BY Art Thiel 09:41PM 02/05/2014

Thiel: The Seahawks and the fairy tale

The Seahawks were hailed massively Wednesday for a deed that had more meaning that the winning of a sports trophy.

Richard Sherman would like you to know he’s a winner. / Seahawks.com

Every sports market deserves one. None of them will do it like Seattle did Wednesday.

So cold that seals shivered. So warm that cops cried. So compelling that Pete Carroll, king of the run-on sentence, was nearly at a loss.

“There’s not enough words to describe the emotion, the exchange,” he said. But true to his mantra, “always compete,” he tried.

“The consistency of the intensity of the fans along the route was amazing,” he said, talking to reporters after a final ceremony on the home field. “The frustrating part was not being able to touch everyone and feel the gratitude we have . . . I  can’t imagine one better than than that (celebration) — that was over the top.”

Over the top. Police estimated 700,000, Seahawks owner Paul Allen said nearly a million. But measurement was not about quantity. It was about quality. From babies to oldies, happiness raged.

“The thing that struck me was the little kids,” Carroll said. “Some were screaming and hollering, some were a little intimidated. But they had this moment, and will remember this connection with their parents.”

People who witnessed as youngsters a similar Seattle parade in 1979 will tell you where they stood, which Sonics they saw, how the air smelled and how they met their spouse that day. For a new generation, the same things happened Wednesday.

The sensory richness when thousands share a common delight at the same moment is not to be forgotten.  In 2064, a guy will tell a story to his grandkids about how when he was a little boy, Brandon Mebane smiled at him. Another will describe how his cheeks felt when Marshawn Lynch hit them with Skittles. A woman will giggle telling about the time she and Richard Sherman made eye contact, and he winked at the little girl.

They all will remember, man, was it cold. Some lasted hours in it, a living, pulsing REI catalog flowing through downtown. It just enhanced the adventure.

The processional was late, slow and a shocker for players and fans alike. Neither was quite ready for the other. Some fans came from Alaska, others from Canada, Montana, Idaho, Oregon. There was the guy who walked from Bellevue over the I-90 bridge. Some slept in tents on Fourth Avenue concrete.

The crowd was a lot like the Seahawks roster — from many places. Only WR Jermaine Kearse is homegrown, from Tacoma’s Lakes High School and the University of Washington. Can we have a 253 amen for the brother who broke five tackles on the way to a Super Bowl touchdown?

The Seahawks have the biggest geographic monopoly in the NFL, which helped cause every single downtown hotel room to be sold Tuesday night. Lots of people in the region, in the soon-to-be-immortal words of Lynch, are all ’bout that action.

That’s why what the Seahawks have done has value beyond a sports trophy. Seattle is drawing thousands of technology workers from around the country and the world. Did you hear that Microsoft’s new CEO is from India?

There are so many new people here who came for the jobs and have only minimal social connections. Seahawks success provides a universal touchstone for people who need to talk about something besides the next app — even if they don’t exactly know that’s why they care about Golden Tate’s yards after catch.

Same with the Sounders. The international appeal of soccer directly connects to the thousands of tech workers whose ethnic heritages reserve a prominent place for futbol. Think about it: The Seahawks and Sounders lead their sports in ravenous consumption by home fans. It’s not the coffee.

But that explains only a part of Wednesday’s roaring conflagration of passion. The biggest part is the long-timers here who have endured 35 years of drift between heartbreak and squat.

Don’t think for a minute that the Super Bowl triumph makes up for the championship drought. No way. No pro sports market should have to endure that kind of wretched return for the investment of tax dollars in facilities and investment in tickets and adrenaline.

What the Seahawks success does, is prove it can be done in Seattle. Long burdened by the belief that teams cannot succeed here because the geographic isolation is a turnoff to premier veteran free agents, Seattle and a championship turns the belief into mythology.

Among many who deserve credit, three stand out and were present Thursday: Allen, who saved the team, Carroll, who remade it, and quarterback Russell Wilson, who ignited it.

