Whatever bloom was on the Seattle Seahawks football team has officially faded with the soon to be falling leaves of autumn. It was nice while it lasted. Fans were gifted with 4 consecutive National Football Conference West Division titles, a NFC championship and a Super Bowl appearance.
The apex of Seattle's rise to prominence was 2005 when the Seahawks went 13-3, won the NFC Division title, won the NFC championship and played Pittsburgh in Super Bowl 40 (XL for the Roman numeral freaks), losing to the Steelers 21-10.
This year the Hawks started the season with an eye on returning to the Super Bowl and winning, which would have given Mike Holmgren his second Super Bowl victory in his last season before leaving Seattle to take a year off. Holmgren would have gone down as the only NFL head coach to take two different teams to the Super Bowl and win.
Here is what Seahawks have done so far: They traveled to Buffalo and got their tails whipped by the Bills 34-10. They lost 33-30 in overtime in their home opener against San Francisco. They managed to beat St. Louis at home 37-13 (an almost turnaround). They took a bye week. They traveled to New York and got humiliated by the Giants 44-6. They spent last Sunday (10-12-08) losing to Green Bay at home 27-17.
I was at the Green Bay game watching the current mess called the Seattle Seahawks. After Green Bay scored a touchdown to go up 24-10 with approximately 11 minutes left in the 4th quarter, I got up and left with my friend. Thousands of fans literally got up and left with me.
After 50 years of watching football games, covering football as a sports editor for a daily newspaper and being a lifelong fan, I can tell when players have tanked it in and could not come back and win if their life depended on it. I was right, they eventually lost 27-17.
Whatever magic Seattle has had in the past has gotten up and left the franchise. The Seahawks are terrible right now. They could get better but they will still stink.
Some fans think the Seahawks’ demise is because of an inordinate number of injuries to wide receivers or a banged up quarterback Matt Hasselbeck who is probably lucky to be able to get out of a chair at the moment.
The team returned all 11 starters from last year's defensive unit, but someone forgot to tell them that they still have to play again this year. They are not where they need to be, they look dazed and confused, and even All-Pro, lock-down cornerback Marcus Trufant could not stop Green Bay's Greg Jennings from scoring on a 45-yard touchdown pass.
All of which causes me to ask a simple question: Does Seattle have too many stars and not enough football players?
Think about it. There is Walter Jones, arguably the best left tackle in the history of the NFL. There is Matt Hasselbeck, one of the best quarterbacks. There is Lofa Tatupu and Julian Peterson, two of the best linebackers in the NFL. There is Leroy Hill, who many fans think is as good as Tatupu or Peterson, and some think even better. There is Marcus Trufant, a lock-down corner.
At least 5 of these stars have big time contracts, only Leroy Hill, who will become a free agent this year, does not.
Noticeably missing from the 2005 banner team is guard Steve Hutchinson (gone to the Minnesota Vikings in a salary tiff) and running back Shaun Alexander (former NFL Most Valuable Player in 2005 who just signed with the Washington Redskins as a back-up).
It is easy to get caught up in the press clippings and even easier to ease up when you make big money. It takes no talent whatsoever to blow assignments. It takes a lot of talent to stay on top year after year, game after game, and play after play.
No one goes very far without talent, and some players do not go very far with talent. What separates the great players from the good players from the average players?
Consider at least 4 things: 1) Talent. 2) Focus. 3) Consistency. 4) A white heat, deep down burning inside to be the best of the best and ahead of the rest. If you have no idea what I am talking about, watch some game film of Brett Favre (pronounced Farve).
There have been more talented quarterbacks than Brett Favre, but none have been tougher, played harder or gone farther. The statistics tell the story, but there is no measure for Favre's heart, desire and pure joy on a football field. No wonder he cannot stay retired.
The Seahawks might need a little less of the “it's all about me" attitude and a little more of the “we are one" mentality. Teams win games and titles, not individuals. There is no sport that requires so much teamwork to succeed as football.
The Seahawk players-not the coaches or fans-need to decide if they are going to be a team of players with stars, or a team of players that wins.
Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley
Read my other detailed, knowledgeable, interesting articles on Seattle Seahawk football, including:
“Seattle's Only Hope For Sports Success Is Now Hiding in a Dumper Somewhere"
“Will Seahawks’ Woeful 0-2 Start Leave Them Out of the Chase For the Super Bowl Title?
“Seattle Seahawks’ Opener in Buffalo Proves an Awful Study in Ineptitude"
“Here Come the Seahawks: Stumbling and Bumbling into Holmgren's Last Year"
“Can the Seahawks Find the Grit to Deliver Holmgren a 2nd Super Bowl Winning Team?"
2007 NFL Playoffs: Seattle Seahawks Croak as Packers Kick Them Silly in the Snowflakes, 42-20"
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