Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Top Sports Memory: Number 1: 2005 Seattle Seahawks, NFC champions

If you have anything you want to add to my memory feel free to comment, if you want give me your top 5, I expect everyone's to be different. 
Honorable Mentions: David Tyree's Catch...Kevin Dyson comes up 1 yard short...Giants commit 11 False Starts...IMA Game of the Century
Number 5: 2001 Huskies beat the Canes in explosive Husky Stadium
Number 4: Antonio Freeman did WHAT?1?
Number 3: The BeastQuake in Seattle
Number 2: '95 Mariners; the Double

Number 1

2005 Seahawks; NFC Champions:
This isn't just one game...it is the entire season. A season so amazing that it makes the list twice when you throw in the Giants game in my honorable mentions. That Seahakws team is one that I will remember forever, they weren't flashy, they weren't the best team to ever play, but man were they a great football team.

Mike Holmgren had the offensive philosophy that he would run a play, you would know it was coming, but you wouldn't stop it. That play was Shaun Alexander running over the Left Tackle behind Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson. Alexander wasn't a back that made you say wow, he wasn't going to break many tackles, but he was going to find the holes and get to the end zone or first down, ever single time.

As a matter of fact, the Hawks converted every single 3rd and 1 play that season. My guess is that they ran the ball on 95 percent of those plays as well, but they couldn't be stopped.

I went to every single game that season, saw them dominate opponents at home and going 8-0 in Qwest. The Hawks started a measly 2-2 including an overtime loss in Washington. But they followed that up by winning their next 11 games. Their only loss was a meaningless game against the Packers that they probably could have won, but lost 23-17.

Alexander broke the NFL record for touch downs in a season that year, he scored 28 of them...a record that was broken not long after by LaDainam Tomlinson. 

The reason I put this number one on my list is because of all of my memories this is the one that is about a team that achieved just about everything they could have achieved. They fell short in the Super Bowl, which I will get to, but they ROLLED through the regular season, and the playoffs was even more of a breeze. They wont their playoff games by scores of 20-10 and 34-14...both games I was at.

I have heard from some people that the Hawks in 05 weren't that good of a team, they point to a down year in the NFL as the only reason the Hawks won 13 games and an NFC Championship. I will defend this team to my grave, they were good, very good, and to be honest they were hands down the best team in the league that season.

Their offense was methodical, they took their time driving down the field with Alexander, but they also had Hasslebeck under center who could make just about any throw needed. Their top 3 receivers, Darrell Jackson, Bobby Engram and Joe Jurevicius were not guys who were well known around the league, but they were somewhat reliable and made the big catches at the right times. The same could not be said for Stone Hands Jerramy Stevens, who I will never forgive for his drops.

The Hawks also had a good enough Defense to make sure games weren't shoot-outs. They weren't going to be record setters by any means, but they were a solid bunch that made plays when they needed to and gave the offense chances to win games.

Now on to the Super Bowl...I am torn on how to describe my feelings on this one...I don't want to blame the refs, and I won't...at least not in full, but because the head referee from the game Bill Leavy said he "Kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and impacted the game", I think I have to point out that the Hawks got the short end of the stick...

The Super Bowl was one that no one outside of Seattle or Pittsburgh probably cared much about, the Hawks play in South Alaska and the Steelers are a team not many people seem to like...Going into the game I thought the Hawks had a legit shot to beat the Steelers, and they did, but as Holmgren said, they couldn't beat the refs too...Here is a great video explaining the calls that were questionable at best:

The video shows the pass interference that was ticky tack. I think it is an OK call, but really how many times does something like that happen in an NFL game? There is more contact than that on almost every single pass...heck take a look at this video for comparison to another play in the game that drew no flags..even if it isn't PI, it's at least illegal contact of some sort...

The next call that comes to mind, that isn't in the video is the ILLEGAL BLOCK called on Hasslebeck while he made a tackle...wait what? Yes, it is true and makes no sense at all. Hasslebeck dove at the knees to make a tackle, and made the tackle, but somehow had an illegal block called on him. Anyone who can explain that one to me, be my guest!

The Touchdown for Big Ben is iffy..I still don't think he got in, but there wasn't enough evidence to overturn the call. The problem I do have with the call is that the line judge didn't signal TD until Ben put the ball over the line while laying on the turf clearly down. If he got in it was during the dive, but NOT when he was laying on the ground...One pretty big kicker on this one...it was a THIRD Down play. The Steelers would've had to kick a field goal.

The holding call is mentioned in the video above, but what isn't said is that it is holding and offsides, therefor the penalties would offset and the pass to the 2 wouldn't count anyways. But it would have given the Hawks a better opportunity because they wouldn't have lost 10 yards. Although I think the holding flag wouldn't have been thrown had the offsides flag been thrown instead...but I really can't say.

