October 20, 2013 in Sports

Seahawks good, but maddening

A Grip On Sports
 
Associated Press photo

Pete Carroll has the Seahawks playing well, but his team did have its “dumb” moments Thursday.
(Full-size photo)

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Vince Grippi has an opinion about everything local, especially sports. Every Sunday we provide samples of his daily riffs. Read him daily at spokesman.com/sportslink

Friday: What’s the best word or phrase to describe the Seahawks right now? Dominating, sure. Winners, OK. Maddening? I’m pretty sure that works too.

When you become a fan of a sports team, you become invested in that team’s successes and failures. Around here, it’s more often the latter than the former, at least it seems that way.

But it should be different this year with the Seahawks. They are good, 6-1 good. They have won both their games against NFC West foes. And yet, they have a tendency to mix failure and success into the same game-winning mix.

I guess that’s a nice way of saying they do some of the dumbest things you’ll ever see an NFL team do – and it doesn’t seem to matter.

Let’s take a short section of Thursday night’s 34-22 win over Arizona as an example. We’ll start midway through the second quarter, when the Hawks had a great chance to put the Cardinals away, already leading 14-0. Arizona punted from deep in its territory and Golden Tate gathered it in at his 46. He wasted no time, took off up the middle, veered right and raced to the end zone, diving in to create a golden photo opportunity, if you pardon the pun. Except linebacker Mike Morgan blocked a Cardinal in the back. A Cardinal that had no chance to make a play on Tate.

Instead of leading by three touchdowns, the Hawks had the ball at midfield. That’s OK, right? They would still score. Nope. One Marshawn Lynch run gained nine yards and two others gained none – the first was a bad spot and probably should have been challenged, but who cared, right, the Hawks would pick up the first down.

Pete Carroll, showing his utter confidence in a broken-down offensive line, went for it from the Arizona 43. One problem. The Hawks called a quarterback sneak that forced the linemen to stretch for their blocks. A tight end couldn’t stretch far enough and Wilson was stuffed.

The defense made sure the turnover on downs led to only three Arizona points but it gave the Cardinals life. And when Jermaine Kearse decided to bring a kickoff back from five-yards deep in the end zone only to be blown up at the Hawks’ 13, Seattle was in trouble. Big trouble because Wilson was stripped and sacked two plays later, Arizona recovered at the 3 and, one play later, was in the end zone.

A possible 21-0 blowout was turned into a 14-10 nail-biter in the course of about nine minutes. Or to put it another way, in the course of two bad plays, one poor decision and one stupid one. Maddening. Of course none of that seemed to matter an hour later when the Hawks were pulling away in the second half. But such things do. Because they will come back to bite you, and not in the nails, against good teams.

Thursday: At the end of next college football season there will be a mini-playoff of sorts to determine a national champion. One of the biggest steps toward that mini-playoff occurred Wednesday, when the names of the selection committee were officially released. I can’t lie. I’m a little disappointed.

When the news broke there would be a mini-playoff replacing the fraudulent BCS, and that there would be  a selection committee, I started campaigning for a spot. 

All the hints I dropped to people in the know, all the anonymous emails I sent to the powers that be to look at the Grippi guy, all the subtle clues I left in this column over the past few months, they all went unheeded. 

And who did they pick?

A bunch of athletic directors and, god forbid, a woman. Yep, the championship of our national sport is  going to be decided by a woman.

Oh, the horror.

At least they didn’t put any other godforsaken retired sports writers on the committee, because that would really hurt. Wait, what? There is a retired sports writer on the committee? And it’s not me?

Some guy who worked for USA Today, where they don’t even get to write complete stories? Jeez. A woman and a sports writer. What is this world coming to?


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