Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Peaks and Valleys: Jan. 1-Feb. 1 for a Seahawks and Oregon Duck Football Fan

OK. It's been a few days since the Seahawks shocking end-of-the-game loss in the Super Bowl.

As a Seahawks and Oregon Ducks fan, the Super Bowl caps what was, for me, a roller coaster football experience over the past few weeks filled with peaks and valleys.

PEAK: Jan. 1, my alma matter, the University of Oregon, wins the Rose Bowl in impressive fashion beating Florida State - last year's #1 team, at the time #3 team and a team that hadn't lost a game in two full seasons. Hey, winning the Rose Bowl is a BIG DEAL to any school and for Oregon, it's truly special. The team has only ever been in the game seven times and only won it three times...and one of those was nearly 100 years ago. So, this was the best peak for me in the Ducks season.

With the win, the UO advanced to the National Championship game as a favorite against #4 Ohio State.

PEAK: Jan. 10, my hometown Seattle Seahawks defeat the Carolina Panthers 31-17 in the NFL playoffs, sending the team to the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers.

VALLEY: Jan. 12, the Ducks lay an egg in the title game. A lot of it had to do with the fact that, as it turned out, the #4 Buckeyes were actually the best team in college football. They were physically dominating on the line - producing a 200+ yard running back and effective QB on offense and bottling up Oregon's run game on defense. The saving grace for me is, my Ducks just got beat by a better team. There was no heartbreak ending or controversy. They just got beat. No difficult to accept.

PEAK: Jan. 18, the Seahawks defeat the Green Bay Packers in overtime in a miracle comeback for the ages. The final score was 29-22. With the win, the Seahawks earned a trip to their second straight Super Bowl. I cannot underscore how euphoric this win was for Seahawks fans. Of all the peaks I've mentioned, this was the best.

VALLEY: Feb. 1 in the Super Bowl, the Seahawks - possessing the ball at the Patriots' one yard line with less than a minute to play and for all the world looking like they are going to win the game with a power run by all-everyting RB Marshawn Lynch - instead decide to pass the ball over the middle into traffic. The ball intercepted. Game over. BIG VALLEY. Not necessarily because they lost, but HOW they lost. They had them. They had the win. They blew it.

My reaction in the moment was similar to about 99% of people on the planet..."WHAT THE F! RUN THE F-ING BALL TO WIN THE GAME. YOU HAVE THE BEST RB IN THE NFL RIGHT HERE ON THE FIELD. YOU ONLY HAVE ONE YARD TO GAIN!" Then over the past few days, one of the people in that other 1%, the Seahawks coach, explained why they did what they did and why. I understand what he said about not wanting to give NE any time after a score and how NE had their goal line D in so were susceptible to a pass. OK. I get it, but to me...that's not good enough.

My perspective is, its the last minute of the Super Bowl. You are behind. You get the lead NOW and play to your strengths - running the ball and defense. That would mean a power running play by Lynch. Give him the ball a couple times, he scores. And then if you have to play D for a few plays against Tom Brady, least you have the lead.

And hey, if the Hawks don't sore, OK...they lose anyway, but you don't go down the way they did.

All that said, it's great to have my college and pro football teams at or very near the top of their respective games. If I'm lucky, I'll be rooting for one or both again come next January.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

My NW Sports...What Is Next?

OK. Now that football season is over, as a long term Seattle resident and University of Oregon grad, where do I go now for my sports rooting interests?

First, the UO mens b-ball team is more than decent. They will not win the Pac-12 title, but they could make a run for the NCAA tourney.

Next up is the Seattle Sounders MLS team. They finished last season with the best record in the league and should be a threat again this year.

And, come spring the Mariners baseball team. I'm not a huge baseball fan, but perhaps stye Ms are on an upswing?

And between all that there is the UO tack and field (won the NCAA title last year) and baseball team (ranked) to provide some entertainment. 

So from a civic or alma matter standpoint, that is where I will be investing my interest. 

Go Ducks! Go Seattle!