Tag Archives: Seattle Seahawks

Conspiracy theory at Super Bowl? Aw, come on!

It’s official: Conspiracy theories can exist in any context, any endeavor, any environment.

This might be my favorite conspiracy theory of all time.

Seattle Seahawks head football coach Pete Carroll called a pass play at the end of the Super Bowl to enable quarterback Russell Wilson a chance to win the game’s most valuable player award instead of handing the ball to Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch, who could lay claim to the MVP honor if he scored the winning touchdown.


Do you follow me?

Wilson is a fine young man, a good guy in the locker room, a great teammate, a role model for youngsters all across the nation.

Lynch? Umm, he’s … uh … shall we say, few of those things. He’s a bit of a dramatist. He gets fined for not talking to the media. He’s known as something — gosh, I hate to say this, but I will anyway — of a thug.

As most sports fans anywhere know, the Super Bowl didn’t end the way Carroll and his team wanted it to end. Wilson’s pass at the goal line was intercepted by New England Patriots defensive back Malcolm Butler. The game ended with the Patriots winning 28-24.

The recriminations have been furious.

Carroll took ownership of the goal-line call. So did Wilson.

As for the conspiracy theory, we’ll never know.

My prediction: This one will grow arms and legs like all the myriad other conspiracy theories out there.

As MSN.com.sports noted: “Who in their right mind would ever fess up to this?”

Coach Carroll stands tall

The 49th Super Bowl played Sunday night no doubt will go down in the books as arguably the most memorable ever.

Great game. Two great teams. Great finish.

And it ended in controversy. Not because of a blown official’s call. It ended because one of the teams, the Seattle Seahawks, tried to execute a play that many football brainiacs have questioned. Some have called it the “worst play call in the history of the National Football League.”

The Seahawks lost 28-24 to the New England Patriots after Patriots’ defensive back Malcolm Butler intercepted a pass at the goal line with less than 30 seconds to play. The Seahawks had three chances to score a go-ahead touchdown from the 1-yard line; sitting in their backfield was a running back nicknamed “Beast Mode,” Marshawn Lynch, who earned that descriptive nickname for the obvious reason. Seattle went for the pass. It failed.

What happened after the game is worth noting.

Head coach Pete Carroll manned up. He took full responsibility. It was his call all the way. He said he is responsible for making the call that, as it turned out, cost the Seahawks the chance to repeat as NFL champs.


You have got to admire the coach for that. He could have passed the buck. He could have put the monkey on the back of his offensive coordinator. He could have said the players talked him into making the call. He could have said he was distracted by all the crowd noise. For crying out loud, Carroll could have said he was suffering from a splitting headache and wasn’t thinking clearly.

Carroll said none of that. Instead, he said: “We easily could have gone otherwise, but when they sent their goal-line guys in, I know that we have the advantage on the matchups in the passing game so let’s throw it. It’s OK. One of those downs we were likely to throw the ball — maybe two of those downs we would have thrown the ball depending on how we had to save the clock. We had to get all of our plays.”

There you have it.

A man taking the sting of defeat like, well, a man.

Well done, coach.


It all came down to one great football game

The hype didn’t matter. The controversy was reduced to a bit player. The TV commercials were amusing, more or less.

What actually mattered to real football fans Sunday night was that two very good professional teams played their guts out and produced a game worthy of the name — Super Bowl.


The New England Patriots emerged victorious over the defending National Football League champion Seattle Seahawks. The game’s outstanding player, Patriot quarterback Tom Brady, simply cemented his place — as if it needed cementing — in pro football’s Hall of Fame, whenever he becomes eligible.

The so-called “Deflate-gate” kerfuffle that erupted after the Patriots won the AFC championship still hangs out there, somewhere. The NFL is going to investigate it. Perhaps the league will determine who took the air out of those footballs to make them more catchable for Brady’s receivers and running backs. It didn’t matter for this game. The principal Patriots — starting with head coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady — say they didn’t tamper with the footballs. They’ve said so categorically and unequivocally. End of story? Not quite.

The better team on Sunday won the Big Game.

It’s a good thing it wasn’t a blowout, or that it ended with a questionable officiating call on the field. A blowout would have reduced the TV announcers to blathering on and about the deflated football matter. A questionable call would have detracted from the game being played.

Instead, we got a great football game to end a wild and topsy-turvy season.

That’s how it’s supposed to go.

'Deflate-gate' turns into media monster

How is it that some stories that seem relatively inconsequential at the beginning turn into major headline events and the top subject of every cable news-talk show in America?

