Source – We knew Kam Chancellor was probably done playing football, given that he missed the entire 2018 season due to injury, and we had a good idea that Doug Baldwin might be finished as well. … [T]his felt like the final piece of page-turning as Seattle looks away from its Super Bowl team and to its future. Yes, Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright are still there. But the rest hardly resembles the team that reeled off consecutive conference titles and a world championship.
Often when empires fall, they die out slowly, over a long period of time due to the decay of age, neglect and entropy. But sometimes, there is an exact moment when those on the inside realize it’s all about to come crashing down around them and their reign will not survive:
–Rome had slowly begun to crumble over centuries due to the financial mismanagement of a line of emperors. But they knew they were done for the moment the Huns, Franks, Vandals, Saxons, and Visigoths showed up at the gates in 476 AD.
–Hitler’s brains were fully scrambled by the time the Battle of Stalingrad entered its sixth month and racked up its two millionth casualty. But even that paper hanging son of a bitch knew his plan for world domination was dunzo once a Red Army double encirclement cut off his Sixth Army.
–Cersei Lannister might have had some hope of retaining the Iron Throne even after Drogon started going through her streets like a fiery death-spitting Pac Man, but once Qyburn dropped the bomb about all the Scorpions being turned to ash, she knew her days of making incest babies were over.
And such is the case with the Seattle Seahawks of the 2010s. Which should forever be known as The NFL Dynasty That Almost Was. An empire that could have lasted a decade lasted just one season. And it was brought down in less time than it took to cook a King’s Landing toddler medium rare:
And make no mistake, if the Seahawks punched it in there, we would be talking about them as a dynasty. That team was a wagon. In 2013 and ’14, they led the NFL in defense. In ’13 they were 8th in the league in points scored, with the 5th highest passer rating and the 4th most rushing yards. The passing numbers dipped slightly in ’14, but they had the best rushing attack in the league by far, with a YPA that was more than half a yard better than the next best team. And decided to pass it from the 1 anyway, thus destroying their own Red Keep.
There have only been four Super Bowls since then. And yet there are only three members left from the champions the year before. The NFL Dynasty That Almost Was simply couldn’t recover. They carried the stench of that failure around with them, through every meeting with the coaches that let them down, through every practice with the teammates who cost them a ring. And ultimately broke up into warring factions and bad blood. Which is what happens to most great teams in this league. Their dynasties die in the crib. The Seahawks are the rule, not the exception.
And this is why Super Bowl XLIX is the most special of them all to me. Not just because it was an objectively incredible football game. But also because of what the stakes were. A empire that hadn’t won in a decade against the new rising power in pro football, battling it out for world dominance. Only to see the old dynasty get rebooted and the old one fall into civil war and cease to exist just a few short years later.
It’s just important, even four years after the fact, to remember that. And to say what we said then: Thanks, Pete Carroll.