AN EXAMPLE OF EXCELLENT SPORTS WRITING

I chose the article “Driving Lessons” by Steve Friedman, which can be found in the 2006 version of the Best American Sports Writing anthology. While I’ve always been a big sports fan, this year as I worked for The Daily Evergreen as the women’s golf beat reporter my interest in golf grew exponentially.

However, as I read this article it became less of an article about golf and more about the relationship the author had with his father. In his unique storytelling way, Friedman manages to tie his experiences with his desire to impress/please his father in a way that makes the reader conjure up their own experiences mentally even while reading about Friedman’s.

One such example for me is almost identical to Friedman’s, albeit in a different atmosphere.

In the very first paragraph in the book, Friedman writes “…my father tells me to grip the seven-iron “like you’re holding a bird in your hand and you don’t want to crush it,” and I say “Okay,” which is what I always say to my father and I think he is criticizing me, or when I have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about, or when I’m filled with a vague and guilty rage towards him, or when all three are happening at once… I’m forty-nine now, and I’ve been saying okay for forty-seven years.”

I couldn’t help but laugh inside and tear up a little bit as I remembered my own father trying to explain to me how to understand physics when I was a high school senior. My dad was a double math and science major who graduated from USC, and my math limitations are reached once letters are introduced. As far as I’m concerned, that’s no longer math but rather spelling, and that’s a whole different matter entirely.

As the story continues and Friedman relays his struggles to conquer golf and his father’s love for the game, we can feel Friedman’s frustrations in his inability to hit a golf ball adequately.

For anyone who’s played a round of golf, or a partial round, or even just gone down to the local driving range, the waves of memories come crashing back. For myself, my frustrations and struggles are still raw, still real, and it is encouraging to read along with someone else. Playing with friends who are further along in their skills for golf can add to the frustrations, so it is refreshing to read of someone else traveling the same path.

Friedman also does a masterful job of weaving memories of his past and childhood seamlessly into the present, where he is taking golf lessons from his father a few days prior to them playing a few holes with Friedman’s older brother. Friedman honestly relays his experience and descriptions of his attempts at the driving range. Most of them are horrible, and Friedman does a good job of poking fun at himself, another example that strikes close to home for me.

“I’m a good athlete, but I’ve never been a quick study at sports that require balance. What I possess is a dumb, mulish capacity to absorb pain and humiliation until I master a physical movement.”

I’ve recently been more committed to swallowing my pride and asking for help when I need it, but prior to this conscious decision, I was stubborn. For whatever reason, I’d decided it was better for me to keep my mouth shut and struggle through experiences. I’d rather avoid admitting I didn’t know what I was doing and need help. Of course, this led to much unnecessary frustration along the way, but my pride and ego were intact, which is what I wanted at the time. But I also feel that I am not alone in my ways, and reading Friedman relate his story struck a chord with me and probably many others who came across this story.

Friedman’s storytelling style flows in a natural, casual manner. He doesn’t seem to force any of his stories to fit and has chosen excellent examples of his childhood to share. It is very easy to imagine sitting on his front porch, sipping iced tea and watching a sunset while listening as he waxes poetically about his experiences that he’s shared in this article.

One of the reasons I think this story is relatable is because it’s not just a golf story. Golf plays an integral role in the story, but this is also a human interest piece as well. Friedman’s relationship with his father is shared throughout the course of the essay, as well as history of his father’s life. But it wasn’t until after I started writing this review of why I liked it that I realized Friedman never shares his father’s name. Friedman’s ability to develop characters into strong pieces of his weave shows that the man’s name wasn’t necessary, which is another tendency of strong writing. It allows the readers to develop the character in their own minds, all the while being guided by the author to still reach the conclusion that the author intends.

It was obvious to me why this piece was chosen as one of the best-written articles because it is relatable to multiple audiences. The story manages to appeal to hard-core golfers, amateur, casual golfers, and people who have no connection to the struggle of golf or the attraction to the game. It’s a great piece about maneuvering around relationships, rather than being defined by them.

