Note: I haven’t been commenting much on the Seattle Seahawks so far this season. With the year ending injuries to key defensive stars Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, plus the problems with the offensive line and the running game, I have been, more or less, in “wait and see” mode as regards this […]Read the Rest →
Author’s Note: With this announcement I am proud to release my latest book, “Why Not Us?” A Chronology of the Seattle Seahawks’ First Ever Super Bowl Championship Season. As many of you know I have been publishing weekly accounts of the Seahawks’ games as they progressed through this memorable and historic season. I thought it would be fun to release all of these accounts, plus some additional information, in one book that chronicles the whole season, from the first game in Carolina to the Super Bowl triumph over Denver. So, that is what I did. As you will see when you read this, like many of you I love football, and what the Seahawks did this season took us all on one very special ride. In this article I am giving you an introduction to the book, which is available now on Amazon.com. You can purchase by just clicking the ad to the right of this article. Now, here is the introduction to “Why Not Us?” A Chronology of the Seattle Seahawks’ First Super Bowl Championship Season. I hope you enjoy it! MA
As Russell Wilson tells it, when the Seattle Seahawks lost to the Atlanta Falcons in heartbreaking fashion in the divisional round of the playoffs following the 2012 season, before he’d even walked off the field he was already excited about the Seahawks chances in 2013. All of us “twelves” who had thrilled to the exploits of Wilson and the Hawks down the stretch of that 11-5 season were excited as well. In Wilson it seemed Seattle had found that rarest of NFL commodities—a franchise quarterback; ironic since he defied the NFL 6’4” quarterback prototype by not quite reaching 5’11”. Height notwithstanding, there simply was no denying what Wilson could do on a football field. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll saw this instantly when he turned Wilson loose in open competition against high priced free agent quarterback Matt Flynn in the 2012 pre-season. Wilson won the starting quarterback job outright and he and Carroll never looked back. In addition, by the end of the 2012 season it was obvious that the Seahawks were developing a first rate defense. They had budding stars in Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor who comprised what was now being called the “Legion of Boom” defensive backfield
In the 2013 off season Hawks GM John Schneider raised the Seattle optimism level by acquiring two more seasoned pass rushers for the defensive line: free agents Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. With “Beast Mode” running back Marshawn Lynch also still in the fold, as the 2013 season approached it wasn’t just Russell Wilson and the “twelves” who were bullish on the Seahawks chances, many national pundits considered them Super Bowl contenders as well. For Seattle the upcoming 2013 season looked to be one of high promise.
Despite the optimism surrounding the Seahawks, as a veteran football fan of 55 years now, and a Seahawks fan since their inception, I know that talk is cheap. Promise is one thing—actually doing it is another. Injuries, the efforts of the opposing teams, and even the foolhardiness of a team’s own players in doing things they shouldn’t, can devastate a season. Understanding this, my enthusiasm was tempered by all that I had seen happen so often in the past. I desperately wanted the Hawks to go to the Super Bowl—but I had to be real.
And then, right before the season started, a friend gave me a copy of Pete Carroll’s book on his philosophy of coaching and life—and I read it. The book, as well as Carroll’s philosophy, is called “Win Forever”, and upon reading it I lost my reservations about the Seahawks going to the Super Bowl. From that point on as a fan I was “all in”. When you read Carroll’s book you can’t help but be struck by the positiveness of the man—indeed, one of his mantras, instilled in him very early on by his mother, is that no matter how bad or dire the present circumstance is, something good is just about to happen. In his book Carroll lays out his philosophy AND the methodology he uses as a coach based on that philosophy.
Upon comparing what I had read to what I saw happen with the Seahawks in 2012, I could see that what Carroll was doing was working. The players in their interviews with the press were espousing Carroll’s principles and they played with a confidence and a verve that were a direct result of his methods. I won’t go into detail here about Carroll’s philosophy because I devote the whole first chapter of this book to it. What becomes clear when you study it, however, is that what we were witnessing in Seattle was no accident, but was the direct result of a very conscious plan, strategy and method implemented by a man, Pete Carroll, who knew what he was doing.
After reading Carroll’s book I had a really good feeling about the Seahawks and the 2013 NFL season. Call it a premonition, but I kind of knew this would be the year they would go to and win their first Super Bowl. Having this awareness at the outset of the season, I realized I had an opportunity. Why not create a week by week chronology of the season as it progressed, documenting the team’s exploits as they advanced through the campaign to the Big Game? I am also a blogger and I thought it would be cool to publish my reports, both as the season went along as a blog, and after it was over as a book. So that is what I did, and that is what you have in this book.
With the Seahawks actually getting to and winning the Super Bowl over Denver in dominating fashion, my premonition at the season’s start has become a fact. I have seen a number of publications issue chronologies written after the fact and in retrospect of the Seahawks season. Not so this book. It was written week by week, usually with a preview of that week’s game written before it was played followed by a review of the game written after it was played. In these articles, if you are a Seahawks fan, you will sense the raw emotion and passion derived from 37 years of frustration combined with the very real understanding that, indeed, this really could be our year. If you are not a Hawks fan specifically, but a football fan in general, it is my hope that you will just enjoy reading about the game we all love and that you gain a sense of the excitement of the Seahawks’ brilliant run to the Super Bowl.
As to the title of the book, if you saw the Super Bowl post game interviews with Russell Wilson you heard him refer to a meeting he had with his Seahawks teammates before the season started in which he told them about how his father would speak to him with regard to his dreams. As an encouragement to his son that one day he could reach his goals, Wilson’s father used to tell him, “Why not you, Russell? Why not you?” In speaking to his teammates of their shared goal of getting to and winning the Super Bowl Wilson told them essentially the same thing: “Why not us?”
While Wilson was applying his statement primarily to himself and his team when he said it, I chose “Why Not Us?” as the title for this book because his words also perfectly apply to the dedicated Hawks fans who have endured 37 years of futility prior to this season. When Wilson made that statement to his teammates it was as if he was saying it to every loyal fan that had lived and died with the fates of their team for more than a generation. Moreover, of all of the NFL’s franchises, the bond between Seahawks fans and their team is as pronounced as any, and more than most, a fact recognized by the “twelfth man” moniker the Seattle fans are known by. Rituals such as raising the “twelfth man” flag before every home game attest to this connection, and so the use of Wilson’s words for the book’s title seemed entirely appropriate.
Lastly, I must confess that in chronicling this season I missed reporting on two games, week 1 against the Carolina Panthers and week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. To fill the void of these games in the text I have included brief summaries of each and these were written after the season was over. Every other article was written as I have stated above, just before and/or after the game was actually played.
In the NFL’s 2013/2014 season the Seattle Seahawks for the first time ever made it to the Super Bowl and won it. For at least this brief breath in history they are the best football team in the world. Here is my account of how they got there: “Why Not Us?”
It has been a blast writing it for you!
Copyright © 2014
By Mark Arnold
All Rights Reserved
 Collectively Seattle Seahawks fans are called “The Twelfth Man”, there being eleven players on the field at a time. Hawks fans are given the honor of being the “twelfth” man because of the impact they have on a game with their cheering, which they have become famous for. The term “twelve” refers to an individual Seahawks fan.