Seahawks Will Win the Super Bowl

On September 6, 2013 I wrote the blog Seahawks will win the Super Bowl if…
As you can see…I have removed the “if”. 

The Author in 2013 age 49

At the start of the NFL season I predicted in my blog that Seattle would finish 12-4 or 13-3. Nailed that one.

I also said if they get home field advantage in the playoffs they would go to the Super Bowl. Well, with Sunday’s win of the St Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field the Hawks have indeed secured home field advantage through the playoffs. Win two games on their home turf and nirvana is upon us.

Seattle goes into the playoffs with five other NFC teams who are all fully capable of going to the Super Bowl and beating whoever the AFC representative is. And the AFC representative will undoubtedly be Denver unless Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots pull a minor upset. The Broncos are a good team, and their quarterback Peyton Manning is THE best. But they’re vulnerable to a tough defensive team like Seattle, San Francisco, or Carolina.

Seattle’s road to the New Jersey Super Bowl could be made easier if they are lucky enough to avoid playing San Francisco or Carolina. Playing both of them, which is a possibility, will be particularly tough. The Seahawks January 11th Division round game will be the lowest seeded survivor of the Wild Card weekend games; either San Francisco, New Orleans, or Green Bay. The Saints and the Packers don’t concern me. Neither has the defense necessary to stop a Seattle offense that moves the ball and scores pretty well when not facing a big strong front seven like the 49ers, Panthers, Buccaneers, and Rams.

The NFC wildcard games feature the 49ers in Green Bay versus the Packers, and the Saints traveling to Philadelphia to play the Eagles.  I’m fairly confident S.F. will beat G.B. which would send Jim Harbaugh and his Bay area miscreants to Seattle IF the Eagles take advantage of their home field advantage and beat the road-weak Saints. New Orleans and the Saints are simply not the same team on the road as they are in the Superdome. AdvoCare National Spokesperson Drew Brees will have to turn around this trend if they’re going to “win” a trip to the hell hole that is CenturyLink Field.

I expect Seattle to be playing their greatest rival in their first playoff game. Too bad how the NFL playoffs are set up. Because if this happens the two best teams in the league will meet in a Division round game and not even a Conference Championship. Seahawks logo

The Seahawks can feel confident in playing the 49ers in Seattle since they have thoroughly throttled S.F. in the Clink the past two years, and Seattle’s two losses in the Bay area have both been close. My concern is that a team as solid as the Niners are bound to figure it out at some point, right? I hope not.

The news yesterday that wide receiver Percy Harvin will practice this week is GREAT news for the 12th Man. Harvin is so talented that his presence on the field can tilt the whole field for the Seahawks. Six weeks ago Harvin played his only game of the season against Minnesota. But it was so obvious that the Vikings adjusted their defense for Harvin when he was in on those 16 offensive plays; Harvin becomes a weapon even if only as a decoy. But if fully healthy he’ll be more than that. Harvin in the game makes a Seahawk win that much more assured.

Carolina beating Philadelphia is near certain. My prediction anyway. A successful prediction would send Carolina all the way across country to Seattle. Playing in Seattle is tough enough. Doing so in January when you’re a warm weather team, and doing so when you have to flying across country is no easy task. The Seahawks have beaten the Panthers narrowly in Carolina each of the past two seasons. Doing so at the Clink will be easier. Seattle will be going to the Super Bowl for the second time in their history.

New England beat Denver in the Mile High City November 24th. So they can do it again. But I don’t think they will. The Patriots had Rob Gronkowski at that time. The All Pro tight end is now gone for the season and won’t be there as Tom Brady’s favorite target. The Patriots can win. But I think the Broncos will.

