Pete Carroll’s Seahawks Addicted to Drama
The Young and the Restless. Days of Our Lives. General Hospital. Seahawks football. What do these things have in common? They live for the drama. Pure, over-the-top-, exaggerated, exhausting drama.
The Seahawks are all about that drama. They are not necessarily fighting over a woman or denying ownership of their fiance's child, but their flair for the dramatics is of the same intensity.
It seems like the Seahawks are allergic to winning comfortably, as if they actually enjoy the agonizing pressure of a close, one-score game or even playing from behind. 10 of the Seahawks’ 12 games have finished within one touchdown and Seattle has won nine of them.
Coach Pete Carroll seems to live for these moments. As Courtney from the drama production General Hospital said, “I may not agree with a lot of the choices he makes, but he is not a coward.” Carroll is no coward. In fact, he thrives in such situations.
That couldn't have been illustrated better than it was when the Seahawks dialed up a gutsy fake punt on their own 32-yard line in the fourth quarter. Had Travis Homer not gotten the first down after taking the snap from the upback position, it could have spelled disaster. Thanks to the conversion, it took four minutes on the game clock for the Vikings to score again in a final period where time was precious.
Carroll is a Hollywood guy, after all, as he had his best moments as a college coach in Los Angeles, winning back-to-back AP national titles with the USC Trojans while also losing the chance at a third the following year to Texas in the most dramatic of fashions.
Soap operas love to bring characters back from the dead. Seattle came out looking dead in the first half, allowing Minnesota to march right down and score a touchdown on its first drive of the game. The Vikings led 17-10 at halftime after Seattle’s defense looked sleepy to close the half, allowing Minnesota to get in field goal range.
In the world famous drama Days of Our Lives, which miraculously has been producing shows since 1965, Vivian was pronounced dead after being shot, but of course, she re-emerged alive and said “it turns out there's some life left in the old girl after all.”
There was plenty of life left in the Seahawks after halftime. In fact, they were just getting started, plotting the demise of the Vikings behind the scenes. The third quarter was one of the most dominant single quarters by Seattle in recent memory, outscoring Minnesota 17-0 and taking control of the game.
Oh, but the plot twists did not end there. With Seattle up 34-17 and the game seemingly comfortably in control, the Seahawks could not help but stir the pot and make things dramatic once more. A horrific blown coverage assignment and a DK Metcalf fumble let the Vikings right back in the game as they whittled the lead down to 34-30 midway through the fourth quarter.
It was as if that was part of Seattle’s sinister plot as they dangled hope over Minnesota before squashing it once more with a fourth down stop and a forced fumble on the kickoff to end the game.
This game against the Vikings was a microcosm of the season or heck, the entire Pete Carroll tenure. For one reason or another, the Seahawks are incapable of winning comfortably. It’s not in their DNA. I guess it just doesn’t make good TV.
"Close games are cool, aren’t they?" Carroll joked. "I like them. Maybe the 17 points was too much, we shouldn’t have been ahead by that much."
In six of their 10 wins, the Seahawks were trailing at some point in the second half. On the other side of the coin, they seemed to have comfortable leads against the Falcons, 49ers, and Vikings, only to let them slip back into the game, creating almost unnecessary, almost fabricated drama, which should sound familiar to fans of these kinds of soap operas.
Sports are the best kind of reality TV and the Seahawks have embraced that, performing their way to the NFL's best record with four games left to play. It has not been easy, or pretty, but they just keep on winning with endings that seem scripted for weekday viewing.
Just like how Drama King Pete Carroll likes it.