Five Things After Football Week No. 116-3

1. Ouch, That Hurts: After a 33-3 loss to Oakland, the Seahawks are still the leaders in NFC West clubhouse with a 4-3 record. But the outlook isn’t good. Here’s what Mike Sando of ESPN wrote about what he called “a compound fracture” defeat:

Chester Pitts, having just gutted out most of the game at left guard and left tackle in his return from career-threatening knee surgery, wore a tight wrap on his knee and was not bending it much, if at all, when he walked. Pitts had not played an NFL game in 404 days and he wasn’t supposed to play much in this one.

The man Pitts replaced early in the game at left guard, Ben Hamilton, wasn’t around after suffering a concussion. The man Pitts later replaced at left tackle, Tyler Polumbus, wore a massive walking boot on his injured ankle. The man Polumbus replaced, Russell Okung, wasn’t even active while recovering from a high-ankle sprain.

The man those offensive linemen protect, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, took eight sacks and suffered a head injury. The Seahawks canceled his usual postgame interview session as a precaution. Hasselbeck was in the locker room after the game, as usual, but the team determined he wasn’t quite right.

The Seahawks entered this game minus four injured starters and one of those starter’s replacements. Three more starters couldn’t finish the game after suffering injuries. Polumbus returned, but he was clearly hurting. Another starter, No. 1 receiver Mike Williams, returned at less than full strength after suffering a bruised knee.
2. 116-3. That’s what the Seahawks, Huskies and Cougars were outscored by this weekend. Will it be any better this coming weekend? The banged up Seahawks host the rested Giants, the Huskies take their 100th-ranked defense to Oregon to face the No. 1 Ducks and the most explosive offense in college football, and WSU, which bottomed out at ASU, tries to turn it around at home against California.

The Huskies looked lost and unprepared against Stanford. You’ve got to lay that one on coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff.

And if you think Sarkisian’s feeling the heat, image what it must feel like to be Paul Wulff these days? Of course, only WSU AD Bill Moos knows for sure how hot that seat is.

The Seahawks looked more like I thought they’d look like at the start of the season. Wonder if Tony Dungy still thinks the Seahawks are the best team in the NFC? The injuries will be tough to overcome. If Hasselbeck can’t play, we’ll get our first look at Charlie Whitehurst, and he’ll get his first chance to prove that he might be the heir apparent at quarterback.

3. One Spacey Dude: Athletes like San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson don’t come around very often.  Bill “Spaceman” Lee might be the only guy who’s in Wilson’s league. If you haven’t caught his act (or is it an act?), check out this radio interview with Jim Rome.

At one point Rome asked Wilson if there’s power in his black beard.

His answer: “You be the judge. It’s ranked third in the AP poll behind Boise State.”

When asked why it was now black after starting out Brown, Wilson said:  “Ask a chameleon why it changes colors. It adapts.”

Here’s the September TV interview with Rose on ESPN that grew Wilson’s legend.

As for Bill Lee, he once asked this about Fenway Park’s Green Monster: “Do they leave it there during the game?”

4. Sounders Ticket Flap: The Sounders came up short in their playoff opener, losing 1-0 to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday. The fans, as always, were supportive — singing, chanting and cheering their Rave Green team on. But not all of those season-ticket holders were singing such a happy tune when they found out prices were going up for the 2011 season.

Port Orchard’s David Falk, a season-ticket holder who covers soccer for the Examiner, wrote about it in this post last week. His bottom line: the club has some explaining to do.

5. What Happened to NBA Enforcers?: Former Portland Trail Blazers’ star Maurice Lucas died Sunday after a long battle with bladder cancer. Lucas played in an era when tough, physical, bruising, smart players manned the power forward position in the NBA. Seattle had Lonnie Shelton (and Paul Silas). There was Kevin McHale,  Bob Hayes, Charles Barkley, Charles Oakley. They continued the tradition that was started by players like Dolph Schayes,  Bob Petitt, Jerry Lucas  and Dave DeBusschere. They’d back you down on offense, pound the boards and help protect the lane on defense. It seemed like every team had one. Some were just  rebounding/defensive specialists, like Kurt Rambis of the Lakers or Silas. Because of the way the game’s now played, the power forward as we once knew it is a dying breed. Dirk Nowitzki’s a small forward in a power forward’s body. Tim Duncan’s a center in a power forward’s body. As artistic as the game of basketball has become, I  miss the days when defense mattered. Really mattered. LeBron Jame wouldn’t have attacked the basket at will if  Maurice Lucas had been the last line of defense.

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