While New England has spent a snowy Monday enjoying the afterglow of the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory, fans in Seattle are feeling the pain of a loss snatched from the jaws of victory.
The Seahawks have been heavily criticized for their decision to pass on second and goal from the 1-yard line instead of handing off to star running back Marshawn Lynch with less than a minute remaining. Factions of support exist in online forums, social media, and elsewhere, but their “what if it had worked?” stance was met with plenty of skepticism.
Coach Pete Carroll took the blame, as did his offensive coordinator, and his quarterback too, but falling on the sword wasn’t enough for many, including some Seahawks players.
“We had it,” said Seattle linebacker Bruce Irvin. “I don’t understand how you don’t give it to the best back in the league on not even the 1-yard line. We were on the half-yard line, and we throw a slant. I don’t know what the offense had going on, what they saw. I just don’t understand.”
Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer described it as the worst play call in the history of the Super Bowl, writing it was “a decision that will also go down as one of the most regrettable ever in Seattle sports,” in a column that has more than 1,000 comments in the version posted online.
“A mystifying terrible call that makes the outcome more painful than what I experienced as a Bills fan when Scott Norwood missed that field goal against the Giants in 1991,” wrote Seattle Times commenter “chiligentilly.”
On sports radio station 710 ESPN Seattle, the play dominated the conversation Monday.
“As much as you hurt, and you do hurt; as angry as you are, and you are angry; and as low a moment on the field as that was in the history of Seattle sports, you put yourself in those men’s shoes, from Russell Wilson to Darrell Bevell to Ricardo Lockette to those men in that locker room, and they’re low and they’re hurt even more,” radio host Brock Huard said at the beginning of the “Brock and Salk” program Monday.
“You never save your best player for the very end and then say oh yeah, we’re going to unleash our best player,” one caller to the Bob and Groz Show on 710 ESPN said. “You unleash your best player when you need him.”
However, the stinging loss did not dampen the loyalty of Seattle fans known collectively as the “12s.” The Seattle Fox television affiliate caught up with some of them carousing after the game.
“It’s a great team, we’ve got a bright future ahead of us, and we’re going to be back next year,” one fan told Q13 Fox.
Also on the bright side, the Seahawks’ pro sports counterparts in Seattle were sympathetic.
Follow Matt Pepin on Twitter at @mattpep15.