I am a big Jerry Brewer fan. He is a quality writer and a quality person. I take issue, however, with the way he characterized the Seahawks Super Bowl XLIX loss in today’s Seattle Times.
“the Seahawks lost Super Bowl XLIX in the most torturous and questionable manner possible” – Brewer wrote
It is just one line in an otherwise solid article. That one line stuck in my craw. Ever since the fateful decision to throw on the one-yard line failed, it has been clear that my reaction to that game is quite different than what may be what the majority of fans and analysts feel. That game was nowhere near the most torturous way to lose a Super Bowl. Questionable? Yes. Aggravating? Absolutely. Torturous? Uh uh.
The Seahawks entered that game with three of their best players seriously injured, all in the secondary, and then lost another key secondary member early in the game to another injury. They were facing perhaps the best quarterback in the history of football. On offense, they ran out a receiver crew that was never intended to play together. The whole offense had been fashioned around Percy Harvin, who was gone. Harvin was replaced by Paul Richardson, who was injured. They started a receiver who had never caught a football in the NFL. All this, against a secondary that featured Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Devin McCourty.
The would eventually lose their best edge pass rusher, Cliff Avril to injury. And that only added to challenges on a defensive line that was missing Brandon Mebane and Jordan Hill.
This is not a Mike Klis redux piece where I tell you the Patriots did not beat the Seahawks “A” team. That is just delusional. You are the team you field. The point here is that the Seahawks had a variety of reasons to lose this game, and perhaps even lose it in a disheartening way, but they still absolutely should have won. That is remarkable. That is something to be proud of. It is not torturous or shameful.
Seattle led by 10 entering the fourth quarter. They ended the game (or more accurately, Malcom Butler did) inside the Patriots 1-yard line. Tom Brady, Butler, Browner and others deserve a ton of respect for the plays they made to earn a ring. But anybody who walks away from that game feeling like it was the worst possible way to lose has a pretty limited imagination.
Consider what it would have been like if the Patriots blew the doors off the Seahawks the way Seattle did to Denver a year before. How would you have felt if the game went like the Packers NFC Championship game without the miraculous comeback. Questions would abound about whether the Seahawks were through. The foundation of talent that forms the core of this roster would have to be reexamined. The identity that Pete Carroll and John Schneider have helped to forge in their time here would be thrown into question.
Maybe the April sunshine in Seattle is forcing rosy glasses to color my perspective. Except, I felt this way moments after the game ended. My predominant feeling was anger at the play call, but my core feeling was, and always will be, that everyone who knows football has to know that the Seahawks should have won. That truth, given all the Seahawks were facing, is remarkable. I hope Seattle fans see the hope and inspiration that game represents, and not just the devastating final play.