Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Hypocrisy of Goldengate

Hawkblogger spoke some immortal words today during a podcast.
There is only one way out of this, and Seahawks fans better buckle up, because whether or not the Seahawks did anything wrong, we are public enemy #1. Every play that goes against us, (in the country's opinion) we deserve it. Every time we lose, we deserve it. The only way out of this hole is to win the Super Bowl. The last time that the nation laughed at us and pointed fingers and disrespected this franchise, we caused an earthquake. That is going to have to happen again for the rest of the season, every single game. Seahawks fans better bring it, Seahawks players better bring it, and we'd better bring it until we bring the championship home this year, next year, and the year after. Until they can talk all they want about that one play and it will be a distant memory.
I walked into work Tuesday morning having not been able to watch the Packers game. First thing before attacking my skyscraper of ungraded papers, I opened NFL.com and checked the score. My mouth dropped open in astonished delight at the exact moment as one of my Algebra 2 students, a pack of five others right behind him, yanked open my door, leaned in, and without any greeting or preamble, hollered "Worst...call...ever." They know I'm a Twelve, and they wouldn't let go of the refrain all day: "The Seahawks? Seriously?" (Admittedly, this was mostly revenge from their being Cowboys fans.)

Every Twelve knows in his heart the phenomenon that Hawkblogger and I are describing here. The Seahawks are not the darlings of the NFL. We are not one of the media-market teams that bring ratings to the league's showcase games. We are not the team that the league would hold up as their paragon of talent and hardnosed professionalism. Our team is the red-headed stepchildren, and we share its status amongst fan circles.

For years, this status has taken passive voice as "Southern Alaska" as the team has wallowed in the muck of mediocrity with nobody feeling the need to pile on. Before that, it was "bullies of the basement" as we dominated the weak NFC West. It reached a passive-aggressive crescendo as the Seahawks trotted out to "Bittersweet Symphony" in Super Bowl XL and promptly got handed a yellow-colored, not-so-subtle memo as to which team's storylines the league thought more of. And once Pete Carroll the Rebel arrived, the laughter only increased.

So now that Golden Tate, Brandon Browner, Kam Chancellor and associates have finally taken a stand against the willful ignorance and literally body-slammed their way into the national spotlight, will the Seahawks ever be known as anything other than "The Ones Who Kept the Packers From Starting 2-1"?

I cannot believe the hypocrisy sweeping the nation over the Golden Tate touchdown. Forget the validity of the call for a moment. Where was this rending of garments and gnashing of teeth at the end of Super Bowl XL? I vividly remember the resounding snide dismissal from around the country: "If you wanted to win, there were plenty of dropped passes your team could have avoided. You deserved to lose. Deal with it."

Yet Aaron Rodgers, one of the league's best pressure-defeating, laser-accurate passers, so skilled that Matt Flynn (according to some Seahawks fans) has absorbed all his blitz-defeating ability by osmosis without even having to start more than twice - Rodgers is not given the same tough-love treatment. He's painted as a victim.

And he actually has a Super Bowl ring.

And you want me to believe that this is about the integrity of the game?

Horse-hockey.

This is about a tough loss to one of the nation's popular "identity" teams. This is about "blue-collar quarterback" Aaron Rodgers and one of the league's precious, ratings-grabbing, high-flying passing offenses getting clobbered by good, plain, old-fashioned defense (by the way, folks, the Seahawks are pretty good at that now). It's about one of the NFL's night-game regulars getting whalloped, offensively brought down to the level of the 2006 Browns in front of the whole country, by an underdog that pundits keep in a glass-enclosed case labeled "Break in Case of Need for Punchline".

Where was all this indignation last year when the real referees blew a fourth-quarter call on a Leon Washington touchdown return? That call would have lifted the Seahawks to a victory over...oh, right. Cleveland. Nobody gives a damn about that team. Forget that it could have changed Seattle's season.

Where would the New Yorker's hand-wringing have been had Aaron Rodgers been the one throwing that "game-winning interception"? Pretty sure it would be relegated almost purely to the 12th Man.

