Ok, the first contribution over at 12th Man Rising is up and ready for your perusal. Take a look if you're so inclined...
Sometimes you realize that technology may be getting a little out of hand. I was on Yahoo the other day checking my email and in the news feed that they have, often there will be Seattle-focused stories, maybe some ads for Seattle area companies, etc. But this time, there was a announcement that the folks at 12th Man Rising were looking for new staff contributors for their website. As you might imagine, it piqued my curiosity. For those of you who don't know exactly who/what 12th Man Rising is, they are not only a member of Hawk Alley (you'll see them selling t-shirts most Sundays) but they are a part of the Fansided Network that just so happens to be an arm of Sports Illustrated online.
After taking a look at everything they do and what the wider Fansided Network did, I decided hey why not see if they like the random musings that I've done for our tailgate the past few years? Sure enough, they did and offered to have me come join them at 12th Man Rising. While I'm not quitting my day job and moving to the islands (it's an unpaid position at this point) it was still a pretty cool honor.
However, as with most things in life, there is a small catch. I will have to end my contributions to our Hawkstrong website as they want to be the exclusive home to the rumbling, bumbling, stumbling tomfoolery and ballyhoo that I pour forth. Rest assured, the targets of my written arrows will not change. The Niners and their river of human debris they call fans will still be skewered. We'll still make fun of Hank Williams Jr. on Monday night games. ESPN will definitely remain a consistent target. Plus, I'm sure I can come up with others that are just begging to be made an example of. So, come on over with me to 12thmanrising.com for not only my semi-coherent thoughts, but also to get some great additional analysis from their stable of writers.
Oh, and just so it's clear, this changes nothing for me as far as the tailgate goes. I've still got my season tickets and I'll still be there every Sunday tending bar and slinging chicken wings. Thanks to all of you for reading this the last couple years and making this something that's truly been a lot of fun to put together.
When Pom Pom Pete made his way up the coast from USC, as many of you know, I was no fan. There may or may not have been a threat to cancel my season tickets. Ok, there was a threat. Only after an intervention of fellow 12th Men did I relent and decide to give Pete a shot. But there was still a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that his "players coach" reputation could rear its ugly head. If you look back through the last 20 years of Super Bowl winners, you find pretty much only Dick Vermeil and Tony Dungy who would be in Pete's ballpark on the scale of players coaches. So it is under that premise that the latest round of news from the VMAC has me a little concerned.
Yesterday was a tough day. After months of anticipation, the Relocation Committee of the NBA's Board of Governors rared back and kicked all Sonics fans squarely in the testicles. Listening to KJR yesterday, it was obvious that emotions ran the spectrum. Many were depressed. Many said screw the NBA. Others made the half-hearted argument that this isn't over. Me, I'm just angry. Some might say a tornado of anger, just swirling about. And that anger is aimed at a number of parties. I've had a couple cups of joe already this morning and I'm a little feisty, so let's bring back the coffee-fueled rant. Fair warning, the following may not be appropriate for youngsters.
It's Christmas in April! Our planning for autumn can now begin! The built-in excuse for not wanting to go to your 2nd cousin's kid's birthday party now has a date attached to it. The Seahawks now know when/where/who they'll dominate in the 2013 campaign. Let's gaze into the crystal ball and see what we've got.
Preseason: We see our old AFC West brethren for 3 of the 4 preseason games again this year. Peyton Manning and his red forehead invade Seahawks Stadium on Saturday night Aug. 17th. Oh, by the way, we will have the tailgate up and going for that game should you feel the need for Saturday afternoon tomfoolery and ballyhoo. For the 38th straight year, the Hawks end the "pay full price even though it's garbage football" part of their schedule with the Raiders. At least the schedule makers were nice enough to have it on a Thursday night at 7 as opposed to the seventh circle of hell traffic known as the Friday before Labor Day.
Spring is here, Seattle hit 70 degrees yesterday for the first time since early October, and it's time for another season of mediocrity down at the corner of Edgar Martinez Drive and Dave Niehaus Way. The Hometown Nine have finally ended what felt like an 18-month spring training and kick off the season tonight in that oh so luxurious hellhole known as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. On the plus side, at least it won't be filled with Raider fans tonight. Many in the media are high on the prospects for this year's team. Me, I think they're just high, given our recent legalization of herbal enjoyment. Let's gaze into the crystal ball through the prism of Major League.
Even though I knew this post would eventually have to be written, I was not excited about having to do it after that game we saw on Sunday. Granted, we're Seattle sports fans so we fully expect to have gut-wrenching, soul-crushing, stomach punch losses, but seriously, was that necessary? And yet, that very situation was brought up by I think Softy earlier in the week. If there's 2 minutes left, would you rather be down 4 points with Russell having the ball, or up 4 points and put your defense out there? Well, we got both and saw the results. We went from exhuberant jubiliation to stunned dejection in the span of 35 seconds. And now we get the news that Gus Bradley has gone to NFL purgatory, aka Jacksonville. While I'm sad to see him go, on the plus side he'll be available again in couple years the way that franchise goes through coaches. Can't be a talent/front office problem. No, no. They've just had bad luck with coaches, right?
In any case, let's see if we can have a little fun and wrap up the year through the shenanigans at Bushwood Country Club.
Have we all recovered? Everyone somewhat back to normal? Nobody would look down upon you if you weren't. After all, we witnessed something we hadn't seen since I was 5 years old. The ghosts of Jim Zorn and Steve Largent were brought back and descended squarely upon the painted dirt of FedEx Field. To paraphrase the great Dave Niehaus..."30 long years of frustration is over!!!". The Hawks on Sunday did something that we had never seen with Matt Hasselbeck, Dave Krieg, Warren Moon, or Jon Kitna. They never did it with Dennis Erickson, Tom Flores, or Mike Holmgren. They went on the road and won a playoff game. They did it while spotting the Redskins a 14 point lead. If the Hawks hadn't taken years off my life before, they certainly did it on Sunday. And it felt incredible.
Now, it's off to the dirty, dirty south. It's off to visit Matty Ice (who has the dumbest nickname since he's never won a playoff game) and the Falcons in the Dome. Let's get jacked up and preview through the tomfoolery of south central LA in Friday.
Ok, quick show of hands before we get started. How many of you were clenched pretty tight on Sunday as the Seahawks kept letting the Rams hang around? As Teddy KGB would say, they had alligator blood...can't get rid of them. But, as they've done the 7 previous times at home this year, the Seahawks put the Rams away and finished the season undefeated at home. The last time that happened was 2005. Something big happened that year, didn't it? There are few things more fun than having a year of tailgates where we don't hang our heads on the long walk back to Hawk Alley. Instead, the walk back is full of high fives, honking horns, and general revelry. As many of you who are down there with us know, it's a big investment in time, money, and energy to put Hawk Alley together each week and the return on investment this year has been off the charts. Those of you who have joined us down there have helped make it the most fun we've had since we started.
Now, time to get down to business. The Hawks are back in the playoffs and are a very chic pick to make it to the Super Bowl. Each journey begins with a single step and this one starts in Landover, Maryland. What does Maryland do best? Crab cakes and football! Let's look at the game through the prism of Wedding Crashers.
In the immortal words of pro wrestler Ric Flair...Woooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! How about that display at Seahawks Stadium in front of a national audience last night? As Ric Flair also teaches us, to be the man you've got to beat the man. Well, that was an old fashioned ass whipping last night. There's taking someone out behind the woodshed, but that was taking them out back, prying off some 2x4's, and smacking them in the face. We officially have a rivalry on our hands my friends.
Let's bask in the glory of that win through a few more gems from the Festivus episode: