Beat The Man - Divisional Playoff Edition!

"The highest of all responsibilities a Head Coach has is to motivate. Mike Holmgren clearly has no grasp of that equation. This team is most definitely NOT properly motivated...Therefore: 1 + 1 = 2. Remove the part of the equation that doesn't function and give us the opportunity to progress."

…Defeat.

Last Week: 1-3
Playoff Record: 1-3
Season to Date: 37-38-1

And then it all came to an end.
Time for reflection, eh?

I’ve been debating whether to offer my thoughts on the conclusion of our season. I think we basically concluded our season a long time ago - and I’ve already documented the ending. A result no different from what preceded it. And why should it be?

This has been, without question, the most frustrating and debilitating Seahawk season I have ever endured. The season ending image of Matt Hasselbeck - crashing to the ground in agony, fighting off the demons of failure (the hideous irony of faith in the hands of another, met with defeat - scratching away at his brain)... is one that will forever spell the memory of the Seahawks in 2004.

Message to Matt Hasselbeck: I understand… I understand exactly what you feel. I understand the predicament. My heart hurts from the crush of lost hope. And my mind is stained from the absence of absolute control. I want to beat my fists to the ground until Atlas shifts its axis and makes it all the way it’s supposed to be. And I want to cremate all that chains me. (But you can play for me forever, my brother. You are not the cause, you’re the cure!)

This year’s squad was an embarrassment to Football. The satisfaction found in of Football is its passion and intensity. You don’t see Baseball fans frothing at the mouth, a bib sized beer stain on their jersey, decked out in painted hair or some sort of elemental challenge. But you get that in Football, because everyone understands it’s all about physical extremes and absolute loyal devotion to encounter and conquer - together. Following our collapse to the Rams in wk5… we wore diapers. And you don’t much conquer with diapers on. Nope.

Apparently, this helpless feeling will continue as Mike Holmgren is going to keep his job. Why would he be allowed to do that? I really don’t know. As Editor Doug pointed out in the forum: Forget about Green Bay – what has he done in 6 years here that makes you think he’s the best choice available?

The highest of all responsibilities a Head Coach has is to motivate. Mike Holmgren clearly has no grasp of that equation. This team is most definitely NOT properly motivated. And they are HIS handpicked players. Therefore: 1 + 1 = 2. Remove the part of the equation that doesn’t function and give us the opportunity to progress. Remove the negative integer that keeps us stunted at… one.

Remove the negative integer that thinks he had the option to “ride off into the sunset” following this year of plentiful pain. (What the hell are you talking about, man? Get over yourself, please! Step outside yourself and recognize the situation, my God, man!) Failure to recognize that it isn’t about the individual is the explanation to our team’s failures.

And it took Trent Dilfer to recognize what’s wrong with The Blue Me-Me’s? (credit to “Talonted_NoseRider”). The always-accountable Dilfer felt motivated to call in to talk radio KJR and express his thoughts on What it Takes:

“But maybe more important than their skill are some other things like intelligence, poise, toughness, leadership, accountability, being able to be trustworthy on a football team. It is very, very important as we look at ourselves as a football team that we will never be as successful as we want to be until our players recognize as a total person who they are as a football player… when our skill players buy in to the fact that who they are as football players goes far beyond their skill, that’s when we’ll be a great football team, and all the talk can stop right there.”

Thank you, Trent. Just knowing someone within the organization recognizes what’s wrong makes me feel a whole lot better. Alas…

Our Super Bowl season is over. We went one and done.

And accountability… starts at the top.

1 is the loneliest number.
Wouldn’t work for 2.


We move on to teams that understand the difference (tough spreads this week! Not feeling very confident):

PITT –9 vs. JETS
All of you who DON’T have the Steelers headed to the Super Bowl, raise your hand… Well, that’s hardly enough hands to carry a trophy! Yep, they look like the team to beat.

Now, all of you who had the Steelers picked to win it all at the start of the season – raise your hand. Anyone who raised their hand can have my job (natives of Steeltown excluded).