That is my rant on the bad calls, but the Hawks still had their chances and lost the game. They didn't play well, didn't execute and it killed them. However this is supposed to be a good memory right? Which it is...This team was fun to watch, and they were the closest to a champion that I have ever seen in Seattle. I will remember this season for as long as I live, because it brought success to the city of Seattle, and even ended with plenty of controversy.


Jared said...

I'm discovering that we don't often agree on a lot of sports topics but this is one that I agree with wholeheartedly. That season was absolute dominance unlike anything I've ever seen from a Seattle team (unless you count the 116 wins translate to nothing in the playoffs). I've also defended that team since that year and will til the day I die. What kills me the most about that Super Bowl is that it's one of those moments where we'll never know. Yes, the Hawks did come up short when they needed some big plays. They didn't execute as well as they could have. But we'll never know what the game and outcome would have been like had even one of those calls gone the other way. The PI in the endzone was brutal. Like the video said, it completely changed the complexion of the game and you could tell from the playcalling in the second half. I won't repeat everything you wrote, but I agree with just about all of it. I guess nobody will ever know what the outcome might have been. But I guess that's why we can debate it forever right?

I'd also like to point out that Hines Ward is one of the most hypocritical athletes I have ever seen. I won't open the "dirty player" discussion here, that's a whole other debate. But watching him defend a self admitted "ticky-tack" foul made me feel ill.

Mitchell.Larsen said...

Can I ask what sports topics you don't agree with me upon? I assume you mean memories of mine that you thought didn't belong? If that's the case you wouldn't be alone. My brother had several disagreements with my choices, all of which I understood, but still stood my ground.

I am glad you have similar thoughts on that Super Bowl, like you said, we have no idea what could have happened. We never will know, but that might be the best part about sports, the unknown. We will be debating forever, or until the Hawks win a Super Bowl (which may be forever).

As far as Hines Ward, I am with you 100%, he is a dirty player and a disgrace to the game. Fits in with Pittsburgh's smash mouth we're going to punch you in the face game. I plan to talk about the dirtiest players in sports at sometime, just not sure when that will be.

Jared said...

Maybe disagreements is the wrong word. Maybe more just a difference of opinion. And not necessarily with this list. More just things picked up over the last couple years. But we all have our own collection of opinions, that's what makes debating so much fun. I just read through your again and it's hard to argue that any of those moments shouldn't be in the list. As for me, it's somewhat ironic. I've lost a lot of my interest in baseball over the past several years(being mostly replaced by soccer) and yet two moments that I would have to argue should be included would be some form of the M's 116 win season and Cal Ripken breaking Gehrig's record. Cal was my childhood idol and I still remember my first ever sporting event, when I was living in DC, my dad took me up to see the Oriole's play and we had seats that couldn't have been more than 200 feet from Cal.

Since soccer has also dominated my sports interest lately, I'd have to include the Sounders going back to back in US Open Cups the last two years and FC Barcelona's treble(Spainish League, Spanish Cup, and European Champions League Cup) back in 09

Mitchell.Larsen said...

Yeah I've noticed our differences as well in sports, but debating just makes that better. You're one of many who has said the 2001 M's should be on here, but my response is this: What do I remember?...I can't think of a whole lot other than disappointment in the playoffs. Great season, just didn't make the list.

I like that Ripkin memory, those are the things I like reading about because it is something important to you. Yeah it was huge for Cal to do what he did, but not everyone was affected much by it, but you were.

Soccer isn't my thing really, it's fun here and there, but not a passion I guess. But I know plenty of people love soccer so I don't hate on it...much.

Jared said...

That's true but I could argue the same point about the Hawks. What I remember most about that dominant season is the severe disappointment at the end. Not usually the countless 3rd and 1 conversions or touchdowns. Another point that leads to is does "greatest memory" have to have been a good memory? How about what I still say was probably the 2nd or 3rd best NBA team in the whole decade of the 90s losing in the finals to the unbeatable Jordan/Pippen combo in their prime. Without that Bulls team, I think people would have raved about that Sonics team. And who knows? That may have been enough to carry over and keep the team here.

Another note on that game, I can still remember, and picture in my mind, Chris Hoiles, the catcher of the O's, blasting a 2 run double off the wall in the bottom of the ninth to win the game. It's funny how that's one of my fondest memories of baseball games and it came in a random nearly meaningless regular season game for a Baltimore team that was going nowhere...

Mitchell.Larsen said...

That is very true and I see your point. Neither of us is wrong, just different memories, which again is why I love sports.

That is pretty awesome to think about! Just another game, probably no one else remembers it, but it is something you'll never forget.

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