Asking Babe Ruth to bring a runner home from third with a suicide squeeze or telling Michael Jordan to forego taking the game winning shot would have been as foolishly misguided as the Seattle decision to throw a pass from the one-yard-line with the Super Bowl hanging in the balance.
Marshawn Lynch, the best runner in the NFL, gets better deeper into the game. You give him three shots from the one-yard line and he will get you that touchdown.
The Seattle Seahawks brain trust had their quarterback throw a one-yard pass into crowded goal line coverage.
That wise old sage of the gridiron, Coach Woody Hayes of the Ohio State Buckeyes, once said of the forward pass, “Three things can happen when you pass, and two of them are bad.”
After Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw an interception with twenty seconds left in the game, the sighs leaving the mouths of the deflated Seattle fans–their collective blown-out air more than equalling all the pounds per square inch (PSI) of all the footballs ever used–our long and tortured NFL season finally ended.
Then, in a final parting shot at beleaguered Commissioner Roger Goodell, ten players decided to have a thug-fest in the end zone at game’s end. The NFL needed that like it needed another Ray Rice elevator ride.
When the game-ending whistle finally blew, New England quarterback Tom Brady solidified his claim to being the greatest NFL quarterback of all time, joining legends Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw in garnering a fourth Super Bowl win, highlighted by his cool, calculated two-touchdown fourth-quarter effort.
But for that late Seattle gaffe, the Patriots comeback would have been all for naught, not unlike the two previous Patriot visits to the Big Game when the Giants did them in with miraculous catches in the closing minutes. Such a thirty-yard catch was made by a Seattle receiver with a juggling reception to the New England five-yard line with a minute to go.
Lynch then gained four yards on the next play. Plenty of time for Wilson to turn and hand the ball to him once, twice, perhaps even thrice, if necessary, to hit pay dirt.
Both Carroll and Wilson fell on their respective swords, post-game, in accepting blame for the call and the execution, respectively. Not so with the Seattle offensive co-ordinator who repeatedly blamed the intended receiver for not fighting for the ball more.
Marshawn Lynch had gained 1,306 yards rushing during the regular season. You’d have to think with three more tries, he’d have gotten at least one more yard! Not getting that one yard cost each of the fifty-three active Seahawks $48,000, the difference between winner’s and loser’s shares.
I am reminded of a quote from a former Mayor of New York, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, who once famously said, “Boy, when I make a mistake, it’s a beaut!”
This “Seattle Siesta” was one of those mistakes.