Imagine, if you will, that the Seahawks have just won the Super Bowl. Given the events of last night, this probably sounds like an inane request, but I want you to imagine a different Super Bowl in a different season. In this season, the Seahawks go 10-6 to win a mediocre NFC West. They catch some breaks in the playoffs; they make some plays at the right time; they win a couple of games; and then they eke out a victory over an equally good-but-not-great Super Bowl opponent. Basically they do what the past three Super Bowl winners (Baltimore, NY Giants, Green Bay) have done. If that hypothetical scenario played out this year, every Seattle fan takes it. And it’s all still glorious. The Pacific Northwest still erupts with merriment. Grown men are still moved to tears. Idiots in the U District still light shit on fire. It’s still the first major championship most Seattle fans know.
Now look at what actually happened, because it’s way better. The Seahawks were the best team in the NFL in the regular season by a significant margin and probably one of the best five or so teams of (at least) the last quarter century — their defense arguably a top two or three unit over this time frame. In the playoffs they handily beat a very good Saints team and then vanquished their arch-rival 49ers in dramatic fashion — a 49ers team, I might add, that many pundints* were touting as being the best in the league at the time. Then in the Super Bowl, they played one of the greatest offensive teams ever, led by one of the greatest quarterbacks ever, fresh off his greatest season ever, and they housed them. They held them to eight total points and those points only came after the score was 36-0.
Not all champions are created equal. To really endure as the decades go by, a Super Bowl winner has to either be part of a dynasty or do something truly special for one season. I do believe the Seahawks just did the latter. Hopefully the former is coming next.
Seven other thoughts.
- Michael Bennett said the Seahawks D is the best since the ’85 Bears, and given their performance from stem to stern, and given what they did in the biggest game of the year against a historically great offense, it’s not a crazy statement. The ’00 Ravens and ’02 Bucs were awesome, but neither Kerry Collins nor Rich Gannon is Peyton Mannning.
- Somehow I didn’t know until today that Malcolm Smith is the brother of “the other” Steve Smith. Huh. Anyway, I didn’t have a problem with him winning Super Bowl MVP. Yeah, his big plays weren’t really “made” by him; he was mostly in the right place at the right time. But there’s something to be said for being Johnny-on-the-spot. Plus he outran a running back (Knowshon Moreno) on his pick-six. Also, he doesn’t get enough credit for his game-sealing INT against the 49ers (solid ball-hawking hustle play). I know that doesn’t count toward Super Bowl MVP, and yet somehow it does, cosmically.
- My prediction of a big game from Russell Wilson was half true. But I’m still claiming victory, because the ‘Hawks only needed it to be half true. I feel like Wilson could’ve had a big game, but the score was 29-0 before he started his third drive.
- I know it’s been said many times, but the job Pete Carroll and John Schneider have done assembling this team, largely from mid-to-late round draft picks and undrafted free agents is truly remarkable. They won’t be able to keep it together very long, because no NFL team can keep this many good players together for very long (vert few NFL teams ever have this many good players together, so it’s mostly a moot point). But the ‘Hawks have them all now, and they will have most of them next year. That’s better than every other team in the league.
- Cris Carter must not have been paying attention to the advance stats when he called the Seahawks receivers “appetizers”. By DYAR Doug Baldwin was more productive than Alshon Jeffery, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, and Wes Welker. On a per-play basis he was better than every receiver in the league with more than 50 targets. Jermaine Kearse didn’t get thrown the ball as much (38 targets), but on a per-play basis he was as good as Demaryius Thomas.
- Is 43-8 the strangest final score in Super Bowl history? I think so.
- The Seahawks won the Super Bowl. This is fucking awesome.
*Yes, I know it should be pundits. But somebody, perhaps Richard Sherman, once said “pundint” in an interview, and I’ve adopted it as a good half-pejorative term for a pundit. It’s similar to talking head.