Tag Archives: Russell Wilson

Some unseemly bragging about how I predicted a Super Bowl rout

Here's your proof. I called it.
Here’s your proof. I called it.
I am bragging. That’s not an admirable quality. I can accept that.

Yesterday, and I have to post this when “yesterday” is still yesterday, I responded to my cousin’s Facebook post about the game. It was more than two hours before kickoff. Maybe it was because I was sitting in church that I felt so accurately inspired, but it was accurate nonetheless. I said something few outside the Seahawks’ locker room were willing to say, that Super Bowl XLVIII would be a rout.

The picture here is your proof. “Hawks will win and it won’t be close,” I wrote. In reality it was just a feeling, but I had thought about the game like everyone else had for the two weeks leading up to it and there was some logic to it. And even though I can profess some prescience, I didn’t think it be as brutal as it was.

Here were my three reasons my feeling was supported by evidence.

1. As highly regarded as the Denver Broncos offense was, it only put up 26 points on the Patriots and 24 on the Chargers. The top four scoring defenses were in the NFC (Seattle, San Francisco, Carolina and New Orleans.) New England ranked 10th and San Diego was 11th. Those are good, but not elite like Seattle and San Francisco. Seattle had given up 14.4 points per game. New England and San Diego both averaged around 21.

2. I thought the difference would be the Seahawk offense. I figured Russell Wilson would play well, that Denver would have little answer for his ability to escape and find opportunities, and that Percy Harvin might play an even bigger role in the offense than he did. Denver’s defense gave up almost 25 points per game this year. That might be a little misleading, because when your offense is explosive as much as Denver’s had been, you’re on the field a lot longer and many points come in garbage time. But I thought Seattle’s offense would fare well, because it put up 23 on San Francisco and New Orleans, two vastly superior defenses.

3. In 2006 the Seahawks should have beaten the Steelers. Seattle was better than Pittsburgh, but played poorly. Yes, I know the refs didn’t perform so well either, but that loss was clearly on the Seahawk players. They played awful, awful, awful in key moments. I trusted the psychological make-up of this team to not implode like that one did. Perhaps what convinced me of this team’s mettle was the way it battled back against San Francisco in the NFC championship game. Wilson fumbles and the defense holds for just a field goal. Then the D figures out how to contain Kaepernick. This team was tested in a way that 2006 team was not before the Super Bowl, and it answered. I figured it would again, if necessary, but that it probably wouldn’t be to near the degree the test the 49ers presented.

Despite all that, I did not envision this kind of blowout. Another cousin was in a pool and had the number “3” for the Seahawks and “4” for the Broncos. I wrote to him, 33-14 Seahawks. That’s what I figured, that the Seahawks would clearly be better than the Broncos, but that they would have to preserve a lead, not start sending in backups for mop-up duty.

In the end, though, they did everything right, the refs were a non-factor and the Broncos contributed with a few mistakes. The Seahawk defense stopped the yards after catch. Manning couldn’t run like Kaepernick. The defensive line altered throws and one turned into a pick six. Harvin broke a kickoff return, something you could realistically imagine but not predict. And Seattle’s offense kept converting on third down and breaking tackles.

Even I had no idea how right I would be.

For Bremerton man who began charity rivalry, ‘it doesn’t have to be about bricks, banners or billboards’

Christopher Hart, with his fiance Kristina Boyd.
Christopher Hart, with his fiance Kristina Boyd.

Like so many Seahawks fans, I was none too pleased when fans of the 49ers decided to throw up money for a  billboard bragging about their previous Super Bowl victories.

My good friend Christopher Hart decided to do something about it.

Hart, once an employee of the Kitsap Sun and still a neighbor of mine in Bremerton, decided that if those 49er fans would donate their excess proceeds to Seattle Children’s Hospital, he’d challenge those same fans by galvanizing the 12th man to send their money south in support of San Francisco’s equivalent children’s hospital. He set an ambitious goal: $20,000.

He’s well on his way.

In just five days, Hart’s gotten $8,261  donations from nearly 300 people through his fundraising site. The Suquamish Clearwater Casino, where he works, has agreed to give a $5,000 match. And an anonymous donor in San Francisco, in the spirit of this competitive giving, has already pledged to match anything Seahawks fans give to the San Francisco hospital to Seattle’s — up to $100,000.

His work has resonated with fellow fans big time. Hart, with the help of former West Sound newspaperman Aaron Managhan, has appeared on various media outlets to talk about it. In his hometown paper, I wanted to give him a chance to explain, in his own words, how this thing grew from an idea to a wave of charity, and why he did it.

Q: How did you come up with this idea?

A: When I saw the story pop up about the Niners fans paying for a billboard here in Seattle, my blood boiled for a hot moment.  Then I realized that was exactly what they wanted.  I started reflecting on the direction this rivalry was heading. I was kicking around the idea of just raising money for San Francisco’s Children’s hospital as a thank you for them donating their excess billboard funds to Seattle Children’s on Facebook. After some support from my friend Aaron Managhan, I put together the YouFundMe page.

Q: This isn’t the first time you’ve put on fundraisers for children battling cancer and other ailments. Why is this particular kind of charitable giving so near and dear to your heart?

A: We started doing something called Extra Life five years ago.  It’s like Relay for Life, but instead of running or walking for 24 hours you play video games and raise money for your local Children’s Hospital.  Every year we do this I meet people who tell me about their experiences at Seattle Children’s, and how it was completely live changing. They often take children with no insurance, and that’s where the funds we raise go towards, helping them get treatment. I don’t have children of my own yet, but I have a niece and nephew that mean the world to me. If something like this were to happen to them I would be pretty devastated.

Q: Why do you think this resonated with so many donors?

A: I think a lot of people felt the same way I did. A rivalry can be good and fun, but does it need to get nasty? I think when we put this out there people started comparing the importance of football with a child’s health. I can’t tell you how many people left comments that said “Now this is how a rivalry should go down!” from both Seahawks and Niner fans.  I also think Russell Wilson and his continued visits and support to Seattle Children’s Hospital have shown people that football can really be used for something bigger than … well … football.

Q: Were you surprised this effort caught the attention of so many, and if so, what surprised you most?

A: When I started the campaign, I had hopes of it catching on.  Thanks to Aaron’s web savvy it was everywhere almost instantly.  I couldn’t believe how many people had shared it, the amount of comments it was garnishing on Reddit was really inspiring.  I think what surprised me the absolute most though was the amount of San Francisco fans that embraced it.  It’s completely painted them in a different light for me.  Even the guy that raised the money for the billboard reached out to us telling us what a great idea he thought this was.

Q: What is your ultimate goal here?

A: Our ultimate goal for this was definitely to raise money for kids that direly need it while taking this rivalry in a more positive direction. It doesn’t have to be about bricks, banners or billboards. We have a great power in the ability to do good with the things we are passionate about.

To donate, go to: http://www.gofundme.com/12thSpirit