If you are a Seahawk Twelve like me, you might be having a difficult time deciding who to root for during this coming Super Bowl game. On the surface you don’t want to see the San Francisco 49ers for a multitude of reasons, but peeling back the layers, a Chief victory could open the floodgates for perhaps a more disturbing trend to effect the Seahawks moving forward. Thus, you could be sipping your AM coffee in some despair, either way.
This is my conflicted Seahawk fans guide that will help you decide for yourself. Hopefully once I get to the last sentence of it, I will have made my own decision.
Rooting for the Chiefs.
The pros for this are pretty simple for me. Allow me to list the main ones.
Patrick Mahomes is an amazing football talent, and he seems like a really likable guy. For all the talk of Lamar Jackson being the new young quarterback that is going to revolutionize the way the position is played in the league, the simple truth is that no quarterback presently can compare to the talent that Mahomes possesses, not even our beloved Russell Wilson. He has an incredibly strong arm, size to see over the pocket, he can throw accurately from all kinds of crazy angles, and he has the athleticism to beat you with his legs. Oh, yeah, one other thing; he reads defense well.
I have been watching football for a long time, and I have seen a lot of dynamic play. There is no other quarterback that I can compare him with, at best I would have to combine about a half dozen players, and I don’t think that would completely describe him. When I look at Mahomes play, it makes me think of a young Michael Jordan in the NBA and how it felt when he was on the verge of taking that league over for years to come. It’s hard not to root for greatness when you see it blossoming before your eyes.
On the flip side of Mahomes sits Andy Reid for me. Personally, I think Reid is a fantastic football coach who is like fine wine; he just seems to get better over time. He has been a head coach in this league for two decades now, and he remains one of the most (if not the most) innovative offensive minds in the game. It is criminal to me that he has not won a title yet as a head coach, and like Mahomes, he seems like a really nice guy that you want to see finally win one. It would be an awesome story to see a dedicated old soldier of the game finally get his reward.
Thirdly, and perhaps the most import pro for a Chiefs victory is the reward for the long suffering Kansas City Chiefs fans. This team has not been to the Super Bowl since 1970, and I was three months old when they won it. So, I literally have no memory of the Chiefs doing anything significant in this league, like ever.
What I do have memories of is the years that my favorite team shared the same division with them in the AFC West, and how hard it was for Seattle to ever win in Kansas City. I remember the feeling that, while I should hate this club and their dedicated fans with the annoying tomahawk chop (painfully outdated these days), a bigger part of me was impressed by their devotion and traditionally making their home town Chiefs a difficult team to beat. Beating the Chiefs on their field, in front of those fans, always felt like a major accomplishment, and because of their decades of devotion, it would be nice to see them finally be rewarded another trophy after a half century of NFL football.
Rooting for the 49ers
On the surface, I almost want to puke in my mouth typing reasons why I would want to root for this team. They are the Seattle Seahawks’ main rival in the NFC West, and since Seattle entered into the division in 2001, the Seahawks have largely dominated them 24 to 13 in overall victories.
Yet to hear the average 49er fan talk (or whine), you, as a Seahawk fan, have to likely endure them bringing up their five Super Bowl victories from 1982 through 1995. This sucks for you because your team was largely mediocre to bad during that time, and overall, you only have one Super Bowl victory in your team’s history. While you have enjoyed your team’s overall success over theirs, deep down, it burns you some that they can continually gloat about their past filled with multiple titles. The only solace that you can ever take in that is knowing the gloating about the past is an incredibly loser thing to do, and a 49er win this Sunday washes even that away.
Another reason to not wish for a 49er win is that Richard Sherman would be validated for his bad behavior in his last couple seasons in Seattle. This perhaps sits a little deeper with me than the whole rivalry with San Francisco fans.
I loved Richard Sherman as a Seattle Seahawk. I thought he represented all the ideals (at least in my mind) about what made the Seattle region cool. He was intelligent, and talented. He was confident, and brash, and he was unashamed. Essentially, Number 25 was rock and roll. He was both Gary Payton and Kurt Cobain. His leap into the cheering crowd at Century Link Field after “The Tip” was so Seattle Grunge that I almost had an out of body experience watching it on my television set in my living room in 2014.
I loved Richard Sherman, and it absolutely broke my heart when I started to witness the ways he in which broke away from the ranks of my team. His infamous sideline rants when the going got tough for the LOB were hard to watch, as was his rant against the Seattle offensive coaching staff when during a regular season game they decided to pass at the one yard line. The way in which he treated members of the Seattle media when they asked harder questions during his press conferences came across painfully childish during that stretch, but perhaps worst, was the strong inference that he was the main anonymous team source in the Sports Illustrated article that came out in 2017 which centered on some deep seeded animosity within the Seattle locker room against star quarterback and ultra nice guy Russell Wilson.
