BY Art Thiel 01:31PM 02/06/2015

Thiel: Doug Baldwin, stop your nonsense, now

While Pete Carroll is out there enduring the firestorm of criticism, Doug Baldwin is “having fun” with crude gestures and profane remarks conveying contempt for outsiders. Huh?

Doug Baldwin’s pointless, tasteless gesture at the Super Bowl cost the Seahawks 15 yards and him $11,000. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Not sure there is another NFL coach who would agree to record a nationally broadcast interview shortly after the most mortifying flop of his coaching career. Even if the answers weren’t satisfying to those of us who believe that pass to that receiver were two bad ideas, Pete Carroll has begun the long campaign to pull up the stick on the Seahawks’ nose-diving airliner after the most critical play in Super Bowl history.

Granted, NBC’s Matt Lauer isn’t Mike Wallace, but losing a Super Bowl isn’t a threat to national security either. At least Lauer, as the Today Show‘s official taste-tester, didn’t ask Carroll for a favorite recipe.

Carroll knows the nature of this defeat sent a huge shock wave through the most intense fan base in the NFL. Explaining, “I feel a responsibility to a lot of people,” Carroll put himself on the line, as he likely will do numerous times for the longest short off-season the NFL has seen.

But we will get many chances to parse and debate Carroll’s words and deeds. Before the Glendale wound scabs over, there is one sidebar matter worthy of address.

Doug Baldwin: Shut the hell up.

I mean that in a constructive way. After your childish touchdown celebration in Super Bowl that cost the Seahawks 15 yards and you $11,000 in a fine from the NFL, many people would like to hear either an apology from you, or nothing more.

You brought discredit on yourself and your team at a time when many are questioning the Carroll operation. Of course that’s a silly perspective over a single blown play, but that is how cruel life is at the top. You gave skeptics another reason.

You can say it doesn’t matter what outsiders think. But you’re wrong — what outsiders think is your lifeblood. It’s what makes you Angry Doug. So in addition to being wrong, you’re hypocritical.

The imitation dump you took in the end zone after catching your only pass of the game — a three-yarder that required use of the back judge (the 13th Man?) to delay your cover man, CB Darrelle Revis — followed two other recent episodes that showed you care way too much about what others think.

After the NFC Championship, you stopped in a Clink hallway waiting area and blasted the assembled reporters, some of whom you knew and others who were seeing you for the first time.

“Are you ready for this? Are you? How many of you m—–f—— doubted us? How many of you doubted us when we were 3-3? Y’all, I want you to write this down. Write this down, OK?

“When we were 3-3, everyone counted us out. Y’all didn’t believe in us. A whole bunch of people thought we weren’t going to make it. At 6-4, it was, ‘Ah, that’s OK. They have a winning record, but they aren’t going to make the playoffs.’

“At 16-0 at the half (Sunday), how many of you counted us out? How many of y’all doubted us?”

He dropped a couple more em-effs on us before stomping off to the locker room. I doubt many reporters were offended, and it was good copy, but everyone made a mental note that this guy has no filter on his supply of rude.

Two weeks later at the Super Bowl, he did it again. This time the target was one guy, Peter King of Sports Illustrated, the designated Seahawks-practice pool reporter allowed to watch and report to the thousands of other credentialed media gathered in town.

King wrote Tuesday that after a play in practice, Baldwin broke off and came up to him along the sidelines.

“You’re into this mediocre receiver s—, right? I read your s—.”

What? Huh? I truly didn’t know what he was talking about.

Baldwin had anger in his eyes. “You’re one of them!” he said. “I read your s—.”

Then Baldwin turned and went back to practice. King reviewed his recent work and guessed Baldwin’s anger was directed at this description after the harrowing win over Green Bay:

“Stop, just stop, Seahawks, with the we-don’t-get-no-respect rants. It’s unbecoming. Doug Baldwin, you’re a good player. But that stuff gets old. Very old, particularly when you and Jermaine Kearse miss balls early, make some plays late, then somehow get motivated against the doubters. Whatever all that means.

Then came the crudeness in the Super Bowl end zone. For a bright, articulate guy, that’s embarrassing. It’s three strikes deserving of a call-out.

In locker clean-out day Monday at team headquarters, Baldwin was given a chance to admit the mistake and apologize for costing the team yards and cred. He talked around it.

Do you regret anything, Doug?

“Nah,  just out there having fun — there’s no explanation,” he said. “I can get criticized. That’s fine; everyone has an opinion. In the moment, just having fun.

