Beat The Man - Week Eleven

There are times in life where every fiber of competitive energy must be put forth. Seahawks.NET's Scott Jones wonders - if the Seahawks do not see this as their time, why are they taking the field at all?


Consistent mediocrity breeds apathy.

Last Week: 2-4
Season to Date: 22-21

Apathy is gearing up for another BTM when I haven’t so much as pushed him backwards…

Apathy is what you’re forced to hold when success cannot be found.

Apathy is the most destructive and damaging emotion known to man. And one that appears, alarmingly and ironically, quite prevalently in today’s most connected and resourceful world.

Apathy is a Veterans Day of very few flags… while our flesh and blood mix with that of enemy soldiers on a daily basis overseas. Apathy is a result of the heroic example set by Pat Tillman when he charged into Afghanistan, found himself uncomfortably powerless and somewhat insignificant - and ended up dying in an attempt to make a difference that horrifyingly turned out to be a battle against his very own. Apathy is our response. (The man wanted nothing to do with sorrow. His character, through unparalleled effort, was intended and designed to inspire. Yet all we have for him in return is a deadened heart? Have any of us done anything of consequence out of respect for the fact there are men like that among us? Or was it just another day where you momentarily acknowledged it, didn’t think you could measure up… and let it pass? I’m sure he’d be thoroughly appalled.

Apathy is this country’s response to the very real threat of Global Warming, where just this August Europeans died from heat to the tune of 30,000, Florida experienced a non-stop barrage of unforgiving Hurricanes, and last May over 550 twisters hit the Midwest (breaking the historical record by 163). One year ago, right here in San Diego, my sky was red and snowing ash from a countywide firestorm – because it hadn’t hardly rained in years. There’s a hole in the sky - and what are we doing about it? Ignoring the immediacy of the threat, that’s what. Apparently, anything that is more than a year away is not worth considering… as is anything more than a year old.

Apathy is another 4 years of a regime that has proven they really don’t care what it costs to lie to you. They have an agenda. Or they figure they’re smarter than you. And America accepts it. Apathetic to your own intelligence (or motivation to enhance it). Apathetic to ridicule. “Just keep all the problems away from my doorstep and I’ll live another day. And really, that’s all I care about. Here’s another ticket for 4 more years, go get rich on Halliburton for all I care. Besides, it gives me something to keep my neck red”. (And btw, I’m a Republican. But I voted for Kerry if only to save what I respect about the general Republican theory. Of which George Bush and his cronies hardly represent… or is it Those Individuals and their crony George Bush?). Apathy is not having a clue what the rest of the world might think of America right now. Apathy is ignorance to history. Apathy is a thing called the Roman Empire. Apathy is the enemy in yourself.

Apathy - is the 2004 Seattle Seahawks…

Oh sure, what a stretch to combine catastrophes of the world to NFL football and my own personal preferences. Well hey, in my world, the results of my team (or more importantly the effort they exemplify) make all the difference in everything. And since you who are reading this are at the heartbeat of the Seahawks here at .NET, I’ll assume that’s the case for you as well. Because, in our case, very clearly – apathy is the enemy.

Apathy is allowing a player to claim Number 80 from the ‘You can’t have me’ bin… the only jersey to ever receive such consideration… a jersey worn by the very definition of what is RIGHT about this team that’s claimed our loyalty… a jersey worn by a man who would NEVER consider such an injustice as to wear another player’s, um – RETIRED number!!! (The number is retired. There IS no number 80 to wear. It DOES NOT EXIST!!!!! Helllllloooooooooooooo!). Apathy is the brass that allowed such an injustice. And apathy is the way Jerry Rice has played since receiving such an honor. (Hell, we may as well enshrine Franco Harris into our Ring of Honor for the swan song year he gave us back in 1984.)

Apathy is a chance at redemption, on a national stage, against the very opponent who kicked dust on you and left you to wonder for weeks whether you deserved it… but you can’t ‘get up for the game’.

Apathy is the way the Defensive Line came off the ball yawning from the very first play, and thereafter.

Apathy is leaving the middle wide open all day facing an opponent who clearly recognizes what you want to protect (getting burned deep) and is out-coaching you before even stepping on the field.

Apathy is Ray Rhodes, to his very own doctrine of “accountability”, as he refuses to account for himself to the media and fans. Hiding behind the players he fields to take the beating that he has earned.

Apathy is Mike Holmgren and his concerns. Apathy is my numb reaction to the generic, lethargic, dull and meaningless response he has used after every single loss we’ve ever encountered under his leadership the last few years. Can I hear, just one time, just one time, something I might see from Bill Cowher, or Bill Parcells, Brian Billick, Herman Edwards, Chucky, Jeff Fisher, or even Mike Martz! This milquetoast joke is something I just can’t live with anymore.

