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Old 06-23-2006, 08:11 PM   #1
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Default Advice for Seahawks fans: Remember the Titans

One thing about the new Seattle Seahawks: They're not afraid to rewrite history.

That's good for them, because history says the 2006 'Hawks are doomed to finish 7-9, if they're lucky.

Seattle added Nate Burleson to its corps of receivers during the offseason. (Getty Images)
You know the story about Super Bowl losers. They keep losing and losing right on through the next season.

It has happened for five years running.

"This is more of a beginning," New York Giants guard Glenn Parker said after his team unwittingly kicked off the streak with a 34-7 loss to Baltimore in Super Bowl XXXV. "We can build and get better."

Better than 6-10, he must have meant. The Giants were 7-9 in 2001.

The St. Louis Rams' turn came next. Their upset loss to New England in Super Bowl XXXVI had the look of an aberration. That Rams team was loaded with talent on offense and seemingly primed for a long run.

"I told them never to forget this feeling, how painful it is," then-coach Mike Martz said after the Patriots' 20-17 victory, "and that we'll be back."

Back to mediocrity, he must have meant. The Rams went 7-9 the following season. They've enjoyed one winning season since.

The pattern was set. Oakland went from defeat in Super Bowl XXXVII to 4-12 in 2003. Carolina slipped from its loss in Super Bowl XXXVIII to 7-9 in 2004. Philadelphia went from runner-up in Super Bowl XXXIX to run-off-the-road last season (6-10).

Now Seattle is on the clock. Glenn Parker and Mike Martz weren't available to provide the obligatory quotes, but 'Hawks coach Mike Holmgren didn't need any help.

"While we had a great year last year, and we're happy for the fans and the stadium is full and all those good things that happened last year, there is some unfinished business," Holmgren said.

Risky business, he must have meant.

In Holmgren's defense, his 'Hawks have shown little regard for history. They won two playoff games last season after the franchise went two decades without tasting postseason success. They officially ended years of fan apathy by selling 19,000 new season-ticket packages during a four-month period after last season (management actually formed a waiting list after deciding to cap sales at 61,000).

None of which ensures continued success.

"This is not the team that played in Detroit in the Super Bowl," quarterback Matt Hasselbeck pointed out. "We lost some guys from that team, and we gained some new guys.

"This team that's out here today hasn't won any games and we haven't lost any games. This is a brand-new team, but we feel like we are a really good team on paper."

If Super Bowl losers are indeed cursed, the Seahawks will have to learn the hard way.

"I don't believe in curses," said MVP running back Shaun Alexander, who has often been asked about the "Madden Curse" after being put on the cover of this year's version of the EA Sports video game.

"Once you start believing in curses, you have to think about what sock you put on (first), how many times you stepped on a (sidewalk) crack and make sure it's an even number. Did you pass a black cat? Did you walk up under a ladder? After that you begin to get worn out."

What is it about recent Super Bowl losers? Most have suffered from bad luck with injuries -- particularly at quarterback -- or poor timing.

Philadelphia lost Donovan McNabb last season. Terrell Owens imploded. It's a stretch to think Seattle faces a similar fate just because Pittsburgh finished Super Bowl XL with more points.

Injuries explained Carolina's hard fall in 2004. Those Panthers lost Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith in the opener. Pro Bowl running back Stephen Davis also went down, as did backup DeShaun Foster and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kris Jenkins. That team also lost two starting offensive linemen for stretches.

Those injuries surely had nothing to do with what happened in the previous Super Bowl. And those hard-luck Panthers actually rallied to finish strong, part of a resurgence that continues today.

The Raiders were an aging team that came unraveled when Pro Bowl center Barrett Robbins failed to show for the Super Bowl. Al Davis had squeezed about all he could from Rich Gannon, Jerry Rice, Bill Romanowski and others on the wrong side of 35. Gannon played in only seven games the next season. Robbins was finished, too.

The Rams were already struggling when they lost former MVP quarterback Kurt Warner to a broken finger in their fourth game after losing Super Bowl XXXVI.

The Giants' fall to 7-9 featured two losses to an emerging Philadelphia team on its way to becoming the class of the NFC. The Giants did eventually regain their footing.

Like the Eagles last season, the Seahawks would certainly be in trouble if they lost their quarterback. Hasselbeck might even be at increased risk, too, after Seattle lost Pro Bowl left guard Steve Hutchinson. But unless Hasselbeck suddenly trades his Humvee for a fleet of Suzuki Hayabusas, there's little reason to think he's in imminent danger.

History might even be on his team's side. Tennessee was the last Super Bowl loser to keep a good thing going. The Titans went 13-3 in their Super Bowl season and 13-3 the following year. Seattle is likewise coming off a 13-3 season, and the parallels don't end there.

Tennessee was a young team on its way up. Seattle falls into the same category, particularly on defense. Both teams were set at quarterback and running back.

So, when considering which teams might prevail in the NFC this season, remember the 2000 Titans.

And don't forget the 2006 Seahawks.

Mike Sando covers the Seahawks for the Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune. Visit his blog at http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/seahawks

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Old 06-24-2006, 12:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Advice for Seahawks fans: Remember the Titans

I really don't believe in the whoel curse thing. I do think there were some pretty obvious player attrition issues with most of those "cursed" SB bowl losers in recent years. Carolina just got plain unlucky with the injuries. Most of the others lost some key players to free agency or had canerous player like TO. The Hawks seemed to have survived most of that during the off season. I can only hope we stay healthy and play up to our potential. Maybe then we could have a Titan-like round II.
A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man. - Jebediah Springfield
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Old 06-24-2006, 02:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Advice for Seahawks fans: Remember the Titans

Yeah, im not as great believer in stuff like this either.

I think alot of it is down to teams aiming for so-called windows of opportunity - putting themselves in salary cap trouble for 3 or 4 years just to make one serious run at the big game.

The Rams were always an unpredictable team, and I think losing to the Patriots really was a hammer blow to their esteem, plus Mike Martz got completely out thought by Bill B on the biggest stage . -which is a tough thing to come to terms with.

If I had to look for further logical reasons for the 'curse' - I would put it down to the relative weakness of the NFC over the last 5/6 years - alot of teams get sucked back down to mediocrity - becasue they were never very far away from it in the 1st place.

I think the Hawks are a well coached team, who have already made one tough salary cap related decision this offseason - no reason they can't get back to the big game this year.

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Old 06-24-2006, 08:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Advice for Seahawks fans: Remember the Titans

If you're superstitious and a Seahawks fan, you must be crying yourself to sleep. Losing the Superbowl, Alexander and the Madden Curse, I can only wish you luck.
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Old 06-27-2006, 03:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Advice for Seahawks fans: Remember the Titans

Originally Posted by boLT fan
If you're superstitious and a Seahawks fan, you must be crying yourself to sleep. Losing the Superbowl, Alexander and the Madden Curse, I can only wish you luck.
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