Where would Herm Edwards' disgust towards Pete Carroll have been had Golden Gate scored against the Rams? Non-existent.

Where was Clay Matthews all of Monday night? Same mysterious pocket universe that DeMarcus Ware and all my pencils and old socks went to, I'm guessing.

Where were all the national media writers during their class on journalistic integrity? Asleep on their desks, as evidenced by their gall in subtly accusing the Seahawks of "robbing" millions of willing gamblers who were dumb enough to put down their money on a sports game that they have zero control over. That right there, like Hawkblogger said, is the giveaway. That betrays the bias for me. There's no backpedaling from that. The hand has been tipped. The media officially has zero perspective on the whole thing.

So don't come to me mourning over the death of football's integrity, treating it like some whitewashed lamb led to the slaughter by some punk wide receiver who merely did what every wide receiver does on a hail mary. Or whatever such melodramatic crap you're trying to pull.

Don't pretend that the touchdown was the only bad call that determined the game.

Don't pretend this is the first time a team has been defeated by the zebras.

Don't accuse the Seahawks of dishonest arrogance for not shuffling up to the microphone with lowered heads and admitting that they "cheated".

Don't act as if Aaron Rodgers deserved to win after being reduced to panicky checkdowns and sent scrambling for his life for an entire half by a fourth-round Eagles castoff before hunkering down behind his running game just to survive the night. (Credit where due: he still made many excellent throws.)

And this to the players and media especially: DON'T...DON'T...DON'T EVEN HINT that this is the first time you've noticed how bad the replacement referees are, or how much impact it has. Don't you dare. Nobody else needed this game to figure that out, you Dallas-loving pack of hypocrites. This isn't about the situation reaching "critical mass", highlighting the bad call to hasten Ed Hochuli's return. Your double standard is so transparent that birds fly right into it.

You'll notice I haven't even addressed the call itself. I don't plan to. I don't need to. The intensity of the self-righteous outcry from the league, the media, and some of the players themselves...that's indication enough of what's really going on here. This isn't about football's honor. It's about the challenge to its reigning oligarchy. The Seahawks weren't "given a gift" when the referee threw up his hands in the "touchdown" motion. They played a hell of a game, walked up to the Packers and punched them in the mouth for the four quarters before that play, representing the numerous teams who are demonstrating to these elite quarterbacks that balance, defense, discipline, and toughness still matter in this league.

In the end, though, all my words are naught. Football fans have never been a receptive bunch. Neither have mediots. The only thing Seattle can do to earn respect (albeit grudging) is win, and win lots. We've stepped over the line now, made a claim. And we all saw this tipping point coming last year once the Legion of Boom started throwing people around and crowing about it on Twitter. We knew people would notice. We quieted the critics for a while during the Beastquake, but last year it was taken to a whole new level. All it took was the proper platform to announce our arrival on the block. It's here now, and we'll have to back up our smack every week, every day, just like Richard Sherman.

I'm not sure I agree with Hawkblogger that Seattle will be a contender this year. But I do agree with this: boy, are we going to catch hell if they aren't. Fair or not.

54 comments:

  1. Awesome! Just awesome!

    After XL, when the Stealers were proclaiming that they won "one for the thumb," I proposed that the Hawks new motto should be "one for the (middle) finger," with a Super Bowl ring on a hand flipping the bird. Let's see 'em get that ring.

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  2. I agree completely with this. First thing I said after everything went to hell was "if the play were reversed, and the Packers were throwing the ball to the endzone for a win, a touchdown would have been seen as the 'right' call"

    It's a double standard, lose-lose situation and I can't help but to continue my wonder to the simple fact that if we won without the reception at the end, I STILL think everyone blames the replacement refs!!!

    Anyone see what they said about 49ers losing to the Vikings? Blamed the replacement refs there too, though the Hawks became the main focus too quickly for that to build.

