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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Super Bowl (of Pot!)

Posted by on Sun, Jan 19, 2014 at 9:18 PM

In a huge win for local hipsters who love to look down on anybody who roots for a professional sports team (outside of soccer or roller derby), the Seattle Seahawks are Super Bowl bound, thanks to their 23-17 come-from-behind victory over the San Francisco 49ers in today's NFC Championship game! So thank you, Seahawks, for fueling the next two weeks of condescending comments from Slog's bumptious, sports-hating readers. Hooray!

As for the few actual sports fans here on Slog, a couple observations. First, the officiating in today's game sucked, often to the Seahawks' advantage. Okay, perhaps I was secretly rooting for the 49ers a bit, if only for the sake of a little schadenfreudian payback to some ex-in-laws who insist on taunting me every time my beloved Philadelphia Eagles disappoint. But my lack of emotional attachment to Seattle sports teams leaves me with a bit more objectivity than a local homer, and objectively, the Seahawks benefited from a few breaks they didn't deserve (like that 5-yard running into the kicker penalty that should have been a 15-yard roughing the kicker that would have kept the 49ers' drive alive).

Yeah, breaks like this tend to balance out in the end. Which is why the Seahawks better up their game if they want to have a fighting chance against a rejuvenated Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Today's effort was good enough to get to the Super Bowl. I doubt it would be good enough to win it.

Second, for the first time in National Football League history, the Super Bowl will be played by teams hailing from states that have legalized the sale of recreational marijuana! That really has nothing to do with football, but it's kinda neat.

Third, see all that commerce going on thanks to Seahawk fever, not to mention all the civic pride and wellbeing? Well, professional basketball and ice hockey teams would double our opportunity to enjoy (and profit from) a championship. If only we had a new arena....

Anyway, enjoy the next two weeks, Seahawks fans. As a lifelong Eagles fan, my advice to you is to try not to think about the fact that birds don't win Super Bowls, and do try to prepare for disappointment: it won't make winning any less sweet, but it will make losing a little less painful. As might recreational pot.


Comments (42) RSS

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Thanks, Goldy! Football is indeed a pointless pastime, but so are many diversions. It is drama without a script, in a shared civic arena. It is fun. Go with it, people. It's the Smoka Bowl!
Posted by DawginExile on January 19, 2014 at 9:25 PM · Report this
Posted by Johnston on January 19, 2014 at 9:28 PM · Report this
Well, it's a lot easier to walk into a retail storefront and buy recreational pot in Colorado than it is here in Washington thus far, but I get your point.

But, alas, pot is still on the NFL's list of banned substances.
Posted by ChefJoe on January 19, 2014 at 9:36 PM · Report this
That was not roughing the kicker.

Seahawks 27
Broncos 13
Posted by DOUG. on January 19, 2014 at 9:41 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 5
@3: that always struck me as weird. Pot isn't a performance enhancing drug, it's a performance and motivation-sapping drug. If you win a sports championship as a regular stoner, they should give you extra credit or something.
Posted by Doctor Memory on January 19, 2014 at 9:42 PM · Report this
I dunno, pain killer ?

But, considering all the tax exemptions the NFL avails itself of, complying with federal laws and their policies is probably a good idea.

Heck, since the late 90s you can't even get financial aid for college if you have a drug conviction on your record (like pot). God help some stoner if they try to turn their life around and get more educated.
Posted by ChefJoe on January 19, 2014 at 9:49 PM · Report this
cressona 7
Goldy: First, the officiating in today's game sucked, often to the Seahawks' advantage.

After Navarro Bowman's uncalled fumble recovery, I got to thinking this game must be karmic payback to Seahawks fans for Super Bowl XL. I was actually relieved the Seahawks lost the ball on the ensuing 4th and 1, just so they couldn't be accused of winning the game on questionable grounds (not that bad officiating is the team's fault; see Steelers, SB XL.)

I'm curious to see the diagnosis of that gruesome leg injury Bowman suffered on that play.

And yes, DOUG. @4. it seems lame to call it that, but it was roughing the kicker.

Looking forward to the Mile High Bowl
Posted by cressona on January 19, 2014 at 10:11 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 8
the kicker kicked the dude laying on the ground. but you're right, the refs helped.

