The Seahawks' Identity
which is a little different from the 1975 Steelers, or the 1985 Bears, or...


Field Gulls has a writer who identifies themselves as "3 ---- 1".  This writer just wrote a 7,000 word article called Seven stories on the Seahawks' identity.  It's full of cool little anecdotes and powerful visuals; hey, it was written with such cool factor that I almost missed the fact that I disagree with the author on 80% of everything there is to believe about sports.  

;- )

The main point is that if you haven't read it, you'll probably enjoy reading it.



The writer's idea is that from 2013-15, Marshawn Lynch was the Seahawks' identity.  By "identity" he seems to mean "the opposite of incoherent play-calling."  Fair enough.

Carroll's phrase for it was that Lynch "completed our circle of toughness," which is a different idea IMHO.  Looking back here ... in 2014, Lynch had 7 of 16 games in which he gained 63 yards or less.  Had he been handed the ball on the goal line in the Super Bowl, the chances were at least 70% he'd have been stopped; he was what, 1-for-5 in 2014 on that play?

Probably some Denizens here feel that Lynch was indeed the Seahawks' "identity" when he was here.  If so, no big argument from Dr. D.  :: shrug ::


In a real football locker room (and, you assume, the NFL is this way times 3) the critical aspect of "identity" is that the players are not fighting with one another.  Carroll speaks about a championship team "coming together" about halfway through any given season.  I'm pretty sure he means that --- > they decide they're more friends than they are enemies.  Carroll has informed us that this inflection point occurs during, not prior to, each season.

How likely are these Seahawks to do this?  PLUS:  Carroll.  MINUS:  the gravity of years together, especially vis-a-vis Sherman and Carroll.  PLUS: a good team, with a chance to win it all (and a tempting motivation to put team first).  MINUS: a bunch of violent psychologies, such as Frank Clark's.  OTHER:  you tell me.


Having watched the NFL since about 1972, actually I do find this to be "coherent play-calling":  (1) Get about nine Pro Bowlers on defense.  (2) Get a star quarterback and ask him to find a way.

The Joe Greene/Jack Lambert/Terry Bradshaw Steelers played this way.

What was the 1985 Bears' identity?  They didn't have one.  They had a defensive system nobody had solved, and had Dan Hampton.  Offensively they were dubious.


The writer seems to find it a discombobulating factor towards positive identity, those Wilson "aphorisms" that "are the sand of language."  We trust you know to what the writer refers, and what sort of disconnect he feels could result.  That's why it's relevant to remind ourselves that NFL locker rooms are very, very good at tolerating Christianity from the quarterback position.  (So are NFL head coaches, apparently.)

Aphorisms are the sand of language?  :- )   What a beautiful, memorable phrase.  And wouldn't I love to debate it publicly with $100,000 on the line.


Dr. D doesn't want to take us off point.  "3 ----- 1" offers a super-readable 7,000 words to get us wondering about a Seahawks Is Life topic this week.  Good on 'im.

My answer is:  when it comes to trying to win a Super Bowl in the 21st century, Russell Wilson is a big hurkin' advantage, identity-wise.  So is Pete Carroll, identity-wise.  But Richard Sherman and a coupla other guys have seen their acts get pretty stale, identity-wise.  Your answer may vary.




Hey, 3 ---- 1, we Arsenal fans KNOW that Arsene Wenger considers 4th place a trophy.  We ALL know that.  Your friend, Jeff



SonicBOOM!'s picture

I don't dispute that Marshawn might well not have penetrated the end zone, were he to have been given the ball on that fateful play on that fateful February evening. My point is that, even if he were stopped short of the goal line, now it's third down and tou have two more tries, from closer in. That's what we threw away, when Jermaine Kearse was jammed and Malcolm Butler stole the ball from Ricardo Lockett!


But this anthem protest stuff has unexpectedly soured me on the NFL :-(  I wouldn't have thought, prior to the year's start, that I'd have been so down on the league for fostering what are reasonable protests.  But the introduction of politics into one of the FEW escapist outlets I take pleasure in has almost made me turn my back on them (I haven't watched a Seahawks game since Week 2.  I honestly don't know if I'll watch another game this year...).

And I even applaud the players for taking the stand, knowing (at least some of them KNOW, anyway) that they're hurting their earning power by doing so.  I respect and even admire that.  I can even respect and admire the cause they've chosen to champion (even though it's fairly obvious to me that cursory statistical examination invalidates nearly all of the protests' ideological linchpins) because I think it's great to be passionate.

I just find myself sufficiently turned off by it that I'd rather go swim in the pool with my kids, or take a motorcycle ride up the road, or play a video game than sit down and watch the NFL just now.  And that really makes me sadder than anything; the last couple years, during NFL season I've basically planned my family's weekly entertainment around it.

