Searchlight

Josh Brown lined up for the potential game-winning field goal last Sunday at FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins. The Seattle Seahawks had just forced a critical turnover, with cornerback Kelly Herndon intercepting a deflected pass inside Redskins territory.

The Seahawks had fought back to tie the game at 17, including a dazzling 91-yard drive against one of the top defenses in the NFL. On Washington’s home turf, with their loud fans, and with several key injuries to the ‘Hawks receiving corps.

I honestly felt that mystical force known as karma finally relinquishing its headlock on the Seahawks.

Brown wasn’t the only one lining up. I was lining up as well. I got on one knee right in front of my television, with my oldest son standing next to me like a guardian, ready to ward off the evil spirits that bring bad things to the Seahawks.

The kick was up, it was solid…and it clanked off the left upright. Despite the way I contorted my body during the flight of that kick, the ball just refused to pass safely through into the net. I swear I almost reached in to that screen and moved the goal post myself.

Instead, the game went to overtime and as soon as the Redskins won the coin toss that ugly monster that resides in my mind started growling something about impending disaster.

This was yet another loss in the recent years that turned me into a mumbling, worthless lump. I sound like the Milton Waddams character from the movie “Office Space”…“All I want is my stapler!”

Just once, I wish the Hawks could get a break in the positive direction. But no, once again defeat was snagged from the jaws of victory. And that makes me really thankful for Monday, “Resurrection Day”, because it seems my football self dies every Sunday.

Following this team reminds me of the cartoons when the characters would open a door they thought would lead them somewhere, only to find a slightly smaller door behind it. The Seahawks keep opening doors, but the hallway to success remains endless.

I cannot think of another team in the NFL that drags the fan base over the jagged rocks of hope like the Seahawks. Every time you think they are FINALLY going to win “one of those games”, to clear the proverbial “hump”…and then Chicken Little shows up with a poorly timed atmospheric update: “cloudy, with a 60% chance of the sky falling.”

How ironic that Mount Rainier stands powerfully and proudly in view of Qwest Field…since that hump this team has been running into every season has turned into a mountain.

This franchise’s maddening inability to win these kinds of games places it in a mental prison. One in which you can’t tell if the cells are designed for the prisoners, or for the rest of us.

These kinds of defeats make you think twice about Indian burial ground curses, or ritualistic voodoo ceremonies, or many other superstitions, spooks and explanations.

Think about what has transpired in the last few seasons. Why does fate always side with the opponent?

The inexplicable loss against Baltimore in 2003, when the Seahawks played amazingly bad defense against a normally inept offense late in the game, and then the officials chipped in with several ridiculous calls. Fate walked off that field the victor, not the Ravens.

How about last season’s colossal meltdown against the Arch enemy, the St. Louis Rams? The Seahawks were once again poised to apply a strangle hold on karma, leading 27-10 midway through the 4th quarter. You know the rest of the story.

Let’s fast-forward to last December, and the Dallas game. The Seahawks offense explodes for 39 points, shining in the warm spotlight of the national television glare on Monday Night Football. But once again, the “Little Engine That Could” suffered a mechanical breakdown and slid backwards all the way down the mountain. Defensive lapses, another obvious blown call (Keyshawn Johnson’s phantom touchdown) and an onside kick helped the Cowboys pull out a 43-39 stunner. Maybe it felt so cold in the stadium that night because my insides were hollowed out.

Everywhere you look, events transpire to suffocate every breath of fresh air this team is trying so hard to take. Just once I’d like to see a call actually go our way. Sure, whining about the officiating can be a slippery slope, but nobody can dispute the fact that the Seahawks never get the benefit of the doubt when the yellow flags are in the flight pattern.

So once again, the men in stripes found a way to sting the Seahawks. In the Redskins game, safety Michael Boulware was called for a pass interference penalty that gave Washington the ball inside the ten yard line, which they eventually converted into a touchdown. Go back and watch that play over and over again (just make sure you move the fine China and pets from the room first), and tell me how that is interference. And of course it couldn’t happen deep inside Skins territory, or at a different point of the game…it has to happen when they needed it most NOT to happen.

That doesn’t pull a shroud over the glaring reason why the Seahawks lost that day – the inability of the defense to get off the field on third down – but once again, lots of snowballs become an avalanche and this team is buried under it.

When the officials were not aiding and abetting the enemy, the Seahawks give up plays like the third and long scramble by Mark “I’m this close to getting a free meal at Denny’s!” Brunell. Every step of that 18-yard scramble felt like he was stomping my chest. Hawks defensive end Bryce Fisher had him dead to right in the backfield for a sack, but somehow Brunell found a phone booth and changed into Michael Vick.

It’s hard enough to win consistently in the modern day NFL, but how do you game plan for the strings of happenstance?

Through it all, nothing will shake my loyalty to this team. I still feel that each and every time they are about to crest the top of that “hump”, that it’s finally going to happen. One of those wins awaits, and after all the headache and hand-wringing I intend to celebrate it without hesitation. That elusive win may be cast in the shadows, but the searchlight is getting closer.


SeahawkFootball.com Top Stories