When I was growing up, we called pairs of socks we got for Christmas “Ooh, Socks!” It was said with an exacted amount of faux enthusiasm, like Ashton Kutcher apologizing for cheating on his old wife with a younger woman. Did we like the socks? Not really. But they were one of those practical presents that are necessary for the coming year.
And so, they were “Ooh, Socks!”
Cheap-assed present givers anyway.
Tavaris Jackson is the “Ooh, Socks!” of the Seahawks fan base. They love him until he’s out of ear shot or not helping win the last five of seven games on behalf of the Nation of the 12th Man.
And so we now know that Tavaris Jackson isn’t the Seattle Seahawks Quarterback of the Future. That has been made very clear by the Twitterazzi and local media folks in their reaction to today’s insanely close 19-17 loss against the San Francisco 49ers.
Also made clear by Twitter is just how egregiously idiotic 49ers fans are, but that’s a post for another time.
No, today, what we really learned is that people who watch football games for some odd reason seem to get Alzheimers throughout the season.
Some are calling for the head of TJax, perhaps one of the most even-keeled, courageous and pain-handling quarterbacks I’ve ever seen who holds onto the ball for way too long.
Of course, that flaw, which resulted in him being stripped by Niners back-up linebacker Larry Grant in a play that shut down the Hawks’ last-second hopes of a winning field goal, is something we’ve known all season. We saw Chicago Bears linebacker Julius Peppers cause a safety last week for that reason. We saw many of the sacks in the stats column happen for the same reason this year.
Is there a way to correct that flaw? Unlikely. Jackson has been in the NFL too long to teach him new tricks, and clearly the coaching staff isn’t interested in him practicing throwing live hand grenades (I want an intellectual property rights fee if they ever decide to use that idea).
So it should be shocking to absolutely friggin’ everyone in the universe that all of the sudden fans and the media are screaming “oh my Hamburger Helper I can’t believe it! There’s no way he’s our quarterback next year! He’s never going to do anything!”
As if they were praising him as the Messiah (my apologies, Mr. Tebow) the entire season.
These are the same bandwagon-loving fans and media elites who were screaming for Checkdown Charlie Whitehurst to replace him. We had an extremely disgusting taste of that this season, too, and then those cart-riding reactionaries screamed for Jackson to be back. When he started to win, and make some decent plays downfield (and the team was winning), they fell in love with him, as if to say they now believed he was worthy for the NFL Hall of Fame.
Nobody in my house thought either of those extreme positions. Mainly because my wife doesn’t watch football and my kid is too young to understand what’s going on. He thinks everything on the TV is called “football,” and that’s all he knows about the game. Or television, actually.
What “we” thought in this humble abode was that Tavaris Jackson was the most likely to be able to manage an offense he was familiar with and that this was still a rebuilding process for the NFL’s youngest team of starters during a lock-out-shorteneded offseason and training camp.
For the most part, that’s exactly what this season has shown. Was I disappointed in today’s loss? Of course. But I am not screaming for blood. Tavaris Jackson did exactly what he has done each week he has played for this team. He showed poise and conviction, as well as the patience of a 147-year turtle in the Galapagos Islands who holds onto the ball too.effing.long.
In the end we got what we needed this season (and, oh by the way bandwagon fans, you know there’s another game this season, right?), our young players gained crucial experience and we saw significant progress in Year 2 of the Epoch of Carroll & Schneider.
We saw the blueprint in a far clearer fashion than we did with Hasselbeck at the helm. We were familiar with him, his skill set and many of the veterans, now on their umpteenth offensive scheme in however many years (a crafty way for me to admit I can’t remember, you suckers). We were a bit lost last year in terms of where Carroll wanted to go with “his” team. Marshawn Lynch was lost in the backfield all year, too.
Now look where we’re at. Skittles literally fall from out of the sky at Century Link Field when Beast Mode breaks into the endzone.