@7: torn ACL, typically.
Posted by Max Solomon on January 19, 2014 at 10:38 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 9
These are valid points, but Denver doesn't have nearly the caliber of defense that S.F. or even New Orleans has. It will be good to face a statistically below average defense for a change after having to face a string of top ten defenses at the end of the season. Also, I know it was only preseason, but in August it was Seattle over Denver 41-7. And the forecast, cold with a mix of rain and snow, favors the type of game the Seahawks like to play. Oh, and we'll have Percy Harvin back for that game too. Go Hawks!
Posted by Gern Blanston on January 19, 2014 at 10:46 PM · Report this
WA voters have never voted for charter schools, oh wait.
Posted by Seattle14 on January 19, 2014 at 10:54 PM · Report this
delirian 11
Commerce? Are you talking about how the working class would pay taxes to build a stadium for millionaires to play in and get money from? Yeah, commerce. Might as well build casinos, they have about as much of a commerce benefit. Both are designed to transfer money from the poor to the rich, but at least casinos are more honest about it.
Posted by delirian on January 19, 2014 at 11:01 PM · Report this
Spoiled Patriots fan just wanting some more Manning face. Give me Manning face, Seahawks. And taunting. Lots of taunting. I drink the tears of the "guardians of the game". Drink 'em up.
Posted by Joel_are on January 19, 2014 at 11:06 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 13
@ 4, have the Seahawks scored 27 points against anyone this season? It ain't gonna happen in two weeks.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 19, 2014 at 11:16 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 14
@ 9, two points. One, Denver's defense has played stoutly lately. San Diego was on a roll coming into Denver last week, but came up short against the Broncos defense. And they played even better against Tom Brady today, one of the all time greats.

Which leads us to our second point, which is Seattle's weak offense. Goldy rightly points out that efforts like today's won't play. Wilson's terrible ball handling led to multiple fumbles. Tom Brady he ain't. Denver won't need a top defense to keep him contained.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 19, 2014 at 11:30 PM · Report this
DOUG. 15
@13: Uh, yeah, nine times. And against much better defenses than the rodeo clowns playing for the Broncos!
Posted by DOUG. on January 19, 2014 at 11:37 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 16
@ 15, keep telling yourself that. I'm sure the Seahawks won't take them that lightly, given what I said @14.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 19, 2014 at 11:41 PM · Report this
also more penalties called on the hawks
Posted by Seattle14 on January 19, 2014 at 11:43 PM · Report this
Peyton Manning does so well in the elements, and don't underestimate the Hawks D.
Posted by Seattle14 on January 19, 2014 at 11:45 PM · Report this
seatackled 19
The guy they had who knows the rules says it was roughing the kicker. If the guy had made contact with the kicking foot, it should have been what was called, but he made contact with the plant foot, so it should have been roughing the kicker, with a 15-yard penalty.
Posted by seatackled on January 20, 2014 at 12:01 AM · Report this
Geocrackr 20
I got your "commerce" right here. Thanks for perpetuating the Big Lie, Goldy.
Posted by Geocrackr on January 20, 2014 at 12:08 AM · Report this
Puty 21
Are there any peer-reviewed studies on the "birds don't win Superbowls" theory? Links?
Posted by Puty on January 20, 2014 at 12:10 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 22
@15: Nine times. Hoo boy, I'm impressed. Meanwhile, Denver has scored that many points 16 times this season so far.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on January 20, 2014 at 12:58 AM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 23
I've watched hundreds of football games, for over three decades now. I've seen bad calls set the tone of a game. This did not happen here. The penalty on the punt is the *only* penalty that had any great impact, and it was far overshadowed by the (legal) play of both teams. It was a closely matched game by two very similar teams. It came down to a single play at the end, which I predicted would happen. The team that made that play won. The team that didn't went home. End of story.

If you complain that the game was decided by the refs, you're loudly declaring you don't understand the dynamics of the game.

