Heading into the Seahawks critical matchup with the Jaguars, here’s where things stood in the world of Seattle sports, vis-a-vis my desire for good things to happen.
I wanted Shohei Ohtani to join the Mariners. He pitches and hits and is apparently very good at both. He did not join the Mariners, but instead joined the Los Angeles Angels, and therefore will haunt the Mariners 19 times a year both from the mound and at the plate. This is bad for me, personally, and the city’s sports fans as a whole.
I wanted the Seattle Sounders to win the MLS Cup. Winning the MLS Cup is good and fun, and the Sounders did it last year. Instead they lost the MLS Cup. Losing is the opposite of winning, and is bad and unfun. Again, bad for me and the city’s fans of sports.
I wanted Seattle to get word that the Sonics were heading back to an arena in SoDo. Instead Seattle will likely get a hockey team that plays at a renovated Key Arena. This will mean more traffic for an already congested Denny corridor, and a hockey team instead of a basketball team which is bad because while hockey is fine (I guess) the NBA is great (except for the betraying Seattle thing). No new stadiums are good for cities, but if we’re going to have to have one, it might as well be one placed near more transit featuring the better sport. But nope. Again, no good for me.
So yeah, heading into the Seahawks showdown with the vaunted Jacksonville Jaguars defense (feat. Blake Bortles) things weren’t going great. And what do you know? That trend continued with a Seahawks 30-24 loss that featured a rash of linebacker injuries and an ugly end to the game. Let’s break it down anyway, despite my being in no goddamn mood to do so:
• The game ended with an ugly series of events that need to be taken individually for the purpose of recapping. The first thing that happened after the Jaguars iced the game with a late third down conversion was Michael Bennett attempting to blow up their victory formation. This is a dumb and gross move by Bennett that risks injuring the opponent. It’s his third time doing this since coming to Seattle; the previous two incidents could be forgiven as they were the Super Bowl and a game against the dude who blew out his knee on a chop block. This? This was just gross. That’s not to invalidate any of the other good work Bennett does on or off the field… but this was beneath him.
• After that Sheldon Richardson got ejected for throwing a punch, which was dumb, even though it looked like he just slapped a dude. I don’t know. I hope Sheldon isn’t suspended for next week, though he’s at risk of it.
• Then things went crazy. On the next snap, there was another bout of fighting that saw Quentin Jefferson get ejected. On his way to the locker room he was accosted by fans, who are reported to have used a racial slur towards him as well as throwing bottles at him. Jefferson then charged towards the stands, but was restrained before anything crazy happened. This will be analyzed to death over the next week; I’ll just say it was dumb that the team was in that position in the first place, and also fuck racist fans.
• Russell Wilson is weird. For three quarters he was bad on Sunday, unable to gain purchase against the best pass defense in the league. Then in the fourth quarter he threw two ridiculous touchdown passes, and was a couple botched plays from Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham and a referee who missed a blatant defensive hold away from leading a wild comeback win for the Seahawks. We need Russ to hypnotize himself to believe that all quarters are the fourth quarter.
• Speaking of Baldwin and Graham… woof… they both had bad games against a really good opponent. Also, does anyone else think it looks like Baldwin is playing slightly hurt? I don’t know… football is just so brutal.
• Speaking of brutal, Bobby Wagner got hurt on Sunday. This is a disaster for a defense down a whole heap of starters. Wagner has been the best defensive player in the league this year, and upon his absence from the game the Seahawks immediately gave up two touchdowns. Not great! The report is that he aggravated a hamstring injury, which could well keep him out of next week’s crucial game against the Rams. Very bad!
• Blair Walsh? You’re dead to me. I’ve made excuses for you in this space many times this year, but missing a 38 yarder with no mitigating factors in a close game? Unforgivable. With the Seahawks cap situation it’s unlikely he’ll be cut this year, so we’ll just have to muddle through, like divorcees who can’t yet afford our own apartments. I won’t acknowledge you, Blair, even though you never do the goddamn dishes… you’ll be sleeping on a race car bed soon enough.
• Here’s the thing: despite how bad this week’s game was, if the Seahawks win next week against Los Angeles they’ll be leading their division and in great shape to make the playoffs. The Rams are playing really well, and are far healthier than the Seahawks, but you could have said the same about the Eagles last week and the Seahawks beat them up. Hopefully we can get a repeat performance. I don’t think I can take another week of Seattle sports like this past one.