I have lived in the state of Washington my whole life, and with a few exceptions, Seattle has been ranked among the worst sports cities in the nation.  I don’t put a whole lot of stock in those lists, but the fact remains that for the most part, Seattle sports are a pretty futile endeavor.  When they’re bad, which is frequently, it’s really bad, and when they’re good, they get no respect.  But now, there is some reason for hope, particularly with the banner team: the Seahawks.

The closest the Seahawks came to a championship was during the 2005 season, under the leadership of Mike Holmgren (I should point out right here that while I like the Seahawks, I do not wear rose colored glasses, or feel some of the entitlement that a lot of fans do about their respective teams.  I am not still mad over losing the Super Bowl, or still complaining about the refs, or Roethlisberger’s phantom TD.  What happened, happened, and Seattle lost that game for plenty of other reasons).  It’s been a steady slide to the bottom of the league since then, including a forgettable season under Jim Mora, jr, which produced neither a winning season or memorable sound bites.  The apple does fall far from the tree, apparently.

Then came Pete Carroll, he of USC National Championships and scandal.  I honestly can’t think of a worse PR hire- USC coaches that beat the tar out of the Huskies for a decade are not usually welcomed with parades in Seattle.  But Sark was rebuilding the Huskies, so why not Carrol?  As it turns out, lots of reasons- his previous stint in the NFL wasn’t so hot, he was a college coach, what would he do when he didn’t have his pick of the litter of players, was he just leaving LA to excape the hammer that was about to fall- before the draft, there was a lot of talk about Pete Carroll being the second one-and-done coach in Seahawks history- to say nothing of consecutive seasons.

Then came the draft.  A bounty of draft picks and trades made for a huge buzz over Seattles epic draft haul.  Then, building up to the season, Carroll made it abundantly clear that this was not USC North by trading and/or axing some of his own former player, former first round pick Lawrence Jackson included.  Josh Wilson commented that he was relieved every day that his name was still over his locker- until, of course, he was traded to the Ravens.  By the time all was said and done, the new regime had made close to 300 roster moves, far and away more than any other team in the NFL (or the history thereof).

The rest, as they say, is history- recent history.  The first team with a losing record to win a division, defeating the defending Super Bowl champs, and then a huge loss in Chicago.  So the big question is, where do they go from here?

Lost in the whole unexpected playoff appearance is the fact that Seattle had a good bad season.  For a team coming off four- and five- win seasons, seven wins is good.  A playoff appearance is even better, and a victory is even better.  In any other division in football, the Seahawks don’t get a wild card, much less a division title.  So adding two regular season wins to last year is a dramatic improvement.

Added to that is the fact that in one offseason, Carroll and GM John Schneider revamped a horrible roster and turned it into a quality team that played with a lot of fire.  With another offseason looming- granted, one with a lot of labor uncertainty- they should be able to add enough pieces to tack on at least two more wins.  A nine win season, in which they will play two other division winners and a improved NFC West, will garner them a lot of respect headed into the playoffs.  Expect them to be dangerous.

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