Monday, February 06, 2006

Breaking it all Down
By Zach

So in the end, it was not to be. No championship for Seattle, at least not this year.

I'm not as upset about it as I thought I would be, though of course I'm not pleased. I can't shake the feeling that the better team lost, and that never feels good.

The problem was, for one night, the 2004 Seahawks made a comeback.

The dropped passes, the costly penalties, the inability to turn long drives into touchdowns (or even points), the breakdowns on defense leading to big plays, the fluky third-down conversions, even the shaky officiating.

It all looked so familiar. All the talent in the world, but not enough execution to back it up. Darrell Jackson not knowing where he is on the field. Jerramy Stevens playing, well, "soft." Matt Hasselbeck getting impatient with the offense and heaving it deep too many times. Mike Holmgren forgetting he had the league's MVP on his team for stretches of time. Penalty after penatly killing the special teams.

I've resolutely decided to assume that the officiating was merely poor, and not pre-ordained. Otherwise, it'll be mighty hard to watch football games again. But since these entire playoffs have featured a slew of questionable officiating, it is time for the league to hire referees on a full-time basis. It's not like they can't afford it.

Now of course come the questions. What do they do with Alexander? My guess is they'll offer him $6 million or so a year for 4 years. Someone else will probably offer him $8 or so million a year for 4-5, but that team will be bad, like the Buzzsaw. He'll have to decide if it's worth taking less money to play for a better team, to try and win a championship, and to have a much better chance of racking up stats and making the Hall of Fame. On the other hand, it's not too easy to turn down an extra $2 million a year, especially in a sport like football.

Mike Holmgren will be back, and hopefully Ken Hamlin, too. Maybe I'll finally get my wish, and Ray Rhodes will be gone. They can keep John Marshall as defensive co-ordinator, he did a fine job.

The truth is, with as much talent as the Hawks have, and with most of their key players locked up, there's a decent chance they'll be in Super Bowl XLI. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself now.

Oh yeah, and Jerome Bettis is still from Detroit.


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