Ray Holliman
It should be duly noted that Lyle Blackwood was dealt with severely Sunday afternoon on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' final offensive play of the game, a field goal try that could have sent them into sudden death overtime against the Seattle Seahawks. Mike Curtis duly noted it. In fact, he also noted a clear passageway left open to him and the veteran linebacker plunged through and blocked Dave Green's 35-yard attempt, saving a 13.10 victory for the Seahawks over their winless National Football League expansionist counterparts.

While the Bay Bucs line was concentrating on Blackwood, the safety who had blocked a Green attempt earlier in the game. Curtis was virtually ignored and said he was barely touched as he broke through.

"THE UP-BACK was supposed to block me" said the 33.year-old 12.year NFL veteran, "but he blew the assignment. They were concerned with Lyle. But he went outside and I went in inside him. It was just a mistake on their part. I didn't overpower him or anything. I reached up and got both hands on the ball about head high."

Curtis, the former All-Pro with the Baltimore Colts who was made available to Seattle in the veteran allocation draft, had a personal stake in stopping the tie and another possible 15 minutes of football. I dont think I could have made it through overtime," he said. "l was so hot I was getting dizzy."

EVEN WITHOUT the overtime, the game was extremely long three hours and 22 minutes mostly because of a multitude of penalties that neared NFL record numbers. Both Curtis and Seahawks Coach Jack Patera were unwilling to criticize the game officials although holding penalties cost Seattle two potential touchdowns.

"I'd have to say the officials were looking for holding," said Patera, commenting on eight offensive holding penalties against the Bucs and seven against Seattle. "I can't see holding from the sidelines, but the officials are right on top of it. And if it gets that bad out there, I think they have to call it."

CURTIS TOOK a similar view. "I think most of the penalties were deserved," he said. "The refs have been pretty lenient at times, but in this thing they cracked down. All the players want is consistency. I don't mind if they hold me as long as we can hold them, too. I think the officiating today was consistent. A linebacker is held so often by the tight end that he becomes used to it. Why, I've had them pull the pads right off my hands."

The calls may have been consistent, but they also stirred up the 43.812 fans present and caused an already dull game to become even more so. But Seattle didn't mind either boredom or the sloppiness of its first victory in six games. "How do I feel?" Curtis said. "Super Bowl, man."

Seriously, he added. We still have a long way to go, but I don't mean 10 years. Maybe by the end of this year. We've probably done as well at times in other games as we did today. We've had a couple of good quarters in every game. And defensively today, although Tampa Bay didn't score much, it seemed like they controlled the ball and were going up and down the field a lot."

Patera said he couldn't brag too much about the win. "After all, it was only 13-10." he said, "and if it hadn't been for the blocked field goal it would have been 13-13. I think the game was typical of the seasons both teams have had. There were a lot of mistakes, but when you are playing young people in key positions those things are going to happen. The only way to stop them from happening is to let them play. Tampa Bay has been through all the same things we have, and I think John McKay has done a heck of a job. "Naturally, I have to think that because I compare his team to ours."