Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images
As we all get ready to endure a Super Bowl surely to be filled with plenty of heartwarming stories about the
Harbleah Harbaugh brothers, camera shots of Colin Kaepernick kissing his biceps with a dorky smile on his face, and Ray Lewis bawling uncontrollably at the 50-yard line (conveniently surrounded by a couple dozen cameras), Seahawks fans sit at home asking themselves, “what if?”
Instead of driving ourselves insane with the thought that Russell Wilson could be preparing for the first ever Super Bowl won by a rookie quarterback, it’s a better idea to look back at what made the 2012-2013 so memorable, and, really, quite improbable.
9) The Richard Sherman saga, part one
If there’s one thing I learned this season, it’s that Richard Sherman can (and will) do whatever the heck he wants.
Last October, when Sherman picked off a Tom Brady pass with 4:52 left in the third quarter of an eventual Seahawks win, Brady apparently told Sherman and safety Earl Thomas to "see him after the game when [the Patriots] win.”
Well, Sherman did, and posted this since deleted picture on his Twitter page:
After the game, Sherman told reporters that “every TV timeout, I went up and said it right to [Brady]: 'Please keep trying me. I'm going to take it from you.'”
From that point on, Richard Sherman led the league in hatred from opposing fans for a cornerback. And I think he’s okay with that.
8) Undefeated At Home
A home schedule including the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, and Minnesota Vikings is nothing to scoff at, and I thought before the season winning at least 6 out of 8 home games would be satisfactory.
The 12th man squashed my doubts with a perfect 8-0 record at home, further solidifying CenturyLink Field as the greatest home field advantage in the NFL. Russell Wilson had an incredible 123.6 QB rating when playing at home, throwing for 17 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions and a startling efficiency rate of 9.17 yards per completion. The stadium reached playoff level intensity during the week 16 matchup against the 49ers, confusing and frustrating Colin Kaepernick to the point where (these are unconfirmed reports) he started crying and needed a pep talk from Alex Smith, which only made it worse.
7) The Richard Sherman saga, part 2
The lowest point of the Seahawks season was probably the week 12 loss against Miami. Playoff chances looked slim and news broke that Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman would likely be suspended four games for the use of the NFL banned drug, Adderall.
Browner accepted his suspension within a few days, but Sherman didn’t. Twitter and sports radio commentators called for Sherman to take the dive and ride out his four game suspension so he would be available if the Seahawks did so happen to squeak into the playoffs.
Instead of taking the dive, Richard Sherman and his attorneys scored a rare victory against the NFL and avoided his suspension. He stated when he provided a urine sample on Sept. 17, the specimen cup had a leak, prompting the collector to use a second cup. Sherman's lawyers claimed this was a breach in protocol.
Richard Sherman 1, NFL 0
6) Practically Every Game Giving Seahawks Fans Heart Attacks
The Seahawks never lost a game by more than seven points, which by most accounts is a great thing. They never got blown out and were in every game until the bitter end.
Seriously. Every game. 10 out of the Seahawks’16 games were decided in the last couple minutes, sometimes going their way (Green Bay, New England, Chicago) and sometimes not (Detroit, Miami). The Seahawks riding the line of win or loss so often at the end of games raised the collective blood pressure of Seattle fans everywhere and left me tired from just watching it on my television.
Thankfully, the Seahawks finished out the season with some nice, relaxing blow outs.
5) The Blowouts
From week 14 to week 16, the Seahawks outscored their opponents 150-30 and cemented themselves in the national consciousness. They became everyone’s Super Bowl dark horse leading up to the NFL playoffs, and just might have been if not for a couple failed blitzes and a Tony Gonzalez catch.
Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin started the demolition of opposing teams by collectively running for 236 yards and three touchdowns against the effortless Cardinals, who helped the Seahawks score a franchise record 56 points with their epically awful quarterback play.
The Hawks then travelled to the Rogers Centre to watch Russell Wilson run around, through and over (I’m pretty sure he started levitating) the sad, sad, Buffalo Bills on his way to three rushing touchdowns and another 50 point Seahawks blowout. The Seahawks became the NFL's third team to score 50 points in consecutive weeks, joining the Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants, who both did it in 1950.
While blowout wins against the hapless Cardinals and Bills left you feeling kind of guilty for humiliating already humiliated teams, a 42-13 thrashing of the 49ers the next week on Sunday Night Football left you feeling like you could lift a car and throw it at a more angry than usual Jim Harbaugh, who had to stand in the freezing rain and watch his team get clobbered on his birthday.
Good times, good times.
4) The Real Rob Report
If you don’t know what the “Real Rob Report” is, set aside some time to waste two hours of your life watching Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson basically harass other players in the locker room and post it on YouTube. From “Messin’ with Marshawn” to listening to Richard Sherman say “my brother” every other word to “John Moffitt’s words of wisdom,” the Real Rob Report provides entertainment for all.
The weekly web show – and more specifically “Moffitt’s words of wisdom,” – developed a cult following among fans on Twitter and led to John Moffitt becoming a fan favorite.
3) The Chicago Comeback
With 3:35 to go, down by four points, on the road against the Chicago Bears defense and Seattle’s playoff hopes on the line, Russell Wilson calmly lines up under center, pinned under his own 3-yard line.
Two quick passes to Anthony McCoy and Marshawn Lynch set the Seahawks up at the 20-yard line. Handoff to Lynch. Now the 32-yard line. There is hope, the Seahawks playoff light is still burning.
Russell drops back, no one’s open, so he runs for the first down. Like he always does. Brian Urlacher doesn’t have a chance.
Pass, completion. Pass, completion. Pass, completion. 32 seconds left, and the Seahawks are on the Bears’ 14 –yard line, itching to score.
Quick slant to Golden Tate. Tate bounces, bounces, bounces off Bears until he dives into the end zone. 17-14 Seahawks, with 24 seconds left. It doesn’t matter what happens next, we all know one thing:
Russell Wilson is our quarterback.
2) Golden Tate’s Catch
Golden Tate’s controversial game-winning touchdown catch against the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football has been called many things, including the Fail Mary, the Golden Takeaway, and The Inaccurate Reception. Much debate has been made over whether or not the catch was legitimate or not, but nonetheless the catch became the final straw regarding the NFL replacement refs, who were ousted the following week.
1) The Russell Wilson story
Russell Wilson’s story is this season’s legacy.
You’ve probably already heard the Russell Wilson story told and re-told dozens of times: Went to college at NC State to play baseball and football, transferred to Wisconsin, quit baseball to play football, got drafted by the Seahawks in the third round, beat out Matt Flynn for the starting role, struggled at first, eventually led the Seahawks to a playoff win.
In my 6 years of following Seattle Sports, I’ve never experienced a story as nationally loved and followed as Wilson’s. I’m more used to great Seattle stories being shunned and disregarded by the rest of America than openly embraced.
But here’s the thing: Wilson did not become a national story because he said something controversial, won a Heisman trophy in college or has a charismatic personality. He became a national story by working hard, keeping his mouth shut and proving every one of us wrong, and then some.
Russell Wilson gained national respect, which in turn gave the Seahawks national respect. And when it comes down to it, respect is really all we, Seattle Sports fans, want. We want feel part of the national conversation. We want to be recognized.
And for that, Russell Wilson, we thank you.
- Nathan Parsons (@nathanparsons98)