Super Bowl XLVIII will be the first out-door cold weather Super Bowl in its history. It might snow. It will almost certainly be cold; freezing cold. I can’t imagine a more welcoming situation for Marshawn Lynch and the Hawks grunts on the defensive line. Manning is defensive about the claim that he doesn’t play well in cold weather. Too bad. He doesn’t. No quarterback does…at least most of the time. A ground and pound defensive, cold game favors the team with the number one defense in the league and the game’s most violent runner.

February 3rd will be a non-work day in the Northwest for most everyone. Because Seahawk fans will still be celebrating their 28-24 win over Denver.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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The Seahawks Will Win the Super Bowl IF…

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks

I have been an avid sports fan, and specifically a Seattle sports fan, for over 40 years and I have never seen, heard, felt, or experienced the enthusiastic anticipation of the coming Seattle Seahawk NFL season. It’s as if the team has already won a Super Bowl Championship and we’re all just reveling in the euphoria. But let’s be perfectly clear, the Seahawks haven’t done squat yet. However, I have no desire to pop this still inflating balloon. I too think my team will make it to the ultimate sporting event in frigid, frozen New York City next February, and they will beat whoever the AFC offers up as its sacrificial lamb for slaughter to the clearly superior NFC. But first things first. The football team that calls my city its practice home must first win its own division. Should it do so an NFL Championship is something that I feel is almost a foregone conclusion. However, ending the season with a better record than San Francisco’s 49ers, St Louis’s Rams, and Arizona’s Cardinals is not a foregone conclusion. In fact, I’m not completely sure it will happen.

The San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl XXIX troph...

All of the Emerald City is enjoying the numerous jokes made at the expense of the Bay area team, and is clearly in full-hate-mode over the Niner’s Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. The non-NFL Seattle fan is oblivious to how very, very good S.F. is, and what an exceptional coach the former University of Michigan Quarterback actually is. San Fran played in last year’s Super Bowl. They didn’t blow a lead in a playoff game they took with only 30-seconds left in the game. Seattle did. Russell Wilson after brilliant performance in Atlanta The fact is the 49ers came 3-points and a late 4th quarter goal-line stand from Baltimore from the largest Super Bowl comeback win in history. They feel they should have won and they will be hungry to get back to where they came up so close, but lost.

Quick; which of the four teams in Seattle’s NFC West Division had the best record within the division. Would it surprise you to know it wasn’t the division champion 49ers, or the Wildcard playoff entrant, second place Seahawks. Under first year Coach Jeff Fischer the St. Louis Rams finished 4-1-1 against S.F., Seattle and Arizona. Their 7-9 record was a huge leap from the 2-win (2-14) team of 2011. St Louis still has former Heisman Trophy winner (and AdvoCare endorser) Sam Bradford at QB. But for the first time in his short career he has someone to throw to. With their first round draft pick this year Fischer chose the best receiver in the draft in Tavon Austin. Austin has crazy speed (4.2 time in the 40) and electric moves. He’ll also help the Rams return game. Fischer is a very good coach, and with one year under his tutelage the Rams will be better…how much better remains to be seen.

The Arizona Cardinals are probably the 4th place team in this division, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be formidable. Many think the Cardinals new QB, Carson Palmer, is too old and past his prime when he was in Cincinnati.  I’m not so sure. He managed to throw for over 4000-yards last year for a horrible Oakland team. And now he has Larry Fitzgerald to throw the ball to. Arizona also improved its weak offensive line in the draft and added the Honey Badger to its defense.

The key to a Super Bowl trip for Seattle will be winning the division, like they did in 2005, the only other time the Northwest’s team went to the Championship spectacle. Win the division and secure the 1st or 2nd best record in the NFC and Seattle needs only win 2 playoff games to win the NFC Crown. And they would have at least 1 playoff game at CenturyLink Field where they do not lose. They didn’t all last year.

English: Picture of the 12th Man Flag at Centu...