“The only people I have to apologize to are my teammates and coaches. But they know. They didn’t say anything. Not even an issue or a worry. We lost the game . . . there’s so many other things to be concerned with . . (than) something stupid like that.”

Asked how he wanted to be perceived, he said, “It doesn’t really matter to me outside of this locker room. I continue to be me, real and honest about everything.”

Whoa. Real and honest? How can you on one hand claim you don’t care about outside perceptions, then by word and deed convey such profane public contempt to the outside world?

If indeed Baldwin is right that his coaches and teammates didn’t say anything, this team is over the threshold when it comes to reckless self-destruction.

He was asked if he was a team leader. His response was surprising.

“I didn’t really understand it until guys started coming to me with questions,” he said. “I still feel like I’m a rookie from 2011. It’s kinda weird. I can’t really put it together quite yet.”

At least that suggests a partial awareness may be dawning. Baldwin needs to figure out quickly that he is a leader, and leaders don’t “have fun” at the expense of the team.  And he and the rest of the team need to understand this undrafted-free-agent, no-respect imagery has run its tired course.

The Seahawks have earned league-wide respect as a talented, tough, well-prepared team second to none. But the sideshow circus, sometimes amusing in the moment, is starting to add up to an image of an outfit too undisciplined for its own good.

Carroll takes pride in his willingness to give rope to the disparate personalities on this team. But if Baldwin doesn’t see himself as a leader and instead as a rookie, and acts like it, that immaturity will help strangle Carroll with his own rope.


  • Matt

    Agreed wholeheartedly, Art. My first thought after his poop-down was, “Can we trade him?” Baldwin’s shtick is tired — and lame. He needs to grow up or go somewhere else. And by the way, he’s a MEDIOCRE receiver with a SELFISH attitude. I bet Matthews could start in his place. He’s certainly a bigger target.

    • art thiel

      The impulse urge is to fire him. But impulse is what we’re trying to get him to avoid, yes?

      • Matt

        Point well taken. In fact, that sounds like what a good parent would say, Art. Luckily I’m not in charge of anything Seahawks-related.

  • Cameric

    He’ll be a Seahawks until someone better comes along. He’s a smart player with a distinct lack of wisdom and maturity. I wouldn’t cry if someone better came along.

    • art thiel

      He’s still a football asset, and I’d wait awhile before the write-off.

  • Tian Biao

    It’s a thin line between being a ‘personality’ and being a jerk, and with that Super Bowl thing, Baldwin definitely crossed the line. he’s a high-maintenance guy with medium-maintenance talent. I’m sure that has occurred to Pete Carroll. Maybe Baldwin energizes the team in some way that we don’t understand.

    The Seahawks have a fairly profound ability to overcome all this love-em hate-em publicity that they generate – Lynch, Baldwin, Sherman, Carroll, in particular, plus the Harvin deal, and now the Fail in Glendale – but you have to wonder when all those distractions will add up and start to hurt the team.

    • art thiel

      It all works as long as they win. Lose — especially the way they did — and no mistake goes unchided.

      • RadioGuy

        Somehow I don’t think even if the M’s had won it would’ve made a difference with Milton Bradley. Now THERE was a man at odds with all breathing things.

        • art thiel

          Clinical disorders at work there, beyond the grasp of sports teams/ managers/ coaches.

  • poulsbogary

    And the gloves have come off . . .

  • Bittermelon

    The TD celebration was completely classless and inappropriate. I loved the “Angry Doug” schtick for what it is, but definitely lost some respect for Baldwin with that move. Look at Sherman for an example of a man who seems to be maturing into a true leader. The image of Sherm extending a congratulatory hand to a victorious, kneeling Brady was powerful and should be the example this team strives for.

    • art thiel

      I’m thinking Baldwin will take grief from people he cares about, so I’m willing to extend him the benefit of the doubt and see what happens next season. Good point about Sherman / Brady,

      • Scott Crosser

        I think his mom is very disappointed

        • Eric

          I hope do

  • RadioGuy

    “The only people I have to apologize to are my teammates and coaches.”
    Yeah, and I suppose the people who ultimately pay you, your teammates and your coaches deserve nothing after you chose to embarrass them when they’ve been standing up for you against other people who call you “classless” over the past three years? What are your defenders supposed to say now?
    And this guy went to Stanford? Un-freaking-believable.

    • art thiel

      Don’t write him off just yet. See how he responds.

      • RadioGuy

        Not writing him off, Art. Just saying that he should know better and doesn’t need any of this. For an intelligent guy, he sure does a lot of dumb things for no good reason. A Stanford education, a Super Bowl ring and a $13 million contract at age 26…what the hell does he have to be “angry” about?