The one guy who should have been there was former Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke, the connective tissue for the success and the best sports executive Seattle has known.

Carroll deserves special mention here. The most remarkable aspect of the season was that the team kept getting better while working around injuries and suspensions. Remember all the hand-wringing in December about modest production from the offense? The Seahawks plowed through two good NFC teams in the playoffs and put up 43 points in the Super Bowl.

They became even better in the two weeks prior to Sunday. FS Earl Thomas said the Seahawks went “through the roof” in unity of purpose during meetings and practices that led to the blowout.

“We talked about that Tuesday,” Carroll said of a team meeting. “We got better throughout the Super Bowl process. We got better the first week and got better the second, even with the distractions that people say throw you out of whack. We seemed to zero in even better.

“It was perfect; exactly how it was supposed to go.”

Think about that last statement. How many times in any of our endeavors can such a thing be said?

That is why 700,000 people endured 10-degree windchill: They wanted to celebrate a thing that went exactly as it was supposed to go. A fairy tale came true.


YourThoughts

  • Mike G from Alaska

    Art, this is a little late or off pace, but how could so many so-called football experts be so far off?

    • jafabian

      No kidding. More than 3/4 of the ESPN football analysts picked the Broncos. I don’t see how the Hawks WR’s can be called “pedestrian” either. Because none of them had an 1200 yard season? (I’d say 1000 but I have since learned that is mediocre) In the Super Bowl alone Russell Wilson threw a completion to 8 different players but none had over 66 yards receiving. Under the Seahawks offensive gameplan there will never be a WR who will develop into another Calvin Johnson. But they hardly ever drop a pass when targeted or fumble. They’re part of the reason Wilson has a solid QBR. Few could see past the yards and TD’s stat it seems.

      ESPN should bring all of the analysts who picked the Broncos into a meeting room and tell them that as analysts they make good car mecahnics. Pretty obvious they judged the Super Bowl book by its cover. When you hear from Sherman, Thomas et al they did their homework on the Broncos and they don’t have nearly the experience those analysts supposedly have. Even Jimmie Johnson was picking the Broncos. It’s funny how a bunch of 20 somethings on the Hawks knew so much more.

      • SGG

        I agree but I wouldn’t denigrate “good car mechanics” by a long shot. Tell them instead they would make good zombies.

      • art thiel

        A missing part of the discussion was the fact that the Broncos had the NFL’s third-easiest schedule, and had not played defenses the caliber of SF/AZ/STL. The NFC West’s record outside the division was 30/10.

    • LA_Banker

      My theory is, at least with respect to national football “experts,” lack of familiarity with respect to the Seahawks and their scheme.

      Many pundits who’ve covered the Seahawks all year (this has been mostly Seattle media and Seahawks-oriented folks like the good people at Field Gulls, but also San Francisco-based media) predicted not only a Seattle win, but broke down the reasons why — most of which bore themselves out exactly as predicted. To give an example: Peyton’s known for his film study and at-the-line audibles to exploit weaknesses in the D’s scheme. Seattle runs very basic Cover-3 and Cover-1 Robber looks. That’s it. You can’t outstudy “what they’re going to do,” because that’s the answer. You can’t audible your way out of physically superior corners.

      Several non-Seattle analysts, who don’t spend much of their time on-camera but actually watching film to write true *analysis,* did the same thing… notably Bill Barnwell at Grantland, Football Outsiders, etc.

      The issue with televised analysts is that 1) so much of their day is spent doing on-camera segments and 2) they’re already well compensated… so there’s no real incentive to go do the homework of hours long film study necessary to comment with expertise. Those already familiar with Seattle’s X’s and O’s, and those who are bloggers and do this out of passion (and also need to differentiate themselves by the quality of their analysis) called this one perfectly.

      • art thiel

        Good explainer, LA. Data-driven analysis did show a Seahawks victory. The TV guys have to put on a show.

  • Will

    “There are so many new people here who came for the jobs and have only minimal social connections.” Ah, that sorta applies to most big cities.

