Sunday, March 13, 2005

Have we been conditioned to expect Failure?

Feeling a pit in my stomache everytime I read about another team signing a big name free agent, even though they may be over priced or not right for our scheme or organization, made me start to wonder where this feeling might be coming from. The more I thougth about it, this jealousy, or "pigskin envy" could be deeply rooted in the seasonal excercise in futility of being a Seahawks fan.

It's like being the younger Baldwin brothers, seeing the older one get all the choice parts, Kim Bassinger, fancy houses and stuff. I'm sure they just expect to always come in second when compared to big brother Alec.

It seems as Seahawks fans, we're also rapt with this immediate sensation of jealousy as soon as we see any other team do something that we think our team should. Instead of beliving in our own abilities, and concentrating on maximizing our own strenghs, we're constantly measuring ourselves against other teams, which not surprisingly is not providing the good warm feeling that we seek.

* 30 years of mediocrity will do that.
* Countless first round QB picks that fall on their faces will do that.
* Crazy bastard owners who can't pick talented staff and players, and try to move the team to Cally will do that.
* Continual coaching carousels will do that.
* Phatom touchdowns, giving up 17 points in 8 minutes, blowing the biggest MNF lead, more phantom touchdowns, and blowing two critical on-side kicks will do that.
* Having to endure the hollow sympathy of your friends and family, and the scorn and ridicule from football devotees from other teams will do that.

The question is, HOW DO WE TURN IT AROUND?

There's a saying that goes "Insanity is doing the same thing, the same way, over and over again, and expecting different results!" That being said, WHAT is it that we can do differently as a franchise, to elicite diffent results?

I'm not sure what the ultimate answer is, but I hoping that we're on the right track. I think as an organization, we need to ask ourselves "what would the Seahawks do LAST year", and then do the exact opposite thing.

Last year we threw as much money as possible at the biggest free agent names available....and it appears we're trying very hard not to do that again.

Last year we allowed 15 of our STARTERS to reach their free agency year AT THE SAME TIME...hopefully we can structure deals so that this does not happen again.

Last year we got KILLED by the injury hopefully this year guys will pag a little more attention to conditioning.

Last year we lost at least TWO games do to special teams blunders, and kept several inferior teams in games due to long returns.....this year we have a new Special Teams coach who is focused on STs and not trying to use the gig as a stepping stone to a coordinator or head coaching position.

Sorry for the long and winding post, but this is something I've been thinking about for a long time.

And no, I'm not a psychologist.....but I DID stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!

(repurposed content from ST fan forum post)


  1. Interesting post. I think the bigger question however, may be are the players themselves conditioned to expect failure? I think that the answer to both questions is a tentative yes. While I don't believe that ALL the players are guilty of this phenomenon, I am beginning to suspect that a much larger portion of them, then I had previously believed, are in fact expecting failure. The comments of Dilfer and Okeafor seem to lend credence to this belief. As to the question of whether or not the fans are, I can only answer that from a personal standpoint, while I will never give up hope that this could be the year, realism and past failures have in fact conditioned me to sort of, expect the worst. I have adopted a hope for the best expect the worst until proven differently sort of attitude.

    A while back, I posted an article on why Largent's number should never have been uunretired, and how an "awe shucks, I'll take the back seat" mentality has crept throughout this organization. I was reminded of how differently other teams would have responded to a great player at the end of his career being allowed to wear a retired jersey of one of thier beloved stars. Let me just say, that had it been the other way around, had someone gone to San Fran or the Raiders and asked to wear a retired jersey number, he would have been ridiculed mercilessly by the fans, if not laughed out of town for such heresy. But here in Seattle, we have a gentler softer approach, which may be good for politics or on diplomatic missions, but does not translate well to football.

    In my opinion, until the thinking and expectations of this team, from the front office all the way down to the towel boys get's changed into a "we will not take a back seat to anyone" kind of mentality, we will never develop into the winning organization we all so desperately desire.
    I think you hit the nail on the head alba, I think there is a "conditioning" a mental attitude which has attached itself to this organization, an almost unconscious expectation of always coming in second; which MUST be driven form this team in order for us to truly succeed. I hope the signing of Hasselbeck is the first step in that direction, otherwise we are likely to be due for many more years of mediocrity.

