Coolest teams in the NFL? The Seahawks, according to this Grantland.com story by Robert Mays, who took in the Hawks-Niners game on Sunday.
Ever since the Patriots won their first Super Bowl in 2001, even the NFL’s best have never been particularly cool. When New England rejected the individual pregame introductions before that win, it rejected a decade of personality-driven identity in the NFL. The league’s premier franchises were led by a pair of quarterback robots and a couple of coaches who seemed locked in a competition for who could be most benign. In football, every champion was the San Antonio Spurs.
Consciously or not, the Seahawks have spent much of the past three seasons deviating from that model. Everything about the team — from their coach, to their quarterback, to where they play, to what they wear — somehow seems different. In a league where teams often seem interchangeable, the Seahawks have made people take notice. And in doing so, they’ve become the coolest team in the NFL.
Art Thiel of Sportspressnw.com writes that Seattle’s fans are doing their part to see that their town won’t be considered the most miserable sports city in America, as ranked by Forbes Magazine earlier in the year. His column was sparked by a letter to the editor from San Francisco fans who think the NFL should do something about the Seahawks’ home-field advantage. Thiel ended his column with these thoughts:
“Nothing has been won, of course, except a Guinness decibel award and some hearts. But it cannot be said that lack of support is any factor in a subsequent failure to reward constituencies with some long-overdue hardware. No wonder Chris Hansen is willing to roll with a billion dollars — and break a few laws — to make the NBA and NHL happen here.
“Good luck, San Franciscans, with the campaign for golf-gallery applause at football games. Keep us informed by letter, email and text, but please don’t call. We can’t hear you.”
Port Orchard’s Willie Bloomquist didn’t like the way the Dodgers celebrated after clinching the NL West title with a victory over the Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix. The Dodgers took over the Diamondbacks swimming pool that sits outside of the right-centerfield fence.
“… There’s not much we can do about it now,” Bloomquist said. “They’ve clinched the division this year, but if that’s how they’re going to act and be classless, that’s their gig, that’s their clubhouse. I just think it’s disrespectful and classless.”
Bloomquist, by the way, is hitting .336 in 40 games for the Diamondbacks.
Seattle reliever Charlie Furbush got the loss in relief and Detroit starter Doug Fister, who was traded to the Tigers for Furbush and a three other players (outfielder Casper Wells, closer Doug Ruffin and third baseman Francisco Martinez) who never panned out, got his 13th win of the season. Boy, that was a lousy trade. Fister was 8-1 for the Tigers with a 1.79 ERA in 2011, was 10-10 with a 3.45 ERA while battling some injuries and is 13-9 with a 3.71 ERA. The M’s also gave up reliever David Pauley in that trade. Pauley didn’t work for Detroit. Wells, Ruffin and Martinez (the M’s traded him back to Detroit) never worked out for the Mariners.
Furbush struggled as a starter, but has been pretty good out of the bullpen the last two years. He appeared in 48 games with a 2.72 ERA a year ago, and he’s worked in 67 games this year and has a 3.48 ERA. The trade never made sense when it was made because Fister, despite a 3-13 record at the time, was clearly a quality starter and he didn’t command a lot of money (he’s making $4 million this year after being eligible for salary arbitration). He won’t be eligible for free agency until 2015. It made sense to hang on to Fister at least two more years, or until prospects like Taijuan Walker and James Paxton were ready to make the leap to the majors.