Why we should really dislike the Seahawks
Every single football fan has a team or two that they simply despise for one reason or another. The reasoning can be rational or irrational, but the feeling is there. Lee Bromfield famously hates the Panthers and thanks to the Rams and Eagles knocking the Bucs out of the playoffs on more than one occasion I canít stand the sight of either team. And donít get me started on the Packers and their holier than thou fans!
WARNING: COMPLETELY IRRATIONAL ARGUMENT ALERT
When it comes to the Seattle Seahawks most Buccaneer fans are probably ambivalent. After all, itís hard to work up a good-natured hatred for an opponent that plays clear on the other side of the continent, but here it goes:
If there is one team that should make Buccaneer blood boil, it is the Seattle Seahawks. Born the same year as the Bucs, the Seahawks lack a Super Bowl championship but in the first three decades of the franchises they always seem to one-up the Bucs. They are Marcia Brady to our Jan. Please tell me Iím not the only one old enough to get that reference!!
First off the Seahawks beat Tampa Bay in the 1976 Expansion Bowl at Tampa Stadium. If the 13-10 loss to Seattle didnít gall Tampa Bay enough, they had to contend with the fact that the Seahawks scored the first victory over an established NFL team later that year. Three weeks after the Expansion Bowl the Seahawks routed the Atlanta Falcons 30-13 at the Kingdome. The Seahawks finished 2-12 to Tampa Bayís 0-14.
The next year the two teams met in the Pacific Northwest and the Seahawks again beat Tampa Bay 30-23. This gave Seattle a feeling of superiority and their media made no bones over which team was better. One Seattle columnist went so far as to call the Bucs ďretardedĒ in the paper on the day of the game. Given that John McKay had run roughshod over the University of Washington and Washington State regularly while coach of USC, these pointed barbs could be chalked up to jealous payback. However, the politically incorrect attack was aimed at every single man associated with the Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay could do little to show that they were equal to the Seahawks as Seattle won two more games that year (56-17 over Buffalo and 17-0 over the Jets) before Tampa Bay scored victory number one. At the end of year two the Bucs were 2-12 but the Seahawks were a respectable 5-9 and had the hottest passing combination in the league with Jim Zorn throwing to future Hall of Famer Steve Largent.
Relatively unnoticed today is that in 1978 the Seahawks made a quantum leap from expansion team to playoff contender. Seattle won four of its last five games for a 9-7 record and missed the playoffs by just one game. Tampa Bay meanwhile got off to a decent start but limped home with a 5-11 record.
In 1979 the Bucs stole the expansion thunder by going 10-6 and making it to within one game of the Super Bowl while Seattle again missed the playoffs by one game with a 9-7 record. The Bucs would make the playoffs three times in four years (1979-1982) while Seattle made post-season appearances in 1983 (making the AFC Title Game), 1984, 1987 and 1988 before matching the Bucs with decade plus drought.
With the exception of the 2002 Super Bowl championship Seattle has been the more consistent and successful scion of 1976. They have also owned the Bucs on the field winning six of the seven contests. Naturally I resent that as a bitter, petty little man who can hold a grudge with the best of them. I even remember the 38-0 butt-whooping administered in the 1984 Hall of Fame Game on national television.
So there you go, the best reasons I could come up with to really despise a team that is as far away from the Bucs geographically as possible. I say we go and rain on Seattleís parade this Sunday. It wonít make up for the past three decades of sibling rivalry but it is a start. Are you with me?
Denis Crawford, September 2007