Monday, January 14, 2013

The Finality of the Play-Offs

Raiders of the Lost Ark may be the best action/adventure movie of all time. Even with the passage of time (30 years?!) the film is superb, with great sequences, well developed characters, and special effects that have lost none of their luster (perhaps because they didn’t rely on old-tech green screen techniques nor require stop-motion monsters). I was up till two or 2:20 in the morning last night watching the ol’ DVD and was astounded by the beauty of the thing: the cinematography, the writing/directing, the acting. There’s a lot to take away from a movie like Raiders…I’m sure that much of my interest in “pulp” fiction has to do with my exposure to this film at a young age.

Why was I watching Raiders at two in the morning? ’Cause it was going to be a long, sleepless night after yesterday’s Seahawks loss regardless. Plus I wasn’t done drinking.

I have often thought (and stated to people who cared) that it’s too bad someone has to lose these games…though generally only when it comes to games that didn’t involve my team. I mean, I would have had a little sympathy for Tony Gonzalez had the Seahawks sent him packing with yet another play-off loss on his resume...but certainly not enough that I would have traded a Seahawk win and a continuation of the team’s fairy tale season. Unlike a lot of locals who today were walking around spouting optimism about how great our team is going to be “next year,” I have no such delusions. Not anymore: I felt the same thing at the beginning of 2006 (after our Super Bowl loss) only to watch the team crumble year after year without ever making it back to the NFC Championship game again, let alone the Big Dance. Optimism for the future is bullshit when it comes to the NFL…ask Dan Marino about optimism. Or Donovan McNabb. Or even Peyton Manning. This year was special…surprisingly special due to a conspicuous lack of injuries and unexpected big plays and quite possibly some underestimation of our ability on the part of some opponents. Personally, I believe we were set-up well to run the table at the end…but we couldn’t close the deal in Atlanta. And while the Falcons might beat the Niners (who are favored by Vegas odds) I don’t think they can beat either of the teams left in the AFC. Not that they shouldn’t be given the opportunity to try, mind you…

Ugh. It’s just the unnerving FINALITY of the game that bites. The game ends and you wish it ended just a little differently. And they play the highlights on the news and ESPN and you’re watching, knowing what will happen, but hoping this time the re-play will show something different…and of course, it doesn’t. And no amount of wishing or venting or second-guessing or wild eyed gnashing of teeth is going to alter the outcome in the slightest. You’re just left with a result that comes up just a little short. Like the Titans missing the end zone by a yard in the Super Bowl.

Oh, and I know there are fans of other teams that will tell me to quit my bitching, that Seattle has little to complain about compared to, say, a Chicago Bears fan who watched their team start 7-1 and miss the play-offs despite ending with double-digit wins. I’m sure Buffalo Bills fans would trade their lot for ours, having missed the play-offs every year since realignment in 2002 whereas the Seahawks have been to the post-season seven times in the last eleven years; a veritable embarrassment of riches compared to most NFL teams.

And, hey, it’s only a sporting event…with all the real tragedy and death that’s happened in this country over the last few months, the loss of a football game and the end of a season is NOTHING by comparison. Let’s have a little perspective, here.

But for Yours Truly, who tends to get emotionally entangled in his passions with embarrassingly little effort, it’s still a tough one to swallow. I was having a hard time focusing on anything besides football the last couple weeks…well, apart from my boy, but certainly I was worthless for anything work-related. Heck, I made it a point to go see The Hobbit Saturday (more on that later) specifically to turn my football brain OFF for three hours the other day…and it was a much needed break.

So in a way (though it’s challenging to find a silver lining) I suppose it’s for the best that the ‘Hawks are going into the off-season. I will almost certainly be more productive with less investment in the outcome of the next couple weeks’ games. But it’s tough. I’m kind of a putz about these things.

[and one last Blood Bowl related side note: I ran a mock match Friday night between the Orkish ‘Hawks team and Skaven Falcons to see who would win and the game was TIED at the end of regulation…due in part to the rats scoring a last second TD on the final turn of the match that made it 2-2. The orks actually went into half-time with a 2-0 lead after a dominant first period (in a strange mirror opposite of the actual game) and kept the skaven from scoring until the final quarter (last four turns) of the game. However, I didn’t bother playing out the over-time period to a final end result because

A)     It was super-duper late (and I needed to get SOME sleep before a 24 hour stint of single-parenthood on Saturday), and
B)     I was a bit disgusted by the skavens’ ability to get behind the Seahawks secondary and tie it up in three turns and, frankly, was (superstitiously) afraid that an OT win in my Blood Bowl match might have some correspondence-voodoo effect on the actual outcome of the game. And I wasn’t confident in the orks ability to stop the rats if they won the coin toss and received the ball first.

Okay, that enough of that. I’m sure there’ll be more Blood Bowl silliness in the future, but right now I’m going to take a break from all football-related ANYthing. All apologies for my self-indulgence.]

Now, if you'll excuse me I see there's a new episode of Downton Abbey awaiting my attention.
; )


  1. watching team sports = emotion

    i thought you as a fellow scorpio would understand that. ;)

    you can't expect to feel the joy you feel when they win without accepting the disappointment when an important game is lost. cherish the pain, it only mirrors your joy. :)

    it would be weird if you felt "normal" after such a harsh loss. if you did, why watch anyway...?

    ps: i wish i knew why, but i also enjoy downton abbey. :D

  2. No maybe about it. Raiders is the greatest. Sorry Star Wars, it just is.

  3. (aka Rusty Battle Axe) Could be worse. You could be from Detroit. Like me.

  4. Now, at long last, I know why the Seahawks lost.

    JB jinxed us with his Blood Bowl simulation.