My guess is that, at best, most people can identify just one of the two men in this photograph: Denver Bronco great, John Elway. The other man is largely forgotten to history, but for over three decades Dave Krieg hasn’t simply been my favorite Seahawks player of all time, he’s been the most emblematic of my beloved franchise.
To say that Krieg was simply undrafted coming out of college is an an insult to undrafted players everywhere. Krieg played QB for Milton, a small liberal arts college named for the small, grain-tower-economied, backwater town in rural Wisconsin. Milton barely even had a football program. (Or anything else, for that matter. The college would throw in the towel and close up shop shortly after Krieg’s graduation.) And even in that environment, Krieg was initially — I swear I am not making this up — Milton’s seventh-string quarterback. And yet somehow, Dave Kieg become an All-Pro just five years after walking on the ‘hawks training camp uninvited in the spring of 1980.
More than that, though, Dave Krieg was the walking embodiment of his team. At times, he would dazzle with breathtaking brilliance. When he was on, he played better than any quarterback I have ever seen before or since — Manning, Montana and Brady in their “on-modes” included. When we wasn’t on, however, he was cringingly hapless. He broke the NFL record for fumbled footballs during his tenure in Seattle. The Seahawks as a team were much the same, wasting both years of preseason experts predicting their Superbowl destinies and the transcendent talents of players such as Steve Largent, Kurt Warner and Kenny Easley. Year after year, the hopes and dreams of we Seahawks fans were crushed, until eventually we stopped hoping and dreaming altogether. Even our single previous trip to the Super Bowl in 2005-6 was a tepid affair. We all knew we benefitted from a cream puff schedule; we all knew we were going to lose going in to the game; we all knew we would find a way to tank the following year.
But this year — the past two years, in fact — they feel different.
I fully expect the Denver Broncos to win today — Destiny loves Her own stories best, after all, and She seems to have developed a lover’s zeal for the aging greatness of Peyton Manning this year. So I’m going in to the game expecting defeat just as surely as I did in 2006. But I now am feeling the glimmering hope that despite today’s inevitable outcome, the Seattle Seahawks have a chance to be contenders next year, and the year after. Teams come and go rather quickly, but organizations can have true staying power. And for the first time since I foolishly gave my heart so unconditionally to the Blue, Grey and Green, I have the glimmer of hope that maybe – just maybe — the Seahawks organization has finally figured it out.
If this is like Super Bowl Sundays in the past, this site will be a ghost town for most of the day. But for those few that peek in to say hi, consider this post an open thread to talk about the game, the commercials, the parties, or anything at all really.