BY Seth Kolloen 09:20PM 01/08/2011

Exit 164: As it shall be known — The Beasting

A fan’s view of the greatest run in the biggest upset in Hawks history

The celebration was on after Marshawn Lynch collapsed in the end zone 67 yards later. (Drew Sellers/Sportspress Northwest)

With the Seahawks trying to run out the clock to create one of the biggest upsets in NFL playoff history, Marshawn Lynch took a handoff and disappeared into a pile. Somehow, he squeezed through.

And you thought, oh nice! A positive gain! We sure needed that on second-and-10. But Lynch kept going.

Then you thought: Beautiful. First down. Take more time off the clock. Yet Lynch kept going.

Then: Wow! All the way to the 50! AND LYNCH KEPT GOING!

Then you stopped thinking. And started screaming. When Lynch stiff-armed Saints cornerback Tracy Porter to the field at the 45 as if he were Tracy Chapman, you realized that Lynch had a chance to reach the end zone.

When he ran through Alex Brown’s ankle tackle–thanks to a block from Matt Hasselbeck–and cut back at the 10, you saw that HOLY CRAP HE’S GOING TO SCORE! His eighth broken tackle, a late dive by Roman Harper at the two, felt almost like it was staged for television.

Don’t know about you, but I ended up with my face buried in a couch, thrusting my arm in the air and shouting “He scored! He scored a touchdown!” And then everyone at my friend Cody’s place started hugging.

At Hec Edmundson Pavilion, a crowd of 300 gathered around TV monitors on the concourse erupted in cheers, according to the school’s digital writer, Gregg Bell. And the same happened in the Qwest Field press box, Sportspress Northwest’s Doug Farrar told me, despite the unspoken “no cheering in the press box” rule.

“That was the greatest run in Seahawks history,” I wrote in an email to my Sportspress Northwest bosses once I’d weaned myself from the hug party. Of course, I didn’t send the email, because I didn’t want to jinx the Hawks. Once the win was complete, the run could be properly celebrated.

We shall celebrate The Beasting. We shall celebrate The Beasting for all time.

After the game, it was all we could talk about. My friend Witold came up with the proper context: “It’s like Edgar’s double.” And it was. Remember how Martinez hit that ball off the wall, and you thought: “Sweet! A double! Junior to third base with no outs!” And, then you saw Griffey steaming around third, and HOLY CRAP HE’S GOING TO SCORE!

To the numbers!

–Lynch’s 67-yard run was the longest of his career.
–Lynch’s run was the longest of the Seahawks season.
–Lynch’s run was the longest in Seahawks playoff history.

Has there been a better run in the Seahawks’ 35-year history? I sure can’t think of one. John L. Williams had that 75-yard romp that iced the Hawks’ division-clinching win against the Raiders in 1988, but it came on a screen pass. And Mack Strong had that key third-down run against the Redskins in ’05, but it wasn’t a touchdown.

It’s an hour after the game ended, and I’m at Auto Battery, a bar on Capitol Hill. At halftime of the Jets/Colts game, NBC showed The Beasting with a count of all Lynch’s broken tackles. Spontaneously, people at the bar began counting along. “Four!” “Five!” “Six!” “SEVEN!” “EIIIIGGGHHHT!”

Sixty-seven yards, eight broken tackles, six points, an upset we’ll never forget. That is The Beasting.


  • Watched on TV in the islands. Could hear people at the beach yelling.

  • Josh

    A run for the ages. BTW, I think that’s Malloy, not Lynch, in the photo on this piece.

  • Lucky Infidel

    Ya, I was essentially in that corner of the endzone, and around when he hit the fifteen I started jumping up and down because it was clear he was going to score. And you are right, in the beginning of his run I was thinking, “great, we got a first down and we will chew up more of clock,” and then it was “damm, he is going to take it a ways into Saints territory,” and then it was pandemonium. The only noise I can compare this entire game to was the ’84 playoff game against the Raiders in the Kingdome. But I think this game was even louder.

  • Steve Pitell

    Nice story. As I read the title, a memory kept trying to surface, and I finally realized that the phrase, “as it shall be known” was triggering biblical memories. Not being a bible expert, I cannot quote the exact phrasing, but it is something like, “and the beast shall be known by his actions….” or something like that. If you were not intentionally making that connection I can understand why you wouldn’t have tried to bring the connection out more in your story, but it would or could have been a nice touch to do so.