For all these reasons, I was ready for a Richard Sherman breakup, and I continue to think that it was the right thing to do for the team. So, deep down, I just don’t want to see Richard validated on any level.
However, peeling back the layers, if I am to be honest, I can see one strong reason why, as a Seahawk fan, I should root for the 49ers over the Chiefs. Simply put, the 2019 San Francisco 49ers are in the Super Bowl playing a style of football that Pete Carroll loves. They are a dedicated running team that is backed by efficient quarterback play, and they have an outstanding defense. This is very much in the Pete Carroll philosophy of being a perfectly balanced team. The defense compliments the offense and vice versa, and a 49er win definitely validates Pete Carroll as a head coach.
To go further with this is that a 49er win over the Chiefs would put a major dent into the armor of the disturbing movement on Seahawks Twitter that wants to see Pete Carroll fired. First of all, let me say that I don’t believe this movement represents the majority of Seattle Seahawk fans, but they do seem to be a pretty loud minority that is led by a few analytic types who are deeply in love with the passing game. In short, they believe that Pete Carroll is holding Russell Wilson back even though Wilson is coming off of his best statistical year as a passer.
I have written this before, and I will be happy to write it again. I think firing Pete Carroll would more likely be a massive mistake for this franchise than it would to ever be the right decision. What he is able to do as a culture builder and what he is able to get out of his players is ridiculously rare, and his marriage to Russell Wilson is ideal. You want Russell Wilson in an offense that runs so that Russell Wilson can play to all of his strengths as a quarterback. He is not Tom Brady or Drew Brees, and he is certainly not Patrick Mahomes. Because the dude is 5-11, he needs a run game to build off of so that defenses are forced to play him honest. Don’t let anyone tell you different otherwise. They will be wrong.
So, because that loud minority on Seahawks Twitter has gotten so much attention lately by the local media (and even some national writers, for the shame of it), I really wouldn’t mind seeing this San Francisco 49er club get their sixth title. Yes, it would be egg on my face as a Seahawk fan. I would also have to endure Richard Sherman being right to some extent, and I would have to endure 49er fans now gloating about the present instead of loser-ly living in their past, but I would get to walk around with the knowledge that those who will continue existing in the Fire Pete crowd of Twitter will be doing it with a very thin argument, and I think that will be worth it, ultimately.
So where do I ultimately land?
Well, I would say that the way I closed out the argument for a 49er victory, I should be rooting for the 49ers. In my mind, it makes almost too much compelling sense, and the fact that Seattle played this team tough in two rival games in 2019 is still validating. Literally, a 49er win means that Seattle would have come one inch away from sweeping the Super Bowl champs in the regular season. It is something to feel decent about.
However, the truth of the matter is that bad rivalry blood is thicker than water, and that often means that it needs to defy plain logic. So, I just can’t do it, for better or worse.
Thus, I’m going to pull for the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the San Francisco 49ers. I am going to root for Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid to get their first Super Bowl victory as a quarterback and a head coach, and I am going to root for Chiefs fans to get their first Super Bowl win in fifty years.
I am also going to root for 49er fans to continue living in the past, and for their team to experience a Super Bowl hangover in 2020. I am also going to root for the 49er GM to make some hard decisions about their salary cap situation and how to hang onto their cheap talent that will suddenly get expensive to keep.
Maybe, just maybe, they will have to cut Richard Sherman to keep defensive lineman Arik Armstead, and maybe, just maybe, that will allow Seattle and Sherman to make some amends to each other, and Sherm can rightly return to the PNW (where he belongs) and wear the 25 once more in Seahawk blue. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all, and if we learned anything from Marshawn Lynch this year, we learned that.
I can dream about that last part, anyways. It never hurts to dream.
I love you Richard, but go Chiefs.
Who cares about your opinions. The 49ers are the better team.Carrol is just a rah rah figurehead who makes bone head decision or delayed bonehead non decisions in pressure late game situations.Seattle seaduks and their fans in reality are THE whiners and have benefitted from the refs non calls everygame.If the niners succeed in this years Super Bowl it should be recognized by all fans what a great turnaround in 3yrs this has been.
Obviously you care what I think, David. Otherwise you wouldn’t have felt compelled to comment in such a classic text forty-whinerly way. Go Hawks.