Broadly speaking, all truths can be divided into two categories: the obvious and the not-obvious. While the former is important and often serves as the bedrock of each of our own worlds to the extent we can derive any joy from thinking, we do so in consideration of the latter.
For example, the purpose of any sports fandom is to hope, with a desperation that borders on madness, that the team you love will win. That is obvious. Less obvious: unless you expect that your team will win every single game, for the whole of your existence, you must contend with the bitter disappointment of loss. Now, it’s not without reason that I conceive of my fandom as being akin to recovery; indeed, the first line of the serenity prayer would probably do good for half of all fans who must face within themselves the powerlessness of rooting for a losing team.
And yet, every now and then, we can see in defeat the shadow of triumph. Week 5 was that for the Seahawks. This was a game that no one thought they would win. I joked on Friday that we should assume 50 points would be scored, and bet on how many would be the Rams’ doing (I thought at least 80%). I vacillated between giving the Seahawks a 5-15% chance of victory because the team that came into this week of action was bad.
But the team that took the field on Sunday was decidedly not bad. As a result of Seattle’s showing, they are now almost average at running, a huge improvement from being historically bad last year! The upgrade from Cable to Solari does indeed appear to be an upgrade. David Moore took snaps from Brandon Marshall and didn’t drop any passes! (Even though the fumble-recovery-for-a-first-down from last week was special.) Schotty actually used play-action! (That some of those plays were so successful should surprise no one.) The offense moved the ball (the way you’re supposed to!) and limited the herculean power of Donald and Suh to a non-catastrophic impact. And on the other side of the ball, a defense that wasn’t supposed to be great, absent its HOF safety and one pro-bowl caliber linebacker, held the Rams to their fewest points to-date. Sean McVay is a wizard, but CenturyLink made him resemble more a trickster than Oz today.
And so while I am of course disappointed, my sadness is tempered by surprise. This was not a bad game. If the Seahawks can play this well every week (and obviously they will not), there are very few games that are sure to be losses.
As a fellow traveler on the lunatic heights and valleys of Seahawks fandom, I never forfeit hope altogether; I can’t. For me, this was a rekindling of it.