinking that we had a gret shot of winning the Super Bowl. I have spent the first thirteen weeks of this season having my optimism slowly, slowly crushed, as we encountered a siege of injuries and inconsistent play. I am happy that we are on the way to win the NFC West. I am happy that we will be in the postseason once again. That is all fantastic.

I just wish that I could watch the Seattle Seahawks team that I thought I would be watching when the season started.

Oh well.

It could be worse. I could be a Carolina Panthers fan.

posted by colin_hesse @ 10:33 PM  0 comments

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