Yes, yes Let's get the argument out of the way.
Fan 1: "OH MY GOD WE LOOK LIKE CRAP!!!"
Fan 2: "It's just pre-season! The players aren't playing full speed, there's no game-planning You CAN'T realistically gauge pre-season performance as the measurement for the regular season!"
The truth is, both fans have a point.
As in, you really can't realistically use pre-season performance as an accurate gauge for how the regular season will pan out and yes indeed, more-or-less we've looked like crap.
It's a conflict as old as the hills. You have your fans that use the pre-season as their guide to the fortunes of the coming season as if it's a crystal ball, frantically running to the hills all the while speaking in tongues as the sky comes crashing down on their heads the moment there's a bad play or series of bad plays or God-forbid - a pattern - and of course the death blow - a loss
Then you have your fans who merely shrug off the wins or losses, the performance misfires and magical moments as the mere learning lessons and practice sessions that the pre-season really represents.
Let's not over mystify this folks.
To get too high over a nice showing and victory in pre-season or to get too low over a bad showing and loss in pre-season is selling your intellect a bit short. As die-hards it is admittedly difficult not to base our opinions without emotion. When it comes to your average die-hard fan, objectivity is as sparse as an F-Bomb in church.
I'm as sure that Burt Reynolds wears a toupee as I am that our players approach the pre-season with one major goal:
Don't get hurt.
That's quite a drop off in focus and mind-set that you will find when the games count which is:
On every play, I shall lay my body on the line and give it my all.
Does this mean that team or player patterns of poor performance or negative trends shouldn't be of some concern? Clearly there's some aspect of poor play in the pre-season that should be of concern especially if it becomes a repeated pattern from one week to the next.
In the Seahawks first pre-season game of the year against the Cowboys there was an uncharacteristic level of sloppiness that consumed the entire team. The next week against the Colts they looked crisp, sharp, executed very well and gave the Chicken Little's a very good night's sleep.
Then one week later after slapping up 14 points within 5 minutes of the first quarter against the San Diego Chargers Poor performance and negative trends reared their ugly heads. Yet how can this be? Our starting defense looked more than soft in spots and our starting offense was AWOL for the most part
Well, there's actually a multitude of reasons actually. Assignment breakdowns are far from uncommon as you get the kinks and cobwebs out in August, playing at approximately 60 percent effort in preservation mode, no studying of game film against your opponent The list goes on and on.
After the loss against the Chargers, coach Mike Holmgren stated what should be an obvious give-away and recipe for relief to all the Chicken Little's among us:
"We don't game-plan, and they brought it pretty good and they brought any number of guys. We're still in camp, so we don't work enough on what we might have seen and they made us look pretty bad some times."
In the sake of further simplification, what coach is actually saying is that while beating us may be a good moral boost for the opponent, it's about as meaningful an accomplishment as, say, beating the Cardinals during the regular season.
The best position you can take is sit back and enjoy the pre-season for what it really represents. Practice. Don't get too excited and don't get too depressed. If you are into stats then look no further than the records of team's pre-seasons versus how their regular season's panned out.
There are quite literally too many examples to list to underscore my point but an obvious one would be that mediocre pre-season record the Seahawks had in 2005.
How did that work out for the Hawks?
Todd Breda is the owner and Creative Director of Seahawks.NET. If you feel compelled to e-mail Todd for some strange reason you may do so here.