Fail to secure the 1st or 2nd best record in the conference and Seattle needs 3 playoff wins to make it to the Super Bowl, with the likelihood that all will be on the road; not an unprecedented achievement, but certainly a lot tougher. Besides, given their sky-high expectations, if Seattle doesn’t have the 1st or 2nd best record in the conference four months from now I will assume that something has gone wrong, perhaps an injury to Russell Wilson or a defensive line that can still not put enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks; making a 3 game run to the Super Bowl less likely.

Seattle has everything it needs to win now, even with one of the youngest rosters in the league. They will continue to pound the ball with Marshawn Lynch leading the way. And running the ball wins playoff games…and a lot of regular season games too. They finally have a All Pro potential quarterback in the exciting Wilson. Remember, he was in a quarterback competition all through training camp last year and was severely restricted in play calling by Pete Carroll last year. He’ll be even better this year. A defense that allowed the fewest points in the NFL last year allowed the fewest points in the NFL during the just concluded preseason. And defense wins championships.

In looking at the Seahawks schedule I expect an improvement from their 11-5 record last year to either 12-4 or 13-3. Please…let go of the fantasy of an undefeated season as I’ve heard far too many people throw-about as a possibility on Seattle sports radio stations. An undefeated regular season should never be a goal. Just ask the 2007 New England Patriots how helpful it was for them. Only road games in Atlanta, Houston, San Francisco, and possibly St. Louis would I predict at this early stage as losses. Though Seattle could win any or all of them. But games I now predict as wins could be losses too. Games against Carolina in Charlotte, the Colts in Indianapolis, and home games against the Vikings and Saints won’t be easy. Lose those games along with the ones I expect and this dream of a Super Bowl season will come crashing down to a non-playoff mediocre 8-8 season…just like the 1985 Seahawks who were also being talked about as Super Bowl contenders. See…it can happen. I repeat Seattle hasn’t won anything…yet. But they will. I predict. Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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Seahawks vs 49ers is Gonna Be Great!

Seahawks logo

Though written in March of 2013 this post is still very timely.

The rivalry between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers has gone from simmer, to slow boil, to 3rd degree- “Oh My God THAT’s HOT!” burn in the past week. And isn’t it just exceedingly fun to watch? I’m lovin’ it. And what’s most exciting is that it’s likely to last for many, many years. All the evidence shows that this will push historical rivalries for significance. We’re talking Yankees vs Red Sox, Duke-North Carolina, Ohio State vs Michigan,  Steelers vs the Raiders in the 70s, Redskins vs Cowboys, Celtics- Lakers, Ali-Frazier. Welcome to Seattle! Home of the NFL Universe. Folks, it’s here.

English: Picture of the 12th Man Flag at Centu...

What made the rivalries of yesteryear so darn compelling were two things. First, and perhaps most important, the teams were always good….championship level good. Second, THEY HATED EACH OTHER. Does anyone hate each other more in big-time sports right now than

English: Head Coach Pete Carroll leads his Uni...

Pete Carroll led his University of Southern California Trojans football team

Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll and Niner’s Head coach Jim Harbaugh?

Head coach Jim Harbaugh at the 2010 Stanford f...

Head coach Jim Harbaugh at the 2010 Stanford football open house

Not based on the evidence that we’ve seen. From the time when Carroll was at USC and Harbaugh was at Stanford and Carroll greeted the Cardinal coach with a not-so-politic “What’s your deal?” after Harbaugh had his team go for 2-points late in a blow-out win over the Trojans to last October when Harbaugh complained to the NFL about that Seahawk cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner were too physical with his receivers.

As we all know the Seahawks were 30-seconds away from meeting the 49ers in the NFC Championship game this past season with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line; a trip won by S.F. Then the team from the Bay area came oh-so-close to winning the league championship and establishing themselves as a potential dynasty.