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STEVE GLEASON-NO WHITE FLAGS

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“If we have a purpose in life beyond being a cog in the human machine, mine is to help inspire people and that’s pretty cool. I would like to motivate the world.”
-STEVE GLEASON

Steve Gleason is a WSU alum and former NFL player who was inducted into Washington State University’s Hall of Fame during the 2014 Apple Cup. Gleason played four years at WSU (1995-99). lettering in both football and baseball during his time here. His accolades were more noteworthy on the football field, as Gleason was selected All-Pac-10 three times and was also honored as an Academic All-Pac-10 4 times while enrolled as well. Gleason went on to play eight seasons for the New Orleans Saints (2000-07), but his story isn’t about his accomplishments on the field. It’s about what he’s done post-career that speaks volumes about his legacy.

Gleason went undrafted in the NFL draft, although he was selected by the Birmingham Thunderbolts in the 2001 draft of the now-defunct XFL draft. He signed with the Indianapolis Colts but was cut during the preseason. The New Orleans Saints signed him in November 2000 and he remained with the team for eight seasons. He played in 83 games before his retirement. Gleason wasn’t a superstar, but he was beloved and embraced by the Saints, their fans and the community of New Orleans. When the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV, Gleason wasn’t on the team but after Gleason’s revelation of his diagnosis of ALS in 2011 the team gave Gleason a Super Bowl ring and then-Mayor Mitch Landrieu gave Gleason a key to the city as gifts.

On September 25, 2006, the Saints were playing back in New Orleans for the first time since Hurricane Katrina ravished the city in late 2005. Early in the first quarter, Gleason slipped up the middle through the Atlanta Falcons’ line and blocked the punt of Michael Koenen, which was recovered for a touchdown. It was the first TD of the season at home and whipped the sell-out Superdome crowd into an even crazier frenzy.

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In 2011, Gleason announced he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

ALS is a disease that results in the death of upper and lower motor neurons. Upper neurons are found in the brain and communicate with the lower neurons, which are located in the spine. The disorder affects voluntary movement, as the muscles eventually grow weak and degenerate. Symptoms of the disease are muscle stiffness, followed by twitching and eventually loss of strength and motor skills. Eventually, even acts as simple as breathing require labored effort. Respiratory failure is the most common cause of death, although malnutrition and dehydration can also result when the swallowing muscles are effected.

ALS is a disease that can be genetic, although 90-95 percent of cases have unknown causes. Most people who are diagnosed with the disease pass away within five years, although there are some outliers such as Stephen Hawking.

Gleason started a foundation during his playing days, One Sweet World Foundation. After Hurricane Katrina, Gleason led workers from his foundation and other foundations as well in distributing “Backpacks for Hope”, which spread supplies and hurricane relief to young victims. Over 7,000 backpacks were donated and distributed overall. Gleason would also donate his hair to “Locks of Love” for cancer victims and spent much of his time in the New Orleans Children’s Hospital.

After being diagnosed with ALS, Gleason started two other foundations, The Gleason Initiative Foundation and The Gleason Family Trust, which he later united under the name “Team Gleason.” Team Gleason travels around the country fundraising to help provide care and technology for other people who are also fighting ALS. Team Gleason also helps spread awareness about ALS and tells the courageous stories of individuals who refuse to roll over and surrender to ALS.

In 2012, the Saints unveiled a bronze statue of Gleason’s block and entitled the sculpture “Rebirth.” The punt is looked at and embraced by the community of New Orleans as a symbol of the community’s ability to regroup after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Saints team owner Tom Benson also said that the statue would also pay tribute to Gleason for the lasting impact he has had on countless others’ lives.

Earlier today, the Senate approved a bill that will make voice-operated equipment more readily available for ALS patients who are covered by Medicare and Medicaid. The bill is named “The Steve Gleason Act of 2015”.

