Forget Denver. Don’t worry about Alabama or Florida. Georgia? Whatever. Not everything’s that big in Texas… anymore.
When it comes to football – any kind, you name it… even soccer – there’s no hotter place in the universe than the Pacific Northwest. The Oregon Ducks are once again the greatest offensive show in college football, romping through their first four opponents with 1,330 rushing yards, 239 points for, and only 43 points against. The Washington college football Huskies (which is what they’d be called with under a New York Football Giants naming convention) are ranked 15th in the United States, while the Oregon State Beavers (4-1) and Washington State Cougars (3-2) are putting up their own fight for relevancy in the Pac-12. Listing the powers of that conference – which includes Stanford, UCLA, Cal, and the once-proud USC Trojans – reads like the Best Picture Oscar nominee ballot from 2001… between Gladiator, Traffic, Crouching Tiger: Hidden Dragon, Erin Brockovich, or Chocolat, do you see a movie you really don’t like?
(Okay, upon reading that again, I noticed Chocolat.)
If the CFL’s your thing, British Columbians, your Lions are 9-4 and aren’t even playing their best football. (To our Americans friends reading this… yes, we do take the CFL seriously. Most of the time.)
And there are the Seattle Seahawks.
Bathed in neon and early 90’s Nike, the Seahawks are the model the entire NFL should get in line behind. Their wins aren’t dependant on just their offence or just their defence. The Hawks have fused them together to create a roster that has destroyed both San Francisco and Jacksonville (okay, no bragging rights there) and squeaked out clutch victories over Carolina (again, no bragging, but it was Game 1) and Houston.
They’ve come back to win. They’ve defended to win. Russell Wilson has thrown to win. Marshawn Lynch has run to win. I’m sure Pete Carroll’s “I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M HAVING THIS MUCH FUN AT MY AGE” face even deserves some credit:
Most of the time, though, you don’t even know what corner of Seattle’s field to credit… isn’t that always the mark of a great team?
What’s more, isn’t that what marks the beginning of a new era?
The Seahawks win because the house always wins. Vegas always wins. Whack-A-Mole always wins. The more you take a hammer to one of them, the quicker the rest spring up. If you stop the run, they pass. If you stop the pass, their quarterback runs.
Beating the Hawks is like beating acne at age 14.
Talk all you want about the Denver Broncos or the New Orleans Saints, but it’s going to be fascinating – or perhaps thud-like – to see what happens to either squad when they first face a defence equipped to cover their wideouts, stuff their line, or sack their quarterback.
Any offence can be snuffed and stuffed. ANY. If the 2007 New England Patriots could lose to the New York Giants, anything is possible. The Boston Bruins have shut down the NHL’s two most prolific offences in the past decade – the 2011 Vancouver Canucks and the 2013 Pittsburgh Penguins – in rather clamp-like fashion. The Pistons blocked the Los Angeles Lakers out of the 2003 NBA Finals.
“If history has taught us anything,” Michael Corleone told Frank Pentangeli in The Godfather: Part II, “it’s that anyone can be killed.”
It just happens. When it all comes down to one game, an offence that’s only offence is just that… only an offence.
With Seattle, you don’t know what you’re going to get or what you’re going to see. All you know is, whether it’s Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, or Richard Sherman… you can trust them.