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    1. How was the niners lose to the Vikings anything to do with the refs. The niners had five timeouts in the second half. Yes I'm sure there were some shitty calls in the game, but that was every game this past weekend. The refs gave them every chance to win and the Vikings still won. Just as this lose to Green Bay on a very controversial ending shows bias, I think that one reveals even more. The NFC west (best) is always gonna be shitted on for better or for worse. The fact that no one has been crowing about that at all is disgusting. It's been all about how the Seahawks raped the vaulted packers on national television with the refs help.

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  3. It was a tough situation all the way around. I was really disappointed in Rodgers. He had a chance to stand up, show some class and leadership and say "It is what it is". He made a different choice. I lost a lot of respect for him!

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    1. I totally agree. I'd always pretty much respected the Packers organization as a class act, and this kind of whining and hatred is going a long way toward diminishing that. Packers fans, too.

      The Patriots believed that the Ravens' field goal didn't go in and, other than the Bellichek grab you don't see the team going apeshit over it. What are you going to do? It's not reversible at this point.

      Tell you what, Packers: We'll beat the Bears, Lions, and Vikings for you so that you don't lose your place in your division standings because of us. Sound fair?

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  4. So, what you are saying is that the Packers D didn't smash your Seahawks all night? Or that the Packers dominated the second half? Or that the Packers were actuually winning the game until that play? It seems as though you think your Hawks deseved the win because they played a good defensive game against a team that has struggled on offense all year. The Seahawks offense was brutal all night, which is why you only had 7 points until the "innacurate reception." As was the Packers offense who only had 12 points on the board. I don't think Bears, Vikings, and Lions fans would be saying, "worst...call...ever" if it wasn't a terrible call. I live in Chicago and have not heard one Bear fan say that it was the right call. You can't tell me that your 12th man actually thinks that was the right call. Good luck in the Super Bowl.

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    1. I don't follow your logic. Suddenly the Packers offense is immune from criticism because three bad games somehow erase expectations from multiple high-flying seasons directly prior? I'm not buying it, friend.

      The Seahawks offense is three weeks old and embryonic, led by a rookie QB, still in flux and learning to walk and talk. The Packers offense is...not.

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    2. Not saying they are immune. Packer fans still expect them to put up points. But a good defense is a good defense. Most Packer fans can admit that it was a defensive batlle and they can admit that the Seahawks D was sick in the first half on Monday night. They also can see what happens when the coach refuses to run the ball and instead let's his QB drop back every single play. It took the coaching staff way to long to change their game plan. But when they made adjustments, momentum changed. Do you honestly think I was happy with the offense on Monday night? It was brutal, but give your team some credit...the d is solid.

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    3. So, you think that the refs calling pass interference on Kam Chancellor, or not calling intentional grounding on Aaron Rogers is okay? Both of those plays helped Green Bay get its lone touchdown. If the pass interference wasn't called, then the Packers would've punted from their own territory. If the grounding call would've been called, then they would've punted from even deeper in their own territory. Yet you so conveniently forget that. Is it because you wouldn't have an argument if you did?
      Was that a bad call at the end of the game? Yes. You know why? It should've been both offensive AND defensive pass interference. The play should've been replayed.
      But let's look at the catch itself. According to the NFL rule book, if a player crosses the plane of the end zone, and has possession of the ball, it's considered a touchdown or touch back. If an offensive and defensive player share possession of the ball, then the offensive player is awarded the ball. Golden Tate's feet landed in the end zone (crossing the plane), while both he and Jennings had possession of the ball. Touchdown. When Jennings landed, a second later, he wrestled the ball away, but it didn't matter because Tate had previously established possession, and both feet in the field of play.
      You'll probably complain about my comments, but I don't care for one reason: I've used intelligence and logic to prove that it actually was the correct call. The only way that people can complain about this is if they don't care about the rules.

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    4. Big difference between having possession and having one hand on the ball. And possession is only declared when it is simultaneous which wasn't the case. Tate didn't even get a hand on the ball after the defender had it. So u have conveniently left out those sections of logic to fit your argument.

      But I agree. This had nothing to do with the Seahawks and by no means is this there fault and I won't say that they didn't deserve to win. But u have replay in place to get calls right. In this case that ability and technology was not used properly.