This week the rivalry was brought back to the nation’s attention when Seattle traded for elite Minnesota wide receiver-Kick Returner Percy Harvin only to be equalled in the headlines by San Francisco trading for Pro Bowl receiver Anquan Bolden of the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Fortunately for Hawk’s fans Seattle came back again yesterday by signing free agent defensive-end Cliff Avril to help bolster the team’s greatest need; an improved pass rush. Important to note that while the Hawk’s achilles heel in the past season, and projecting to the coming season, was their pass rush, they still managed to lead the league defensively in fewest points allowed.

After the trade of the 1st round and 7th round draft picks in the upcoming NFL Draft for Harvin, Seattle stills owns 8 picks in the April allotment of college talent. But San Francisco has 14 picks, five returning Pro Bowlers and plenty of cash to acquire more free agent help.

Seattle has Russell Wilson; one of the most exciting young quarterbacks to come into the league in years. S.F. has Colin Kaepernick; one of the most exciting young quarterbacks to come into the league in years. Seattle has Marshawn Lynch one of the best running backs in the league. S.F. has Frank Gore; one of the best running backs in the league, and probably a future Hall of Famer. They both have stout defenses. And their two combative coaches both preach a grind it out, smash-mouth style of football. S.F. has won the NFC West each of the past two years. Seattle won it before that. And both teams have among the youngest rosters in the National Football League. So, as excellent as both teams are. They ought to be excellent for years to come.

After this week’s player acquisitions odds-makers have installed Seattle and San Francisco as co-favorites to win this next year’s Super Bowl. And being in the same division they’ll always play each other twice each season. The fact that S.F. is the team that’s geographically closest to the far-away Northwest outpost called Seattle is just the cherry on top of the Sundae.

Woody Hayes

Woody Hayes

Bo Schembechler vs Woody Hayes.

English: Los Angeles Lakers Magic Johnson and ...

Bird vs Magic.

Richard Petty 1984 Photo By Ted Van Pelt

Richard Petty 1984

Richard Petty vs Cale Yarborough. Alydar vs Affirmed.  We’re talking about this kind of historical rivalry, and it’s staring us in the face.

NY - Long Island - Belmont Park - Affirmed

NY – Long Island – Belmont Park – Affirmed

It’s absolutely delicious for any sports fan. But for the long-suffering fans of Seattle it’s a banquet for a starving man. Thank you Paul Allen for the hasty decision to fire Jim Mora. Thank you Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider for the wisdom and the guts to go after Wilson. And thank you to Seattle tax payers for funding CenturyLink field‘s construction.

I can’t wait, though it’s still 6-months away. I just renewed my Seahawk season tickets for next season. My company Total Broadcasting Service will be giving some of them away, again. I’m predicting a pretty fantastic ride.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Seahawks Blew It! And We Ought to be Mad.

Russell Wilson after brilliant performance in Atlanta

The big bold headlines to the Seattle Times this morning says “End of a Super Season” with a subtitle of “Heartache after fearless comeback; finale to thrilling year”. To me it sounds all to familiar. “That’s OK boys. It’s OK that you blew a chance to bring this city its first ever football title and first major championship in more than a generation. We still love you”. A Seattle sports team gives our city some excitement one week, wins a few games and proceeds to take a bow from adoring fans devoid of much sports success to embrace when ultimately all they did was perform a face plant in front of the entire nation.

In case you missed it let me inform you of all you need to know about yesterday’s 30-28 loss to the Falcons in AtlantaSeattle had the lead with 25 seconds to go in the game and Atlanta had the ball at its own 27 yard line, 34 yards away from the possibility of a LONG field goal. It turns out, Atlanta only needed 12 seconds to complete two long passes to the Seattle 31 where kicker Matt Bryant

Matt Bryant | Atlanta Falcons

Matt Bryant

lofted a chip shot 49 yard field goal for the win. For the uninformed football fan let me inform you: THAT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN! Not to a championship caliber team it shouldn’t.

