I'm the guy who believes in not saying certain things about your sports team. I'm a big hometown fan of my Seattle teams, and here in Seattle, we are a bit less braggadocios about how we go about talking about the Seattle Seahawks. We won the games that mattered last year, and this young and cavalier team showed up in a huge way for that big game: the Super Bowl.
I wear the same coat now for every Seahawks game. The coat has the same stuff in the pockets that has been there for 15 or so months now. I have no idea at this point exactly what that stuff in my pockets is, and it'd be somewhat superstitious of me to look in those pockets now. I will do nothing to jinx my teams. My buddy, Jerry Cantrell, will wear his Seahawks jersey for every game this year, as we did all of last season. His jersey has 'CANTRELL' on the back of it, and he must withstand the publicity he gets when we go to games in person (Hey Jerry! HEEEEY Cantrell!! Hey!!! You're the man in the box, bro!). Benjamin Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie has people over to his house for Seahawks games. Gibbard, however, will not invite any new people, as he believes that the particular mixture of people that came to his house for all of those Sundays last year had everything to do with us winning the Super Bowl. A neighbor of Ben's, after hearing all of the hoopla and cheering on all of those Sundays, asked if he could come over for a game. In all seriousness, Ben agreed, but stated clearly, "If the Seahawks start to lose, you have to leave my house."
The people here at NFL.com wanted me to write about our "chances" this year. Me writing about things like that, as they pertain to my Seahawks, is an instant no-no. I can't do it. I love this team, and trust coach Pete Carroll, general manager John Schneider and all of our returning players. I trust that the gaps that needed to be filled will be. People in Seattle are exuberant this preseason, and as every day draws us ever closer to the actual season opener, more and more blue and lime green are coloring this city.
I was driving down the I-5 yesterday just south of downtown. A semi-truck without a load was careening down the lane to my right, and the driver had one of those 5-foot by 4-foot Seahawk flags attached to his radio antenna. A Mack truck at 60 mph with the flag fully extended in the wind kind of summed up how we feel about our 'Hawks up here. I almost got a little damn teary right there in my car.
Malcolm Smith got a pick six on his first play in practice last week. I think he is geared up for the season.
Robert Turbin, our second running back behind Beast Mode, seems to be running with some anger in these preseason games. I like guys on my team who have a chip on their shoulder.
Russell Wilson has another year behind him now, and his football knowledge is that much more expanded. He was smart to begin with, but now he is smart, experienced and somehow quicker on his feet.
I like how this team rolls.
Man, but the NFC West is going to once again be an absolutely brutal division. St. Louis ain't no joke, and their defense is monstrous. Arizona was playing lights out football the last half of last season, and I suspect the Cardinals will pick up where they left off. Of course, the San Francisco 49ers will be a force, and some folks' favorite to make the Super Bowl. The NFC West teams are going to be doing some serious damage to the ill-prepared teams outside of the division.
"People in Seattle are exuberant. As every days draws us ever closer to the actual season opener, more and more blue and lime-green are coloring this city."
-- Duff McKagan
I was lucky enough to attend the Super Bowl last year. Who am I kidding? I worked my ass off to get those tickets for me, Jerry and two more of our pals. What became apparent pretty quickly was that the Denver Broncos hadn't really seen the hard-hitting play of an NFC West team. We are used to seeing four quarters of absolute brutality over here in the NFC West. And the Broncos, who are a great team, seemed totally stunned and shell-shocked by the play of the Seahawks in that game. They are fast, and hit very hard. The defense all goes to the ball. The offense pounds away, and has enough big plays to keep the other team's defense on their feet and sometimes just plain confused. Is Marshawn gonna come blazing through the line, or is Russell gonna roll out? Damn! These 'no-name' receivers are killing us! Percy Harvin is in? Oh crap!!
But this is a new season, and anything can happen. Seattle loves this team, and I think the team loves Seattle. We will be there for every game, and have their back no matter what happens. But we are believers.
New York Yankees fans expect World Series championships every year. Los Angeles Lakers fans are disappointed when they don't get another ring. In places like Seattle, where the big market dough doesn't really trickle down, and the national coverage has to be forced by a dominant team, we learn to keep our mouths shut and let the team do the talking.
So, I will keep my mouth and pen quiet. I believe in my team, and know that they can win on any given Sunday. The front office is second to none in filling spots with previously unknown players who thrive in the Pete Carroll system. We are The Seattle fckn Seahawks, and we will show up to play your team this year!
- Duff McKagan is a founding member of Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver. McKagan has written for The Seattle Weekly, Playboy and ESPN.com and released his New York Times best-selling book "It's So Easy (and other lies)" in 2012. That same year, GN'R was inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.