I am a very stubborn person; stubborn to the point where sometimes the good things in me are manipulated by others at my consequence. It’s an area I’d like to fix, but one I think takes time to learn. Perhaps when I grow older, I will figure out when to draw the line between loyalty and exploitation, and know when to stop and call the bullshit for what it is. Right now I’m 25 and learning. I don’t know any better and am trying to improve every day.
Most of my experiences with these insecurities stem outside of sports. So, suffice to say, when the Seahawks let me down on Sunday and lost in an abhorrently stupid fashion, I felt absolutely fucking terrible.
A quick recap. The team slouches through a comedy of errors before Russell Wilson, doing his best impression of prime Félix, tries to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The team wastes time committing to an ineffective run game. A plethora of penalties, missed opportunities, and other self-inflicted errors repeatedly rear their heads. The archaic approaches to play-calling and coaching are exploited by an opponent that actually recognizes the NFL as a dynamic, constantly changing game.
This has happened before. We’ve seen what happens when you start too slow and start too late. Carolina in 2015. Arizona in 2016. Tennessee in 2017. The first Rams game last year. Dallas that postseason. Same shit, different day.
I think people mess up over and over again because they didn’t learn the right lesson the first time. An overweight person, for instance, will likely relapse if they rely only on a new gym membership or diet plan to solve their problems. But if they learn that slow and deliberate changes to their lifestyle will ultimately accommodate healthier food options, in time, they will get the results they want in the first place.
How they get this context, however, is what makes things complicated. Perhaps this person meets a friend using the other formula, or they get sick and tired of fucking up over and over again that they commit to something new. Maybe they never learn and become stuck in their own perpetual, vicious cycles.
Frighteningly, this is where we find Pete Carroll right now. Addressing the media on Tuesday, he conceded that he “needed to coach better” against the Saints. When asked to elaborate, he questioned his decisions to be aggressive on 4th down when the Seahawks were trailing by two scores in the second half. “We left ourselves behind by such a margin that there wasn’t enough time to get back in it to do it right.” How long will it be before he does? How many losses will it take before the moral finally sticks?
I mean, I’m not some analytics savant, some brilliant football mind who can immediately identify formations or name every concept, but I know enough about the process. I know what happens when players’ talent compensates for incompetence. I know that people can still earn accolades and be called a genius for doing the most obvious things in the world.
And I know what it means to waste talent. It looks like regret, incompetence, and the long ruminations of could-haves and what-ifs; it is absolutely fucking terrible.
Maybe Carroll will never learn from his mistakes. Encouragingly, Wilson is off to the best start of his career, and there is more evidence in the past three games to show that Carroll at least has a willingness to trust his Hall of Fame quarterback with the offense.
But for now, the fable remains the same. The Seahawks have the exact same issues they have had countless times. If people are suffering from someone’s incompetence, those with context and experience of knowing better aren’t doing better.