    And the terrible irony is, the flipside to the awesomeness of the Seahawks is in another dimension and it’s called, the Mariners.

    None the less, the win and the celebration were definitely “being there” moments.

    • jafabian

      Hopefully the Hawks success puts pressure on the M’s to quit taking things for granted. The Cano signing shows that they’re quite aware how well their neighbor is doing.

      • Dave Austlese

        Only because the Hawks’ success makes the Mariners’ relentless failures look even worse. I mean, when 27,000 Hawks fans show up to watch a televised football game on a zillion-dollar big screen in a baseball stadium, that’s 2.5 times last year’s average daily M’s attendance.

        • jafabian

          Right now the M’s, again because of the Hawks and even the Sounders success, are taking the George Steinbrenner approach: if you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em. They spent a pretty penny on Fernando Rodney yesterday.

          • Dave Austlese

            Considering the team is made of money, that’s fine. But they neither have Steinbrenner’s will nor his determination. The M’s are acting out of desperation. So Rodney and Cano will do what, get you to .500 if you’re luckier than The Biggest Loser winner? Fact is, and always has been, unless and until you get new ownership the franchise will continue to be a distant also-ran.

          • art thiel

            No argument.

          • art thiel

            They’ve already mangled every other strategy.

          • osoviejo

            Except selling the team to a competent steward.

        • art thiel

          Remember, the price was right Wednesday.

      • art thiel

        Cano needs to wear 12 as a thank-you to Seahawks fans.

    • art thiel

      Obviously, big cities will always attract newcomers, but long-timers here often overlook the huge demographic change in this market, probably second only to the Bay Area, mostly because of tech. And this is Seattle’s first time to bring everyone together via sports since the Mariners runs in 95 and 01.

  • Tim

    This column is one for the archives…you nailed it beautifully. I wasn’t able to be there, but listened to a good part of it on the radio and know for a fact that the big crowd there yesterday was only a small representation of the millions who cheer for this team. I was 19 when the Sonics won it all and remember the magic of crowding around a black and white television in a friend’s basement, watching Freddy drop his bombs and while the Sonics young and ferocious team blasted their way through the season, humiliating one team after another after staring 5-17 the year before and making it to game 7 of the finals. I remember the hope that this championship feeling was only a foreshadowing of joyous years to come in a multi-sport city. Who coulda known it would be 35 fricking years…so yeah, this feels unbelievable.

    Through it all, your narratives at the PI have helped us cope and often laugh our way through the dark years. You and your excellent staff her at SPNW are champions too.

    Thanks Art.

    • art thiel

      My bow to you scrapes the floor. Thanks.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    I too was a teen when the Sonics won it all….attending my 1st year in college. At 19 I flew back that summer to Buffalo for 2 weeks where my grandparents lived and Sonic World Championship gear was to be had in all of the sports stores and @19 out there it finally hit me…its not just our little fairy tale dream~a team that came from last years 5~17 start to win the big prize this year? Its not just our against all odds story ~EVERYBODY knows about us now! WE ARE WORLDLY!!!!

    Its kind of the way I feel about our Seahawks…they ridiculed this team for being 7~9 and making the play offs in Petes 1st year. The Eastern Media BB~Qued us even after the beastquake game.

    And that same media turned a blind eye to just how good this team really is all the way to the SB this year. One of our own who GREW UP here in remote Westport WA (accross the bay from Ocean Shores) is now an ESPN analyst and he picked the BRONCOS. Shame on you Colin Cowherd.He apparently is east media integrated by now it seems. Who’s the best now , Colin and STOP with the 49ers!

    But we believed in our fairy tale…our pipe dream…our dare to be great monikers…

    Now like the 79 Sonics?They are the Worlds Best.

    And that parade was worldly…the culmination of so much good karma from the fans of the Seattle Seahawks.

    Art you and the guys did a masterful job of covering this wonderful first for our football team~Lets hope these guys get back here on the grand stage again soon.

    As Flounder said in Animal House “OOOOOH Boy!This is gonna be fun!”