  2. That's what I miss most about the Chuck Knox era. That dude was one tough sonuva ****. It was reflected in the team, and especially on the defense and the running game. They didn't take crap from anybody, not even the Super Bowl champion Bears (I still have vivid, fond memories of that day in Soldier Field.)

    I have to admit, I see that toughness in a few of the players, but not all. We have some work to do there. I dont think hiring Bentley helped any, but I hope he proves me wrong.

  3. ironic how Danny Fortson brought a 'dont take crap' attitude to the Sonics, and suddenly they have a chip on their shoulders...and well, you know whats happened this season

    I can barely watch any Seahawk games anymore because the refs have made me so damn paranoid...and im afraid of being hurt...

    i think it was you, Monkey who put the nail in the coffin by saying 'But here in Seattle, we have a gentler softer approach, which may be good for politics or on diplomatic missions, but does not translate well to football. '

    perfect phrase to describe the team...the fans are starting to take an attitude though (i remember in the playoff game with the Rams, the fans were chanting "bullshit", and several times booed our players over the season)...hopefully that will rub off...the Storm opened some eyes, the Sonics dont want to be outdone and have a chip on their shoulders...

    i dont even care if they got arrogant and wanted to outdo everyone on the team...having a little competition between 2 LBs makes them play harder...which can only help us, barring a confrontation (lettin the competition go too far)

    the worst part about this is that we have to suffer watching them, knowing we cant do a damn thing...

    Hasselbeck, Brown, and Wistrom are the only players on the team that I know legitamtely HATE to lose...

    and let me tell you what...I hate to lose, too.

  4. Have we been conditioned to expect failure......Well some of you have, not all of us have your' defeatist attitude, in fact there are more of we optimists than you pessimists.

    You're grading of the FO is an excellent example, because the guys you want don't get signed and the FO isn't grabbing the first guy that hits the market, and we haven't filled all teh vacancies in teh first week, you think they're doing a poor job.

    I on the other hand applaud them for not going into panic mode and just start signing the first guys available, they're waiting for the 'right' guys for the job.

    Which is why I gave them an A, they got the big three taken care of, they released guys that aren't helping the team or that they don't want to overpay.

    As I said, I think they're doing a bang-up job.

  5. Dammit Blue! I did it again!

    Assumed 'you' wrote the post, Sorry big guy.

    Alba, shame on you! I thought for sure that you of all people had gotten over those negative expectations.

    And monkey, on the #80 thing, get over it!

    Rice was/is the greatest WR to play the game. So layoff the old guy. He's got more talent and heart than 90% of teh players on teh Hawks team! And I hated the Niners, but I had to admit that Rice was the man for years, how many other WRS will 'ever' play as many seasons as he has? Or work as hard to be that good? And by the way, wouldn't you say that the attitude 'has' changed here? Starting with the FO.

  6. Vinny - re-read the post. It's not pessimistic, it's an observation of a general psyche surrounding the organization, which hopefully has just begun getting exorcized.

    Case in point: "the Storm opened some eyes...." when your football team has to take a page from your WNBA team to "get tough", you gotta admit, there may be a problem!

    And the #80 thing DID suck.

    Can you imagine if the Giants traded for Ray Lewis and he decided he wanted to wear #56? Or if the Bears traded for Shaun and he wanted to wear #34?

    Granted, Largent offering his permission didn't help it any, but the point is that within any other organization with some HISTORY and some TRADITION, the request never even gets made.

  7. I have NOT, repeat NOT, been conditioned to expect failure.

    For instance, this year, I expect Bill Gates to adopt me, Amy Miller to fall madly in love with me, and the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl.

    Anything less is unacceptable.

  8. Alba, the one difference in the #s thing and your' examples is that while they are both great players, they are not NFL legends, Rice is.

