THERE IS ONE reason to admire the Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson. But there might be close to 100 reasons to not admire the Seahawks, and 92 of them involve Pete Carroll.
So though I love the city of Seattle and root for the MLB Mariners and wish the NBA Supersonics were still there, every ounce of NFL blood in my perpetually prone body will be dedicated to seeing someone beat the Seahawks between now and Super Bowl 48.
First up, the Saints this Saturday.
(I have just sent a check for $149.95 to the New Orleans coaching staff to provide beignets, cinnamon rolls and Dr. Brown's Diet Black Cherry for the upcoming week of preparation.)
The Seahawks are 13-3 because, with Wilson at quarterback, they play smart offensive football, coupled with bruising defensive football. A fan could fall in love with them, except that they're already so in love with themselves.
The wide receivers signal first down after every catch. The linebackers pound their chests after every defensive stop. It's a miracle half the team isn't on injured reserve from spraining their arms trying to pat themselves on the back.
(FYI: Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is the only Stanford graduate ever to earn a bachelor's degree in trash talking.)
Nobody on the Seahawks just makes a play and goes back to the huddle. They are a chirping, preening lot of look-at-me-I'm-the-baddest-man-on-the-planet showboaters.
Sooner or later, the Seahawks are going to give up a touchdown while celebrating a hard hit.
All of this is a reflection of their around-the-clock, strut-and-swagger leader, Carroll.
(Column Intermission: My AFC Team of Destiny, the Kansas City Chiefs, brought me unbridled joy this season with their turnaround from 2-14 to 11-5; all that pleasure dissolved into agonizing pain Saturday night with their crushing defeat to the Indianapolis Colts. Watching the Chiefs' 38-10 lead become a 45-44 loss took 3 1/2 years off the back end of my life, which could impact my mortality as soon as next week. As a courtesy, I hope Andy Reid delivers my eulogy.)
You may recall Carroll from USC, which he left on NCAA sanctions due to improper benefits for Reggie Bush that Carroll supposedly knew nothing about; Bush forfeited his Heisman Trophy while Carroll flew first-class to his next job in Seattle.
In Seattle, the Seahawks have led the NFL in substance-abuse suspensions - five - since Carroll became coach in 2010. Carroll is the only coach in NFL history with an offensive coordinator, a defensive coordinator and a PED coordinator.
Of course, Carroll seemingly is never aware of any malfeasance or abnormality around him - if the Abscam sting were run out of his lap, he would tell you he didn't even know he had a lap.
(FYI, again: At Seahawks games, the crowd is known as "the 12th man," when, in fact, the 12th man in Seattle is some guy named Junebug who provides Adderall to many defensive starters.)
During games, Carroll bounds along the sideline. Sometimes he sprints alongside a play if, say, the Seahawks force a turnover and are returning it for a score. Sometimes he rips off his headset and charges toward an official to argue a call.
He spends so much time on the field, they should just give him his own whistle.
My disdain for Carroll grew out of a moment I witnessed before he was even a head coach.
It was a Jets-at-Dolphins contest on Dec. 20, 1992. After a Tony Martin touchdown catch with 2:30 to go in the fourth quarter, Dolphins kicker Pete Stoyanovich missed an extra point that would've tied the game, and the TV cameras caught Carroll - then defensive coordinator of the Jets - gleefully putting his hands around his neck in a choke sign.
What a lovely, classy gesture, I thought.
(By the way, karma kicked in, as Stoyanovich made a 37-yard field-goal attempt with seven seconds left to give the Dolphins a 19-17 victory.)
Trust me, Pete Carroll doesn't deserve Russell Wilson. He deserves a 19-17 playoff loss.
Ask The Slouch
Q. Watching some of the bowl games, I wondered what those "thingies" are on the helmets of the players - are they awards for each class they have attended during the year? (John P. Donnelly; Reston, Va.)
A. It seems rather unlikely any player could attend that many classes in any year.
Q. It took the Cleveland Browns only one year to realize that Rob Chudzinski was not going to be a top-notch NFL coach. How long did it take your ex-wives to determine you weren't going to be a top-notch husband? (Bill Lehky; Strongsville, Ohio)
A. In either my first or second marriage, I believe there were rumblings on our honeymoon night.
Q. Since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Lovie Smith, does that absolve them of the Rooney Rule requirement of a sham minority interview, or must they still speed-dial Ted Cottrell? (Scott D. Shuster; Watertown, Mass.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
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