But wait…it has happened before…to this same team. Please recall Chicago, December 2. Seattle scores a wonderful comeback touchdown with only seconds to play to take the lead on the 8-3 Bears and seemingly wins the game remarkably. Only they didn’t. Like Matt Ryan yesterday, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler completes a pass of about 50 yards to Brandon Marshal against Richard Sherman and a befuddled Seahawk secondary.

English: Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears warmi...

Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears

Putting Chicago in position to kick the tying field-goal as time expired, forcing overtime. Had it not been for the flip of a coin going Seattle’s way, giving them first possession of overtime, the Seahawks could have lost that game. Having lost that game Seattle doesn’t make the playoffs. Chicago does.

So what does it say about a team that twice in 7 games allows an opposing team to move from deep in their own territory into field goal position in mere seconds and lose a game they led. To me it says some really bad coaching is taking place. When it happened the first time you could blame Richard Sherman for not trying to knock the ball down and instead trying to intercept it. When it happens a second time and it involves other players besides Sherman, you have a pattern and you have a problem.

The thing Seattle fans need to learn and still haven’t is the team had an opportunity and you can’t blow opportunities like that. The team had the momentum and a realistic shot at going to and winning the Super Bowl. I’m not talking about a “punchers chance”; which everyone in the NFL playoffs has. I’m saying, and so were a lot of other people by the way, that Seattle was possibly the best team in the playoffs. Period! Of the 4 teams left in this years playoffs Seattle has already beaten two of the teams this year, and woulda, coulda, shoulda beaten a third, Atlanta, yesterday. Yes, they are THAT good. But they blew it.

The Seattle Times headline this morning is so typically Seattle and so pathetic. I want a championship and am no longer going to settle for “Nice Try”. And if the rest of the city joined me and insisted that our sports teams get their acts together I’m sure a championship could actually come our way.

Being stubborn and demanding and often annoying in ones drive to excellence is a BIG part of what makes champions. Watching U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor last night on CBS’ 60 Minutes, she said as much. She said, “I’m sure my stubbornness has a lot to do with what success I’ve achieved in life”. She elaborated more…but…there ya go.

I have a brother one year older than me, raised in the same house, same parents, and we are as completely different as two people can be. My brother is a millionaire. He’s also a stubborn bull-headed, my-way-or-the-highway jerk. He always has been. Even when we are kids. I’m no pushover. But I would never be accused of being a sore loser, or poor-sport. I have always tried to be positive and complimentary to my teams, my opponents, and in every situation. Not my brother. As a child he used to cry whenever his team lost. He still can’t stand losing. A few years ago while spending a New Years Eve at his 4500 square-foot home we were playing pool. Pool is a game I can play. Not my brother. I was beating him repeatedly. At one point after 3-5 game after he missed another shot he threw his cue stick on the table scattering the balls and ending the pool play for the night. I’ve played pool in bars ever since lying about my age at 19 and being a frequent customer at the Mustard Seed Two tavern in Bellevue. I have a table in my home. I have never seen anyone do that before…show such poor sportsmanship. For my brother…it was predictable.

So what I’m saying is don’t be so accommodating Seattle. Expect more. The Seahawks blew it yesterday and deserve to be criticized not praised . They lost a very important game they should have won and we have no business patting them on the back. We ought to be kicking them in the ass and saying…“Don’t mess up next year! We’re sick of your mediocrity. And we deserve better”. By the way…same goes for you Mariners.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Banish these in 2013! Words and Phrases that Don’t Apply

The following words and phrases should no longer be uttered, printed or even thought about. If they ever applied they no longer do. Being that we’re starting a new year now is as good a time as any to rid ourselves of the bullshit. These words and phrases constitute just that.

“The rich need to pay their fair-share”                                                                                              I wanted to vomit every time I heard President Obama or Senator Patty Murray or any other divisive Democrat utter such words. Never in all the time these BS words were being uttered did I ever hear them answer the follow-up question which naturally is, “If the highest 53% of income earner pay 100% of all federal income tax how are they NOT paying their fair share?”. English: President George W. Bush and Presiden...

