They're going to try to tell you that Seattle won't win the division because no Super Bowl loser from the previous season has gone on to win their division the next season since the Tennessee Titans did it following Super Bowl XXXIV (we're six Big Games past that, by the way). Not only has no team won their division, no team has finished .500 or better the year after a Super Bowl loss. Pundits and talking heads have referred to this phenomenon as the dreaded "Super Bowl Hangover."
And, since the Seahawks are still crying about their title game loss FOUR FULL MONTHS AFTER THE FACT, the pundits and talking heads may have a point. I mean seriously, if you got fired from a great job for no reason, would you still be bellyaching to your former co-workers about it four months later? I say you'd have a better job with new responsibilities and ideas to focus your attention on and would give lip service something to the effect of, "well, I've got a great new opportunity at the company I'm with now and I'm focused on that." Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm the only one that thinks they're whining too much. Well, me and everyone outside of the Pacific Northwest are the only ones that think they're whining too much (and that includes Seoul, Korea).
But… who am I to say that they're reaching for the Gatorade and the Excedrin (which works wonders on a hangover, trust me)? Maybe they feel that the "respect card" has been overplayed and that they're looking to play the, "whiny, sore loser card" for all it's worth. It's a new angle. Mike Holmgren is visionary. I mean, who ever heard of the West Coast Offense before he came along?
I'm not going to get caught up in all that. The Giants had a battle between Jim Fassell and Sean Payton to see who could call the plays. The Raiders had more AARP members than Pro Bowlers. The Panthers got devastated by injuries after they lost to the Patriots. And the Eagles had that thing with McNabb and TO… he did some sit-ups in his driveway… it was in a couple papers…
I'm forgetting someone, though. That's right! The Rams! NFC team, great offense, defense that finally came together, lots of young talent, dynamic head coach. They finished 7-9 after the Patriots shocked them and the rest of the world (yes, even Seoul) in Super Bowl XXXVI. They were heavily favored to return to the Super Bowl before the 2002 season but failed to win (dramatic pause) the NFC West. Instead, the 49ers won it. Yes. Those 49ers.
Since no team with a hyphen in their nickname is winning the division this year and the Rams are breaking in a new everything-but-their receptionist, that leaves the Cardinals. Because the Seahawks aren't winning the division in the 2006 season.
Nothing to do with too many rum and cokes at halftime. They've lost too much.
Any team that lists Bobby Engram as their #2 receiver is destined to lose. Any team that signs an underachieving #2 receiver to a $49 million contract just to get even is destined to lose. Any team that lets Andre Dyson walk (make fun of him all you want, he still has more Super Bowl starts to his credit than Champ Bailey) is destined to lose.
A lot of people will point to Steve Hutchinson is a huge loss. I say that no team in the history of football has looked back on a season and said, "We would've won it all if we hadn't lost our starting left guard." You can look it up.
If you're looking for goofy indicators that tell you a team is playoff bound, put all your money on Cleveland. They signed Joe Jurevicius after Seattle let him walk. Everything else is a crapshoot, but Jurevicius always plays for a good team.
Ultimately, the defense is too young and the offense is too old. They got lucky last year. And you only get lucky once. And this is the year the Cardinals get lucky. They have too much good karma and the Seahawks are too hungover, old, and young.
You heard it here first. Nothing to do with a hangover.