Pete Carroll: “I was built for this.” / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest
It might have been when the Seahawks:
- Let Pete Carroll’s opening remark at his first press conference as Seahawks coach go on for 11½ minutes. As far as any witness will testify, he never paused for a period, a comma or evenspacesbetweenwords
- Became only the second team in NFL history to enter the playoffs with a losing record (7-9), then beat the defending champion New Orleans Saints
- Blushed but did not stop Marshawn Lynch from grabbing his junk as he flopped backward into the end zone
- Churned through 284 player transactions in their first season in Seattle for Carroll and GM John Schneider
- Went for it late in the NFC Championship on fourth-and-seven at the 49ers 35-yard line and passed for the game-winning touchdown
- Barked “Hut!” at the Broncos center to send a snap out of the end zone for the first two points in Super Bowl XLVIII
- Smiled when DE Michael Bennett said at Super Bowl media day that his wife had the best butt in the world
- Giggled as Lynch bought everyone on the team Gucci ski goggles, even though none of them are allowed to ski
- Watched agape as their field leader, QB Russell Wilson, told a preacher in front of a congregation and a video camera that he and girlfriend Ciara weren’t having sex yet, but asked everyone to “pray for them”
- Listened worriedly as Richard Sherman told an audience in Victoria, B.C., that “half the NFL is on Adderall”
- Yelped in glee as punter Jon Ryan threw a pass for a much-needed first down against Green Bay in the NFC Championship, then criticized himself on Twitter for a photo showing a dorky expression upon releasing the ball: “Dear Self: Next time you do something awesome, make a less terrible face. Thank you.”
- Dumbfounded the NFL by having Kam Chancellor jump over the offensive line in an attempt to block a field goal
- Pulled a head fake on the world when Sherman’s post-NFC Championship hyperventilating, intimidating rant on national TV about 49ers WR Michael Crabtree included zero profanities
- Threw away their most heavily invested player, WR Percy Harvin, in the middle of the season and still made the Super Bowl. And managed to keep Harvin’s fights with teammates Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin out of media sight until it was time to leak the news to justify his firing
- Played their crappiest first 55 minutes in any game of the 2014 season, then beat Green Bay in the NFC Championship
- Howled as they listened to Earl Thomas, the man of a thousand simultaneous thoughts but only a single mouth, explain why he was late to the press conference at the team’s Renton facility announcing his huge contract extension: “I don’t like distractions. Like today, being late to this meeting. I was like, ‘Come on, family, let’s go!’ I got pulled over by the police. I didn’t try to bulldog him and say, ‘My name is Earl Thomas.’ Because he’d be like, ‘Man, this guy is cocky,’ and give me a ticket. He let me off. That’s the moral of the story.”
- Infuriated the NFL when an impudent Lynch drew a crowd of literally hundreds of reporters at Super Bowl media day in Phoenix to his podium to hear him say, over and over again, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined,” then at the same time had a pop-up store open in a Scottsdale mall to introduce his anti-hero line of “Beast Mode” clothing, which reportedly sold out its inventory within two hours
- Said they did “tons of research” into draft pick Frank Clark’s episode in an Ohio hotel room that earned him an arrest for domestic violence, but didn’t bother to check with the hotel night manager or the people in the next room.
But finally, while the oddball stories are legion, what sealed the designation for me was the most significant single play in the history of the Super Bowl, and maybe in all of sports.
At the apex moment, the best team in the NFL the past three seasons, blew it.
That is why the Seattle Seahawks are the World’s Most Interesting Team.
Epic success. Epic failure. Potentially epic redemption.
Sure, they can slam a revolving door and parallel-park a train, like the Dos Equis guy. But can they slash through four fake games, 16 real hard ones, plus playoffs and get back to the Super Bowl to find The Lost Yard?
But anyone who cares about sports, and the psychology of redemption, will not take their eyes off this team.
Bright. Reckless. Contrarian. Funny. Puzzling. Edgy. O-damn-riginal.
The 12s may not be over the agony yet, but fans of good literature know a compelling protagonist when they see one.
I get why Carroll told Sports Illustrated this week, “I’m thrilled for this.”
Hey, he said much the same thing three days after the Super Bowl when Matt Lauer launched himself out of “The Today Show” studio in New York to Seattle in order to get the exclusive national TV interview. Carroll, who said, “I’m built for this,” then grudgingly admitted to the pesky Lauer that in that agonizing night . . . he cried.
Did I mention cornball, too?
For Team Forehead Slap, training camp begins Friday.