By Zach Whitman
Written on September 4th, 2048
History is largely defined by the great empires of the ages. Egyptian. Roman. Mongol. The 2012-2015 Seattle Seahawks.
These are the eminent dynasties of history. The Seahawks didn’t have the staying power of Genghis Khan or Constantine, but Alexander the Great was only great because Belichick was still in Cleveland.
History is also defined by tragedies. And this tragedy is unflinchingly clear: Christine Michael did nothing wrong.
Only a sanitized version of events has been made public in previous historical examinations of C-Mike’s career in Seattle. In the years since, powerful individuals conspired to keep the truth under wraps. These individuals were doubtlessly afraid of the earthshaking implications of the full story being made public. The horrors are herein laid bare for the first time for all to see.
Christine Lynn Michael was selected in the 2013 NFL draft, the offseason immediately preceding Seattle’s lone Super Bowl victory. This Seahawks offseason is now regarded by most serious scholars as The Summer of Hope; fans dreamed about ‘Force Multiplier’ Percy Harvin and relentlessly binge-watched The Real Rob Report*. This era immediately followed The Long Winter of Mediocrity and was eventually surpassed by the appropriately-named Oh God People At Costco Are Wearing Russell Wilson Jerseys Under Sportcoats What A Nightmare Era.
* Records no longer exist of this program, but it appears to have been published by fullback Michael Robinson. The role of fullback became obsolete at some point in the early 2020s, with Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Nathan Carroll famously re-popularizing the role to great success in the 2030s.
All available texts indicate that rooting for the 2013 Seahawks was magical; Sir Russell Wilson was playing for several boxes of store brand Capri Suns, teams avoided Earl Thomas and the deep middle like hot lava, and future President Golden Tate had shrugged off his earlier doughnut foibles to wave goodbye to his opponents. Everything just worked. The mood of the fanbase was at historical highs heading into the 2014 offseason.
The crest of the Christine Michael Experience was a 15 yard run during training camp that July. The ball was snapped, and a gaping hole between right guard and center became evident. C-Mike cut decisively and rumbled downfield, the defense only saved from sure destruction by the unyielding whistle of practice refs. Michael humbly kneeled, signaled the first down, and pointed to the sky. All was right with the world.
Expectations for Michael were already high and only kept rising during that offseason. Seahawks fans had become accustomed to success and saw it as their birthright, which portended ill for our hero. Unnoticed by many at the time, the team had lost significant depth. Because of this, the ensuing season was tumultuous. Though the team made an improbable run to the Super Bowl, the infamous Bad Thing happened in February 2015. The following offseason was toxic and saw C-Mike become a target.
(It is at this point in the inevitable Hollywood biopic that dramatic music will begin to swell.)
The fall began slowly at first. Fans broke down camp tape like the Zapruder film and began to fixate on Michael not switching the ball to his left hand. Records are unclear as to why this became such a point of concern, a fact that still confounds many historians today. The myth of his lack of ball security became more important than any evidence of a fumbling problem. Coaches and fans alike became disillusioned throughout that offseason. The end came quickly, with a young undrafted rookie supplanting C-Mike as Seattle’s running back of the future*.
* The context of the time is also important to this discussion. That period was notable for the number of prominent voices in the burgeoning analytics movement that began to discredit running backs. The position was famously returned to prominence by the brilliance of the young Baldwin twins, hired by Los Angeles Rams General Manager Mina Kimes after the success of their 2031 release: “How to Actually Use Analytics, Dad.”
On the eve of the 2015 season, Michael was traded to Dallas. He bounced around the NFC East that year, clearly unmoored by his sudden departure from the Pacific Northwest and the corresponding shift in relative humidity. When the Seahawks were beset by injury troubles late in the season, Michael magnanimously agreed to return. Yet a review of archived social media posts from that time shows that the fan reaction to his return was scathing. C-Mike selflessly absorbed the vitriol and carried the Seahawks across the frozen tundra of Minnesota for an ultimately pyrrhic playoff win. Against Carolina in the following game, the team foolishly sat Michael for a clearly hobbled Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks’ season ended that day, along with the Super Bowl hopes of that era.
Despite starting the 2016 season like a house on fire, the ill will and frustration from previous seasons soon boiled over. Michael was again scapegoated and dumped in favor of a young ingenue by the name of C.J. Prosise. As fate would have it, Prosise suffered a season-ending injury just days later. Seattle’s year finished with Michael still ranking as the team’s leading rusher despite having been cut in early November.
Thus was the tragic story of Christine Michael, a tale of woe and misfortune. Time has led many to forget; fans moved on, irrationally annoyed with Prosise; coaches chased the excitement and potential of Michael with a failed first-round pick who was also quickly forgotten; the era of Seahawks memes arrived and memories disappeared.
It is because of the information that has been unearthed here that we can finally state, definitively, that the historical record is clear: C-Mike did nothing wrong.