    It will. Go Hawks. Have fun defending your Championship!

    • RadioGuy

      Cowherd picking the Broncos is not shocking. I used to work with a women who when to Ocosta HS with him and she said he was a jerk back then, too. It’s amazing that ESPN gives a shlub like him a daily show, but Roy Firestone, Jr. (the best sports interviewer EVER) can’t get a job on TV. Which does that speak to more, the sports networks or their audiences? Sadly, I think I know the answer.

      • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

        I can tell you since I live down here that he is not too popular even in Westport unless its his relatives… I have a buddy that works in their only major grocery store and i laugh at some of the comments that get thrown towards “mister I love myself ” way….
        The thing i love about Seattle is they need no validation~they themselves know how good they are and they dont need no stinking ESPN chump to throw them a bone…(we dont need you Cris Carter)…. the white hot confidence of the Seahawks was fun to see on display in the play offs this year

      • Will

        Roy Firestone, Jr. … the best ever? I don’t think so. The words “best ever” can’t be applied to any of the talking heads doing sports journalism, sports talk shows or sports interviewer or whatever you want to call the attempts to report on sports. ‘Reasonably competent’ might apply to some of the sports media trade but that’s still a debatable description.

        • art thiel

          Cosell was the best interviewer, but his ego got in the way of his work. Kinda funny there’s never been anyone like him since.

        • RadioGuy

          Perhaps you’re too young to remember Roy. Intelligent questions, no pandering…this is not a Ron Barr (a former KIRO weatherman, BTW) who sucks up to his guests like a sports version of Larry King. Cosell WAS a good interviewer, as Art says, but often his mind was made up no matter the answer and the interview ultimately had to focus on him, not the athlete.

      • art thiel

        I don’t think Cowherd’s a jerk, he just went with, ahem, the herd.

        TV doesn’t want truthtellers. They want mythmakers. Better ratings.

    • osoviejo

      I like Cowherd. But with the Seahawks he was so intent on not appearing like a homer, that he missed all the signposts. He admitted that this week, for which I give him credit.

      As for his love affair with the 49ers, again, he was on the Seahawks for most of the year. It was the last month of the season that he swapped the two teams. I didn’t have much of an issue with that per se–it’s hard to slam someone for putting the Niners at the top of their power poll.

      My objection (and one of my biggest criticisms of Cowherd) is that he supported this position with one my pet peeve analytic fallacies: playing the “if only” game on just one side of the ledger.

      You can’t say “the Niners are four points away from winning their last 16 games” over and over and over again as justification for your pick, and completely ignore the flip side: the Niners were also five points away from finishing 10-6 and out of the playoffs.

      He’s not the only analyst/commentator to indulge in this lazy, self-serving approach. Unfortunately, the numbers are legion. But I hope he eventually figures it out, because if you want to come up with the right answer that’s the wrong way to do it.

      • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

        Your points are well taken…and Colin has a healthy ego so he really does back track with that if or what if stuff…. he wants to be right. A bigger next contract with ESPN literally depends on it. I know he does love Washington~he talks fondly about going to mariner games etc.
        But about the absurd what if theory?
        We had a double digit lead against Indy and we had leads in the 4th qtr against both the 9ers down there and the AZ game we lost up here that one could make the compelling argument that we should have converted (those) to wins~what if we simply held serve and beat those guys?What if? Well then we would be 19~0 and mentioned in the same light as that Dolphin team(and thus considered one of the greatest teams of all time) but you hear none of that from Seahawk nation.
        If Colin has to jabber on about the what ifs though he should throw my aforementioned what if out too…thats not homerism ~thats just being absurd on both sides of the NFC West ball. There isnt a tougher division in football and our hawks were remarkable with their 16~3 record. Lets hope Colin jumps back on the bandwagon next year. Thanks for the food for thought.

      • art thiel

        I think Cowherd does all right, and your point on if-only is right. The Seahawks won three games by 11 points combined.

      • LA_Banker

        Yeah, it’s an interesting case with Colin. He often prides himself on telling the unpopular truth (so much so that he bandies this about as a unique shtick) — and often, I tend to agree with him.