Well Congress finally passed into law a “permanent” change in Federal income tax rates raising to 39% the rate paid by those earning over $400,000 per year. So the President essentially got what he wanted. He stuck it to the rich. Now, lets not hear any more of the claims they aren’t paying their fair-share. They’re paying more than Republicans wanted them to, and exactly what Democrats say they should.

“Obama is a Muslim and a Communist.”                                                                                           I didn’t vote for Barack Obama in either 2008 or 2012 and I think there is abundant evidence that he’s a lousy President and will continue to be so in the coming four years.

But claims by his haters that he’s 1. Muslim or 2. Communist are ridiculous and do absolutely nothing to better this country or this government. Worst of all they poorly taint all Conservatives and Republicans as hateful and racist further driving away moderate votes. There is a reason Republicans have lost 5 of the past 6 Presidential election popular votes. What I would ask those who make such claims is, where is your evidence? And, what difference would it make if you were correct? The fact is Obama is Christian because he says so. His father was Muslim. But so what? Jesus was a Jew. But all his followers aren’t. And Obama is not a Marxist/Communist. He may be a Socialist, which is different. But at best he’s the most Liberal President since Roosevelt.

“Obama was born in Kenya”                                                                                                         Again, like above, those who continue to make these silly claims are idiots and hurting the Conservative cause by looking like idiots and through association making us look so. Like above I would ask, “Even if you’re right, what difference would it make?” Obama is President, twice elected. And he’ll be our President for the next four years. Besides even if you’re right it makes no difference. Obama’s mother was an American citizen. So Obama could have been born on Mars and he’d still be an American citizen.

“The Mariners are Rebuilding”                                                                                                           I never want to hear this phrase again because…1. No they’re not. And….2. You have to have been “Built” in order to be “RE-built”. The Mariners haven’t been built, a contender, for more than 10 years. That’s half a generation. They’ve been to the playoffs only four times in their history and join the Washington Nationals as the only remaining teams in Major League Baseball to have never been to the World Series.

Seattle Mariners

Watching them whiff on Josh Hamilton one year, Prince Fielder the next, and every big name free agent who comes on the market every winter is no longer hard to stomach. It’s not hard to stomach, because it’s too easy to ignore. The Mariner’s President is Chuck Armstrong. He’s been at the helm continuously since 1992 and for 2 more years before than in 1987-89. And Howard Lincoln has been the team’s Chief Executive Officer since  Hiroshi Yamauchi bought the team in 1992.

“The Seahawks are Rebuilding”

QB Russell Wilson in the Pocket

QB Russell Wilson in the Pocket

The Seahawks are no longer rebuilding. They are rebuilt. They have a good coach. A franchise quarterback and young-enough Pro Bowl running back, and basically one of the youngest rosters in the NFL. And yet, they led the league in fewest points allowed, they’re 11-5 and they are unquestionably this year’s winner of the title “The team no-one wants to face in the playoffs” award. No more excuses. We expect this team to win and we will be disappointed if they lose. They can beat anyone at home or on the road.You may say…”Next year…not this year”. But that’s the typical Seattle way. And I’m rejecting that way. Sure winning three road playoff games might be hard. But can they beat Washington? Yes. Can they beat San Francisco? They just did 42-13. Their third playoff game (if they get that far) would be in either Green Bay or Atlanta. Both would be tough. But we already beat the Packers.

“This economy is in recession”                                                                                                        No it’s not and hasn’t been for a couple of years. Will it be in the near future? I think that’s definitely possible. But they are not in recession now. Continuing to act like we are in recession I believe is part of what keeps us in recession. Why go back to work when Congress just extended the two-year unemployment comp plan for another year. It’s embarrassing. Were unemployment benefits cut off in 3-6 months as they normally are I assure you our unemployment rate would be lower, more people would be working, tax revenues would be higher and we could talk about taxes and the deficit in serious ways instead of as a necessary evil while “the economy recovers”.