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  5. ^Anon, did you even read the post? This has nothing to do with the final play itself.

    Brandon, very loquacious and well-spoken.

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    1. Yes, did you? The entire article was about the last play. Use your inferencing skills. If it wasn't about the last call, what was it about?

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    2. About the true source of media *perception* of the last call. Which was far from egregious even if it was wrong (see here: http://www.thebiglead.com/index.php/2012/09/25/golden-tate-catch-frame-by-frame-look-and-the-nfl-rule-book/); no one outside would think it was a *bad* call had the teams been reversed, even if they believed it was a *wrong* call. The truly lousy calls that game were PI calls (on Kam, the call on Shields that should have been on Rice, and yeah, the non-PI calls on that last play).

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  6. "The Seahawks weren't "given a gift" when the referee threw up his hands in the "touchdown" motion."

    Wait, which official? There were 2, how easily you forgot that. The other ruled it an interception. Do you think Tate caught that ball? The guy never had 2 hands on it? There is a reason the story and drama is what it is. It was a brutal call. Period.

    "They played a hell of a game, walked up to the Packers and punched them in the mouth for the four quarters before that play, representing the numerous teams who are demonstrating to these elite quarterbacks that balance, defense, discipline, and toughness still matter in this league."

    Why do you think they punched them in the mouth for FOUR quarters? Packers had 3 scoring drives in the 2nd half. Over 200 yards of offense in the 2nd half. Forced several punts, an interception (that was ruled roughing the passer), and turnover on downs in the 2nd half. Did the Seahawks play a good defensive game? Of course they did. But the Packers offense has only scored 4 touchdowns all year. It is a differnt team than last year. I can honestly say they puched them in the mouth for the 1st half, but not the whole game. Don't fool yourself.

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    1. dont forget the bogus pass interference call on browner that lead green bay to the only touchdown they could manage against seattles defense. Since you were talking about blown calls!

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    2. Pass interference and roughing the passer calls are debatable every single week. There were several calls in that game that could be debated for both teams. Pass interference down the sideline on the Packers on 2nd and 24. Roughing the Passer on the Jennings pick earlier in the 4th quarter. Holding calls. The call that ended that game was a joke. Plain and simple.

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    3. Bullshit go look at Ref signals the other ref did NOT rule interception. He asked the guy who ruled TD and then did his job and waved crossed his hands over his head which is the signal for stop the clock. If he had ruled interception he would have ruled "touch back" which is a arm waved up and down on the side. God get your facts straight.

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    4. Well you are a sheep following the talking head media. Go look at some other info rather than being so blinded. Open your eyes to other possibilities other than what ESPN tells you.
      http://seattletimes.com/html/seahawksblog/2019265422_presented_witho.html
      Pete Prisco ‏@PriscoCBS
      Maybe the call was right. Looks like Jennings is the one doing the pulling. http://bit.ly/SmgQBw

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    5. Let's see, a defensive player has a chance to pull up, and not hit a qb, but still hits him in the knees more than two seconds after the pass is thrown. Yep, roughing the passer. Yet, people don't call the roughing call on Aaron Rodgers bad? The only difference between the two calls is that the Seahawks defensive player didn't have a chance to pull up.
      By the way, on the interception, the defender only got one foot down before stepping out of bounds. So it wasn't an interception.

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    6. Actually, the other dude was signaling a timeout, which made no sense at all.

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  7. I'd gladly trade Green Bay a Monday night win in exchange for a stupid bowl ring from Pittsburgh.

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  8. Well it was nice being in the limelight this week. Believe me people will forget this game in a short time being that there is a HUGE East Coast media bias (It's true). The Seahawks will be relegated as an afterthought on the NFL news, unless we continue to kick ass and take names. GO HAWKS!

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  9. Please keep respectful in here, 12th Man. Otherwise I'll just shut down the discussion.

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  10. Awesome, Brandon! Just AWESOME! We WILL NOT APOLOGIZE for this! For YEARS of disrespect, disregards, and just plain dissin' us, we WILL NOT APOLOGIZE for this win! I'd rather not win amid controversy, but I damn sure don't want to lose being slighted; we've been down that road multiple times before! And now it's long overdue for them (national media) to see exactly what it feels like to have your heart ripped out on a bang-bang play!

