Seattle Seahawks: Prosperity or Punchline?

Marci NobleAnalyst IMay 31, 2010

RENTON, WA - JANUARY 12:  CEO Tod Leiweke of the Seattle Seahawks (R) presents new head coach Pete Carroll a Seahawks helmet during a press conference on January 12, 2010 at the Seahawks training facility in Renton, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Three guys walk into a bar: a USC fan, a Jets fan, and a Seahawks fan.

“Pete Carroll is the greatest coach since Vince Lombardi!” the USC fan exclaims.

“Seeing as my team was 6-10 the year we had him as head coach, I’d say he’s closer to Lane Kiffin than Lombardi,” moans the Jets fan.

The Seahawks fan just sits there.  He knows a year from now the argument will settle itself, but for now has no idea how to contribute.

The USC fan is right that on the collegiate level Pete Carroll set the bar for head coaches across the nation.  As the Jets fan pointed out, though, his time in the NFL was not nearly so romantic. 

The Seahawks fan wants desperately to shout that Pete Carroll is the greatest thing to happen to football and the Seahawks are going to prove it this year as they make a run for the Super Bowl.

But he can’t.

So should he be the martyr?  Should he whine about how Carroll can’t hack it in the NFL and how the Seahawks are doomed to finish below even the Rams?

He can’t bring himself to do that either.

He listens as his buddies argue over Carroll’s credibility and tries to find an angle to take on the subject.

He knows Carroll has spent the past month rotating potentials through his new regime, trying to foster a competitive spirit and find the right formula for a successful team.  The Seahawks fan has watched as Carroll spent monumental sums of money for an untried former third string quarterback and mercilessly cut the untried third string quarterback he already had.

He’s watched as Carroll scoured the league for unsigned players selecting many only to cut them a couple weeks later.

He’s let himself get excited about new Seahawks like Lendale White, only to have his hopes dashed by a possible four game suspension and then see him cut altogether.

He’s been excited about superstar Leon Washington, but worries that Washington won’t be able to quite bounce back from such a gnarly injury.

He reveled in the draft selections, but was disappointed to hear that Golden Tate, though enthusiastic, isn’t running the right routes on plays.

Every argument he comes up with seems to have an easily spotted hole.

So what should he say?

He knows the NFC West is weaker than ever. 

The Cardinals lost their starting quarterback and butchered the team that made it to the Super Bowl two years ago.  The Rams are still the Rams.  The ‘Niners biggest headline lately refers to a retired wide receiver’s likeness being prepared for the NFL Hall of Fame.

So it’s not far fetched to conclude that the Seahawks will win the NFC West this year. 

But, is it worth mentioning?  The Seahawks fan fears that saying so will only garner taunts about a weak schedule and a weak division.  And, it would be hard to prove otherwise.

So he just sits there as his friends exchange blows, concentrating on his beer, afraid to make a definitive statement about the team he loves so much.  So much is different.  There’s so much to be unsure of.

The Seahawks fan knows that the three guys joke is destined to have a punch-line no matter what side he takes.  He just hopes the punch-line doesn’t turn out to be the 2010 season.