Monday, October 16, 2006
This came from a Rams fan in our row at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis yesterday after Josh Brown's 34-yard field goal hit both uprights and didn't go through. The time? 9:33 of the THIRD QUARTER.
If you know your Seahawks-Rams history, you would know that these contests are never over with over 24 minutes left. I even pointed out the infamous 2004 game at Qwest Field to a guy in front of me. After that game, I knew that no game was over until it was over. So, needless to say, this Rams fan who said the game was over was full of it.
I arrived in St. Louis on Saturday afternoon. Downtown St. Louis was hopping with Game 3 of the NLCS between the Mets and Cardinals. Of course, I went to the Chicago Blackhawks-St. Louis Blues game at the Scottrade Center (formerly the Savvis Center). The Blues won 4-3. The fans at the Blues game were more interested in the Cards' game. Not shocking.
I'll do this post in notes format, since that's the best possible way to describe my experience in the Gateway City. Thank God the Seahawks won.
---Thank you to the Midwest Seahawkers. They had their annual event in St. Louis where they had a reunion party at the Holiday Inn (I spent Saturday night there) and there was a tailgate party over on the corner of 11th and Convention Center Plaza. It was great to talk to all the 'Hawks fans. Thanks once again, Midwest Seahawkers.
---I'm not in the Holiday Inn lobby for two seconds and two Rams fans call me out. "You guys are in the basement!" Me: "Defending NFC Champions!" That shut them up.
---Rams fans, for the most part, are an alright bunch. I think I only saw one Leonard Little jersey all day. The fans must have known that I was coming to town. Although I did get a good dig in during the Seahawks' introductions. When Grant Wistrom's name was announced to the crowd, I yelled, "Not a murderer!"
---Re: Rams fans. They do have some lame comebacks. "How about your Mariners?" Hey, this is FOOTBALL. I know the Mariners are mediocre. I don't need a St. Louis fan to tell me otherwise.
---The Tigers are going to win the World Series. Nobody's stopping them. Nobody.
---I was a little disappointed that the Rams didn't give out rally towels. I had my sharpie ready to mark the Rams logo out. Dammit. Instead, we got flip cards with each team's roster on it. I thought the flip cards were cool, to be honest. I did buy a $5 program, however, with Steven Jackson on the cover. And judging by the picture, it looks like he's dancing. YEAH!
---Rams fans don't know what they got with Steven Jackson. They expect him to be Marshall Faulk. Look, there's just one Marshall Faulk. If I'm a Rams fan, I'd be glad to have Scott Linehan on board. He's actually let Jackson run the ball this year.
---The feeling of walking into an opposing team's stadium is great. You know that you're clearly in the minority. You have the "wrong" colors on. Fortunately, this was St. Louis. If I would have said something bad about Scott Spiezio (and boy, I wanted to), then I would have had more trouble with the Rams fans.
---Scott Spiezio, thanks for showing up. I mean, seriously...let's move on.
---The Rams' brought Chuck Berry to the game. It's his 80th birthday on Wednesday. I told someone that in Seattle, they couldn't honor anybody's 80th birthday because all the good rock stars from Seattle are already dead. And the ones that are left have distanced themselves from Seattle. Still, a nice touch of class on the Rams' part to bring Berry to the game. He's a legend, folks.
---The Rams' intro song? Godsmack's "Speak". Good call. This would prove to be the best musical choice of the day at the Edward Jones Dome.
---The Seahawks' secondary, Jesus. I had this Rams fan two rows in front of me shrug his shoulders and tell me, "what are you going to do about it?" This would also be the guy who clings on the past and told me that the Rams have won a Super Bowl. It's important to note that since the Seahawks joined the Rams in the NFC West, the Rams have not been back to the Super Bowl. 1999 was 7 years ago. Kurt Warner's not walking through that door. Ricky Proehl isn't walking through that door. Brenda Warner's spiked hair isn't walking through that door either.
---Oh, and the Rams are no longer playing Todd Rundgren's "Bang The Drum All Day" after every touchdown. Instead, they play Blur's "Song #2" and Outkast's "Hey Ya!" At least with Rundgren, they had some originality. But I was so glad I didn't have to hear that damn bang your damn drum song all damn day. Damn.
---The first half......yeah. STEP THE HELL UP, DAMMIT. (I got a rise out of the crowd when I yelled that. Some guy in the section next to me said, "I sense frustration over there!" No kidding.)
---But the second half...
---When Bryce Fisher sacked Marc Bulger to end the first half, I said to anybody that would listen that it would set the tone for the second half. While the Seahawks couldn't score on their first drive of the second half, my prediction came to fruition.
---I love Deion Branch. You tell who would be more valuable, Branch or the 2007 1st round pick? In addition, I'm digging the lime green gloves. I would get myself a pair of those gloves, but I wouldn't be as cool as Branch.
---Hoo boy, the pass interference calls. I'll admit, I wasn't too sure about them. But hey, the Seahawks have had calls go against them several times in the past, so when things go right for the 'Hawks, flag-wise, I'll take them.