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SOURCES

http://www.neworleanssaints.com/news-and-events/article-1/Saints-Unveil-%E2%80%9CRebirth%E2%80%9D-Sculpture-of-Likeness-of-Steve-Gleason/74d7814d-8c1a-47d6-b0b0-94ff1b26a2a0

http://www.nfl.com/videos/new-orleans-saints/0ap2000000147592/Steve-Gleason-blocks-Falcons-punt

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/04/senate_approves_steve_gleason.html

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/stephen-hawking-als/

http://teamgleason.org

Murrow Symposium

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On April 2, 2015 students in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication were invited to participate in the 40th Edward R.  Murrow Symposium. Students were able to be involved in resume critique sessions and were offered opportunities to interact with professionals in different fields.

One of the sessions I attended was called “View from the Fifty: How to Blitz the Sports Reporting Field”. This session was a three-member panel that included Eric Johnson of KOMO-TV in Seattle, Art Eckman of HOA, and Janie McCauley from the Associate Press. Each offered different insights from their own experiences throughout their professional careers and offered advice for us aspiring journalists.

One of the things that stuck with me was when Art Eckman talked about always being prepared with your research as well as taking advantage of advice of others that had been there before and getting along with those in the industries. He stressed that while there are people without egos that are willing to help you, there will be just as many people that have sizeable egos that do not want to offer assistance. However, Eckman also wanted to impress the fact that there was still opportunity to learn even from those people as well.

I also had the opportunity that Eric Johnson held in Studio B. His session, titled “Crafting the Tale”, was a session about the beauty of storytelling and how to capture the moments and describe them. Johnson noted that not everyone was a natural storyteller, but that there was opportunity for everyone to advance their abilities and skills. One message that really stuck with me in this workshop was that everything was worth exploring. Everything has a story that can be told, and that people will be interested in hearing different perspectives. His history as a sports journalist helped teach him which sports he loved, and which sports he had to care about. During all this time, he said that he approached each assignment with such fervor and excitement that he tried to pass along to the viewer.

As a sportswriter for The Daily Evergreen, Janie McCauley stopped by the office and I had an opportunity to hear her experiences in a smaller, more focused workshop that was just for the sports department of the Evergreen. McCauley wanted us to know that that her experiences taught her to think outside the box, to be curious about situations. She told a story of how she recruited a pro football player to try his hand at curling. This was during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. She used this analogy to explain that there is always a different way to tell a story or even make up a new story as well.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to see these professionals and was thankful that they took the time out of their busy schedules to come to WSU and offer advice and help us students out. It was encouraging to see those who had come before us to offer their perspectives and thoughts. It is up to us to take their words to heart and earn our way into the work field.

Live Blogging M’s vs. Angels, 7:10 PT 4/7/2015

The Seattle Mariners host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in game two of the initial three game series. On Monday, April 6th Felix Hernandez and the M’s topped the Angels 4-1 as the Mariners won their ninth-consecutive Opening Day, setting an American League record in the process. Hernandez struck out 10 batters and pitched seven innings, becoming just the fourth pitcher in Major League Baseball history to strike out ten or more batters for the third time on Opening Day. Dustin Ackley hit a homerun and Seth Smith went 3-3 with two doubles and a triple in his Mariner debut.

Tonight is the real debut of the LED lighting that the M’s installed at Safeco Field for the 2015 season, as yesterday’s opener was an afternoon game so the benefits of the technology were not readily recognizable. It will be interesting to see if the new lighting does indeed make a difference from before.

The Mariners will start left-handed pitcher James Paxton and the Angels counter with left-hander C.J. Wilson.


The Angels’ lineup is as follows:

RF Calhoun
CF Trout
1B Pujols
3B Freese
DH Cron
SS Aybar
C Iannetta
LF Cowgill
2B Giavotella

The Mariners’ lineup is as follows:

DH Weeks
CF Jackson
2B Canó
RF Cruz
3B Seager
LF Ruggiano
1B Morrison
C Zunino
SS Miller


7:10 p.m.

PLAY BALL!!!!

7:19 p.m.

Both pitchers cruise 1-2-3 in the first inning.

7:24 p.m.

Paxton with another 1-2-3 inning.

