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Pro Football – Seattle’s Only Hope For Sports Success is Now Hiding in a Dumper Somewhere
First, the basketball Supersonics were ripped out of Seattle and taken to Oklahoma City. Then baseball’s Mariners became the first MLB team to lose more than 100 games with a $100 million payroll. Then the Football Huskies made Washington the worst college team in the nation by going 0-5 to open their season, becoming the only BCS-eligible school without a win.
Now, the football Seahawks have opened their season at 1-3 with a defense so porous Seattle housewives could use it as a sieve to sift through the liquids.
The Hawks lost their first away game to the Buffalo Bills 34-10 (the scourge of the AFC East which finished 7-9 last year), lost in overtime at home to the San Francisco 49ers 33 -30 (the 49ers finished 5-11 last year), eventually beat the Los Angeles Rams at home 37-13 (the Rams were 3-13 last year), and they lost on the road to the New York Giants 44-6 (the Giants won the Super Bowl last year).
This Sunday (10-12-08), Seattle hosts Green Bay at home. Prior to arriving in Seattle, Holmgren spent 7 years compiling a 75-37 regular season record with the Packers while winning 3 straight NFC Central titles, and making 2 trips to the Super Bowl and winning one.
So how bad are the Seahawks on defense this year? Really bad. They rank 24th in run defense (among 32 NFL teams), 25th in pass defense, 27th in total defense and 29th in scoring defense. They allowed 24 big plays over 20 yards in their first 4 outings.
These negative stats become more significant when you know that 1) Seattle’s defense was much better last year, 2) they led the NFL in the fewest touchdown passes allowed last year, and 3) they fired all 11 starters on last year’s defensive squad.
To add insult to injury, Seattle hasn’t played well on the road and supposedly has a bad spell on the East Coast. Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren neither hears nor believes the East Coast chatter. Prior to the Hawks’ trip to New York and the loss to the Giants, Holmgren said it unequivocally:
“You lose a football match (away) for the same reason you lose a football match at home… you lose because you played badly. want to hear it.”
Mike is an imposing man with success and deserved authority. When he talks, you shut up and listen. When you win 8 NFC Division titles, take your team to 3 Super Bowl appearances and win the Super Bowl, then you can talk.
I totally agree with Holmgren. The Seahawks have talent, proven success and experience in key positions. Perhaps the failure of their away performance is nothing more or less than a head issue.
The Seahawks have played much better defense at home — where they’re fueled by their boisterous fans — than on the road. Cool heads know that if your game is more about emotion than self-control, you have a serious problem in that you can’t take the emotional support of fans with you on the road.
The more control you have over your thoughts, words, emotions, and behavior, the more effective results you will achieve when the going gets tough. This is why smart players stay out of trouble (on and off the court) while other players get into trouble.
When you have a lot of stars on a team – Matt Hasselbeck, Walter Jones, Lofa Tatupu, Julian Peterson, Leroy Hill and Marcus Trufant – sometimes the stars get bigger than the team and there isn’t enough room on the playing surface to accommodate all egos.
Knute Rockne may never have coached professional football, but he was a smart football manager. Here is a quote from Rockne in the 1920s that applies today to any team at any place at any level:
“The secret (to success) is to work less individually and more as a team. As a coach, I don’t play my best 11, but my best 11.” (Read Rockne’s last sentence about 20 times and you might get it.) Every NFL team has stars, but only one team wins the Super Bowl.
Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley
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