Kim Kardashian

OK…ya…she’s beautiful. But beautiful women are a dime a dozen. She has never done anything in her life to justify her news exposure and it makes me ill. And while we’re banishing her lets banish all the faux celebrities out there who have no talent and no earthly reason in the world for being on the checkout stand magazine cover.

“Fiscal Cliff”

The news media was at its most annoying best (worst) with the continuing reference to the tax hikes and budget cuts Congress imposed on itself two years ago as the conclusion to the “sequester” negotiations. We were not ever going to go off our fiscal cliff. It was a faux news story…like Paris Hilton.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Seahawks Looking Good! Can you say Super Bowl?

The San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl XXIX troph...

Since the writing of this blog the New England Patriots defeated the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football 42-14. 

This Seattle Seahawk season ticket holder was pretty darned impressed with what he saw in Sunday’s 58-0 record blow-out of the Arizona Cardinals. It’s got me thinking of…dare I say it…the Super Bowl.

Call me crazy if you will but my dreams could be realized if a few small things fall our way. And we could be making plans for a trip to…NEW JERSEY? Ya…New Jersey. The fact that the game is being played in a northern climate again is one other reason why I feel optimistic. Seattle’s only other trip to nirvana occurred in 2006 when the Seahawks lost to Pittsburg in Detroit, MI.

(Oops! It has been correctly pointed out to me that the Super Bowl in New Jersey won’t take place until after next season in 2014. This season’s 2013 Super Bowl will be in New Orleans.)

Picture taken by me of Qwest Field at night fr...

CenturyLink Field where Seattle is undefeated.

Here is the situation: Seattle is 8-5 with three games left. Sunday they travel to Toronto to play the Buffalo Bills. On Christmas Eve eve, December 23rd, the Hawks host division leading San Francisco at CenturyLink Field. And then they close out the season at the “Clink” against the improving St. Louis Rams.

Before anyone gets too excited let me remind you that Seattle has played and lost to both the 49ers and the Rams this season, and at this point in the season they haven’t clinched anything. Having said that I like our chances.

Tonight’s Monday night game, Houston at New England, in Foxboro could be important. If Houston wins New England would not want to lose two straight when they host the 49ers next Sunday night. So come-on Texans! If the Pat’s win tonight they might start shifting into coast-mode before the playoffs when they play San Francisco. (New England won 42-14)  If San Fran loses their game in New England, while Seattle beats Buffalo the game in Seattle would decide the division lead with only one game to play.

Seattle will beat Buffalo for several reasons. First, they exorcised that “can’t win on the road” ghost in beating the Bears in Chicago last week. Second, the game is not in Buffalo so the Bills will not have that much of a decided home field advantage. Lastly, besides the crowd the other huge advantage Buffalo has over all its opponents in December is the weather. But the Seahawk game will be inside what they used to call Skydome.

I think the Hawks can break the 49ers win streak of them and take the division lead. What a nice Christmas present THAT will be. A division crown would come down to beating the Rams on December 30th at CenturyLink; a proposition I favor. But it won’t be easy. The Rams play an up-and-down Minnesota club next week and a declining Tampa Bay after that. They could come to Seattle 8-6-1 needing a win for the playoffs. Still, you can’t bet against Seattle at the Clink, no matter who they’re playing; as evidenced by their victories this year over possibly the 2 best teams in the league, Green Bay and New England.

Seattle would then host at least one playoff game and probably earn a bye the first weekend. This scenario counts on G.B. to lose at least once more. which I think they’ll do. Seattle and the Packers would be tied with an 11-5 record and thanks to Russell Wilson, Golden Tate, and a Replacement Referee Seattle would host their first playoff game after taking a week off.

Seattle would be favored over whoever they played and I would expect them to win, putting them into the NFC Championship game.