        In this case, you’re right… I think he was too concerned with homerism that he erred to conservatively. The signs were there, any many who write intelligent football analysis not only picked the Seahawks, but broke down why and predicted somewhat of a beatdown.

        Of course, no one predicted the extent of said beatdown as, pre Super Bowl, that would have been (rightfully) labeled crazy talk.

        • osoviejo

          Jason Whitlock called it, the day after the NFC Championship game. Said on the air that the Seahawks would destroy the Broncos. Don’t always agree with him, but props getting it on the record.

          He was pretty funny this week in the post-prediction glow. When Cowherd was trying to give him some love for the pick, Whitlock brushed it off saying, “What’s the worst that happens if I’m wrong?”

          • art thiel

            Hadn’t heard about Whitlock. Good for him. You don’t have to agree with him to appreciate his desire to be honest.

        • art thiel

          Cowherd does tell what many in his audience don’t what to hear, so that somehow makes him a bad guy.

          I have a hard time getting worked up about anyone who misses on a game outcome.

    • art thiel

      I’m not going to defend my skeptical colleagues in the media, but remember, the Seahawks, and any other outlander team, will be questioned until they prove something. The Seahaewks proved something.

      We all do the same things when judging people and goods: What have you done in the past?

      • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

        Your right… I was more annoyed by Cris Carter(attacking Doug and our receivers) than i ever was by Colin. He(Colin) picked the 9ers ~fine..he even said he still thought they were the better team after we disposed of the men in red…but he has a right to give the audience what he thinks they want. Carter on the other hand should have known better than to attack fellow receivers. Thats just wrong.
        I was on NFL.com defending KJ Wright yesterday because of the ?~100 (beating Denver multiple times scenario)question he responded to…mentioned that once i was 24~have i said anything brash or something i might have regretted once it slipped from my mouth? Oh no, never(not)…my argument was give the kid a break..24 …full of happy adrenaline after making a number tackles in the biggest game of his career. Holding Manning to the least amount of points in his ENTIRE Denver career (and may never happen again~8 points? That was truly amazing).

        But to end with judging people/analysts for looking a bit inept in not giving Seattle its due? There was plenty egg on the cheek to go around ESPN and other venues so that in itself was sweet enough…. i will try not to bang the bass drum anymore…

        • osoviejo

          I see the K.J. Wright story a little differently. Modern sports media is Jabba-massive and hyper-competitive. The bottom line is clicks and comments. The more you get, the more advertising dollars you earn.

          ESPN.com has become one of the worst of the mainstream sports outlets in slanting headlines and stories to provoke those clicks and comments. Fairness and honesty have nothing to do with it.

          They intentionally presented that Wright interview in such a way that (as you note) 30% or more of the comments made fun of Wright’s ability to reduce fractions. Actually including the question Wright was responding to would have cost ESPN.com money, so they didn’t do it.

          Also notably, ESPN.com referenced, but did not link, to the actual interview which appeared on NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk daily show. By not including the link to someone else’s content, they maximize their profit without actually having to do any real work. Had the people writing those 2500 comments the opportunity to see the video rather than ESPN.com’s interpretation of the video, the story wouldn’t still be sitting on the top of ESPN.com NFL page. The link to ESPN article:

          http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10423341/kj-wright-says-seattle-seahawks-probably-beat-denver-broncos-90-100-s

          And the link to the interview:

          http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/02/07/wright-thinks-seahawks-would-have-beaten-broncos-90-out-of-100-times/

          But by far the most egregious recent example of aggressively misrepresenting a story to maximize their own profit was what ESPN.com did with the Marshawn Lynch “Beast Mode” copyright article:

          http://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2013/story/_/id/10308914/marshawn-lynch-seattle-seahawks-profits-beast-mode

          This ran on their NFL page for a couple of days with the title “Lynch cashing in on ‘Beast Mode’.” It wasn’t until the last sentence in the article that they included this afterthought: “All the money generated by “Beast Mode” goes to Lynch’s Fam 1st Family Foundation.”

