Monday, December 04, 2006

Potential is Worthless

Dave Boling hits the nail on the head with his latest article, capturing the essence of the Seahawks and their seemingly great potential but perplexing performance. Here's a tidbit:
"How bad was the offense? Well into the third period, defensive end Darryl Tapp had more “receiving” yards than receiver Darrell Jackson, having returned an interception 25 yards. And linebacker Julian Peterson had more “rushing” yards than Shaun Alexander for most of the game, having recovered a fumble and run 25 yards with it."

On thing about this time of year, though - many teams that have spent the first half of the season "playing up to their potential" are beginning to stagger and burn out. Many are beginning to languish from a growing list of key injuries. But some teams, like the Seahawks, are moving ahead late in the season with key players intact, and are positioning themselves for a fine late season run, the fabled "peaking at the right time."

Is that where the Seahawks are right now? It's tough to tell. They haven't put together a solid 4 quarters of football yet this season. For a half, maybe. But there have been too many injuries to key players to build any cohesion or momentum. Every win has been a scrappy dogfight, rather than an excercise of greatness.

But 'potential' is one of those crappy words I hate. Similar to modern use of the word 'closure', the application is vague and leaves the user and listener with a false and contrived understanding of the reality of the situation. A player or a team may appear to have great potential, because of previous moments of luminous performance, followed by an abysmal ability to sustain it.

But the reality is that either a player or team is great because they do great things, or they are not because they don't. 'Potential' is an abstraction that all contenders possess. Who cares if your team has it? I'd rather have the Lombardi trophy. You can keep your potential. The championship belongs to the team that does what it takes to win.

Which is what the Seahawks are doing.

Here's to ramping it up against the 'Tards and Sixty-Niners the next two weeks. Boling is right-- this playoff engine needs some tuning if we're gonna drive this bus all the way to Miami.

What do you think? Are the Seahawks about to hit their stride?

(to comment, click the green number to the right of the title above)


  1. A game against the Cardinals hopefully will be the cure for what ails them.

  2. Great post Bloof. I agree 100%. Describing a team as "having potential" is like describing a woman as "having a nice personality." In both cases you're trying to mask the fact that they're butt-ugly!

    I also agree that this team is about ready to trasfer that potential energy into kenetic energy, and this weekend is the perfect opportunity to start.

    This game with the Cards is the classic "trap game" from a Seahawks perspective, but from the Cardinal perspective, they're a team coming off an emotional win against a divisional opponent, so hopefully there's a let down (as if it's possible for the Cardinals to let down any lower!)

    Holms needs to take the training wheels off the offense and Marshall needs to put the Viagra back into the defense.

    How ironic is it that our Special Teams has been the most consistent unit so far this year??!! They can keep doing what they've been doing, although it'll be interesting to see what the effects of losing Scobey will be? :-(