“I remember it as if it were yesterday.”
Pete Carroll trudges towards me and sits down in a cluster of chairs arranged elliptically. Players, coaches, and spectators that were present on the fateful evening follow in suit. Russell Wilson. Brock Huard. Bobby Wagner. Curt Menefee. Brian Schottenheimer. Rasheem Green. Whoever that heckin guy was who scored the touchdown. The lot of them.
Beast Bloge: So you guys were down to the Colts by nine points with three and a half minutes left in your first preseason game of 2018. Can you do me a favor and describe in excruciating detail what events transpired?
Rasheem Green: Well, the game was almost over and I was lined up at left end on third and long.
Joey Ivie (the dude who was gifted the life-altering event known by historians as the snap fumble or snumble for all of us plebs): Yep and I was set just inside of you at 3-tech. The game was all but over and I never would have expected any of the ensuing events even in my wildest dreams.
Curt Menefee: Brock and I couldn’t believe what we were seeing, to be honest.
Brock Huard: Absolute chaos of the highest order. I’ve been around for essentially all of the biggest moments in this era of Seahawks football. Beastquake. The Tip. The Super Bowl victory. Beating the Packers the following year. This one takes the cake.
Bobby Wagner: Speaking of, this play was a lot like the one that started out Super Bowl 48 against the Broncos when they snapped the ball over Peyton’s head.
Pete Carroll: I would argue that this was a much more important moment than 48.
Russell Wilson: These are the moments we live for as competitors. In 48, the score was knotted up and it was early. There were plenty of opportunities to take over the game after the fact, which seems pretty obvious now. Against the Colts, that was a score you had to have down nine with only three or so minutes to go. It was incredible for me, personally, to see the younger guys step it up in crunch time…
Ivie: Aww thanks Russ.
Wilson, without skipping a beat: …but I just wish I could have been out there on the field to lead my team to the final score. I believe we would have won. Always gotta believe.
Brian Schottenheimer: It was a fucking preseason game. We weren’t going to risk an injury by putting you back in.
Carroll: Besides, the defense couldn’t get off the field. There wasn’t even any chance for you to get back out there.
Wilson: Put me in at safety. Always compete, coach. Isn’t that what you say?
Carroll: You know that Tanner McEvoy was the only quarterback on the roster versatile enough to play safety at the time.
Schottenheimer: Russell, how can we preach
A C C O U N T A B I L I T Y
if we’re letting you do whatever you want whenever you want?
Wagner: Why the fuck did you just spell out the word ‘accountability’ letter by letter instead of just saying it?
Huard: Come on, Brian. You’re better than subversive twitter references.
Wilson: It’s our turn to hold YOU accountable, chief.
Schottenheimer hangs his head in shame.
Green: Can we get back to talking about the play itself?
Huard: We interviewed Bobby at a point earlier in the game and he just about lost his mind on a couple of plays during that span.
Menefee: Oh god you’re right. I wish we could’ve had him on the broadcast with us at that exact moment. I can’t imagine how wildly he would’ve been yelling.
Wagner: After the ball was snapped over Brad Kaaya’s head…
Carroll: Sorry to interrupt, but do you remember when Kaaya was projected to go at number one overall in some mock drafts?
Ivie: Oh my god you guys get off topic so easily.
Wagner: …anyways, when the ball was snapped over the rook’s head, you could see Rasheem and Joe screaming downfield to recover the fumble.
Green: Yeah, I don’t remember ever running harder in my life than I was in that moment. The stage was too big.
Menefee: I just don’t understand why you guys are describing this preseason game as being more important than pretty much any other moment in NFL history. It doesn’t make sense to me.
Carroll: Let me put it this way. Would it be fair to say that number-based analytics do not support the value of running the football?
Menefee: Yes, it’s been sledgehammered into my skull by the internet constantly for what feels like years.
Carroll and Schottenheimer look at each other and chuckle heartily.
Carroll: Well the numbers don’t tell the whole story. There is an exceptional amount of hidden value when you run the football, even when analytics disagrees.
Menefee: I’m sorry, Pete. I don’t see where this is going.
Carroll: You can look at the snumble and think to yourself ‘okay this is just a touchdown in a preseason game.’
Everybody laughs almost hysterically. Everybody except for Menefee, who looks entirely confused and unconvinced.
Carroll: The hidden value accrued based on this one play was astronomically more than we could’ve hoped.
Menefee: That’s great, but what hidden value is that? What did it accomplish?
Schottenheimer: It’s hidden. How the hell are we supposed to know?
Wilson: Exactly. It’s there, it just won’t show up on the stats sheet.
Carroll: Or anywhere else for that matter.
Menefee: That sounds like complete bullshit to me.
Ivie: You know what is complete bullshit? That we got off track again.
Wagner: So Sheem and Joey are flying down the field yeah?
Ivie: Rasheem gets there first and then the ball starts flying around like a fucking hot potato.
Green: It was complete chaos.
Ivie: Josh Forrest gets there next and it pops out again.
Green: I get back up and jump on it again but it pops through my legs.
Brian Schottenheimer pulls out his phone and Yakety Sax begins to play.
Schottenheimer: Joey attempted what ended up being the world’s most pathetic somersault.
Green: So Ivie gets back up and…
Ivie: …there it is. Just sitting there. Right in front of me. So I do the one thing I’m truly good at.
Carroll: Falling down?
Ivie: You guys are actual dicks. I’m glad I got cut.
Wagner: Point is that Ivie scores and it put us right back in a position to win the game — a game we hadn’t dreamt of winning just seconds before.
Wilson: It’s hard to quantify how much of an impact this one play had on our season.
Menefee: But you went 9-7 and missed the playoffs.
Carroll: Exactly! You’re familiar with the Super Bowl Hangover, right? When your team is coming off of such a high that you can never live up to the hype built up from that gargantuan moment?
Menefee, sighing: Yes.
Carroll: It’s hard to win football games when you just experienced the greatest moment in franchise history.
Menefee stands up and walks out, grumbling to himself.
Huard: I see your logic, Pete. Don’t mind Curt.
Wilson: Emotions were running rampant. It was hard to contain how exciting of a play it was and it really did affect us throughout the season.
Wagner: Even though we didn’t pull out the win, I’d count the entire season a success just because of that damn snumble.
Schottenheimer: Do you want to take a guess as to how the Colts finished us off on the following drive? How they iced the game?
Wilson: Oh baby.
Huard: Tell it, Schotty.
Carroll: PREACH BRIAN.
Schottenheimer takes a deep breath. Everyone, including myself, leans in to hear what utterance is about to escape those mediocre lips of his.
Schottenheimer: By running the football.