Monday, February 3, 2014

Defense Really Does Win Championships

The Seattle Seahawks shocked the football world by winning the NFL Big Game Championship. The game was Super and played in a Bowl shaped stadium. (NFL Legal Dept can't get me for saying that).
I only saw about fifteen minutes of the game at work on a very small TV screen at the in store bank branch. Once I see the video tape I will offer more of an opinion.
The old adage in sports is offense wins games, defense wins championships. It proved true tonight. As I said, I didn't see much of the game, but the score tells the story. The best defense in the NFL shut down the best player in football and his high scoring offense. I boasted yesterday that the Broncos were going to destroy, pummel, annihilate and humiliate the Seahawks. I thought Peyton Manning and company were going to light up the score board like a Fourth of July fireworks show. My prediction was 63-24 Broncos. Good thing I don't make my living as a pigskin prognosticator. I would starve! 
The final score was Seattle 43-Denver 8. What happened? 
Let's start from the beginning. I mean let's go way back.
Pete Carroll was a failed NFL coach for the New York Jets and the New England Patriots. He left the NFL for the comfortable, cushy confines of the University of Southern California. He had a very successful tenure there. Won a national championship. He really won two, but one was taken away due to NCAA violations. (On a side note, if you want to live the good life, be a college football player. $1000 handshakes, free cars, gifts from the booster club, women. Plus free travel, room and board and your tuition paid for. And you don't even need to go to class! Scholar/athlete? Sure, okay. Cue eye roll.)
When the poop was about to hit the fan in 2009, Carroll left USC and was replaced by Lane Kiffin. (Don't get me started on him. The word douche bag comes to mind.) Anyways, after a brief break from coaching, Carroll was hired by the Seahawks. Many felt he was just a big name hire to give the fan base false hope for the future. And Carroll could continue cashing large pay checks. Everyone would be happy. 
Seattle was always the team that was SO CLOSE to winning, but could never get over the hump. The Seahawks came so close to winning Big Game 40 before the refs handed the game to the Steelers. (Don't get me started. When I die, I'm going to ask God if the fix was in in some questionable games. Only HE could give me the straight answer.) 
But while everyone ignored the Seahawks, Pete Carroll quietly built a championship team.( Things aren't so quiet when it involves himself, Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers. I see a book about their pissing, bitching and moaning matches. I'll be the first to buy it. Perhaps I should write it!)
Tonight's win proves to me that Carroll is a very intelligent football coach who gets the most out of everyone. I just thought he was the laid back college coach who enjoyed a good time in So Cal. I always read of him playing golf, goofing off in practice or being great copy to sports writers. 
Something tells me Carroll and his coaching staff saw something in Peyton Manning that they could easily exploit. His defense obviously contained Manning and his weapons. 
The Seattle defense must have gotten in Manning's head literally and figuratively. He played like the Seahawks were going to attack him all day long, and the Seattle defense must have thought what Manning was thinking. It was as if they had the Broncos Playbook. Maybe they figured out what Omaha means. (Slow news day when an audible code name is a major story.)
As the game was going on, I was texting someone (Hi Kimmy!) about how mean the Seahawks were. Their defense, the LOB, Legend Of Boom, are filled with brash loud and foul mouthed bad guys and  bad boys with bad attitudes. But their QB, young Russell Wilson, who is a fine outstanding young man (who briefly played in the Texas Rangers minor league system forgoing bus rides, cheap motels and fast food meals for a chance to be the third string QB in the NFL) and good guy head coach Pete Carroll lead the team to victory. 
But in the end, football historians will look back and say, The Bad Guys won. 

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