If the yahoos had their way, the Seattle Seahawks would not have had a chance Saturday to stun Sports Nation. Because in a perfect world — and, heaven knows, America is as close to a perfect world conceivable, other than if it were built inside a retractable dome — a losing team does not qualify for the NFL playoffs.
Imagine if this shabby 7-9 team now makes the Super Bowl — the entire East Coast might sink into the Atlantic Ocean and Peter King might drown in his venti cup of cinnamon dolce latte.
The Seahawks’ ridiculous and preposterous triumph over the defending champion New Orleans Saints was so life-reaffirming, it blunted the blow to mind and body absorbed when my Team of Destiny, the Philadelphia Eagles, tumbled to defeat.
The Seahawks, playing at home, were whopping 11-point underdogs and, to be honest, they felt like 111-point underdogs. I could not find a single soul in Seattle — other than Eddie the Dog — who thought the Seahawks would win.
(Column Intermission I: During Saints-Seahawks, here was NBC analyst Mike Mayock’s first pregame comment: “The great equalizer in this sport has always been turnovers.” And here was his first in-game comment: “The chess match has begun.” Somewhere in the great beyond, Howard Cosell tweeted, “Ah, the indefatigable mediocrity of the jockocracy.”)
Did I think the Seahawks had a chance? Uh, no. They are — how shall I say politely? — not very good. Frankly, they stink.
Here are the scores of the nine games the Seahawks lost this season: 31-14, 20-3, 33-3, 41-7, 34-19, 42-24, 40-21, 34-18 and 38-15. That’s right, every defeat was by at least 15 points; if you closed your eyes, you’d swear Bruce Coslet were coaching them.
Still, I vigorously defended the Seahawks’ postseason “bid” against the braying hordes.
Just last week, one of my loyal readers, Neal Steik of Lynnwood, Wash., wrote to me: “Many feel the Seahawks were undeserving of the NFL playoffs, due to their sub-.500 record. Your thoughts, oh wise sage.”
Neal, I shall quote Descartes on this: “You are deserving of the playoffs if you make them. You are undeserving of the playoffs if you miss them.”
(Column Intermission II: During Saints-Seahawks, NBC’s Tom Hammond noted: “Meanwhile, Reggie Bush has gone to the locker room. He is not on the field.” Bush probably had to go pick up one last payment from USC — maybe Pete Carroll brought it with him.)
Yes, with a losing record the Seahawks made the playoffs and got a home game.
Over this we’re supposed to lose sleep?
If memory serves me correctly, there was a presidential election about 10 years ago in which the man who received fewer votes than his opponent won the White House — and somehow the republic survived. So I think we can still strive for a better tomorrow in the wake of the horrifying injustice of the Seahawks’ 7-9 spoils.
By the way, even though the Seahawks’ atrocious-and-advance-to-the-postseason circumstance might be a once-in-a-lifetime wonder, I’ve got bad news for the offended masses: It’s actually possible, under the current system, for an NFL team to win its division and host a playoff game with a 3-13 record. I kid you not.
(Column Intermission III: Unfortunately, Hammond and Mayock started to celebrate the Seahawks’ Carroll like he was part Pop Warner, part Tony Robbins rather than an NFL coach with a 40-40 record over five seasons with three teams. By game’s end, you would’ve thought Carroll had built the Pyramids himself and invented the Internet.)
Anyhow, I have now given Marshawn Lynch’s 67-yard touchdown scamper a dozen viewings, and every time it feels as if I’m playing Madden NFL 11. Lynch appears to break seven, maybe eight tackles; toward the end of the run, I think he even escapes Rodents of Unusual Size.
So can this Seahawks fairy tale make it all the way to Super Bowl 45? In a perfect world, yes. But who said it was a perfect world? The Seahawks are terrible — if they were to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy, it would be like Bristol Palin winning “Dancing With the Stars.” On Sunday, they’ll lose to the Bears in Chicago, maybe by 30 points. Who let these guys in, anyway?
Q. My wife and I celebrated George Branham III’s thrilling Firestone Tournament of Champions title in 1993 by getting married. How has pro bowling intersected with meaningful events in your life? (Eric Casey; Arlington)
A. The day that Pete Weber introduced his “crotch chop” in 2002, I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.
Q. Tony Allen and O.J. Mayo had a physical altercation on a Grizzlies’ flight home over a card-game debt. What happened to honor among gamblers? (Tom Rogers; Indianapolis)
A. What are you, nuts? Doc Holliday once pistol-whipped Johnny Ringo after Ringo slow-rolled a trick at the World Series of Bourre in 1882.
Q. As an unforeseen consequence of the NFL’s implementation of the Rooney Rule, was Marvin Lewis inadvertently granted tenure? (Scott D. Shuster; Watertown, Mass.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
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