Despite my old roommate’s unnatural obsession with it, I have nothing against the city of Seattle. It seems like a perfectly nice city, one I could see myself living happily in some day. I have legitimate sympathy for their losing the Sonics. I love Soundgarden. I don’t mind rain or hipsters. I think Frasier was hilarious.
However, I find the Seattle Seahawks to be one of the eminently hateable teams in the entire NFL. I hate their fans. I hate their coach. I hate several of their prominent players. I hate the 12th Man Flag. I hate that more people don’t hate them as much as I do. I don’t care about Marshawn Lynch eating Skittles. I hate it all.
This doesn’t make natural sense; the Seahawks are good this year, but have historically been a perfectly mediocre franchise, with very little in the line of noteworthy history to create a basis for hatred. Mired in the far Northwest, they rarely get close to the amount of media attention as the Dallas and Philadelphia’s of the world. They aren’t a divisional or even conference rival of my favorite team; in fact, they only play my team once every four years.
In my mind, this doesn’t lessen my hatred; rather, it validates it. I have no obvious reason to hate them; whatever dislike I have stems directly from what I directly observe. It’s different than hating the Steelers, Ravens or Peyton Manning, teams and player who consistently stand as an obstacle to my team and who’s every blemish can be used to further the “my team good, other team bad” fan mentality. I have no exterior motive to hate the Seahawks; I simply do for no reason other than who they are.
This starts with the fan base. There isn’t another fan base in the NFL with such an obnoxious and widely spread Napoleon complex. Want proof? Talk about any subject that remotely involves the Seahawks and watch their fans instinctively find a way to work the officiating of Super Bowl XL into the conversation within two minutes.
Was the officiating in that game (one of worst Super Bowls of the past 20 years) subpar? Absolutely. Were the Seahawks a better team than the Steelers? God, no. The team was built around Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander. The offensive “X factor” for that Seahawks team was tight end Jerramy “better at rape than football” Stevens. Stop reminiscing about “what could have been” as if this was a dynasty in the making.
Even more insufferable than that was their fans reaction to the Golden Tate Monday Night Football debacle. I legitimately don’t know what’s worst: insisting that the correct call was made (as Seattle’s radio broadcast of the game did), claiming that missed calls earlier in the game had the same effect as essentially gifting a game-winning touchdown on the last play of the game on a bad call (!) or claiming that the blown call was “karma” for Super Bowl XL. Shut up and quietly enjoy the result in the win column, but don’t try to insinuate that there was anything just about that outcome, for Christ’s sake.
The bad Rodney Dangerfield impressions coming from Seahawks fans pervades much further than just those two infamous games. According to the average ‘Hawks fan, anytime a Seahawks player isn’t ballooned up to the superstar status by the press, it must be the result of East Coast or large market bias. The most prevalent recent example of this has been Russell Wilson, the rookie quarterback whom it is apparently illegal to discuss without using some combination of the words “poise”, “maturity” and, worst of all, “it”.
Seattle’s most recent conspiracy theory has been that Wilson’s rookie season has been largely “ignored” by the national media only because the power of hype had already predetermined Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III as the two premiere quarterbacks of the 2012 draft. The point on hype is somewhat accurate, but the football analysis is dead wrong.
Russell Wilson has had an excellent season, going far beyond any reasonable expectations for any rookie quarterback. He has done a tremendous job of limiting turnovers, throwing only nine interceptions (against 21 touchdown passes). He has running ability that makes him very tough to defend. He has looked extremely comfortable in big moments, especially during a cool, efficient game-winning drive in overtime against the Bears. Most importantly, he has consistently improved throughout the year, transforming from a game manager with promise to an excellent starter in less than a single year in the league. And yes, he’s doing this as a third round rookie. In any other year, he’d be the runaway rookie of the year.
- Has the threat of Wilson’s athleticism single-handedly transformed a mediocre offense into one of the most dynamic and difficult to defend units in the league, like RG3? No.