Apathy is the failure to recognize you are playing someone unique and different each week. Rather than play your opponent, as the World Champions did for 21 straight wins – designing a weekly game plan brilliantly conceived to exploit the weakness of their opponent – we only aspire to play “ourselves” between the 20’s. A plan apathetic to the opposition. Until we reach the Red Zone, where we suddenly fear the opponent to such a degree that we must resort to trickery… outsmart them to get ourselves past the goal line. Ignore the fact that Shaun Alexander only PLAYS the game so he can get into the end zone on a regular basis. It’s the only area of the football field he’s willing to run someone over – for glory. Ah yes, glory. I am Mike Holmgren and I must ignore the obvious thing to do here and continually stun the world with my offensive brilliance. I am apathetic to the facts. Apathetic to the team. It’s all just a vehicle for me! My opportunity to pat myself on the back and impress with my ‘wizardry’ (or yell at someone else because they did not succeed with my stupendously ill conceived, foolishly irrational, overtly ignorant to the mathematically proven methods of football – play calling).

Between the 20s, Mike Holmgren thinks he’s genius running a draw to Mack Strong on 3rd and impossible, when even a beer swilling barker like me recognizes that’s exactly what he’s going to do (he’s done it all year). The entire stadium knows you’re going to do that, Mike. You think you’re outsmarting the opposition? Hardly. You’re simply removing the opportunity for your offense to make a first down. Or another notch for Shaun in the end zone. You’re outsmarting your OWN chance at success. If we’re so damn good as to simply play ourselves throughout the game - why not feed Alexander inside the 10 until we meet a 3rd and long (IF we fail to score that way) and pass if we have to. I mean, if we execute just like you taught them - we’ll score, right? My God, pull your head out of your keister and practice what you preach…

Cuz something is wrong with the mentality of this team. There is a reason they don’t care enough. I am a firm believer in reason. And there has GOT to be a reason the most talented team in football; a team that is stacked on both sides of the ball; a team with an offensive roster so dynamic it virtually guarantees success no matter WHO you get the ball to, or in what direction – does not care enough about winning. Ever since the ball dropped in the final minutes vs. the Rams at home – we have been in the tank. Generally disinterested in competition. Apathetic to concern. Wait until it gets to our doorstep that we absolutely have to win or we’re done for the year. If we have a comfortable distance before the end… we will not play with urgency. If we meet the middle with a chance to leap forward? We’d rather fall over.

Three and four years ago we played this way, bereft of a competitive heart (not surprisingly under the same head coach). Only then, we were wanting for talent. We had an excuse. There is patently ZERO excuse for the way we are playing this year. This year’s team is far more painful. Last year’s team, on the road – would kick this team into crying “Uncle!” This team is a disgrace to the word Football. A disgrace to the word Competition. And a disgrace to my emotions. It’s a disgrace to my heart and yours. And I don’t like getting spit on.

There is nothing that can excuse, with oodles of time left on the clock for another opportunity to tie the game up, for our offense to be seen warming the bench looking dazed and defeated (still discussing a fumble that is over and done with)… while the defense is left out on the field with no heartbeat of support for this critical game deciding drive… ignoring the absence of finality. Ignoring opportunity. Ignoring what’s necessary. Ignoring effort. They warm the bench with butts that love to sit…

Apathy will leave you there… on the bench. Where I’ll be sitting watching the Dolphins game. Raped of respect. Empty of emotion. Listless in loyalty. Unable to invest myself in this co-dependant relationship any longer. As simple as any other fan watching a team they can forget about on any Monday. Like any number of girls that let me walk away… my Hawks don’t care enough to symbiotically support me. And it breaks my desperate heart. Straight to the core.

Now we get to make a home-stand against crappy teams for 3 weeks until we’re optioned to play Minnesota on the road and find out whether our team gives a damn again. Where they’ll encounter yet ANOTHER opportunity to advantage themselves a winner? Are you prepared to open your heart to hope again? If so, you may be a better man than I. I can’t take the damage anymore…

When asked about his own emotions following the loss, Shaun Alexander had this to say:

"That’s the NFL. You’re going to lose games, and you should be upset when you do, but the fact is that you’ve got to let those losses go by, because otherwise you end up going 6 and 10, instead of being on the other side."

That’s flawed thinking, Shaun. In the game of football, when you lose, and do not burn with vengeance from head to toe, your blood vessels firing away in anticipation for the opportunity to heal, to make things right again – you find yourself with nothing to propel you forward. You find yourself at 4th down, following a 3rd and inches. You find yourself laying down simply because there’s someone in front of you. And when you find yourself in that situation – over, and over, and over again… you find apathy.

Oh, by the way, as if it matters – here are this week’s picks that may or may not succeed on Sunday:

CIN +4.5 vs. PIT
OAK +4.5 vs SD
ATL –3 @ NYG
N ENG –3 @KC

Beat the Man… because apathy will end you.

G. Scott Jones is a freelance writer who contributes regularly to Seahawks.NET. Reaction of any sort is always encouraged at Top Stories