          By manipulating the truth, they got far more views from the Lynch haters, than they would have from say, “Beast Mode” for charity.”

          Unfortunately, that this way of doing business is neither rare or surprising doesn’t make it any less slimy.

          • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

            Yah…if Jim Mora still needs his dirt bags? Smearing KJ Wright was all about the green backs alright…dirt bags indeed.

  • jafabian

    I’m praying this team doesn’t pull a DJ and start thinking they’re indestructable. There’s a special opportunity here to make some history. They’re talking repeat but they’re young enough, talented enough and deep enough to actually talk THREEPEAT. But the same could have been said about the ’79 Sonics as well.

    Considering how well Pete Carroll handled Richard Sherman’s post game rant, and I’m not singling Richard here as opposed to pointing out Pete’s management skills, I think they can be kept on track. Carroll and Schneider won’t hesitage to replace any problem children and seem to always have a plan in place.

    • oldfan

      Pete said it best, “This not about one year.” He and John have a plan and they’ve accomplished a goal, but not the goal. It’s how he operated at USC, work hard and win this year, get better and win the next. No time for rebuilding. Everything I’ve seen says the players understand this. They know they’ll be competing for jobs before they’ll be competing for wins.
      They’ll lose some pieces and add some others, but they’ll be right in the thick of it next year.

      • art thiel

        Good point, oldfan. Carroll’s roster strategy has always been to sustain success long-term, not one time. That’s part of the theory behind “always compete.” Every player has to earn his spot. House politics and team sentiment play no part.

    • art thiel

      I don’t see the Dennis Johnson business flaring up with these guys, for the very reason you point out: Carroll is an excellent manager of people, and has gained even more cred in house with the win.

      • jafabian

        I’ve thought the same about Lenny Wilkens but DJ was more than he could handle. Next season will tell the tale.

  • Gerald Turner

    Took in the game at the Seahawker Fan club, got to lead a cheer in the third quarter, ROUT! ROUT! ROUT! …never dreamed I would be using that cheer at a Seahawks superbowl. life is funny.

    • art thiel

      That’s why we like sports.

  • Steve Graham

    The question, asked here and many other places in the past few days, is “How could so many so-called football experts be so far off?” That’s an easy one. Because it’s really hard to pick the outcome of football games. For anyone. Try picking the winner of all NFL games for 16 weeks next year and see how you do. Ex-Super Bowl-winning coaches, like Johnson, and former NFL stars are no better at it than the average fan. Twas ever thus.
    I’d imagine there are fans all over our region, including sportswriters, broadcasters, ex-players, etc., who privately know they picked the Broncos. After going back and forth all week, I finally settled on Denver, but have no plans to flagellate myself over it.

    • whoKarez

      Although the so called experts were way off on the super bowl winner, they pretty much nailed it in the preseason.

    • osoviejo

      Many “experts” and “analysts” are not objective, no matter how hard they try to project otherwise. They tell us who they’d like to see win, and then build an often poorly constructed case to support it.

      For this game, that effect was magnified ten-fold. Peyton Manning was the nation’s sympathetic choice, and no one–not even the pros–wanted to pick against him and then see the Broncos win without them on the bandwagon.

      • art thiel

        Manning’s presence certainly made the Broncos a sentimental choice, but from what I saw, there was a significant minority of pundits taking Seattle. A profound misread, yes, but picking pro football outcomes, as another reader pointed out, is a hard business.

        • osoviejo

          Granted. I’ve just seen several talking heads this week say they picked the Broncos publicly, and the Seahawks privately. I’m sure there were plenty of others that did the same.

          I don’t really care if someone wants to make a sentimental or biased pick, but at least be honest about it. Two examples that especially annoy me are Hub Arkush (of the now defunct Pro Football Weekly) and Pete Prisco.

          Those two have a naked hatred for Pete Carroll, which okay, I get it–you’re entitled to dislike the man. But to then present your “analysis” of the Seahawks as anything but a self-serving rail is completely fraudulent and unprofessional.