7:27 p.m.

Nelson Cruz with a sharp ground ball single to center, his first hit as a Mariner.

7:48 p.m.

Richie Weeks adds his first hit as a Mariner, a ground ball to left field.

7:51 p.m.

After the first three innings, both pitchers are in control, although neither has shown the dominant stuff they’ve displayed in the past. However, the Angels have managed only one walk off Paxton and the Mariners have mustered only two singles of Wilson. Paxton has thrown 39 pitches, Wilson 40 through three innings. Angels 0, Mariners 0.

7:57 p.m.

Paxton wobbles a bit in the fourth, as Pujols doubles to left field and Freese homers on a fastball right down the middle to right-center. Cron strikes out, but Aybar hits an infield single and advances to second base on a wild pitch before Paxton comes back to strikeout Iannetta to end the inning. Angels 2, Mariners 0.

8:18 p.m.

Paxton strikes out Trout to end the 5th inning. Trout is now 1-7 with four strikeouts and a homerun against M’s pitching this year.

8:38 p.m.

Paxton’s night is over, as manager Lloyd McClendon goes to the bullpen and brings in Tom Wilhelmsen. Paxton pitches 6 innings, gives up four hits, two earned runs, one walk and strikes out five.\

9:04 p.m.

Wilson has retired the last 17 Mariners in a row, as Miller chases a ball in the dirt to end the eighth inning on a strikeout. Wilson has given up two singles and one walk while striking out two over his eight innings of work.

9:09 p.m.

Yoenis Medina strikes out Cron with a wicked curveball. Medina might have a top-5 curveball in the American League. It just froze Cron as it broke over the outside corner of the plate.

9:12 p.m.

Left-hander Tyler Olson is in to make his major league debut, facing Erick Aybar. Olson is from Spokane, Wash. and attended University High School. Olson induces an inning-ending double play on his first pitch and now the M’s are down to their last three outs. The Angels bring in closer Huston Street to try to close out the victory.

9:17 p.m.

Weeks strikes out looking, Jackson strikes out swinging and Canó lines out softly to right to end the game. The Angels even up the series and win game two 2-0 over the Mariners. Wilson earns his first win and Street gets his first save of the season. Angels 2, Mariners 0.


Watching the game unfold it was ghost of seasons past, as the M’s could only manage two hits off Wilson and three base runners total. Wilson didn’t really overpower the Mariners hitters but shut down the last 17 batters he faced. Paxson pitched well, outside of a five pitch sequence in the fourth inning that saw him surrender the double to Pujols and the opposite field blast by Freese which proved to be the difference in the ballgame. The rubber match takes place 7:10 p.m. local time Wednesday, April 7th as the Mariners send Hisashi Iwakuma to the mound and the Angels counter with Matt Shoemaker.

Sweet Sixteen Preview

Halfway through March Madness, the 2015 NCAA tournament might as well be re-branded March Meekness. Lacking the usual panache and suspense from previous years, the bracket-busters and buzzer-beaters are fewer in number.

Undefeated Kentucky, the clear-cut favorite to win the tournament has cruised to the Sweet Sixteen. Joining the Wildcats are perennial powers Duke, Louisville, Arizona, North Carolina, Michigan State, UCLA and Gonzaga. Wichita State, Notre Dame, NC State, Wisconsin, Xavier, Utah, West Virginia and Oklahoma are the remaining hopefuls for the national title. UCLA is the lowest remaining seed, a No.11 seed matched up this weekend in the South region against second-seeded Gonzaga.

A pair of sevens could be wildcards to spoil the party for Kentucky and other favorites. The Wichita State Shockers and the Michigan State Spartans have been overlooked and relatively ignored all season, and have made some noise already. Michigan State upset second-seeded Virginia for the second-consecutive tournament, while Wichita State took care of in-state rival Kansas to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Coaches Tom Izzo and Greg Marshall are considered excellent strategists and always have the Spartans and Shockers prepared to play every opponent.