    No one talks about the phantom call on Kam Chancellor on 3rd down. Point blank: there were countless blown/phantom calls in the game. We just ended up on top for once...and boy was it the ideal setting to end up on top: on Monday Night on the PRIMETIME STAGE!!!

    We took that win just like any other team would have accepted that win!

    As they said 6 yrs ago in Detroit: They were plenty of other opportunities for them to win the game!

    We won!

    Next Question!

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  11. Packers wanna complain bout one call but not bout the pass interference on chancelor

    Complain bout both.calls or none.

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  12. That's all BS. Wah wah wah. Poor Seattle sports fan who is upset now that their favorite pasttime of pretending we're some kind of victim up here has been taken away. You make me sick. Go Boo A-Rod some more, you loser. Go crawl under your rock, because you're why Seattle deserved to have the Sonics taken away. Fact is you got your butt kicked in a Super Bowl with one bad call that was irrelevant in the big picture (the Hassleback tackle). And fact is that call Monday was horribly wrong and YOU KNOW IT -which is exactly why you won't address it.

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    1. Ohh, a lot more bad calls than that . . . the bogus PI call on Jackson in the end zone was the worst.

      And no, go look at this: http://www.thebiglead.com/index.php/2012/09/25/golden-tate-catch-frame-by-frame-look-and-the-nfl-rule-book/

      It was a bang-bang play, the sort that's the next thing to a coin toss to call right. Did they get it wrong? On balance, I think so; but short of taking half an hour to go frame-by-frame, there's no way they could have been sure.

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    2. Correct. I would like to apologize for personally calling Goodells office 70,000 times and logging in a post under President Obama's twitter. I was clearly wrong and youcorrect.

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  13. not really sure what Packer fans and other fans expected Seattle to do? Run over to the ref and demand that they call the offensive pass interference on Tate and wave off the touchdown? Ya, right! People can call the Seahawks cheaters all they want, but at the end of the day, all they did was go out and play the game. They don't have control over the replacement officials, who everyone has to admit called a very very bad game on both sides.

    There isn't a team in any professional sport that can honestly say they've never won or lost a game directly because of a blown call(s), and I know Seattle has had their fair share of losses here!! Brandon nails it when he talks about this being about one of the league's 'identity' teams! Nobody cared too much when it was Super Bowl XL and the calls went against Seattle, calls that Leavy has since agreed he screwed up!

    Tough love Green Bay, now the Seahawk shoe is on your foot. Learn to deal with it as we have, life goes on!

    Go Hawks Go

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    1. The missed interference isn't a big deal. The INT was. The Seahawks can try to pretend they are victims, but with Golden Tate and Pete Carroll denying anything shady happened and with Russell Wilson quoting scripture and pointing to the heavens, this team has set themselves up to be hated. The gift victory is one thing, denying it happened that way is another.

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  14. All ref calls aside... Like we were told we should have made more plays after the SB - GB should have converted a 1st on their last possession and this would issue would not have happened. GB could not make the one conversion they needed to seal the deal and opened the door to Seattle. GB offense was ineffective all night and was not clutch when needed. There were no blown or controversial calls on that last drive to help or hinder GB. They could not defeat Seattle and lucked out a bit by recovering their fumble.

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  15. I haven't read the rest of these comments and I will but I'm just gonna say this now:

    I've never seen you, I don't know you, this is the first time I've read your blog. I want to marry you and give you all the Seahawks fans babies.

    Okay that's a bit much but this is EXACTLY what I have been saying since Monday night. I'm not a teacher but I'm a radio DJ and I also happen to live in the town that Aaron Rodgers grew up in. Which is also in 49ers country. So yeah, being a 12 here almost exclusively sucks. People actually outright attacked me verbally after Monday like I was on the field in some way.

    When the Hawks (who have been in my blood for nearing 30 years now) lose, we offended the nation and touched someone's mom wrong. When we win, we ate a baby on live television. This is how we are treated.

