On Tuesday, I noted that the Seahawks, should they beat the Rams on Sunday night, will become the first 7-9 team in the history of the NFL to enter the playoffs. Some have jokingly asked whether Seahawks fans would even want to see their team, which can't even be described as mediocre, in a playoff game.
According to results from an online Seattle Times poll, the answer is no. This bears repeating: they'd rather the Seahawks lose to the Rams and miss the playoffs. Some "no" voters probably just find a playoff berth pointless for this team, while others are likely thinking about which pick the Seahawks will get in the 2011 draft. The Times' Danny O'Neil, though, puts that in perspective:
Only five teams are guaranteed to have a worse record than Seattle, but as many as 10 teams could finish with more losses than the Seahawks even with a loss to the Rams.
Are 10 draft spots worth foregoing the excitement and momentum of a playoff game, especially when you consider that Randy Moss, Nate Clements and Vince Wilfork are all players chosen No. 21 overall in the past 12 years?
O'Neil also notes that what Seattle really needs is a quarterback of the future, which they aren't likely to get even if they were to snag the sixth overall pick. Never mind that. I still can't grasp the idea of wanting my team to miss the playoffs, no matter how bad they are and no matter how well it would set up my team for a draft pick.
I'm speaking from experience here.
In 2006, the Chiefs were off to a 7-4 start before dropping three games in a row. A postseason berth was improbable, to say the least, entering the final week of the season: at 8-7, the Chiefs needed to win, and the Titans, Bengals, and Broncos all needed to lose. Miraculously, thanks to a pair of overtime losses, it all happened, and the Chiefs grabbed the final wild-card spot.
I knew that the Chiefs were not good. Trent Green, who had missed half the season with a concussion, had lost most of his effectiveness, and sometimes it felt as though every touchdown was a godsend. The Colts were going to embarrass the Chiefs. I knew this.
Believe me, though, when I said that it did not matter. A playoff spot was an unexpected treat, like a free seat at a poker tournament. I'd sat through plenty of games in which Chiefs teams good enough to inspire optimism would find a way to lose, and this game, a game in which I invested no expectations of winning, was a more enjoyable experience than any of them. There was nothing left to lose, because I felt like my team had already lost before the coin flip, so there was nowhere to go but up.
It's an extra game, an excuse to have a party, and a lottery ticket that could be good for another game. Appreciate it for what it is, Seahawks fans.
Read more about the Seahawks at Field Gulls.