To be honest, this was a really weird day. I know it’s only been three years since the Seahawks weren’t playing on "Championship Sunday," but their absence today felt like an unwanted and disappointing break from the norm.
I wanted so badly to make a clean break: To focus on the promise of the Husky men’s basketball team. Or to shift my attention to the Sounders, who made huge news this week with the Jordan Morris signing and began training camp this weekend. Or the Silvertips and T-Birds, sitting one-two in the U.S. Division... Or even convincing myself of a reason to think about the Mariners more than three weeks before Spring Training.
But then the AFC and NFC Championship Games came on - and none of that felt right. It was a reminder that, for me at least, Seahawks withdrawal might last a couple more weeks.
And maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s a reminder to all of us how spoiled we’ve been the last few years – and how our expectations have changed. We’ve ridden that wave of success long enough that this week feels like a total punch to the gut – and makes us crave another title run even more.
Most importantly, I hope the players feel the same.
Remember, this time last year, we were all discussing a potential dynasty in Seattle. And instead, one year later, we’re now at a crossroads. It’s the players who will ultimately answer whether this year marks just a short respite from ultimate success, or a continuation of decline.
Today more than ever, Pete Carroll’s words ring true: That success can be fragile - it can be fleeting. And only the players on this team decide what comes next: Will last week’s loss motivate them like it did in 2012? Or will it suck the life out of them like it did last year? How badly do they want to return to glory? They’re all questions we’ll find out next year.
But for two more weeks until Super Bowl Sunday, we’ll sit here and try to turn that corner: To be distracted by whatever we can to keep our minds off that empty feeling – that the Seahawks return to the Super Bowl will have to wait at least another year.
Absence does makes the heart grow fonder. And we can only hope that absence lights one huge fire under a team that undoubtedly will have the talent to return to the top of the mountain.