The Seattle Slew

Seattle Sports. Through thick and thin

The 2013 Seahawks: The anti-Seattle sports team

Richard Sherman

Who exactly are these Seattle Seahawks? They are big. They are nasty. They are cocky. And yes, they are really, really good.

This is unprecedented territory for a Seattle sports team. For as long as I can remember, in my 34 years of existence, the Seattle sports teams have always mirrored a soft reflection of the regional fanbase. Seattlites are a soft, small, passive-aggressive, white-collared, section of the country that few people bother to pay any attention to. It’s no small wonder that the players on our sports teams have done nothing but further the stereotype, driving home the undeniable truth that we are an inferior city, with inferior physical attributes, comparable to the rest of the nation.

Think about it-the Steelers of Pittsburgh have always been tough. A blue collar city that has a blue collar team. Makes sense. The Raiders, with the exception of the past few years, have always been a rough and rugged bunch that accurately reflects the people of their region. Looking at other sports, there’s probably no better example than the showtime Lakers of LA….all glitz, all glamour, and they know full well how better they are than the rest of the league.

Sorry to pick on him, but Kelly Jennings. My God. If Kelly Jennings isn’t a microcosm of everything that Seattle sports has been known for. Smart kid, but possessed a tiny frame and a tendency to simply be outmuscled by bigger, stronger players.

And so the narrative has continued all these years. That is, until Pete Carroll took over in 2010. We all know what a great job PC has done throughout the years, so I will digress on that front. The point of this article is simply to point out that this Seattle Seahawks team is simply the polar opposite of everything that Seattle sports has been known for in its entire existence.

#1: We already talked about the physical difference. Everyone knows the Hawks are big. So let’s start with another example: The attitude.

Say what you will about Richard Sherman, but I personally love how outspoken he is. It’s not because I agree with what he says, or even the fact that he’s damn good and can back up his talk….what I love about it is how he single-handedly changes the national perspective of the Seattle Seahawks. Take that for what it’s worth. Some people don’t care what the national perspective of our team is. Some people wish that our players would just shut up and play. Well you know what…after witnessing 34 years of losing, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve tried that. It hasn’t worked, so let’s try something different. Let’s be the bully. I hated Joey Porter during Super Bowl XL….he talked a lot of game, and he eventually got into our knucklehead tight end (Jeramy Stevens)’s head. But hey-it worked. Stevens had a horrible game, and that may have cost us the Superbowl.

So talk away Sherm. If you can shut your guy down, and get into his or his teams head at the same time, I’m all for it.

And no one represents the term “Smash mouth” more than BeastMode.

#2 Stop me if you’ve heard this before. “That player is tearing it up! How come he didn’t do that when he was playing for Seattle??” Let’s name a few of these guys we know and love: Adrian Beltre, Derek Lowe, Dennis Johnson, Raul Ibanez, Eugene Robinson, …or how about guys that we could’ve drafted (or drafted then traded) that blossomed into superstars? Tim Lincecum, Scottie Pippen, Mark Sanchez? Okay totally kidding on that last one. Oh, but let’s not forget the biggest screw job of all time in Kevin Durant. Point is-Seattle sports figures have had a history of not being very good in rain city, then blossoming into something more with a change of scenery.

Oh but these Seahawks? Marshawn Lynch is the antithesis of this theory. Brought over from Buffalo, Lynch was a middle tier running back at best before the trade. Sure he had the beastmode moniker, but it was really one of those things where we kind of let him have the name, almost out of kindness. But then he got to Seattle and literally became Beastmode. There’s probably not a better or more appropriate nickname for any other athlete in the world.

Chris Clemons? If the Eagles knew what he would eventually become, we would’ve had to throw in at least 3 extra picks in future drafts to obtain him.

And then of course there’s the draft picks. We all know the Richard Sherman, Russell Wilson, Kam Chancellor, etc…stories.

#3: These guys are physical, and they are mean. You know you are a tough team when one of the best teams in the league, the 49ers, who have their own reputation for toughness, complain about the Hawks “getting away with a lot”.

All this is to say that these Seahawks, that we have the pleasure of witnessing in the golden years of their existence, are unlike anything we’ve seen up here. This would be the equivalent to the bad boy Pistons of the 80’s. The Bears of the 80’s. The Knicks/Bulls in the 90’s.

This is a far cry from past Seattle sports teams. We’ve had some tough teams before, but nothing near this level. The Mariners under sweet Lou had the tough coach, but they didn’t have the team attitude to match. Those teams had good players, but not the talent up and down its roster to make any serious noise on the national scene.
The closest is probably the Sonics of the 90’s. We had an unorthodox coach, players with attitudes in Gary Payton and Kemp, and a nice surrounding cast…but I don’t feel those teams were necessarily tough. We had tough players, but the team as a whole did not have a tough, bad boy persona. Those honors went to the Knicks and Pacers at that time, and to a lesser extent the Bulls. (they just had a deity on their side)

Tough, gritty, mean, nasty, cocky,… diamonds in the rough. These Hawks are everything we’ve admired, but never had a chance to enjoy firsthand. Now our team has developed a reputation for being the biggest and baddest…now its time to enjoy the ride.

Categories: NFL and Seahawks

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6 replies

  1. I get what you are saying. Lifetime Bengals fan here who has watched the Steelers and Ravens flex their muscle and run the usually soft Bengals out of the stadium. Nice to finally have the physical edge on our side for a change. Nice to have James Harrison in orange and black too. Even if he is old enough for the nursing home.

    • Agreed…the Bengals are probably the Seahawks equivalent in the AFC. A team once thought of as soft, now one of the toughest teams in the league. Most people probably still think the Steelers are tougher than the Bengals.

      Anxious to see if the Bengals can stop Peyton and the Broncos machine this year!

    • Can’t say I was a huge fan of the Bengals before, but after this season’s Hard Knocks I’m definitely watching Gio Bernard and some of the defensive players with a lot more interest. Here’s hoping they dominate the Steelers and Ravens for a few years.

  2. As someone living in Seattle, I think it’s awesome that this team’s identity counters the accepted narrative. You took a really interesting position… I enjoyed the read. I recently wrote up a piece about how Carroll’s Zen coaching style seems out of place in the NFL. If you’re interested, check it out at http://dmspear21.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/wary-of-creating-a-seahawks-mythos/

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