Welcome to the era of “Deflate-gate.” Good bleeping grief!


New England Patriots head football coach Bill Belichik has issued a oh-so-precise denial of any wrongdoing. He says he did not know of the dozen footballs assigned for his team’s use being tampered with, or know who might have deflated the balls to make them more catchable.

OK. What about the quarterback, Tom Brady? What did he know and when did he know it? Brady says he knows nothing about any funny business prior to — or during — the Patriots’ 45-7 rout of the Indianapolis Colts to win the AFC championship and a trip to the Super Bowl to play the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks. It’s been kind of fun listening to the sports talking heads come up with different analogies to describe how badly the Patriots beat the Colts. “They could have beaten them throwing … ” oh, beach balls, water balloons, Frisbees, whatever.

All these denials, buck-passing and admissions of ignorance are simply fueling speculation that someone — the coach, the QB, the equipment manager, the center, the officiating crew — knows something that they aren’t revealing.

Brady said something Thursday about how much air pressure he prefers to have in the football he throws. No word, yet, about the PSI preferences of Russell Wilson, the Seattle quarterback.

Here’ a thought. Why not simply require the National Football League to inflate every football to precisely the same air pressure, give each team their allotted number of game balls — just before they take the field for their pre-game drills — and tell the players, “All right fellas, here are the balls. Go out there, play your guts out and may be the better team win”?

Do not leave this matter in the hands of the principals who will play the game.

I’m beginning to sense a conspiracy theory in the making, one that will become a monster that will never die. Not ever.

Let's call it 'Deflate-gate'


You’ve heard it said that “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.”

The New England Patriots won the American Football Conference championship in a rout over the Indianapolis Colts. Now it turns out they might have, um, cheated just a bit.

How? It’s those footballs they used. Eleven of the 12 balls the Patriots used were deflated by 2 pounds of pressure, making the balls a little easier to catch in the rainy and cold weather conditions that plagued the game in Foxboro, Mass.


This isn’t the first time the Pats have been caught and/or accused of cheating. Remember “Spy-gate,” when the Patriots reportedly spied on the New York Jets’ practice sessions prior to a game?

What should the NFL do?

Well, you can’t replay the game.

But the team ought to pay a price monetarily. Fine the coach, or whoever was responsible for the deflating the balls. Perhaps you can force the Patriots to surrender a significant portion of their earnings from the sale of “AFC Champs” gear or the proceeds from whatever they earn if they win the Super Bowl.


This all kind of reminds me of the controversy that ensued after Muhammad Ali knocked out George Foreman in October 1974 to regain the heavyweight boxing championship. The “rope-a-dope” tactic, in which Ali leaned against the ropes and allowed Foreman to wail away while Ali covered up, worked to perfection partly — it was alleged — because someone loosened the ropes, forcing Big George to lunge a little farther to throw his haymakers. The late Angelo Dundee, Ali’s trainer, denied messing with the ropes.

I mentioned that to my wife this morning. Her answer? “George is a big, tough guy. He should have just stepped in a little closer to throw his punches.” Holy crap! I never thought of that. Good call, honey.


AFC loyalist that I am, I plan to root for the Patriots against the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. However, you won’t hear me hoot and holler if they win. It’s hard to cheer out loud for cheaters.


Brazilians show class in defeat

Just when I thought the world had spun off its axis and that a great Latin American country had suffered from collective apoplexy over the defeat of its national soccer team, I came across this story on CNN.com.


It turns out the Brazilian soccer fans — stunned beyond their ability to comprehend — cheered the German team that beat their beloved men in the World Cup semifinal match.

The Germans won that game 7-1 in what’s being described as the most astonishing performance in the World Cup … ever! That they beat the host team in that fashion gives extra punch to the Germans now as they get ready to play the winner of The Netherlands-Argentina match for the World Cup championship.

I’ve also been wondering about this passionate love of the sport that seems to transcend anything with which I’m familiar in the U.S. of A. When the Denver Broncos lost the Super Bowl this year to the Seattle Seahawks, did the Mile High City’s fans go into the kind of collective funk that has fallen over Brazil. What happened in Miami when the Heat got blown out by the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA finals? I think folks in South Florida went about their business.

Granted, the U.S. doesn’t have a national soccer team that’s able to compete — at least not yet — on a consistent level with Brazil or Germany.

But the craziness is beyond anything I can quite grasp.

Still, I was heartened to know that despite their grief, the Brazilians had it within them to pay proper tribute to the young men who gave their guys a good, old-fashioned whuppin’.

