Tim Ruskell's Frankenstein

"People on the outside know me as Tim Ruskell, Seattle Seahawks general manager. But my true identity is that of Victor Frankenstein. Finding assorted parts, and assembling them into a functioning entity? I am a master of the art. Within the pages of this tattered journal, I shall document the creation of my newest masterpiece, which I shall call 'Seahawks 2005.'"

Dear Diary,

APRIL 2005: I’m alone in the dark now, staring at my hideous progeny. My laboratory sits nestled in the urban greenery of the town of Kirkland, Washington. The days seem as long and arduous as a winter’s ocean crossing, but I am making progress – slowly but surely.

I’ve had to scrap much of what my predecessor (Dr. Whitsitt) assembled. My assistant, Igor Reinfeldt, and I have put a lot of work into this new version. I am satisfied with the core, so I will proceed with most of the creature intact. I firmly believe that changing out some parts will help this creature realize its potential.

Here are the parts I have elected to keep:

Head (code name “Holmgren”)
Torso (code names “Jones and “Hutchinson”)
Arms (code name “Hasselbeck”)
Legs (code name “Alexander”)
Hands (code names “Jackson”; “Engram” and “Stevens”)

I have also decided to add several key components, such as a set of sure hands “Jurevicius”); heart, drive and tenacity (“Darby”); and several brand new models (“Tatupu” and “Hill”) that I believe will instantly help this project.

I am anxious to field test the new model to see if my calculations are correct…

9 OCTOBER 2005: I have allowed sufficient time for a fair evaluation of this task. We visited St. Louis today and my monster was successful in its endeavors. Watching the “Jurevicius” component, I see no signs of the issues my predecessor encountered with getting the hands to function properly. Frankly, “Jurevicius” catches everything.

16 OCTOBER 2005: I am particularly pleased by how the “Alexander” part operates. I concede that it is largely the work of the “Jones” and “Hutchinson” models, but this Alexander is a real sight to behold. He found the end zone four times tonight, as those subjects from Houston offered little resistance. Shows no wear and tear from the apparent stab in the back which was noted by Dr. Whitsitt.  

***General note - remind Igor to pay the electric bill. It would not be advantageous if we lost power during critical phases of this assembly. ***  

23 OCTOBER 2005: The lines between critical science and sheer fortunate happenstance have never been more blurry. I observed my specimen dangling off of death’s ledge for the majority of the evaluation period today, but somehow fortune smiled broadly upon me again. In the critical minutes of my testing, the creature responded to the Dallas virus with an interception and a last second field goal. Perhaps the chemistry I calculated so meticulously is congealing quicker than we would have ever expected?  

(EDIT) When we needed it most, the “Hasselbeck” component functioned well.  

13 NOVEMBER 2005: We finally put to rest the issues we had with the St. Louis equation. After much hand wringing at corporate during the last down period, my decision to leave the head attached (“Holmgren”) seems prudent. And it is becoming clear to me that we may need to up the amount we spend on the “Alexander” and “Hutchinson” portions. I’ll let Igor deal with that after this trial period concludes.

*PROJECT UPDATE 2005/112-7X*

I am extremely pleased with the progress we are making in this journey. Igor continues to churn out the numbers and parameters for the future of this project, as we would like to ensure that once we reach the zenith of success we can continue the process unimpeded.

Defensively, this monster is impressive. It has not allowed a touchdown on an opening drive throughout this campaign. The brand new models (“Tatupu” and “Hill”) have integrated seamlessly and are shining, especially in light of several other pieces suffering catastrophic failures due to injuries.

Offensively, the tempo and efficiency is a sight to behold. The whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts. This blend of talent, character and will is the best in the league at driving down the field and scoring touchdowns.

The “Stevens” has finally taken hold, after several years of intermittent success.

I continue to be impressed with how this project performs at Qwest Castle, our secondary testing facility. There seems to be a fourth dimension of functionality at this place, and it was never more evident than during our validation testing phase against (literal?) Giants. How else to explain how a sure footed kicker could arbitrarily miss not one, not two, but THREE kicks?

There seems to be something in the air that is helping to push this along! I can think of neither a physical nor chemical explanation that explains what I am witnessing.

Perhaps those who dabble in the written word might begin to pay more attention to my efforts?

05 DECEMBER 2005: Well here I am again, diary. Tonight under the scrutinizing national spotlight my progeny took another step in its development. While steady outbursts of snow danced around the sky, my project truly became “monstrous.” 42 points to 0…three touchdowns by the defense (and nearly a fourth!! How could that be???”)…pure unmitigated dominance.  

(EDIT) The longer these components fit together, the more functional they become.  

I am pleased to be able to add the “Engram” back to the mix. There is a noticeable difference. In time I will reintroduce the “Jackson” as well, and I expect the project will reach new heights.  

***I really have a hard time getting pizzas delivered here. Perhaps I should not let Igor answer the door anymore? – Tim/Vic

*PROJECT UPDATE 2005/118-2D*  

No matter what the setback, we march on towards the end game. It may be about time to prepare to put my exhibit on display in Detroit during the dark stretch of winter.

New and unaccounted for components have helped this task along. The “Babineaux” infusion, the “Locklear” implant and the “Hackett” development have been critical.

This beautiful masterpiece has scored 30 or more points in more than half of its four-quarter evaluation segments. Most impressively, each and every obstacle noted by my predecessor has been overcome. The critical breakdowns, inability to function as a whole and disruptive influences experienced by previous keepers of this lark are faded like the wallpaper which lines these laboratory walls.

I anxiously await the next storm in the forecast, for it might be time to lift this creature born of a thousand moons up to the sky, just in time to bathe in the electric energy of the creators lightning.

Those who whispered angrily about the ability of this creation to rush the passer have blown away with the wind. My monster leads the league in sacks!

How amusing it is that the “Holmgren” is once again revered and respected as a viable functioning component. Why didn’t they see that he always was? Why didn’t they see that it just required a few different supporting cogs?

How amusing it is, also, how much better the “Hasselbeck” looks during this latest trial run. My shrewd decision to upgrade the hands has paid dividends. As I walk down the darkened alleyways at night, I no longer hear the pained discussions and pointed barbs discussing “dropped passes”.

My faith in the ‘brand new models’ has been rewarded. Now everybody will want a “Tatupu” and a “Hill” to mold their monsters as well. I may have had to part ways with Igor’s precious draft picks, but I feel vindicated because of the here and the now!

There are days when I reflect on my monster and realize that all of this would have happened much sooner if more of the total package consisted of parts more like the “Darby”, “Wistrom” and “Manuel”.

There is much to be said about the heart and tenacity of this creation, even if it is just a “monster.”

I leave this writing now with a self-imposed question, one of reflection and strange curiosity…

What of the chances for a first-round bye and home field advantage??

“It’s alive!”


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