    Alaexander is not even close to being the greatest HB to play football, and Lewis, well let's wait and see if he plays half the number of seasons Rice has.

    And in a way the Hawks WERE respecting NFL History by offering one of the NFL's greatest WRs his nuber while he was here.

    And Blue, I hope all those things come true dude, and if they do, please send money. :-)

  9. Caution to anyone else who like myself may not know who Amy Miller is....DON'T CLICK ON THE LINK AT WORK!!!

    I've got to go now, it's lunch time and I'm getting a double-breast chicken sandwich and a cold shower!

  10. And Viranda -

    You made my point for me. We need to become the RESPECTED, not the RESPECTER.

    You think if Rice went to Washington, they would giving him Art Monk's number? Would San Diego give up Kellen Winslow's number?

    Largent may not be an NFL Legend, but he's a SEAHAWKS legend, and the best we got in the whole legend department.

    It's the "chip on the shoulder" versus the "polite concensus" attitude thing, case in point.

  11. Sorry guys but we're just not going to agree on this one, Rice is an NFL legend and Largent was simply a Hawks legend, and me being an NFL fan first, I have to go with the guy that's considered bigger than life in the Sporting world, not just as far as Football goes but in the entire SPORTS WORLD.

    Largent didn't sweat it, the teammmates didn't sweat it, and if as many people were opposed to it as you imply hwere was the public outcry? I saw two articles and probably 10 bloggers showing outrage.

    So I'm thinking you're makinga mountain out of a molehill in the scheme of things.

    Don't forget, almost every player on the Hawks team was lined up to get the guys autograph.

    Apparently the only feathers ruffled were yours'

  12. Amy has nice...


    I still prefer Christy Hemme...(if you dont know who she wrestling tonight)...or buy the new playboy

  13. Vinny, you (as usual) don't get it. First, I wasn't bringing up the #80 thing to harp about it again, but to illustrate a point about attitude.
    Second, I will not lay off it, it is a symptom of a problem which needs to be fixed no matter how much koolaid you drink.
    Third, You couldn't be mor ewrong than to say that Largent was just a Seattle star. WTF? You really must be stoned to say something that ludicrous. Largent, by the time he retired, held EVERY SINGLE MAJOR NFL RECIEVING RECORD THERE WAS! He was not only an NFL star, he was at the time of retirement the greatest of ALL TIME.

    You have no respect for Seahawks history because you grew up a Packer fan. You love the Seahawks because you love Mike Holmgren. Your opinions on Largent mean nothing to me, you don't know, you weren't there watching this team, seeing what he meant to this organization. I would appreciate it in the future, if you want to make stupid remarks about Seattle players, you stick with your ludicrous statements about Alexander, DON'T mess with Largent! You have no idea what you're talking about!

  14. Boyz,

    You finally have hit the nail on the head! The hawks (note small "h"), must have an image and consistency that makes players want to play here. Until you have consistent ownership, H.O., and coaching it will not happen. Miami is the place everyone wants to play because they are stable. Oakland has fostered a similar environment albeit in a different manner. Green Bay, Denver are two other teams that have made the playoffs more in the last five years than the hawks, Cards, Bengals or Lions have in the last twenty. The Pigeons allowed a Rice to take over an icon for 8 games. Who is in charge here? The biggest blessing that Seattle fans have is that Allen is a great owner. We all will have to wait until he hires a good coaching staff to take it further.

  15. Wow.

    I don't know where to start. Usually posts that stupid have some sort of humor to them, and they become either satirical or sarcastic in nature. I detect neither here. It is straight shooting stupid. You are either intellectually dishonest of a complete moron.

    If I were not a beleiver in free speech, I would delete that post because you make us all look stupid by association.

    I would ask you to please elaborate more about how, "Miami is the place everyone wants to play because they are stable," But you never respond to people that question your takes because you know you are cereberally outmatched.

    BTW: If you want people to think you are gay, keep addressing us as "boyz".

  16. Blue I thought you were talking about me for a minute

    I cant help it if i forget to avoid stretching the margins! i swear!