Finally, the Seahawks offense played a decent game against one of the best defenses in the league. Denver does not have a good defense. The SB will not be anything like the games the Seahawks have played in the past two weeks, as Denver plays a very different style than most NFC teams. Also, it will be played at sea level, which will change Denver's offense. This won't be a blow-out by either team. I look forward to a good, close Super Bowl that may be decided on a last minute FG.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on January 20, 2014 at 4:56 AM · Report this
passionate_jus 24

Marijuana is not a performance and motivation-sapping drug as you (and the DEA) claim.

As with all substances it effects different people differently. Which is why the "Drug War" will never be effective -- it always classifies drugs as having the same effects on every single person on the planet, a blatant lie.

When I smoke marijuana, for instance, I'm usually motivated to go somewhere, usually taking a long hike. And if I'm home it usually motivates me to do something like clean my house really meticulously. Smoking weed and doing a bunch of dishes is actually really enjoyable.

But again that's just me.
Posted by passionate_jus on January 20, 2014 at 5:19 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 25
It was roughing the kicker, as plain as day. If the player runs into the kicking foot, it is "running into the kicker," if the player runs into the planting foot, it is "roughing the kicker." Check the NFL rulebook online.

Denver's offense will be their best defense. They need long extended drives to keep Seattle's offense off the field.

There were blown calls, and they all seemed to favor Seattle, but they way the game ended up, I can not really say it was "decided" by the officials. Had Seattle scored on that ridiculous fumble call on the one yard line, maybe, but since they did not...

One could argue that the roughing the kicker call could have resulted in a 10 or 6 point swing (which would have been game deciding), but that assumes the Niners could have driven down the field about 40 or 70 yards to score. One can not assume they would have done so.

Bad officiating has been a huge problem this year, and in my 20+ years of watching NFL games, I have never seen it this bad, but Seattle earned this win.

Damn, I love it when Slog talks about football. I have no real love for the Seahawks, but if them being good means more football threads, I am all about it.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on January 20, 2014 at 6:21 AM · Report this
Obligatory non-local NFL franchise fan post stating distate for local team.
Posted by ultrasuedecushion on January 20, 2014 at 6:25 AM · Report this
One does not simply cough up the ball three times in a half and then blame the loss on officiating.
Posted by jeffinfremont on January 20, 2014 at 6:32 AM · Report this
"see all that commerce going on thanks to Seahawk fever, not to mention all the civic pride and wellbeing? Well, professional basketball and ice hockey teams would double our opportunity to enjoy (and profit from) a championship. If only we had a new arena...."

All that commerce is 'disposable income' that would be spent in the local economy anyway - without taxpayers footing the bill for a privately-held billionaires hobby.

How many valid academic studies need to be done to demonstrate that publicly-funded sports stadiums yield no economic benefit to the general public?
Posted by SuperSteve on January 20, 2014 at 6:41 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 29
Everyone's helpful football facts for today:

LB= Linebacker
DE= Defensive End

Seattle's base defensive scheme is a 4-3 under, which means that the front four "shades" (lines up in the gaps, not right across from the O line players) the strong side, and the SAM linebacker stands on the line of scrimmage. They always put the LEO (Linebacker or End, hence "LE") linebacker on the weakside in contain, where he can either play as a stand-up linebacker or a down defensive end.

The LEO is typically Clemons, and is best used for guys who are "tweeners:" too small to be a DE, a bit too big to be a cover LB. Carrol uses this type of player so the he can get a good pass-rusher on the field all three downs, not just in passing situations.

It is hard to run to the weak side in this formation, but typically leaves the defense vulnerable to strong side runs, which is why Carrol puts a guy there like Red Bryant who is built as a 3-4 DE, even though they are in a 4-3.

Now, the middle linebacker (MLB) is called the "MIKE," the outside linebacker(s) (OLB) is called the "BUCK," the strongside linebacker (SLB) is called the "SAM" (or striker), and the weakside linebacker (WLB) is the "WILL," or "bandit."

The MIKE is the QB of the defense, calling coverages and the like, the BUCK is responsible for outside containment (Seattle usually does not have a BUCK on the field, instead having a LEO), the SAM typically lines up on the tight end and often blitzes, and the WILL is typically speedy and often drops into pass coverage, and often has to run sideline to sideline in backside coverage.