---I really need to get myself a "What Would Ed Hochuli Do?" t-shirt.
---That 42-yard pass from Matt Hasselbeck to Darrell Jackson was the best pass I've seen in a long time. What a great play call. This came right after Mack Strong's touchdown was called back. Again, a great play call on 3rd-and-15.
---When Jackson scored, that's when the Seahawks defense just took over. To that guy who said he sensed frustration: I sensed frustration as well among the Rams fans for most of the second half.
---The 4th quarter came and Brown would kick a 49-yard field goal, the first of three in the final 15 minutes.
---Similar to last year's game in St. Louis, the Rams would fumble a return. This time, it was Kevin Bentley who recovered Kevin Curtis's fumble, not J.P. Darche. Two plays later, Branch records his second touchdown of the day. The Seahawks finally led, 24-21.
---After another 3-and-out by the Seahawks defense which included two sacks (Julian Peterson and Marcus Tubbs/Rocky Bernard), Brown would kick his second field goal of the quarter. It was once again a 49-yarder. Seahawks 27, Rams 21 with 10:33 remaining.
---Remember what I said earlier? It wasn't over. Not even close.
---The Rams' drive would stall at their 47-yard line, so Matt Turk, a not-so-young Turk, would come on to punt. Three of his five punts were inside the 20.
---Bulger would finally throw his first interception of the year. Lofa Tatupu took the ball 19 yards before being stopped at the Rams' 17-yard line. Game over, right?
---Maurice Morris is not an every-down running back. He's not Shaun Alexander. I felt sick when he fumbled the ball. The last thing I needed was a Rams' comeback...
---Torry F*cking Holt. What a catch. But they left too much time on the clock...
---1:47, no timeouts, no problem. When the Rams' defense hadn't done a damn thing in the second half, there was no need to be concerned at all. It didn't matter that the ball was at the Seattle 17-yard line.
D.J. Hackett would start the drive 14-yard reception and his catch would be followed by Jackson with a 19-yard grab to midfield. After an incompletion, Hasselbeck would throw to Branch for a 9-yard reception. Strong would run for 9 yards and Hasselbeck would spike the ball. To get the ball just right for Brown, Strong would run for a yard, putting the ball at the Rams' 31-yard line. What happened next, wow...
Hochuli's crew called the 'Hawks for an illegal formation. I knew very well that this was not a 10-second runoff play. The Rams fans around me were like, "Game over! Game over!" Read your rulebook, Rams fans. I didn't need to say a word. Not one word. Call it a quiet confidence, if you will.
So the ball is moved back to the 36-yard line. Brown would have to make it from 54 yards out. Not an easy job, but this was a dome. Nobody will mistake Brown for Jeff Wilkins, but you know, Brown isn't too bad himself.
Ball snapped, hold down, kick is up and it's..............
Josh Brown is money. Money. Money. Money.
The Edward Jones Dome was silent. Absolute silence. Except for the few hundred Seahawks fans that were in attendance. I was just going nuts. As I walked down the steps to the concourse, this girl, who was probably 19 I think, said "Boo" in a normal tone of voice to me. She had really cute hair (pigtails!) which had been dyed blue and gold. I told her that I liked her hair and then she said thank you and the she added, "You know, you're not a bad Seahawks fan. You have class. I appreciate that." She was up a few rows above me and she told me that she heard me througout the contest. That was all, but hey, I wasn't a bad fan at all throughout the game. Surprisingly, I did not use a single curse word (at least out loud, anyway). I was impresed with myself for that.
---But man, I tell you what, walking out of the Edward Jones Dome after your team wins on a last-second field goal is absolutely fantastic. You can't ask for anything more than that. The sounds of silence permeated througout the concourse. I was smiling on my way out. High-fived a few Seahawks fans on the way out. We knew that it was a great game and that THE NFC WEST STILL RUNS THROUGH SEATTLE.
---Once I was out of the dome, I talk to a few 'Hawks fans outside. David called me and told me that there was an earthquake in Hawaii. He said that after the third play of the game, the power went out. He's OK, thank goodness. His apartment is OK as well, at least that's what he told me. So that's why there wasn't too much action in the game thread yesterday.
---After I get off the phone with David, I walk over to the buses outside the dome. I'm able to get Jerramy Stevens' autograph on my ticket. Simply awesome. He didn't play yesterday, however. I can't wait to see him back in the lineup. This offense needs him back.
What a win for this Seahawks team. They needed this in the worst possible. I needed this in the worst possible way as well. The five-hour drive back to Arkansas was much better with a Seahawks' win than a Seahawks' loss.
Whatever Mike Holmgren told the players at halftime must have worked. Obviously. There was no fire in the first half whatsoever. I was disturbed by that. Thank God they stepped up and played Seahawks Football in the second half. That said, this team could use Shaun Alexander.
I'll add a few photos later when I'm back at my place. In the meantime, enjoy this win. It can only get better from here. Of course it can.