Jo Nordhoff-Beard ‘19
I used to be a pretty big football fan. I own a Seahawks jersey, went to two consecutive NFC championship games when the Seahawks were on their notorious two season Super Bowl run, and still get their ESPN alerts for when they play games. However, once the Seahawks lost their edge, I lost interest in football as a whole. In my junior and senior year in high school, the Seahawks’ tenacious defense, Russell Wilson’s uncanny ability to get out of every broken play and make a miraculous throw, and the team’s great camaraderie and ability to connect with fans made them a force to be reckoned with. Not so anymore.
This season, the Seahawks had very little edge. Their team chemistry was dissonant, Russell Wilson’s mind seemed outside of the game, and head coach Pete Carroll’s play calling left many sportswriters and fans questioning the team and its trajectory. The team seemed very vulnerable, which is not an emotion that Seahawks fans have experienced in the past few seasons. Nevertheless, the Seahawks had an excellent record at home, the loudest crowd in the NFL, and a huge legion of support from fans on social media. Even as a cursory fan who did not watch every game, I worried about the team. I wanted to believe in the Pete Carroll/Russell Wilson combo, which I thought was similar to a Steve Kerr/Steph Curry combo in terms of synergy, but I was wrong. Carroll made a lot of questionable moves.
This NFL season was marred by serious injuries to important players (Earl Thomas, Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, Tyler Lockett) some perennial powers maintaining their consistently good play (the Packers, Patriots, Cowboys), but also by some smaller teams who had been stuck in mediocrity for many seasons, like the Falcons, making an improbable rise. No one had the Falcons on their list to have the chance to compete for a Super Bowl championship.
The Twitter world was ablaze with conversation about the Falcons. When the Falcons played the Seahawks in the NFC championship on the same day as the altercation between President Donald Trump and US Representative John Lewis, cultural critic, and Atlanta native Rembert Browne equated the Seahawks to Donald Trump and Atlanta to Lewis. Falcons fans were also trash talking the Seahawks on Twitter, which Browne explained was because of Atlanta was a city full of rappers and Civil Rights activists, automatically having a chip on their shoulders.
When I, an avid Twitter user, was scrolling through Twitter, I saw a tweet from the Seattle Times sportswriter Bob Condotta that said: “never forget that this season the Seahawks have beaten both teams playing in the Super Bowl.” I retweeted the tweet, and will always remember when thinking about the disjointed, jumbled Seahawks, a team at a crossroads.
For how badly they underperformed this year, they will always have this upper hand.