        • art thiel

          Even he knows it’s an artificial device to work up an edge. Carroll loves those kinds of guys. But there’s a limit in its public display, beyond which it can be damaging, not to mention trite.

    • jafabian

      I never like when players throw that line out there. When you sign your contract you are representing both Seattle AND the Seahawks. There’s no such thing as “When I’m off the clock it’s me time.” Thats the reality of it. That’s why if a player gets into trouble in the offseason, even if it’s out of the country it can cause him to lose his job and career as well as impact the standing the club has in the community.

  • David Dallaire

    Maybe he likes “Angry Doug”. Start calling him “Defecating Doug” and maybe he will start to care?

    • maoling

      Angry Dump Baldwin

      • art thiel

        Well . . .if he was having fun, so, apparently, can readers.

    • maoling

      Deuce Baldwin

  • jafabian

    First, I have to give credit to Pete Carroll who is standing up and being accountable for his players and coaches for the controversial call in the Super Bowl. In contrast, Bill Belichick, when fielding questions regarding Deflategate, looks down, avoids eye contact, shuffles nervously and gives gray answers. Even becomes irritable. This is why despite winning the Super Bowl New England is getting buried in the headlines compared to the Seahawks. Kinda funny.

    I get what Angry Doug is doing. Sam Smith wrote in his book The Jordan Rules how his Airness could take anything and turn it into a major slight against him and use it to fuel his competitive fire. A player could simply comment they like his shoes and he’d think they were mocking him. You didn’t want to guard an angry MJ would you? That’s become the trademark of the Seahawks: playing with a chip on their shoulder. Now, the problem here is where do you draw the line? Jordan was crass at his HOF induction, doing so far as to invite his HS basketball coach to the ceremony and then belittle him for cutting him sophomore year. Patrick Ewing explained that Jordan is such a competitor at times he doesn’t know when to turn it off. IMHO, that’s where Angry Doug is going and he’s going to have to ask himself how does he want to be remembered? I’d like to quit calling him Angry Doug and just call him champion. Have him mentioned in the same breath as Sam McCullum, Steve Largent, Joey Galloway, Brian Blades, Bobby Engram and Darrell Jackson.

    • art thiel

      Lots of people don’t like being around Jordan, then and now. Didn’t matter as a player, and maybe he’s so rich it doesn’t matter to him now. Baldwin isn’t Jordan.

      • jafabian

        And that’s exactly what Doug needs to realize. I forgot to mention, just like with Marshawn’s crotch grab, is it worth the 15 yard penalty? I don’t think so.

  • Warchild_70

    He need to be taken to the woodshed and have a good talkin’ to by ALL the coaches. At first I thought it was youthful enthusiasm. Now I’m just up to my keister with his arrogance. Doug young man it’s time to grow up and gain a big pair to admit you were being a horse’s pituty and apologize to the Fan’s and the team including the owner. BTW your gas does NOT smell like roses.

    • art thiel

      Keister and patootie in the same comment. There must be an award somewhere for that.

      • Warchild_70

        I really struggled to keep my Army SGT from showing up! Thanks Art.

      • Seafan13

        I guess the shit did hit the fans

  • K McGee

    I don’t mind the chip, tho this was a little too much. But really, any antics that cost your team 15 yards in a game — especially the SB — needs to be addressed and stopped immediately. Maybe that’s the way to get through to him.

    • art thiel

      I suspect Carroll will, as he did with Sherman following his Erin Andrews rant. But Pete already has his hands full.

      • RadioGuy

        And now I’m hearing talk that Ndamukong Suh wants to return to the Northwest. He’d fit right in with this crew. You think people outside hate the Seahawks NOW?

        • art thiel

          Now that would be sumpin’.

  • snackycakes27

    As much as I enjoy the various personalities on the team, I’m the point where I wish that the team would take a cue from Marshawn, say nothing to very little to the media, and do their speaking through their play on the field.

    • art thiel

      Most of time these guys are very good with the public side. But some guys need to go over the edge before they learn where it is.

  • Act like a champion

    Art, is Carroll in danger of losing this locker room for notenforcing discipline by allowing boorish behavior (Baldwin’s dump/rants, Lynch’s repeated crotch grabs, the fight at the end of the Super Bowl and let’s not forget Gooden Tate waving at a defender)? History has shown if a coach lets players get away with bad behavior he eventually loses the team (inmates running the asylum)

    • art thiel

      I don’t see that happening. But it’s possible, which is why Pete is on a damage-control campaign. He has to be careful not to overreact and start putting on restrictions because he made poor choices.