    I walk through my city every day on my way to work wearing my Hawks jacket, because I have no cares for these people who think I'm insulting them or stupid or just a girl. My Seahawks inspire ME to be different, to be brave and not be afraid to eff up. Because there's always tomorrow/next week/next time you're allowed on television on the horizon.

    Any way, thanks for the post, it's beautiful.

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    1. Cheers, Stephanie. Stay strong, it might be a long season.

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  16. Yep. Great post. Well, except for leaving out the part about how Seattle got spanked in Super Bowl 40 with or without bad ref calls. Also, the part about bad calls throughout Monday is accurate. Without the phantom interference calls, GB wins by double digits and it never comes down to a Fail Mary. I wish I knew what alternate universe you clowns live in where sacks are the same as points.

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    1. If you're gonna omit calls, both sides benefit. Not just yours.

      I'm the first to admit that Seattle failed to execute in Super Bowl 40. In fact, that was my point. People were correct when they said that we dropped a lot of balls. Yet nobody seemed to notice when Rodgers couldn't complete a 5-yard pass to a wide-open Donald Driver.

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  17. None of this will matter by January anyways. Seattle is irrelevant to the playoff picture with Tim Tebow junior at quarterback. Now that the real refs are back, it'll be weeks before anybody catches another Seahawk touchdown.

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    1. It's cool. Underestimate the Hawks like everyone else. We're used to it. See you in the playoffs.

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  18. No.....you probably won't. But good luck anyways.

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  19. Thank you so much for putting my feelings about this game into words. I refuse to aplogize for what may or may not have been a blown call in a game of blown calls. My Hawks played hard and I am proud of them.

    By the way, the anon GB fan's acute butt pain probably stems from the overwhelming sense of doom felt so early in the season. The pain and shock of the early playoff exit last season is still fresh in his memory. Especially after such a promising regular season. Something is wrong in GB in this year.

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    1. Intelligent post, especially since GB started 2-2 in 2010 and finished alright. By the way, they don't give out trophies at the end of September, but if they did Seattle's would be shaped like a giant asterisk. Congrats.

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  20. Imagine getting jobbed in the Super Bowl. This was just a regular season game. I cant imagine how much you would be crying if it would have the post season. If you are looking for validation a Seahawks blog might be the wrong place to find it.

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  21. Man, this post is almost as funny as the "us against the world" angle. Seattle got beat down from start to finish in that Super Bowl. That is why it's not even an issue outside of Seattle. Well, maybe to the gamblers who took the 4 or 5 points, but that happens. It's not like the game was stolen on the last play.

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  22. Brandon,

    I just realized you described Chris Clemons as a fourth-round castoff. He actually went undrafted.

    Keep up the good work. You're an excellent writer.

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  23. Stolen? Maybe you should put an APB out on your missing win or check the lost and found box at NFL headquarters. Who knows maybe the perps had a change of heart and returned it. Haha...stolen. That's a good one. Lost signs tacked to telephone poles work sometimes. Good luck recovering your stolen property.

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  24. Our MVP wants to get paid, I say pay the man!!!!!

    http://m.deadspin.com/5947434/the-scab-who-blew-the-seattle-touchdown-call-now-wants-to-get-paid-for-interviews

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  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I wanted to edit this comment slightly so...

      the article was well put...the seahawks have always been shit on by the media. Where was the outcry from the media when the ref apologized a year or two ago for his bad calls in super bowl XL? No one seemed to bat an eye at that one. Had the stealers lost and the ref apologized years later, i'm sure everyone would have been calling paul allen to return the lombardi trophy.

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    2. What media are you referring to? There wasn't an outcry because any honest NFL knew who was winning Super Bowl 40 from beginning to end. If it had come down to a Fail Mary, the outcry would have been epic...

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  26. Oh wow....I guess, cry for intervention when you lose a Super Bowl by 11 points even when it was never close. You people are delusional....

    Congrats on starting 2-1. After you lose to the Rams tomorrow you will be the worst team in the NFC West.

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