Absence of Seahawks blue produces case of offseason blues

Staff WriterJanuary 30, 2013 

Already weary of the offseason lull, I am trying to figure out a shortcut Seahawks fans can take between now and the first Sunday of the 2013 schedule.

Eliminating February and its 28 dreary days seems like a swell idea. So does turning the page on August, which is basically July, only more so. And those calendar girls who happen upon us every spring — April, May and June — couldn’t they be consolidated into a month we’d call Blossom?

But there are no shortcuts. As of 1 p.m. today, presuming the Seahawks will open at 1 p.m. on Sept. 8., fans are looking at a layoff of 220 days, or 5,280 hours, or 316,800 minutes.

You’d think with that 316,800 minutes to kill, talk would turn from the 2013 Seahawks to something more pertinent. Basketball, maybe? Golf? Baseball?

No chance. Whenever I listen to the radio — whenever I bump into a friend — the conversation dwells on what the Hawks should do with backup quarterback Matt Flynn, and whether they’re better off identifying a defensive end or a wide receiver as their first-round draft choice, and what free-agent candidates merit consideration to join a roster with Super Bowl potential.

When was the last time a team around here ended its season with everybody so restless for the next one to begin? I’m drawing a blank.

The 1995 Mariners motored from nowhere in mid-September to the American League Championship Series in mid-October. It was a breathtaking trek that left fans, well, out of breath.

SuperSonics fans had similar reason for optimism after the Sonics extended the 1996 NBA Finals to six games against the Chicago Bulls. A 72-10 powerhouse during the regular season, en route to its third consecutive world championship, Chicago was outscored by an average of 15 points in back-to-back defeats at KeyArena.

After the Sonics were eliminated, fans noticed the Mariners were 66 games into a baseball season that would find them contending into the final week.

Unlike Lou Piniella’s ’95 Mariners and George Karl’s ’96 Sonics, Pete Carroll’s 2012 Seahawks concluded the playoffs without anything capable of distracting the fan base. Pro basketball in Seattle remains a concept: Construction of a building with a court awaits, but not until loopholes about the Sacramento Kings’ relocation are resolved in a court building.

As for college basketball — specifically, the Washington Huskies — there’s little buzz and less mojo. Lennay Kekua, resurrected from the fake death that ended her fake life, has more of an identity than the team preparing for crucial Pacific-12 Conference home games against Arizona on Thursday and Arizona State on Saturday.

Meanwhile, as the rest of the world girds for Super Bowl Sunday, Seattle fans shrug their shoulders and wince about the coulda beens and woulda beens: The Seahawks put a 42-13 thumping on San Francisco five weeks ago. San Francisco is favored by 3.5 points to beat Baltimore.

How do you embrace a matchup like that? You don’t, is how. You watch the game hoping to be entertained during its commercial breaks, wishing the 2013 season could begin as soon as the confetti is cleared from the field.

Because it would be cruel of me to mention, again, that the 2013 season is 220 days away, I’ll avoid mentioning that the 2013 season is 220 days away.

Better to consider 2013 in increments, one or two months at a time.

On March 12, free agents can be signed and trades can be made. In other words, if the Seahawks are intent on dealing Flynn, or picking up a wide receiver with the deep speed to scare defenses — the Steelers’ Mike Wallace comes to mind — we’re a mere 41 days away from that major development.

On April 25, the NFL draft will begin in New York, where the Seahawks are slated for the 25th pick of the first round. That’s only 72 days away — around the corner, sort of, when you consider the 2013 opener is on Sept. 8.

Did I mention that as of 1 p.m. today, the next consequential football game for the Seattle Seahawks is in 220 days, or 5,280 hours, or 316,800 minutes?

Oops. I promised not to repeat myself, but at least I took a shortcut. If the kickoff on Sept. 8 is at 1:20, that means the 2013 season is 316,820 minutes away.

Daunting, yes. But you’ll survive February and plod through August. You’ll take it one day, one hour, one minute at a time. You’ll get there.

Maybe.

john.mcgrath@thenewstribune.com

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