          Hub absolutely crushed Carroll for naming Wilson the starter over Flynn. He was still at weeks later, saying “Pete Carroll is doing a disservice to Russell Wilson.” I’d have so much more respect if someday Arkush would have the stones to say he was wrong.

          However, there’s no one that can challenge Jeffri Chadiha at ESPN.com for selective memory loss. He recently wrote this:

          http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10205676/pete-carroll-nfl-most-popular-coach

          wherein he neglected to mention that he once devoted a column to disparaging Carroll in every way imaginable:

          http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=chadiha_jeffri&id=4816051

          I’m not asking for, or expecting, analysts to ignore their biases. I’d just like them to share them with the rest of us.

          • art thiel

            A reasonable request, oso. Thanks for sharing the Chadiha narrative.

    • art thiel

      I wrote Saturday that there was a clear feeling throughout the team that they would win, and I put it on the role of Harvin. That certainly was a part of it, but the defense’s thorough scouting of Manning and the offense obviously was at the heart of the optimism. And it wasn’t something they dared speak of in advance.

  • poulsbogary

    I miss the old Art Thiel–the one who didn’t believe in fairy tales. The one who would question what Pete Carroll did at USC. The one who would question alot of things.

    • gurty

      He’ll be back tomorrow, mkay?

    • art thiel

      Darn, Gary, you’re right. I forgot to take to task the Super Bowl champions. What was I thinking?

      If you remember, my idea has always been to be honest with readers, win or lose. And I’ve seen a lot of bad sports seasons. This time, I saw a great season, and said so.

    • LA_Banker

      As someone who was actually at USC during Carroll’s tenure — and is likely more familiar with the case that anyone directly involved or on each side’s legal team — it always baffles me why people call Carroll shady.

      Unless I’m the only one lacking the psychic ability to know what’s going on with players 200 miles away.

      • art thiel

        Carroll and nearly every other big-time coach will eventually get hosed by the utterly unmanageable college football industry. It’s only a matter of who gets caught. That said, Carroll’s only way to clear himself was to throw many under the bus, and he passed. He was in charge when Bush happened, and he’ll forever pay the price.

        • LA_Banker

          You’ve summed it up perfectly. It’s impossible to keep track of everyone at all hours, in all locations… especially with the allure of money involved. That said, the captain goes down with the ship.

          Carroll seems to get an unfair amount of blame (e.g. there are no cheatey-Petey type names for Chip Kelley that I’m aware of). Then again, I’m clearly a Carroll fan and it’s probably just my bias causing thin skin.

          • art thiel

            Anyone of unconventional manner and deed is always a bigger target. Kelly is largely a beige wall.

  • 1coolguy

    Great column Art!

  • 12thWoman

    I wonder if Nick Licata was at the festivities, or any of the Citizens for More Important Things? The Seahawks generated an enormous sense of community — I hope it continues.

    • art thiel

      I believe Licata has revised his thinking somewhat.

      • osoviejo

        Ooooh, is there a column coming?

  • Hammtime

    Never in a million years did I ever think I would see it. And the way the Hawks did it…I’m still not sure I believe what I saw. Did that really happen?

  • Hammtime

    The energy in the community has been at such high levels from the Hawks. I didn’t think a sporting event could do that. Sure, I’m a sports fan but there’s plenty of people in the area who aren’t, yet, they too seemed to get in on this. I wouldn’t call it bandwagon it just seemed like people could all relate and experience a common feeling.

    • art thiel

      Good point, Hamm. I know numerous non-sports fans who were caught up in the Seahawks. I don’t care if they are bandwagon, they can get on or off as they like. Community joy should be shared by newbies and vets alike.

      • osoviejo

        No kidding. In my experience as a sports fan, there are few things more annoying than having some twit do the chest-beating “I’m a better fan than you” dance, regardless who the target is.

        • art thiel

          Fair point. No fan has to prove anything. This is a pleasant diversion, not a job interview.