Do the Jets therefore have a chance? Sure. Yup. They have a chance because they have good character and heart (thanks to a fine HC that understand how to motivate). I guess that’s how they beat the Chargers (who’s character was superlative. But ya shouldn’t have gone back to MartyBall down there on the 30, Marty. Gotta go with what got ya there, dontcha know?). Yeah – the Jets have a chance… but I ain’t gonna pick ‘em!

All you need to say about the Steelers is they knocked out the hottest team in Football, IN Buffalo, a game that meant nothing to them, with their bench players. Now THAT’S character!!

I’m a bit afraid of giving 9 (which is by design). But that’s the side ya gotta take.


ATL –7 vs. RAMS
The Falcons get their chance to show they mean business.

The Rams get their chance to show they can beat teams on the road other than Seattle.

I’ve had the Falcons all year and that ain’t gonna change. Nexxxxxxxxxt!


MINN +9 @ PHI
So last week I dropped a guarrrrrrrrantee on the Vikings and they delivered (thank Moses!) I’ll have to check my log but I think I’ve only done that 2 or 3 times and nailed it each time. If you ignore my other 3 picks – they made me look real good, eh. So this week I’m going toooooo… not guarantee Vikings money. But I WILL pick them to cover and feel good about it. Again, the Vikings are not dropping games by big points. They lost by this margin only 3 times before – twice to trap games (Giants and Bears), and once toooooo… the Philadelphia Eagles. However, that was back in wk2 when Philly was out for blood and if you remember correctly - the Vikings had EVERY opportunity to win that game.

You can’t argue that Philly has gone soft since the Terrell Owens injury. I do not expect them to stay soft, but they are far from in rhythm and all it takes is a little mistake or 2 to get the Purple thinking they have an opportunity to win here. If McNabb can throw consistent darts at the start of the bell – I might start to sweat. But I’m confident the Nordic Swell can answer the bell as well and Culpepper has abilities we should not ignore (just don’t drop the ball, dude. Ooops – jinx).

If you pick this spread based on won/loss records alone? You’ve made a grievous error. Take a closer look. The Vikings fight harder than they’re credited for. And they’re not going to fold here. I very much like my chances with 9…


PATS –2 vs. COLTS
Ah – the game of the week. This could be the Super Bowl and we’d all be satisfied, right?

Peyton Manning and his Superman season squares off against arch nemesis and evil genius, Bill Belichick. We’ll need extra Beer Nuts for this one. Perhaps some Good N’ Plenty’s! Can the Patriots secondary possibly weather their injuries and contain the Goldenboy? What new myriad of chaotic formations can we expect from the miraculously devious Defensive mastermind? Can it possibly be enough to quell the multitude of weapons in arms reach of Manning? Well? Can it?

Forger about the Defense. That’s right – forget about the Defense. What we should NOT be forgetting about is the PATRIOTS Offense. An offense now perfect in harmony and balance to deliver a ball control attack with an eye on the clock and frustrating the opposing team’s opportunities to score. The Patriot’s won’t turn the ball over. Barnacle Bill has been drilling that into their minds all week. He’s aware the Colts survive on turnovers and he will NOT allow his team to play into their greedy little hands. (Editor’s Note: Belichick also left the Gillette Stadium grass uncovered through Wednesday's rain and Thursday's fog. When asked about it, he innocently smirked, "My job is not to pull weeds. I have a lot of other things to do. Or rake the field and all of that. I'm sure that will all be taken care of.") What you will see is what Bill learned from 1st born B, Bill Parcells in the Super Bowl vs. the double B, Buffalo Bills (whew – that’s quite a nest of B’s). Ball control. And with RB Corey Dillon having a fine season, the Pats can do whatever they want to keep Manning off the field. When you have a Defense that can be expected to at least battle with the Colts… that should be enough. The Patriots have earned the respect to believe they understand what to do here.

I’m gonna have to remember to attempt to stay sober for this one. Should be fun…


<I>Oddly enough, the Seahawks aren’t playing this week - so that may help my winning percentage:</I>
PITT –9
ATL –7
MINN +9
PATS –2


Beat The Man… cuz I’m pissed off we ain’t playing no more”.

G. Scott Jones is a freelance writer who contributes regularly to Seahawks.NET. Reaction of any sort is always encouraged at schleprockhawk@sbcglobal.net.

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