TwistedHusky wrote:...if you have to lose it was the best way to lose.
EXACTLY!!! I didn't lose any sleep over this one at all. We got beat in a close game in which we acquitted ourselves pretty well, and in which we had a chance to win at the end. We almost won. We got beat by a team who was, for 60:00 on Sunday, the better team. There is no shame in that. Likewise, the 2006 playoff loss to Chicago and the 2003 Playoff loss to Green Bay. I had no post-game angst about those losses either.
Losing to the Rams in 2004 hurt a lot worse. Not because it was the Rams (although that didn't help), and not because it was their 3rd time beating us that season, but because we played like crap. Our season ended, appropriately and ironically, with a dropped pass. We weren't trying to win the game at the end, we were trying desperately to tie it. And couldn't. We got out-played and out-physicalled. At home. THAT stung.
At Green Bay in 2007, we got lucky early, and then got caught with our pants down the rest of the game. It started snowing, and apparently nobody in the entire Seahawks organization had considered that possibility. So while Green players went to the sideline and casually changed their cleats to something that worked in snowy grass, the Seahawks did their best impressions of beginning peewee league hockey players -- the ones still learning how to skate. We got our asses handed to us on a pike. That one also stung.
And the granddaddy of all post-season losses of course, is the *. During the normal course of a game, a team has to overcome its own mistakes. It has to overcome injuries. It has to overcome big plays by the opponent. And it has to overcome bad calls by the officials. As we found out, it also has to overcome media bias and an artificial home-town environment for the other team. But as we found out the hard way, it is impossible to overcome all those things put together. We almost did it. Even in the 4th quarter, we still had a shot. But the back-breaker, among all the other things, was being prevented
from winning by the guys whose job it wasn't. I still remember, when that play started, yelling "Free play!" because of obvious offsides, and seeing Hasselbeck throw the ball to Jeremy Stevens almost for a TD, and celebrating until they announced that the flag they had thrown was for holding, not offsides. That is when my emotions came crashing down to an artificially depressed reality, and I realized we weren't going to win because the zebras weren't going to allow us to win.
In spite of the "push off" TD getting called back, in spite of the Rothfpwuehrger helmet "TD", in spite of the bad 3rd down spot on Mack Strong's run, in spite of the uncalled horsecollar on Shaun Alexander, in spite of two Josh Brown misses, in spite of Etric Pruitt being on the field because of an injury, in spite of a long run TD and trick play TD , and in spite of numerous other things, we were still in the game and could have taken the lead in the 4th quarter.
Until the "hold". Followed by the "low block".
That kind of bad taste doesn't go away ever.
That night, we were not beaten by the better team. The better team was artificially held back and made to lose. If we'd have lost the game to piss-n-black the way we lost the game to the Falcons, I'd have been upset for a little while, but then I could have immediately dwelt on the season that got us there, and the good game I just watched, and felt pride for my team, and shaken hands with opponent fans without them averting their eyes.
Yeah, there are some "what ifs" from the Atlanta game. But the bottom line is the Falcons did what they needed to do to win, and we didn't. On a level field, with the refs not having any significant impact on the outcome of the game. I have no shame in admitting we were beat by the better team. And it hasn't cost me any sleep at all.