Another wrinkle to watch is the potential Elite Eight matchup between Kentucky and Wichita State. Last year, Kentucky ruined Wichita State’s undefeated season on their way to a national title, so the revenge factor looms in the background. Of course, the Wildcats and Shockers must find a way to defeat West Virginia and Notre Dame respectively before this matchup could occur.

Despite the lack of usual excitement, the tournament remains as popular as ever. The American Gaming Association estimated that 40 million Americans will fill out 70 million brackets and bet over 2 billion dollars in wagers. The 70 million brackets completed would outnumber the 66 million ballots that voted for President Barack Obama.

The Sweet Sixteen tips off Thursday, March 26 at 7:17 ET when Notre Dame tips off against Wichita State in the Midwest  followed a half-hour later when Wisconsin faces North Carolina in the West bracket.

Mariners win Annual Charity Game versus Padres

The Seahawks’ bitter loss hung in the cold winter air across the Northwest, stinging cheeks and rubbing throats raw. The Seahawks’ loss was the cold winter air, the frost on the windshields, the stinging sleet falling from the grey skies. But following winter is spring, and attached to spring is training. Spring Training is here and Mariners baseball returns to ease the sting for Seattleites.

After the mandated winter layoff, the Mariners and San Diego Padres treated their fans to extra innings in their return. The game was the annual charity game between the two teams prior to the official games of spring training.

The home team Mariners prevailed in the bottom of the 10th inning 4-3 on a walk-off single by Patrick Kivlehan. It was the second single of the day for Kivlehan, who entered the game as a defensive replacement at third base in the sixth inning for the Mariners.

D.J. Peterson, the M’s first-round pick in 2013, opened the scoring with a two-out homerun to deep left-center field off of Jason Lane. The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Mariners until the bottom of the 6th inning, when Ji-Man Choi scored when Mike Dowd grounded out to shortstop. Choi was hit by a pitch leading off the inning and moved to third when Kivlehan hit his first single of the game.

The Padres got on the board in the top of the 7th inning when Justin Upton, one of the Padres’ flashiest offseason acquisitions, hit a massive homerun to centerfield off of Forrest Snow. Upton, along with Wil Meyers and Matt Kemp, look to improve a Padres’ offensive attack that was the worst in the National League last year.

San Diego tied the score at 2 in the top of the 8th inning when Tommy Medica singled to center, scoring Cody Spangenberg. Spangenberg walked to lead off the inning and stole second base. After Rafael Perez struck out former Mariner Abraham Almonte, Spangenberg followed with his game-tying hit. But in the bottom of the 8th, the M’s retook the lead when Mike Dowd had his second RBI of the game with a two-out single to center, driving in Ian Miller. Miller singled earlier in the inning and stole second base to move into scoring position.

Dominic Leone came on in the 9th to nail down the win for the Mariners but was unable to hang on to the lead. Leone walked pinch-hitter Brett Wallace with one out, and Wallace was replaced by pinch-runner Rico Noel. Noel promptly stole second base and moved to third on a groundout to first baseman Choi. Leone then coaxed Taylor Lindsey to hit a groundball to shortstop Tyler Smith, but Smith threw wildly for an error and Noel scored the tying run. Extra innings were forced when Kivlehan threw out Trea Taylor at home plate, who tried to score from second base after entering the game as a pinch-runner for Lindsey. Spangenberg had hit a groundball to Smith, who threw to first base before Kivelhan relayed the throw to nail Taylor for the third out of the inning.

The M’s winning rally started in the bottom of the 10th when Tyler Marlette led off the inning with a single to left field. After a pop-out, Kivlehan hit a linedrive single to right field that was misplayed by rightfielder Rymer Liriano, which allowed Marlette to score from first base.

Ji-Man Choi broke his fibula in the bottom of the 9th inning for the Mariners when he was chasing a pop fly. He was replaced at first base by Kivlehan and Peterson moved to third base after starting the game at designated hitter.

The first official spring training game between the two teams occurs Thursday at 12:05 p.m. The Mariners will start left-handed pitcher Roenis Elias, while the Padres counter with righty Andrew Cashner.