Basic alignment:…
Posted by Theodore Gorath on January 20, 2014 at 7:14 AM · Report this
seatackled 30
So what about Kaepernick? He's incredibly talented, but is he one of those magical quarterbacks, like Montana or Aikman or Brady? Or is he kind of like the Dallas quarterback--fantastic until the game is actually on the line in the final minutes when he won't be able to make that game-winning play?
Posted by seatackled on January 20, 2014 at 7:25 AM · Report this
the kicker foul was the right call. Maybe not technically right, but it wasn't intentional and not the kind of play that deserved a game-changing penalty. It was a good application of 'spirit of the law' by the ref.
Posted by sanotehu on January 20, 2014 at 7:50 AM · Report this
DOUG. 32
@22: Yep, and they haven't played the Seahawks.

By the way, for the Niners fans bitching about the refs favoring Seattle: remember the extra play SF got before the two-minute warning. Had they scored, that would have been a huge controversy.
Posted by DOUG. on January 20, 2014 at 8:24 AM · Report this
mkyorai 33
Hey, Goldy? Last year the Baltimore Ravens (last I checked, a raven is a bird) won the Super Bowl. (For the second time, actually; they also won in 2000).
Posted by mkyorai on January 20, 2014 at 8:27 AM · Report this
Pretty sure Goldy just wants more press passes to see some more sports events... you know, before he hits mandatory retirement age.
Posted by ChefJoe on January 20, 2014 at 8:44 AM · Report this
The Seahawks don't have to up their game to play Denver. San Francisco was actually a tougher matchup. San Francisco has Crabtree, Davis and Boldin with the threat that either Gore or Kaepernick could run. Denver has Decker, Thomas and Welker, but without any threat that Manning will run (I think his head falls off if he reaches a speed of more than 5mph - medical fact). We have four extremely skilled pass rushers plus the best secondary in football. The only problem the Seahawks face is its offensive line and the weird confusion that causes Russell Wilson (there were several broken plays above and beyond the more noticeable fumbles) and - somewhat perversely - the potential effect of having Percy Harvin back as a security blanket that will cause Wilson to forget his other receivers (as he did against the Saints until Harvin got knocked out of the game).

I don't think the offensive struggles will matter, though - I think the Seahawks D will be too much, even for Peyton Frickin' Manning (for whom I'd otherwise be rooting).
Posted by Centrists Rule the World today on January 20, 2014 at 8:47 AM · Report this
Posted by anon1256 on January 20, 2014 at 9:04 AM · Report this
This whole "teams named after birds don't win the Super Bowl" thing is stupid. The Baltimore Ravens' name may have been inspired by a poem, but they're named after a bird, not the poem. How do I know? They're not "the Baltimore The Raven" or even "the Baltimore The Ravens" (it'd be funny if they were and if NFL announcers and meathead fans insisted on correcting anyone who didn't use the proper title of the poem). They're simply the Baltimore Ravens, and they've won the Super Bowl...twice! Go Hawks!
Posted by Centrists Rule the World today on January 20, 2014 at 9:21 AM · Report this
Big Matt G 38
@35) Bite your tongue, twice! I've been fearful that we'll be seeing Mr. Manning's head pop off on live TV ever since he came back to the game!

As another Denver fan, I'm thrilled that we'ere still in the game at this point of the season. I'd even be okay with a hard fought loss. I just don't want to get blown out.

You Seattle fans can rest easy that your defense as well as Messrs. Wilson and Lynch has put the fear of God into this particular Broncos fan, at least.

May the better team win! Go Broncos!!!
Posted by Big Matt G on January 20, 2014 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Big Matt G 39
By the way, I love, love, loved Dan's twitter coverage of the game. I hope he also covers the Smoka Bowl as well.
Posted by Big Matt G on January 20, 2014 at 10:58 AM · Report this
@39: I loved the bit where Ken Jennings got his phone. That guy is pretty cool.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on January 20, 2014 at 12:15 PM · Report this
Big Matt G 41
@40) Word.
Posted by Big Matt G on January 20, 2014 at 12:38 PM · Report this
venomlash 42
Here's wishing NaVorro Bowman a quick recovery. OUCH.
Posted by venomlash on January 20, 2014 at 1:40 PM · Report this

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