What's more fun than obsessively following the futures market that is the NFL Draft? Obsessively following the clues one of the NFL's more eccentric coaches is dropping as hints about who his team is targeting! (Well, maybe.)
Pete Carroll's first tweet tipped us off, and we'll be following the rest as they come, trying to work up some guesses about the Seahawks' targets from their clues.
First song: Santana, "Soul Sacrifice." Guesses: Carlos Dunlap would work with Carlos Santana, but that's a reach, both for us and the Seahawks. Derrick Morgan's major was "science, technology and culture": does that work with "soul sacrifice"? Is Bryan Bulaga's illness the "sacrifice" implied? Could the drum solo from "Soul Sacrifice" be a clue that Seattle's looking at a player who drums?
Second song: Lil Wayne's "Let the Beat Build." (NSFW lyrics.) Guesses: Weezy raps, "I wear bright red, like a girl toe," which might be a reference to Oklahoma tackle Trent Williams, but he won't be around at the 14th pick. Rolando McClain, of the Crimson Tide, will be, and so will McClain's Alabama teammate Kareem Jackson. If you want to get really insane with the color red and agitate the nearest Seahawks fan, consider that both Joe McKnight and Toby Gerhart wore red in college. Lil Wayne also says "And I waved, fool, as I blew by you," which could point to C.J. Spiller, and "And I got a lot of tattoos," which probably isn't a good clue.
Third song: The Doors' "Back Door Man." Guesses: Uh, considering "Back Door Man" is commonly thought of as a song about a man having an affair with a married woman, I think we should assume this is about either a back-side blocker or rusher. Could be Morgan or Dunlap, or Bulaga, Russell Okung, or Williams, depending on whether the Seahawks see any of them as weak-side players. Williams, in particular, played right tackle well in college. Or, if it's a reference to the Seahawks' third pick, the 60th pick overall, it could be a reference to practically anyone. Does "I eat more chicken than any man ever seen" tip anyone off?
Fourth song: House of Pain, "Jump Around." (NSFW lyrics.) Guesses: I'm pretty sure we should suspect Carroll's hinting at Trent Williams now: he topped the list of offensive lineman at the NFL Draft Combine with a 34.5-inch vertical leap.
Fifth song: Michael Jackson, "Smooth Criminal." Guesses: Throw out the stupefying possibility that Carroll's actually drafting a criminal and tweeting about it. Let's try to make this work for Williams: "sooners" were technically criminals, and there's an "Okay" throughout the hook that could be a reference to Oklahoma, Williams' school. Also, I don't think there are any prospective picks named Annie, but I could be wrong.
Sixth song: Tupac Shakur, "California Love." (Lyrics not really NSFW, but unless your work is Tupac-friendly, try headphones.) Guesses: I can't make this about Trent Williams no matter how hard I try. Maybe it's for Jahvid Best? That would work with the "blow by you" from the Weezy song. It could also work for any USC player or anyone from Compton. So there's that.
Seventh song: Crash Test Dummies, "Superman's Song." (Lyrics SFW, but not conducive to being awake.) Guesses: Tim Tebow, I suppose? I really have no idea what Carroll's going for here: if the Seahawks want Tebow, their picks seem poorly distributed to get him at decent value, and the song's "Man, good people are awesome!" message is the sort of thing any coach will say about athletes' character during the week, then regret when the nice guys aren't as good at sports.
Tenth song: Pearl Jam, "Jeremy." Guesses: Maybe this is a pick made by Jeremy Bates, Seattle's offensive coordinator? Bates loves running backs. Would Joe McKnight or Best look good in deodorant green? (Assuming it's a hint about a prospect who shoots things is probably a losing proposition.)
Eleventh song: Taylor Swift, "Today Was a Fairytale." Guesses: Going out on a limb and saying this isn't related to the "I wore a dress" line in the song, it seems really likely that this is related to Mays again. And between this, the "SC" of "Smooth Criminal," and the "Lickin' Stick," I would not be surprised to see Mays and Carroll reunited.
Twelfth song: Johnny Cash, "Ring of Fire." Guesses: The ring of fire drill is for defensive linemen. Combine this with earlier clues, and it sure seems like a defensive lineman like Dunlap would be on the Seahawks' big board.
Thirteenth song: Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Free Bird." Guesses: Okay, so there aren't a ton of flying mascots at big-time college football schools, and there isn't a whole lot of enthusiasm on my end to finish this with a bang. But Kareem Jackson would fit the Southerner ethos of Skynyrd's music -- he's from Georgia -- and went to Alabama. Skynyrd's from the South -- Green Cove Springs, Florida, just outside Jacksonville -- and recorded "Sweet Home Alabama." I think we have a match.
I should also note that Carroll's mentioned the taser scene from The Hangover -- "Some of these big boys, you have to give them two shots" might be a clue -- and mentioned scenes from The Da Vinci Code and Risky Business as well, but it's harder to figure out a clue from a scene, in my opinion.
Carroll did tease, poke, and prod the media about their inability to solve the clues, but I feel confident I've given them a full look-see. Clearly, the Seahawks will draft Trent Williams, Bryan Bulaga, Carlos Dunlap, Jahvid Best, Rolando McClain, Russell Okung, Joe McKnight, Tim Tebow, and Taylor Mays. They are so winning the 2009 BCS Championship.
(Seriously, though? Williams and Mays look like really good bets.)
Aftermath: The Seahawks selected Russell Okung and Earl Thomas in the first round. I'd say "best available tackle" would have worked for getting either Trent Williams or Okung, because the "OK" would work for either one, but I admit to being totally befuddled by how those clues could lead to Thomas. Carroll tweeted that two people got it right. Will one of those tweeters' Joe McKnight prediction come true, too?â†µ
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