It’s a rather fascinating experience to be a Seahawks fan right now, sitting on the other side of a truly bad call for once. And I mean and let me make this absolutely and totally unambiguously clear: a really, truly awful and bad call. The kind that even the most devout among us can’t pretend was the proper call, or the proper way to end a football game. (And for those of us who have been watching the Seahawks long enough, trust me, we should know. Keep in mind, though, that the Testeverde Ghost Touchdown in 1998 cost us a spot in the playoffs; this call might have been just as awful—and, no doubt, far more visible due to it being a nationally televised Monday night game—but it’s not like the game itself had any real importance, which I think is important to keep in mind as everybody falls all over themselves today like the NFL has “lost the integrity of the shield” and/or jumped the shark etc etc. We all know the Packers will make the playoffs and the outcome of this Week 3 game won’t end up costing them anything but a big huge bucket of frustration.)
But and so I think it becomes important to look at the reaction to the reaction and the sports world’s need to make sense of it and burn the replacement refs at the stake and find somebody to hate (which they seem to be settling on Roger Goddell for now and that’s probably where the blame should properly lie, so at least they’re getting that right). But and also to remember that blown calls are a part of sports, even in the modern, instant-replay era we now find ourselves in. They are very much an integral part of the fabric that makes sports so exciting to those of us who find them to be so; it’s the human element, the unpredictable nature of any given sunday. And though many of you non-Seattle people are already no doubt growing tired of hearing all over again about how we got entirely screwed over in a Super Bowl from seven years ago (from, ahem, official officials, no less) by means of justifying why we are taking an odd sort of pride and/or restitution in last night’s outcome, it still remains true that we do in fact know this pain, and in a way that any Packers fan really has no idea about. Because there is this: any Seahawks fan would happily switch places with you and lose last night’s game on a bad call in exchange for being the team that won the Super Bowl two years ago and went 15-1 last year. Or has even just been in—not to mention won—many Super Bowls. We have nothing here, ok? And the once chance in franchise history that we made it to the big game, we got beaten, not by the other team, but by the officials. So, we get it.
It will be interesting to see what happens next, though I’m already tired of hearing about it (and please let’s not pretend that fans will actually start “turning away from the NFL” because of the ineptitude of the refs; there is no possible way that happens, at least not in America today. Football is an unstoppable engine at this point, and you and I both know they could put five year old referees out there and still not lose a single serious viewer). One hopes that the Seahawks don’t make the playoffs by one game, because then it’s all we’ll be hearing about come January, no matter how good they play from here on out. And let’s also make this clear: they played good football last night, the kind of football that beats most teams most nights (if not, perhaps, the Packers and then only because Aaron Rodgers is freakishly good and able to MVP the Packers downfield). All of which will be forgotten in the debacle that was the final play of the game. This stupid thing (that they, themselves, had nothing to do with, other than being the unbelievably lucky recipients of) will follow them throughout the entire 2012 season, marring or asterisk-ing what otherwise looks to be a very promising season, and that’s just a damn shame.
So, yeah, it’s odd and fascinating and frustrating and weird to be a Seahawks fan right now.