SonicBOOM!'s picture

I don't dispute that Marshawn might well not have penetrated the end zone, were he to have been given the ball on that fateful play on that fateful February evening. My point is that, even if he were stopped short of the goal line, now it's third down and you have two more tries, from closer in. That's what we threw away, when Jermaine Kearse was jammed and Malcolm Butler stole the ball from Ricardo Lockett!


Gosh Doc, reading this article was like holding a mirror up to the truth... it was mostly there, but perfectly backwards ;)

Of course I'm here to defend Richard Sherman. That goes without saying. He's my favorite athlete, and it's not even close. He's so unique that I imagine it will take quite a while before someone else matches his bizarre combination of talent, brash showmanship, underdog credibility, football IQ, non-football IQ, and underlying good heartedness. There's been a thousand stars who talked smack like Sherm does. There's been a hundred who backed it up as consistently as he does. There's been maybe ten who managed to do it without being massive jerks. There's only one that we get to see up close and personal, once weekly on the local team.

I don't think Sherm's welcome in Seattle is wearing thin. Far from it. The fans know who he is, and they love him for it. Moreover, the players love him. You notice all the stories about how emphatically he takes rookies under his wing, spends hours after practice with them showing them tricks of the trade? Richard is a lightning rod on the field and the podium, but he's a wonderful guy when no one is watching. As evidence, look at how his teammates stick with him in his most controversial moments. When he went off on Crabtree, they fed off of it and rode that energy to a SB blowout. When he blew up at Chris Richard, the defense restrained him. Then, when he'd calmed down, they rallied around him, not the coach. When he asked for a trade in the offseason, no one blinked. Everyone said it was a non-issue, except his de facto older brother Dougie. I've linked a great article below, but the money quote is this:

"Sherm might say something to Pete, to John [Schneider], to myself, to [Bevell] that on the outside, it may seem negative. But because of the chemistry that we have, because of the rapport and the relationships that we have within this team, it’s not necessarily taken as a personal threat or a personal comment.

"It’s taken as, ‘Hey, I’m competing. I just want you to know that I feel like we need to go in a different direction. We need to do something different.'"

And Sherm is usually right. They do need to do something different. The entire point of that 3...1 atricle was that the Hawks need to find It again, whatever It is. I used to refer to them as "the team of destiny," back in 2012-14. Miracles followed them everywhere. The Tip, the Pick Six against the Texans, Earl’s first karate chop, Beastquake II, the bombs to Kearse in to with both NFCCGs, his insane catch on the final drive of the second SB. More Wilson scrambles that I can count. They've been missing some of that magic the last couple years. Not that it's gone, just that you couldn't count on it anymore. I dunno for sure, but it sure seemed to be back against the Rams. We'll see. The more important point is, Sherm is only ever trying to guide the team back to that place, the zone they were in for all those years. And you can see it eating him alive when they can't find it. But he keeps trying, through coaxing and bombast and determination, to help the team find it again. They appreciate that, I'll guarantee it.

As for Russell and his granular aphorisms, I think you're misreading the author's intent. Whenever a reporter asked Russ, "How'd you engineer that game-winning drive," he answers, "Gosh Michelle, that's a great question. I'd just like to thank God for putting me in a position to succeed, and give credit to all my teammates for working their tails off. You just gotta beleive, and good things will happen to you. Go Hawks!" The problem isn't that he thanked God. As you point out, the NFL is chock full of deeply religious men. The problem is that he just said forty-three words, and didn't come close to giving an original, insightful, or verifiably honest thought. Russell treats the media like a politician does. He's been practicing giving meaningless interviews since he was 8. He'll bury you in positive platitudes, without ever saying a damned thing. That's why he seems so sandy.

Pete Carroll is the same way. He is ceaselessly, infuriatingly positive. My take on it is, and always has been, dichotomous. On the one hand, I agree wholeheartedly that the attitudes of Russ and Pete are a HUGE advantage. They're crazy, but a kind of crazy that is intentional and leads direrctly to massive sustained success and multiple championships. However, given years of exposure, I'm not at all surprised that a realist and cynic like Sherm has started to run out of patience for their "the sun'll come out tomorrow" schtick. It's a difference of styles that's unavoidable, and eventually may prove untenable. Remember, the Hawks weren't trying to trade Sherm: he requested a trade. But for as long as Pete, or Doug, or Earl and Kam can convince Sherm to put up with it, the better. Keeping the band together is their best shot at another title, and I hope Richard is willing to swallow his personal frustration and stick it out with this team. He's kept fighting like a lion each week, no matter discontented he feels off the field. I love him for that, as should we all.


And I'm a Sherman fan too.  You might be #1, me #2, amongst this crew.  I go back to the John Madden days, when entire teams were built around three players:  two lockdown corners (such as Haynes and Hayes) and one left tackle (such as Art Shell).


The author called into question Wilson's ability to lead *the locker room* because of aphorisms.  We all know the reporters hate the script.  But of course any resemblance between Wilson's postgames, and his relationships with the L.O.B.'s, are purely coincidental.  :- )

So I'm left wondering what the author *did* have in mind.

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