To say I was angry after the game is an understatement.
This is what went through my head (please stay with me here):
1. Pete Carroll cost the team this game. He left at least two easy field goals out their during the first half (going on 4 and 1, plus poor clock management at the half). This is how he managed games back in 2010. He seemed to have grown this year and no longer made knucklehead decisions that cost the team points. "COME ON PETE!" "You have to know better, right?
2. What if Lynch doesn't fumble in the 1st quarter? It was his 2nd fumble lost in two playoff games.
3. Maybe Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley should have been putting together a defensive gameplan instead of interviewing for his next job (clearly the extra prep time would not have hurt). By the way, I bet he was glad this first half wasn't on his resume during said interview.
4. What if Chris Clemons was healthy and playing? Would the team have had more than zero sacks and one QB hit. Someone should be fired for that piece of crap "NFL field" in Washington.
5. Why in the world was the secondary playing so far off the receivers on Atlanta's game winning drive? Why not just put the ball in FG range? Was this Gus Bradley's call?
Now, back to present day (January 14th, 2013 at 6:45pm PST). Forget the previous five points I just made and listen very closely to every word I'm about to say.
1. I am an absolutely spoiled NFL fan that needs to pull my head out of my @#$.
2. There are 20 other NFL teams that didn't even make the playoffs. 24 teams were sitting at home watching games this weekend. Those fans would have loved to be on the ride I just took with my team.
3. Arguably, 20 other NFL teams would love to have a franchise quarterback like Russell Wilson. With every additional game and every additional quarter, Wilson continued to prove his doubters wrong (myself included early in the year). There is no question this man has the "it" factor and I feel blessed to have him as my team's quarterback.
4. Arguably, 30 other NFL teams would love to have this young, fast, hard hitting, never say die defense as their own.
5. Let's see, Seattle has: a franchise quarterback, a dominate left tackle, an All-Pro center, an All-Pro "beast" at running back, an All-Pro "lockdown" cornerback, and an All-Pro "ball hawk" at free safety and I have the nerve to sulk. Who the hell do I think I am?
6. In the last three years, my favorite team as been torn apart and rebuilt into one of the best and most exciting young teams in the NFL. Instead of complaining and second guessing Pete Carroll, I should be thanking him for his eye for talent and his contributions for putting this team together. At the start of this season, there were only 9 players left on the Seahawks roster from the 2009 team (by my count, only 7 remain as of today).
7. After all of that, as a Seahawks fan, I have one more thing in my favor. My favorite team has one of the best General Managers in the NFL. Pete Carroll hasn't assembled this team alone. John Schneider (who is also in his 3rd year with the organization) has been nothing short of amazing since coming to Seattle. I can't tell you how many times I wished Seattle could consistently find young talent throughout the draft, while making smart moves in free agency. Schneider is not afraid to go against the grain when putting a team together. Fact, he drafted a QB that was too short, a corner that was too tall, and strong safety that was to big, signed another corner that was too tall (from the CFL), traded for a reserve defensive end (that has led the team in sacks for three consecutive years now), and traded for a disappointing "beast." I could go and on and on.
You can see, that am in fact one of the luckiest NFL fans on earth. The "always compete" attitude that Pete Carroll has brought to this team is a thing of beauty and it shows every week on the field. Would I like to see this team win a Super Bowl? Hell yes I would. That said, right now I couldn't ask for anything more from this organization (front office, coaches, and players), everyone clearly has the same goal and is giving all their effort to obtain that goal. I am so excited for what the 2013 off-season will bring and have no doubt that this team will find ways to improve upon what was a great season.
I will close with this list:
1. Thank you Seahawk players for giving 110% day in and day out.
2. Thank you Pete Carroll, for all that you do.
3. Thank you John Schneider, for working so well with Pete and assembling the finest group of young talent in the NFL.
4. Finally, thank you to my fellow 12's. This has a been a crazy year. I know their have been times that I've doubted and haven't deserved to be called a "12th Man". Just know, I truly love this team and nothing will ever change that.