No, Tavaris Jackson isn’t the Seahawks Quarterback of the Future. He’s likely our starter next year considering we’ll probably end the season 8-8 and be nowhere close to picking up an immediate starting QB in the 2012 draft. Jackson still provides this team with enough time to potentially draft a solid rookie who he can help mentor for a year.
TJax is the Christmas “Ooh, Socks!” of the Seattle Seahawks. He’ll keep your feet warm until you’re ready to open up the good stuff.
Someone wiser than me once said “If you’re not wrong, you’re not a homer.” I can’t remember who said it. I could have read it on the Internet. I probably did read it on the Internet. Hell, Ben Franklin may have said it, I’m not sure.
Putting aside the fact that I have a clear grasp on the famous quotes of our Founding Fathers for a moment, let me speak to you about the simple truth behind the statement.
“Homerism” is defined by the dictionary as “a sports fan dedicated, down to the very bowels of their soul, to one team, so much so they would kick a puppy for tickets to even an away game.”
So what if the dictionary actually has no such definition. I believe I’ve succinctly summed up well the homer. They’re a person so rabidly devoted to a team that they are myopic to the facts at hand in relation to the reality of their team’s actual situation. Every team has those fans, and they’re not necessarily bad fans. In fact, they provide the core – nay – the very heart, of a fan base. They keep the team afloat even in the worst of times.
Homers don’t balk and root for the team to lose to gain position in the draft. No homer ever supported the “Suck for Luck” campaign. A homer would physically violate the well-being of such a Seahawk “fan” and would put quotes around “fan” when they write about them, too.
For the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday, every homer who has ever taken off their pants and wrapped them around their head for good luck in overtime, every single nut-ball homer who has argued with some other idiot fan of another team about the best logo decals, is needed to boost our team over the San Francisco 49ers.
This season isn’t over, and the second-half success of this team has placed the Nation of the 12thman into a sense of euphoria that cannot be described. The Pete Carroll/John Schneider era has had its share of drama (see: First team to go negative in the win-loss column into the playoffs) and ups and downs. This season we’ve seen our future offensive line obliterated, we’ve tapped a rookie third-string for a cornerback and our quarterback’s pectoral muscle looks like a mangled KFC chicken breast. And yet here we are, with more hope than ever. With a backup line holding it’s own, that cornerback catching three interceptions and our quarterback showing he has the mettle for second-half blowouts. Both seasons for me have been horrid to watch and the best thing I’ve ever seen. I hate it. And I love it.
Homers are the people who, say, predict the Seahawks will go 11-3 in the second year of a rebuilding team. I may or may not have done that. I may have been mocked. I didn’t care. I believed. Because I’m a rabid Seahawks fan. I’m a homer. Am I sad that they didn’t get there? Not really. We still have a chance at the playoffs. Last year we shut up the defending Super Bowl champions when nobody else in the nation believed. It takes the dedication of not only the team for that, but the fans, too. Loud fans.
Century Link must be loud this Christmas Eve. I want Santa’s sleigh to literally crash out of the air due to fan-caused noise turbulence. A homer believes Century Link is the loudest stadium in the NFL. Others will argue that the Detroit Lions have the loudest stadium. They’ll probably point to some scientifically based piece of journalism to boost their position. A homer laughs in their face and scoffs at their science. A homer needs the science of a decibel-meter-backed loud stadium like Creationists supporting a 5,000-year-old planet need carbon dating. Century Link is, and will be, the loudest stadium in the NFL this weekend. The 49ers will have more false starts this game than all year combined. Those penalties will mean the difference in a crushing defeat in which the Seahawks win 33-10.
Believe it. Because if you’re not wrong, you’re not a homer.
Bio: Sam lives in Western Washington and goes by the name of @WolfTrap1984 on Twitter because it’s his gamer tag on Xbox Live and he thought it was cool at the time when he made it up. He signs autographs and encourages you to put them on eBay like A-Rod-signed one-night-stand baseballs.