My thoughts on the Chicago Little League situation

Regarding the Little League “Scandal”:

We’re in here talking about Little League baseball. I mean listen, we’re in here talking about Little League. Not the pros! Not the pros! Not the pros! Little League.

WHO THE HELL CARES.

We’re talking about Little League baseball. We’re talking about a bunch of 12-year-old kids who just want to play baseball. It’s not life-changing, it’s not world-altering, and it’s a blurb in the sports world in general. WHO THE HELL CARES.

Yes, I understand there’s money involved. Yes, I understand there are the kids who lost to this team who feel the need to be vindicated. But in a society that has evolved to a place where last place teams get trophies, WHO THE HELL CARES.

You want to eliminate scandal? Eliminate the paid positions of Little League. Make President, Secretary, and other league positions strictly volunteer.  Eliminate territorial restrictions. If a kid’s parents are willing to drive three hours away three times a week so their kid can play ball, let them. WHO THE HELL CARES.

Take the games off ESPN. It’s a bunch of kids, for crying out loud. Nobody cares that the third baseman’s favorite food is pizza or that his favorite car is whatever his dad drives. OF COURSE IT IS; the kid is 12 FREAKING YEARS OLD. WHO THE HELL CARES.

Sports are supposed to be fun. Not everything needs to be treated as life-or-death, do-or-die. Let the kids play for the hell of it. Everybody plays every game. Kids need to learn how to have fun. Kids need to learn how to win graciously, how to lose classily, and more importantly, how to play as a team. Parents need to learn to cheer for success, to offer encouragement after failures, and more importantly, need to learn how to realize it’s just a GAME played by KIDS.

LET KIDS BE KIDS. STOP CREATING CONTROVERSY WHERE THERE SHOULDN’T BE ANY. WHO THE HELL CARES.

Cougars Approach Spring Golf

Washington State University’s women’s golf team tees off their spring season by traveling to Peoria, Arizona to compete in the Westbrook Spring Invitational on Feb. 21-23.

Fifteen universities will be competing in the event, including Oregon and Oregon State from the Pac-12 conference. The remaining participating schools are College of Charleston, Illinois, Indiana State, Iowa, Kansas State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Tennessee, Tulsa and Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin Badgers will be the hosts for the second consecutive year of the tournament.

WSU will be looking to improve on their showing from last year. They finished tied for ninth place with Kansas State, 38 strokes behind winner Ohio State.

The Cougars finished their fall season last November competing in the Pac-12 Preview where they placed eighth in the tournament, 39 strokes behind The University of Washington.

The team consists of freshmen Alivia Brown, Jamie Midkiff, BreeLin Wanderscheid, sophomore Cherokee Kim, and juniors Monica Huang, Rachel Lewis and Nani Yanagi. Seniors Lindsay Harmon and Kristen Rue round out the roster.

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(photo courtesy of Washington State University)

A Secondary Look

You know the names, the numbers. The Legion of Boom.

Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor. 29, 25, 31.

The right corner and the nickelback positions have been much of a revolving door, thanks to injuries, retirement, suspensions, free agency. Marcus Trufant. Brandon Browner. Walter Thurmond. Antoine Winfield. Jeremy Lane. Marcus Burley. Byron Maxwell. Tharold Simon.

The last four names played significant roles in the Super Bowl loss. Lane and Burley were victims of circumstances beyond their control. The latter two experienced two different games, with Maxwell playing a passable game, Simon merely passable on.

Burley was ruled out before the game started, declared inactive by the Seahawks in an attempt to pare their 53-man roster down to the 46 active players the NFL requires for each game. Lane suffered a compound fracture in his left arm, which occurred when he was tackled during the runback of his first career interception. The injury knocked Lane out of the game and pushed Simon in, leaving Maxwell to man the slot receiver. The injury also left the Seahawks with Simon, Maxwell, and DeShawn Shead as the only healthy secondary players remaining available, as the much-ballyhooed trio of Sherman, Thomas and Chancellor were fighting through substantial injuries of their own.

