Tuesday, January 17, 2006

All wet roads lead to Detroit

One win down, two to go.

The Seattle Super Seahawks (they stole the “Super” from the Sonics who no longer deserve that word in their name) are one home win away from going to the Super Bowl in Detroit.

Yes, the Super Bowl!

And while Seattle did their part, knocking off the Washington Redskins and their non-existent offense last Saturday, the rest of the NFL seemed to have opened the metaphorical door for the Hawks as well.

While it’s true that Seahawks fans were likely rooting for the Chicago Bears, with the thought of an easier NFC Championship game in mind, they are still in good shape.

Seattle will host Carolina next Sunday at Qwest Field and the key word there is host. Seattle is pretty good at home. The fans are loud, the field is wet and the air is cold.

The forecast for Sunday calls for -- get this – rain. A shocker, I know. It hasn’t rained in Seattle since, well, yesterday. I think it’s rained for like 178 straight days, but weather folks will tell you that it’s only been three. (Apparently it didn’t rain on Sunday, so there went a four-week stretch of rainy days -- which was approaching some sort of record).

The Seahawks benefit by playing in the rain and cold and all that other crap that gives people Seasonal Affect Disorder. If Seattle can’t outright beat the Panthers with a good scheme and better players, maybe they can use the crummy weather to make Carolina sad or something.

Anyways, Carolina is no freebie-win – even at home. The Panthers play well on the road and have this dude Steve Smith who may just score 17 touchdowns against a good Seahawks’ defense. But out is RB DeShaun Foster who broke his ankle last weekend when he got in a fight outside of a bar in Pioneer Square (not really, of course).

The biggest help the Hawks got, indirectly anyway, was from the AFC. The Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots – thought to be the two favorites to win the Super Bowl this year – got bounced from the playoffs prematurely, much like Seahawks’ teams we’re used to.

Pittsburgh beat the Colts in one of those games that make you both question reality and consider if there is anything better than a good football game. After a series of blown calls, incomprehensible turnovers, and a missed field goal that screams Florida State vs. Miami, the Steelers somehow escaped the state of Indiana with a win and some sanity still intact.

Big Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh’s star linebacker (actually quarterback, but is toying with a switch to defense after his game saving tackle against the Colts) will now lead the Steelers to Denver, which just knocked off New England.

Tired yet? Me too.

So what does this mean for Seattle? Well, nothing yet. They have to do something they aren’t particularly good at this time of the year, and that’s winning. But they got a monkey, gorilla and orangutan off their back by beating the Skins last Saturday.

I’m not exactly in the business of making predictions, but let’s just say, for the sake of me needing to fill five more inches of space in this column, the Hawks will win Sunday.

That will then put them in the Super Bowl for the first time since 1816, well before there were Super Bowls, football or sea hawks. They would play either Denver or Pittsburgh and would have a very good shot at beating either team. They stack up well on both sides of the ball and, hey, it isn’t Indianapolis or New England.

So Sunday afternoon, watch the Seahawks game. Don’t pay too much attention to the broadcasters because it will likely be Fox’s “A” team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, who collectively know as much about football as the orangutans that were hanging out with the Seahawks.

If the Seahawks are to win Sunday, they will be in the Super Bowl (that’s your cue to get excited) and will be playing a beatable team. So root and root hard. And if you make it to Qwest Field Sunday, bring your voice and an umbrella, because, after all, it rains here from time to time.

This column was published in the University of Washington's The Daily.

In other news: Peyton Manning is in critical, but stable condition, after being sat on by his offensive linemen.

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