- Has Wilson been asked to carry his entire team on his shoulders, dropping back to chuck it downfield 40 times a game due to having no offensive line, no running game due to no offensive line and no defense, like Luck? Not at all. In fact, Wilson has the benefit of a very strong running game and even stronger defense. Wilson fans have been quick to point out Luck’s interceptions (18), but the degree of difficulty of what Luck is doing is in a different galaxy from Wilson.
Bottom line: can you make a legitimate argument that Russell Wilson is one of the truly elite quarterbacks in the league? No, you cannot. Can you do so for RG3 and Luck? Yes, you can. Stop whining about it, Seattle.
Hell, Seattle fans are even delusional when it comes to themselves. Seattle has proudly appointed itself as having the best fans in the league, conveniently forgetting the fact that their stadium was meticulously designed to artificially enhance decibel levels. The “12th Man” is not a concept unique to Seattle, but Seahawks fans actually believe that they make a meaningful contribution to their team’s success. Is that more arrogant or stupid? You decide!
Getting past the fans is admittedly difficult, but it brings me to the Head Coach. Look at Pete Carroll. No, really, look at him. He’s a clown disguised as a football coach. How can you take Mr. Pumped and Jacked seriously? Carroll has always had a obnoxious “Rah Rah” style of coaching that has inevitably brought more attention and credit upon himself than he deserves and it drives me nuts.
Seriously, has Pete Carroll ever accomplished anything legitimately impressive in coaching? The only time he’s had success that coincides with his name recognition is at USC, where he routinely had double the talent of his opponents. Sure, he was a historically great recruiter, but does winning a lot of games with multiple Heisman candidate-level players really prove much as a coach? He then darted from USC just before embarrassing NCAA sanctions from the Bush/Leinart era set the program back considerably, somehow managing to pull this off while avoiding the vilification many other coaches have received for doing the exact same thing. His professional track record as a head coach in the NFL prior to Seattle consists of a lone 6-10 season with the Jets and overseeing the steady decline of the post-Parcells Patriots. The Seahawks 9-5 start has vaulted his win-loss record with Seattle…to an even 23-23. He’s a good defensive coordinator disguised as a middling Head Coach.
Also, don’t get me started on how he handled that Monday Night debacle. He reacted as if being handed a win by incompetent officiating was akin to winning the Super Bowl. Is there a single non-Seahawks fan that didn’t want to punch him through the TV as he gloated about how hard they fought? Gee, Pete, glad you feel you accomplished something. You really deserved it!
Yes, but look at these current Seahawks! Aren’t they a good story? Look at how they’ve exceeded expectations! They play good, old-fashioned, physical football!
Can we please stop treating this team like its some adorable puppy? Let’s take a look at the current Seahawks. The defense that has largely carried the team to a playoff berth is built around Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, two guys who come from the Bad Boy Pistons mentality of “they can’t call them all”. Browner and Sherman’s success stems largely from their “physicality”, which is a poorly disguised way of saying they mug receivers down the field on every throw and largely get away with it. Look at this play.
That isn’t football. That’s bullshit. The best part is Browner, after taking an unnecessary cheap shot at an unsuspecting receiver away from the ball, flexes. Right, you showed some real toughness on that play. Punk.
I remember earlier in the season when these Seahawks played the Niners. Replay after replay would show Sherman and Browner clearly grabbing and shoving the Niners receivers well past the five yards contact is allowed in. After one particularly obvious missed penalty, Sherman started barking and wagging his finger at the Niners sideline. He may as well have been saying “Not tonight! They aint gonna call shit on me tonight!” This entire time, the only thing the TV commentators would say was along the lines of “That’s what Seattle does. Their corners play physical football.” Yes, let’s just ignore the little fact that playing corner like that is against the rules. What a gritty style of playing!
Screw the Seahawks. I will be rooting whole-heartedly for the Niners to blow them out tonight and encourage you to do the same, even though it will undoubtedly result in Seahawk fans blaming the refs, the media, Roger Goodell, or anything but the fact that their team isn’t quite good enough to be considered amongst the NFL elite.
Oh, and Pearl Jam sucks too.