And yes, the sun rose this morning over Brazil.

Clues to Bronco Super Bowl collapse revealed

I have discovered the reason for the shocking collapse this past Sunday by the Denver Broncos at the Super Bowl.

Get set for this stunner.

It’s the Sports Illustrated jinx. The jinx did in the Broncos, just as certainly as it has torpedoed other teams and individual athletes over many decades of the vaunted sports magazine’s publication.

You know about the SI jinx, yes? It’s known as the kiss of proverbial death for any team or individual athlete who graces the cover prior to a big sporting event. You’re on the cover and you’re bound to lose. The jinx is infamous in sports and media circles.

The Broncos were featured on SI’s cover not once prior to The Big Game, but twice, for criminy sakes!

The Jan. 27 edition featured full-page photo of future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. This was SI’s Super Bowl preview edition. I cannot recall how the magazine called the game. Doesn’t matter. The Seahawks came to play, while the Denver Broncos, well, didn’t.

Then we had the previous week’s SI cover. Who do you suppose graced that page? None other than Denver wide receiver Wes Welker, the Texas Tech University standout who played several seasons for the New England Patriots before joining Manning and the Broncos this year.

It was as if SI wanted to ensure that they doomed the Broncos by putting them on the cover on consecutive weeks prior to the Super Bowl.

What’s most amazing of all is that I haven’t heard much — if any — mention of this phenomenon biting the Broncos in the backside.

I think I’ve scored a scoop.

Hope for thrilling game goes ‘poof’ on first snap

Well, I watched most of the Super Bowl, managed to skip the halftime show because I don’t particularly like Bruno Mars or the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

I had hoped for a thriller, thinking in advance the Seattle Seahawks’ defense would win the day over the high-powered Denver Broncos’ offense. I guess I was half right.

Seattle’s defense was all that it was billed as being: tough, relentless, opportunistic, aggressive … what am I missing here?

I didn’t expect the Seahawks’ offense to be so strong.

Maybe the omen was delivered on the game’s first play from scrimmage, when the Denver center snapped the ball over Peyton Manning’s head, resulting in a safety for Seattle, and setting a record for the quickest score in Super Bowl history.

So, you might be wondering: What does a shellacking like this do to Peyton Manning’s place as one of the greatest pro quarterbacks in history? Not a single thing, as the announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman (no slouch himself as a QB) pointed out.

Manning will go down as a Top Five quarterback when his career is over.

Agreed. Dan Marino’s failure to win a Super Bowl didn’t diminish his standing as an all-timer. Besides, Manning’s already won one of those Lombardi trophies, back when he played for the Indy Colts.

The Super Bowl has produced a number of thrillers over the years. This one didn’t make the grade.

Too bad. Hey, maybe next year?

Immovable object vs. irresistable force

First, allow me to state the obvious: Football and baseball are vastly different sports, requiring dramatically different skills from those who participate in them.

Now let me declare one similarity: It is that teams with great offensive weaponry can be defeated by teams with great defensive skill.

One baseball axiom holds true, which is that “Good pitching usually beats good hitting any day.” I’ve seen it over many years watching baseball games. The 1963 World Series is my favorite example, when the powerhouse New York Yankees were shut down by the Los Angeles Dodgers; the Yanks had Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris swinging big bats, while the Dodgers had Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale throwing heat from the mound. LA won in four straight.

Now, about today’s Big Game, the Super Bowl. The Denver Broncos possess the NFL’s top offense. The Seattle Seahawks own the league’s best defense. One is irresistible, the other is immovable.

I am now venturing into something about which I know nothing, but the laws of physics seem to suggest — to me at least — that the immovable object is harder to move than it is to shut down the irresistible force.

It pains to me say this, given that I’m a long-time American Football Conference fan — going back to the days of the old American Football League, of which Denver was a founding franchise — but I’m thinking the Seahawks have the edge here.

My friends might say, “Oh, sure, but you’re from the Pacific Northwest. You’re going to root from the team from that part of the country.” Hold on. I grew up in Portland and there existed then — and perhaps it remains — a huge civic rivalry between the cities. Portlanders think little of Seattleites. We see the Queen City as snobby and full of itself. Seattle residents look down their noses at Portland, even though the Rose City has become every bit as cosmopolitan and trendy as Seattle.

But I’m thinking now, just a few hours before kickoff, that the immovable object is going to dig itself in and hold the irresistible force to perhaps just a couple of touchdowns.

Final score? Please, don’t hold me to this. Let’s try 20-17, Seattle.