      • Effzee

        Poor decisions like indulging Earl Thomas as a punt returner. This season had a funk to it from the beginning, and not the good kind of funk. Its Schneider’s job to find the talent, and Pete’s job to keep them in their place. I think he failed a bit at that this year. We were too scattered, too full of ourselves, too many distractions, too many web sites, too much individual merchandising, too much not-football. Which is of course natural for the season after a breakthrough and dominating Super Bowl victory. It was a helluva feat just to make a deep playoff run as defending champs. I expect a lot of turnover this off-season, and a refocused roster entering training camp. I think the core players know that they should have beat the Pats going away, and they are going to be motivated to get back on top.

        • art thiel

          Every coach makes personnel and strategic mistakes. Pure human nature. And what Super Bowl hangover there was, with all the attention and commercials, they pulled it together after KC and came one yard short of winning it all again.

          Much more to praise than criticize. But it’s possible to fix most everything, especially with 12 draft picks.

  • Bruce McDermott

    I think Doug needs to take a long and reflective vacation far from here….

    • art thiel

      Many Seahawks are doing the same.

  • Will Ganschow

    I think it matters to remember how often Wilson has gone to Baldwin on third down. When the Hawks have needed crunch time play, Baldwin has been there. 28 eight teams didn’t make it to the SB this year. Did any of their fans (not the bandwagon bunch) never the less get their money’s worth. How mature are most of us around for example our children or homeless people. Just because we see ourselves as little and inconsequential doesn’t really put us in a position to criticize those we see as big and consequential. Art, I think your thoughts are valid. Baldwin may or may not mature while still a Hawk. He is still no doubt an asset to the team and part of what gives the team its distinct character. Who needs perfect? We just want to be the greatest team of all time.

    • art thiel

      The idea of cutting loose Baldwin for non-football matters is silly. He’s a been a great asset to the team. Nor do I expect behavioral perfection. Which is why I didn’t bother with the first two media-related episodes. But after the poopdown that cost the team yards, he deserved to be called out. He’ll figure it out.

      • BeaconHill

        Dumping Dougie’s Superbowl celebration was a disgrace to a majority of the 12′s I think. “Great” role model for my nephews and grandsons (all under 9). Doug does not care about the 12′s, only himself, his teammates and coaches. The 12′s pay his salary. Besides the usual “we are victorious and gloating over you attitudes,” I took a BOATLOAD of extra horse hockey from east coast family Pat fans over his middle school display. Dear Doug, Be a professional. Grow the f*ck up. Hopefully Pete and Richard will eventually speak with him.Let’s hope.

      • Will Ganschow

        Didn’t like the last one at all. Hopefully he’ll figure it out, but even so this guy is in no way a cancer.

      • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

        Get rid of Doug for conduct detrimental to the team?Is that what is being suggested by someone? What did Peter King suggest we dump Baldwin now~ Cutting him loose?
        I haven’t read that one yet.

    • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

      30 teams didnt make it to the superbowl…that is why Seattle is drafting 31st this year. Our goal is to draft 32nd next year as NE has that distinction this year and we had last year.
      Doug wants to be a math teacher. I am hoping some day a question is posed to him “Mister Baldwin you didnt really do a imaginary #2 in the Endzone of a game in Superbowl 49 did you?Wikapedia says you did. Tell us please that this is just erroneous information. Tell us Mister Baldwin!”
      I hope he tells that child “that was Doug Baldwin who made some suspect decisions in his youth.He learned. He became a better person for it and developed into the math teacher you see today. I am hoping this will not mislead you to believe that was acceptable behavior because it clearly isn’t. Do not make that mistake.There are more productive ways to grow and mature and mold yourself into the human being you hope to become. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss this with you dear student. ”
      Growth =X factor. Y = immaturity. 1+ X -Y=____.
      _____ is what he could potentially become.
      I hope that is exactly how he views it someday.He is too intelligent not to choose this path.

  • Finny

    I like Doug but he is becoming the dictionary definition of a hypocrite. Constantly says all he cares about is the opinion of the coaches and teammates but rips the media at every turn because they don’t show him enough respect with their opinions of his play. Even Sherman had the smarts to dial it back once he made his original rant. Stanford grads both, but one seems to get how using the media to your advantage works.

    • art thiel

      He’s too smart not to learn from this.