NFC Championship Game logo, 2005–2010

Under my scheme that game would only be in Atlanta or Seattle. If it’s Atlanta, well, the Falcons would be deservedly favored. If it’s in Seattle against the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers or the last playoff entrant (Who cares. They won’t win), then I like my teams chances of going to East Rutherford.

I’ve never been happier being so wrong. I’m referring to Pete Carroll’s pick of Russell Wilson as the teams starting quarterback this year. I was the first in the Matt Flynn camp, dating back to last January. And as good as Wilson has played, who’s to say Flynn couldn’t have done the same thing? Having said that, clearly Wilson is a special player and can lead this team to the Super Bowl provided a few not-so-unlikely things fall our way. Go Seahawks! Go Texans! Go Patriots (next week)!

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

NFL Concussion Problem is Solvable

This blog was written in June 2012 but is still timely, especially following the previous weekend’s games in which a number of key players including Michael Vick and Jay Cutler were lost to concussion.

More than 2000 NFL players filed a lawsuit against the league Thursday over the growing issue of concussions, the injuries derived from them, and the National Football League’s handling of them in the past. These players claim long-term neurological damage from their time playing football. I’ve thought for years how this can be largely solved by doing something that has already been done.

Buffalo Bill Mark Kelso padded his helmet.

Buffalo Bill Mark Kelso padded his helmet.

It’s not your imagination if the helmet being worn by former Buffalo Bills Safety Mark Kelso looks a little larger than a normal football players helmet. Look at it closely and you can see Kelso had a foam padding created as a shell for the top of the head-gear. And Kelso was no slouch player. He played seven years for the Bills from 1986 to 1993, and started in four Super Bowls. Kelso began wearing the cap after…wait for it…a concussion.

And Kelso wasn’t the only one to show wisdom. Rather than give in to the vanity of thinking the cap makes the helmet too big and look funny, San Francisco 49er offensive tackle Steve Wallace wore a foam cap on his helmet too.

Steve Wallace in his "Cone helmet"

Steve Wallace in his “Cone helmet”

And Wallace played in a Pro Bowl.

The argument against these big helmets has come from the players. Not the NFL. And to bitch about the aesthetics of something that could significantly increase your own safety, for the rest of your life, is just plain silly. It’s vanity. Besides, if ALL the players are wearing the same larger helmets you won’t look odd. You’d look odd not wearing one.

The player’s lawsuit is the biggest one ever filed in sports. In all likelihood there will be a settlement for hundreds of millions of dollars and it will never go to court. Which is probably good for the players since they are the ones refusing to wear the foam caps which have been available for them to wear for more than 20 years. Most players also refuse to wear knee pads in their pants. They claim the knee and thigh pads slow them down, and don’t protect their legs much. However much they protect their legs, they are likely to protect another players head considerably. Or, have you not seen dozens of players knocked out of games over the years by taking an inadvertent knee to the head?

Fortunately the league has mandated that all players begin wearing knee and thigh pads again beginning in the 2013 season. Why they’re waiting that extra season makes no sense to me. They could start protecting players immediately.

Lastly Commissioner Roger Goodell should continue to crack down on helmet to helmet hits. Players need to be reminded it’s not the proper, or sure way of tackling anyway. Look at NFL Films clips from the 60s and 70s. You don’t see a lot of head shots. Tackles were made in a less vicious way. But they were still excitingly violent. I was taught to plant my facemask squarely in the ball-carriers chest and to wrap him up. Watch Dick Butkis, Merlin Olson, Jack Lambert, Mean Joe Green, Mel Blount, Ronnie Lott or any of the All-Timers. They weren’t head hunters. They were superb defensive tacklers.

It’s always frustrating when a problem persists despite answers being readily available. The NFL didn’t become a multi-billion dollar industry by being stupid. Though they will be if they don’t institute these simple and available solutions. Failing to do so in years to come would leave the league criminally negligent.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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