  • Dave J

    So, do ya think we’ll see the ‘Hawks get scheduled for prime time next season??? How exciting…and to think I wanted them to go for the better draft 1st round draft pick!

    Chris Berman’s account of “the Beasting” didn’t include “rumblin’, stumblin’ and bumblin'” but is was pretty good.


  • Nightslider

    All I could think about is what those poor gamblers were thinking when they realized that the beasting had happened to them and their ten point spread.

    I’ll forever thank Marshaw for a lovely pay day and the way I was totally enraptured by his run, I play it over and over and over, and keep thinking to myself E.S.P.N just didn’t get it, that the Hawks had beaten the Saints and they were talking the Saints up as if indeed they were Saints, (subjective)

  • Peter Mag

    @Carey Floyd Are you kidding me??? If they trade him they will only win 75 games instead of 80 games! :)  Let’s start playing to win instead of what feels good.  Logic tells us its time to move on.

  • H-Dog

    Correction: Hasselbeck helped take the Seahawks to SIX playoff appearances including the Super Bowl.

  • pizza boy

    I am very happy for Matt. The Tennessee Team gives him a chance to finish his career as a winner. As a good guy he deserves that.

  • sfmonkey

    Does anyone remember the beginning of the Homgren era. First year, we squeaked into the playoffs under Kitna. Carroll did the same thing with Hass last year. In Holmgren’s second year, the Hawks fell to 6-10 without Kitna. Holmgren brought in Dilfer to mentor a young Hass. Meanwhile, Ricky Watters mentored a young Shaun Alexander. Not to mention some guys name Hutch and Jones developing as the centerpieces of the O-Line (see James Carpenter and John Moffitt). It’s deja vu all over again because Schneider is from the same Green Bay playbook Holmgren helped create. Expect the Hawks to be aggressive this year in taking hard looks at young players without too much of a concern on wins and losses. Tavaris (actually I think Leinart will end up getting more snaps) will keep things exciting. But the real objective is to land Luck or Matt Barkely next year and be competing for a ring in 2014. Rebuilding the right way takes time. Paul Allen knows it from his experience with Holmgren. Seattle fans are in for a play-off drought, but we will savvy fans will see the pieces coming together and enjoy the ride back to the top of the NFC, which I predict will be one of the NFLs most competitive divisions in the next few years with St. Louis, San Fran and even Arizona experiencing a youth movement. Onward!

    • Jerryj

      Leinart signed with Houston.

  • Jerryj

    It is sad to see Mat go, but this day was coming and better sooner then later.  Sure he is better than either Whitehurst or Jackson, but the truth is that the Seahawks were not going to the Super Bowl this year with or without him.   Last season was a fluke.
    Let the rebuilding begin in earnest and be thankful that we don’t have to watch Hasselback suffer through it. 

  • Thanks for sharing article. I like to see new Seahawks QB..thanks for post..

  • 3 Lions

    Hass was such a class act! We were lucky to have him & he played a major role in legitimzing the Seahawks.
    He was smart, well spoken & always quick w a joke. He even had the decency to lead his former teamates in a workout last week when he knew he wouldn’t be part of the club. I wish him all the best & will have to take an interest in the Titans now w Matt & Jake. Perfect for Jake!

  • Ken

    Thanks, Art—you just outdid yourself. Terrific writing, witty, biting, and insightful. Don’t share, however, your harsh views of Holmgren–can’t you see the halo over his head!  

  • Katfish

    The Miami win was my favorite in part because of the 58 game win streak ending but also as I recollect a Miami head coach Dennis-something stated ” the loser of this game should consider the winner the national champion” or words to that effect relating to the shared national title.

  • marcelsees

    This is just journalistic pessimism!  Washington was part of the PAC 8 hinterland until Don James brought the program to something approaching parody with the Southern California Schools in 1978.  So I’m not going to let the record, and all this negative talk harsh my buzz for this Saturday’s match-up.  It’s going to be a proving ground for both teams.  Unfortunately, I don’t see us prevailing in the trenches on either side of the ball.  But ya know, that football is a funny shape, and it doesn’t bounce in any predictable way.  Same can be said for college kids, and that’s why it’s a great game!