Monday, December 27, 2004

Seahawks In The Playoffs... phew! 

Yesterday, my wife gave me a wonderful Christmas present. No, not that, get your mind back on sports! She allowed me to get away from the Christmas toy heap of three children, and actually watch an entire football game at a nearby sports bar.

I quickly found the one other Seahawk fan in Austin, Texas, and by the end of the first quarter we were commiserating over how bad (scared?) Trent Dilfer looked, and how the Seahawks were going to ruin my good mood by laying a huge egg again, and missing the playoffs entirely.

A field position battle was favoring the Cardinals, and Anquan Boldin was unstoppable and it was quickly 7-0 Cardinals, as the Seahawks offense countered with drives of 3, 3, and, uh 3 plays. But though the defense bent a bit under a wave of Anquan, they did not break. A second Cardinal score is stopped by a fantastic jump ball interception by Ken Lucas. And just before the quarter ends, what's this? A first down!

The "drive" sputtered, but the Seahawks now had complete control :-) And the Hawks got the break they needed when Bobby Engram returned a punt 50 yards to the Seahawks 20. A few plays later, Shaun Alexander burst across the goal line. A second later, the ball burst across as well, and Shaun pounced back on it in the endzone to tie the game up at 7. Phew!

A late field goal gave the Seahawks the lead heading into the locker room, and they came out fired up and dominated the third quarter to take a 24-7 lead into the fourth.

And the state of the Seahawks is such that Seth and I immediately start anticipating the Seahawks demise. Seth predicts two deep TD passes around a defensive stop, followed by an onside kick and an Emmitt Smith run to beat us 28-24.

Sure enough, it started to unfold. A deep TD pass followed by an interception had visions of another Seahawk collapse in my head. A sack followed by a missed field goal gave me hope of that we could finish this one easily. But then, the Cardinals scored again with two and a half minutes to play and we were only up 24-21.

At this point, I knew something had to be done. The Cardinals still had two time outs, but surely they realized that an onside kick was a sure thing for them. Everyone at the game knew it. We were going to blow this game unless *I* did something. I thought hard. There was a time when the Seahawks were good and finished off teams. This was sometime in the '80s. What did I do back in the 80's? I know, I wasn't married! I quickly took off my wedding ring and put it on my key chain, vowing not to wear it during any more Seahawk games.

Somehow, Denny Green got the message. The Cardinals kicked off, thinking they would just stop the Seahawks, and forgetting the great running ability of our own Michael Vick, ahem, Trent Dilfer. The game was ours, and a new ritual was born. The Seahawks are going to win the Super Bowl, and my soon-to-be-tanned ring finger is going to help.

Of course, this plan nearly died a quick death when Mrs. Optimist discovered my wedding ring on my key chain when I got home. But Mrs. Optimist is nothing if not understand of her hubbys insanity in thinking he can somehow affect the outcome of a football game played 3000 miles away. The law was laid down, I only get to take the ring off DURING games.

So, I'm doing my part, and when Shaun Alexander hoists the Lombardi Trophy over his head, you can send me (and Mrs. Optimist) a thank you note.

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