This was significant because of the personnel matchups that now gave an advantage to the Patriots. According to the Seahawks’ website, Maxwell measures in at 6-foot-1, 207 pounds; Simon at 6-foot-3, 202 pounds; and Shead at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds. Lane and Burley, meanwhile, checked in respectively at 6-foot, 200 pounds and 5-foot-11, 185 lbs. However, with these two out, the  big, behemoth, physical corners were tasked with stopping the Patriots receivers who physically checked in generally much, much smaller.

The Patriots active WRs were as follows: Danny Amendola measuring in at 5-foot-11, 195 pounds; Julian Edelman at 5-foot-10, 200 pounds; Brandon LaFell at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds; and Matthew Slater at 6-foot, 200 pounds. Slater didn’t play until the final two snaps of the game, which were two kneel downs to kill the clock. Shane Vereen, the Patriots’ “pass-catching” running back, measured at 5-foot-10, 200 pounds. These men caught 29 of Tom Brady’s 37 completions with the remaining eight passes caught by Rob Gronkowski (six) and one apiece by FB James Develin and TE Michael Hoomanawanui.

Edelman especially abused Simon with his shiftiness, twice breaking wide-open with a ‘whirl route’ that left Simon grasping at air in a futile attempt to cover him. The first time Brady badly overthrew Edelman for an incompletion, but the second attempt was completed for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown pass.

Simon is a thumper, but his body type doesn’t allow him to change directions as quickly. As a big man, his primary goal is to put his hands on the receivers and disrupt them before they can enter their route, to push them off their spot. Twice he was unable to do so, and the Seahawks paid the price.

Much like Lane, Burley is a shiftier, slipperier, stickier cornerback whose game is predicated on speed and athleticism over physicality to play CB in the NFL. He filled in admirably for Lane early in the season and held his own over the course of the year, even recording his first interception against Carolina’s Cam Newton in Week 7. It isn’t difficult to imagine a different outcome if Lane and Burley were chasing around the Patriot receiving corps.

If the reason behind the pass call on second-and-goal was the big picture as Coach Pete Carroll insists is the case, then I  believe the reason that Simon was active for the game and Burley was not is simple: Simon is Maxwell’s replacement and the Seahawks wanted Simon to get experience under pressure. Maxwell is one of the best available corners in free agency. He’s healthy and entering the prime of his career at age 26, while other free agents include guys like Antonio Cromartie, Charles Tillman (old) or Ike Taylor and the ex-Seahawk Thurmond (injuries). Maxwell will be, in his own words, “the prettiest girl at the dance.” With the Seahawks having to soon address Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson’s contracts, sacrifices must be made and it appears that Maxwell will be a casualty of the LOB, much like Browner and Thurmond before him.

While the what-if scenarios are seemingly endless and the sting of the Super Bowl loss is raw, it is poignant to remember that the Seahawks have locked up the majority of their record-setting defense for the next 3-5 years. As the offense continues to build cohesion with each other and gain efficiency over the next few years, it will be a very, very exciting time for Seahawks fans.

Serve—> bump, set, spike.

Dear Ms. Daisy Barringer,
Yes, I fell victim to the clickbait. I couldn’t help it; it was the top reasons to hate the Seahawks, written by a San Francisco columnist. I was curious as to how this list would go; the Niners had an off-year, and nobody really asked them what they thought. But everyone is entitled to have an opinion, which I can respect. But here is a point by point rebuttal as to why you’re wrong. I did my best to stay objective because that’s what I’m learning as a journalism student, but at times you made it very, very tough for me to remain objective.

