Seattle Seahawks: Why They Are the Least Relevant Team in the NFL
There, I said it.
You may wonder, how do I know this?
Well, sometimes it helps to take an objective look from a fair distance to help understand.
Growing up 2,500 miles away on the east coast during the 1980s, the Seahawks conjured up two images:
2. Brian Bosworth getting plowed by Bo Jackson on Monday Night Football at the Kingdome.
That's pretty much it.
Beyond that the 'Hawks weren't even a worthy option in the original Tecmo Bowl, as the uniforms were some sort of pinkish getup that just looked terrible on the tiny pixelated players. Never in the years we played Tecmo Bowl as kids did anyone ever choose the Seahawks...
If we fast-forward roughly a decade to when the team switched conferences, got a complete makeover, and moved to Qwest Field, the team itself still couldn't gain much traction on a national stage, as only the "12th Man" garnered some attention for the crowd's unique ability to make noise and affect visiting teams.
For me though, the moment that really brought the 'Hawks to my attention came when, during the OT coin toss during the 2003 wild card game at Green Bay, Matt Hasselbeck boasted, "We want the ball, and we’re gonna score!" The karmic retribution that followed was nothing short of horrific.
Over the course of the next few seasons the Seahawks continued to win the NFC West and nothing more, as each year the team bombed out in the playoffs.
Then something funny happened...I actually met someone from Seattle.
Turned out she knew a thing or two about Seahawk football as we met around time the team was charging towards Super Bowl XL.
Since then she has continued to educate me about a team and a city that loves their 'Hawks with a blind affection that is nothing short of endearing, if not amazing.
What often gets lost across thousands of miles of real estate is that there are teams that play in places other than New York, Boston, Chicago and LA.
All too often though these places are ignored or belittled with the rare exception of a San Antonio or a Green Bay that somehow manages to do the extraordinary in becoming and staying relevant to a national media that rarely gives much credence to all the places wedged between the coasts.
Sadly, what I've learned is that there really is a coastal bias out there, and it's kind of ridiculous.
Why does the media have such a hard time paying attention to all the teams in pro sports?
Is it laziness? Ignorance? Fear of the unknown?
Don't get me wrong—the Seahawks have remained irrelevant the better part of their existence for a variety of reasons, but mostly because they haven't won a whole lot.
Is there a Coastal Bias in the Sports Media?
At the same time is it too much to ask for a little more balance in the national coverage? Even when the SeaHawks win it's often the other team's fault or just dumb luck; the recent evidence of this coming with upset wins against the Giants, Eagles and Ravens this season.
The 12th Man is a testament to a city's devotion to a team that each season provides so many good people with hope. I've grown to enjoy following the Seahawks, but can also understand the pain and frustration as well.
The city of Seattle has endured quite a bit in recent years from a sporting perspective ever since the 'Hawks lost Super Bowl XL. The Seahawks never really regained their form after that, the Mariners have been "rebuilding" for the past decade, and, of course, the Sonics left. (Yes the Sounders have been a welcomed addition to the city, but it hasn't completely filled the void.)
The question now is, "Can the Seahawks become and stay relevant under Pete Carroll's watch?"
If not, then when?
What's next remains to be seen, but Seattle fans, perhaps more than any city, at the very least deserve better, if not a winner.
Until that day arrives, the Seahawks, Mariners and Sounders will all remain trapped in the web of irrelevancy nestled alongside Puget Sound in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.
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