  • Macfunk

    Doug Baldwin is no cancer.
    I remember when I was a 25-year-old Stanford graduate. I knew everything. With great certainty. Now that I am an advancing baby boomer (and
    judging from the responses to your column Art, I represent the readerships’ mean
    demographic), I know soooo much less. With sooo much less certainty. I believe that when Doug Baldwin is 60 (and,
    perhaps, the father of a child or two) he will look back on this with some
    embarrassment. I hope so. Because I was embarrassed for him.

    • art thiel

      Agreed that he is no cancer. But immaturity in any form hurts a team, particularly when it’s more calculated than purely impulsive.

      As you point out, even 25-year-old Stanford grads don’t know everything.

      • Macfunk

        Without question.

      • Dave

        The Dude can’t abide any time a player’s personal choice costs his team. Whether it’s a crotch grab, or sophomoric end zone stunt, they are being selfish in a way they would quickly deny others. Absent that, they would have to acknowledge each player’s right to cost the team 15 yards, resulting in 795 penalty yards per game. Good luck winning. And isn’t winning what this is suppose to be about?

  • Scott Crosser

    Its a process Thiel. Doug will grow up. Pete will coach him along.

    • art thiel

      As you’ve seen in my responses, I tend to agree. But there may not be another Super Bowl for them.

  • Mark Flynn

    Its pretty clear that a big reason fans outside of Seattle don’t like our team is because they are mouthy, or disrespectful, or poor winners/worse losers. Behavior like Baldwin’s is not what this team is about, and it would be great if there were some leaders on the team that would address this and get the team to focus on performance rather than being inflammatory. Just think, if we end up with Suh as some outlets are reporting we might, whatever respect we have might disappear completely.

    • art thiel

      Non-Seahawks fans will always be jealous of success, even if players are all Boy Scouts. The bad-boy imagery is mostly harmless, but in Baldwin’s case it reflected directly on Carroll’s management because it cost the team yards.

      The damage is beyond debate.

      Nice left shark.

    • eYeDEF

      Unless Suh is willing to play for peanuts, I don’t see how he’d be affordable.

  • Justin Van Eaton

    I agree that the schtick has worn thin. I’m hoping he matures quickly, and perhaps there has been and will be enough blowback from his latest antic to make him consider his public persona. I don’t mind him creating reasons to feel motivated. But the whole angry man routine is tired.

  • Big

    Let it be said, “the colon blow moment will not define the SeaHawk season”.

  • Carrie LaMarr

    I love Doug Baldwin. Incredibly smart and intelligent young man. I thought he spoke articulately and thoughtfully during that interview with Deion Sanders, but even I’m jaded with “we get no respect” mantra. Respect is earned and it’s hard to take that sentiment seriously with a TD “dump” that cost the Seahawks a 15 yard penalty. Action speak louder that words. One thing to play with a chip on your shoulder, quite enough to act like immature twit in front of an audience of approx 115 millions viewers. Time he got a clue.

    • art thiel

      I suspect he will, and I suspect Richard Sherman may offer wise counsel in that regard. The man found a governor on his throttle.

  • Obi-jonKenobi

    Unfortunately, sometimes when you give someone too much rope, they hang themselves.

  • Raymond Meyers

    Doug needs to realize that respect can be commanded, but it can’t be demanded. Dropped passes and stupid stunts on the field, and belligerence to people who buy ink in five-gallon drums will not result in increased esteem and regard. I agree with Art. Doug, catch the ball and STFU.

  • Eric

    Couldn’t agree more. In fact, I’d go further and point out the wheels came off for the Seahawks in the Superbowl after that dump. I love the crotch grabs, but taking up dump in the endzone in the superbowl is a step too far. The football god’s punished us all for Angry Doug’s selfish and gross act of hubris. He wants to make it all about him, but his play doesn’t support his toxic attitude. The cost is outweighing the benefit. Time for him to go.

  • Eric

    After that dump we were the ugly, selfish, disrespectful and spoiled team on the field; even compared to the Cheatriots. We didn’t deserve to win. Doug needs to learn that he is not bigger than the game. Respect the game our get out of the league. I until that dump i enjoyed Doug’s fight and his attitude. Post dump I am disgusted, sad and I don’t want him on my team. Pardon the pun, but i don’t want my Seahawks to be defined by that Sh*t.

  • 3 Lions

    A Stanford education used to mean something.

  • joe

    well this is the team everyone was rooting for !!!give me a break bunch of thugs,,,idiots.. sore losers gatta start a brawl when they lose …no class starts with a cocky coach,,denver and seattle were lucky last year that the pats had so many starters out for the season or wed be talking about a 3peet right now!!!!!!!!!!!