1. Richard Sherman is the worst (could he be anymore obsessed with Michael Crabtree? No, no he could not.).
First off, that rant against Crabtree occurred over a year ago. Ergo, irrelevant. Secondly, Sherman calling Crabtree ‘mediocre’ in the NFC championship game was proven when Crabtree’s 2014 season consisted of these statistics: 68 catches, 698 yards and four touchdowns. Meanwhile, ‘pedestrian’ Doug Baldwin finished with a stat line of 66 catches, 825 yards and three touchdowns. Fairly comparable stats. For the tiebreaker, we will compare dropped passes. Crabtree finished with seven drops (12th highest in the league) in 108 passes thrown his way, also known as a 6.5 drop percentage. Baldwin finished 109th in the league with three drops in 98 passes, or 3.1 drop percentage. Simple mathematics teaches us that ‘pedestrian’ > ‘mediocre’. 

2. Pete Carroll is equally the worst (not because he was a total cheater at USC who completely abandoned the Trojans only after he super-screwed them over. No, IT’S BECAUSE OF THE INCESSANT g-d GUM CHEWING…)
Really? Gum chewing? No rebuttal necessary.

3. The Seahawks are cheaters. What’s worse, taking PEDs or deflating the ball a little bit and still winning by 38?
Let me hit you with some knowledge. Since the Seahawks’ last player was suspended for PEDs (Bruce Irvin), 27 players have been suspended for violating the PED policy. Since the last Seahawk was suspended for substance abuse (Brandon Browner), 40 players have been suspended across the NFL. The “Seadderall Cheathawks” was funny in 2012, WHICH WAS THREE YEARS AGO.
4. MACKLEMORE. JUST MACKLEMORE…
Aaron Hernandez, anyone? Or Aldon Smith? Ray McDonald? Oh, I’m sorry, McDonald doesn’t play for the 49ers anymore.

5. Uh… this guy. You’ll almost feel bad for him if the Seahawks lose. HAHAHAHA. No, no you won’t.

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Granted, the tattoo might be a little premature, but it’s not like he’s the first one to ever get a tattoo predicting a championship. Also, chances are slim you’ll ever meet the guy.

6. They stole the “12th Man” thing from Texas A&M.

“Stole” is a strong word. Yes, the Seahawks use the phrase. Yes, the Seahawks pay to do so. But the #12 jersey has been retired since 1984, the only jersey dedicated to the fans across the NFL.

7. They constantly break basic fan rules .Like leaving the NFC Championship against Green Bay early, only to be locked out while Seattle came back. Real fans stay until the game is over. Fact.

Yes, let’s focus on the 10,000 fans who left and not the 58,000 who stayed. It was a bad job by the fans who left, no doubt.

8. Marshawn Lynch is an a-hole…because he won’t talk to the media.

The real a-holes are the reporters who continually hound Lynch for a quote. What’s the definition of insanity? Doing something again and again while expecting a different result. Lynch is nothing but upfront about his media policy.

9. Their fans insist that they’re sooo loud when it’s really just the stupid stadium.

The stadium helps, sure. But it’s only the 20th largest capacity in the NFL, and it wasn’t the stadium that caused the first snap in Super Bowl XLVIII to go over Manning’s head because the center COULDN’T HEAR THE SNAP COUNT. Also, the team doesn’t need to send out letters to fans like this one.

 
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10. This guy’s poor neighbors

3Let the man live the way he wants to live. You don’t like his house. I promise you he doesn’t like your list you compiled here. Life goes on.
11. 90% of Seahawks fans are bandwagoners

4Your ignorance of Seahawks’ fans does not a bandwagon make.

12. The other 10%? Still complaining about losing Super Bowl XL.
Two thoughts: 1. The ref admitted he kicked two calls, impacted the game.
                          2. The last Super Bowl the 49ers won was 20 years ago.
13. And finally, they’re basically forcing us to root for the Patriots
A true 49ers fan wouldn’t be caught dead even pretending to root for the Seahawks. Thanks for asking.

Cordially,
Kevin P. Fisher

Sources for images

5. http://bustedcoverage.com/2015/01/14/seahawks-back-to-back-super-bowl-champions-tattoo-photos/

9. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/05/san-francisco-49ers-fan-letter_n_4394710.html

10. http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/story/seattle-seahawks-super-bowl-49-new-england-patriots-012815

11. https://www.facebook.com/SeattleSeahawksMemes/photos_stream?ref=page_internal