It started off like most preseason games do. I turned on the TV to catch, perhaps, the first quarter of Peyton Manning action and then planned to watch a movie after that. No big deal, it’s preseason football. As it turned out, the Denver Broncos-Seattle Seahawks preseason game, held last August in Seattle, barely resembled a “preseason” game at all. It quickly became apparent, as I remember it, that these two old AFC West rivals still don’t like each other.
The Broncos lost the game 40-10. Not that the score has much to do with a preseason game, but I remember feeling like the Broncos got punched in the gut by the Seahawks.
For whatever reason, the Seahawks took the field on that preseason game to make a statement that they would be one of the league’s roughest and most physical teams this year and, to some extent, they were successful in proving that in that preseason game. If you remember, Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe was taken off in a stretcher in that game after his neck was crunched in a very cheap high-low block. At the time, I remember absolutely flipping out that neither of the Seattle blockers were flagged for it, much less ejected from the game. It was so very cheap and it could have severely hurt that guy for the rest of his life.
Right guard Louis Vasquez was also injured in that game, as well. Those injuries, and the high intensity nature of this “mere” preseason game, turned it into a slugfest. I remember Peyton Manning working very hard to score a touchdown to, frankly, shut Seattle’s big mouths up. In short, this preseason game took on a post season feel very quickly. I remember walking away, thinking that if these two teams are supposedly as good as everyone thinks they are, they would meet again.
So here we are, less than two weeks away from the Super Bowl and these two teams are set to meet again. Believe me, I haven’t forgotten about that preseason game and I am willing to bet the Broncos haven’t forgotten it as well. There was bad blood there, and I like the fact that Seattle tried to prove a point with the Broncos then. The Derek Wolfe injury and Seattle’s over-the-top, obnoxious behavior in that game will give Denver the fuel it needs to stomp their asses come Super Bowl Sunday.
There was a time in my life when I respected the Seattle Seahawks, back when they were an AFC West rival of the Broncos in the days of Steve Largent. Since then, the organization has worked hard to earn its way back into playoff contention and in doing so, has created a loyal fan base that is known for being really loud in a stadium that was engineered to be really loud. While I can understand why Seattle fans are so proud, there are some things that irk me about them, as well.
First of all, this whole 12th Man flag thing. How cheesy is that? Everybody gets really loud as the 12th Man flag is raised and loudest when the flag reaches the top. Yes, it’s a dramatic effect, but I still think its cheesy. And why does Seattle get the 12th Man flag? Anybody who knows anything about the real 12th Man knows it relates to a Texas A&M player in 1922 who didn’t make the squad but stayed close to the team to help out should the team need him anyway. Texas A&M has The 12th Man. Seattle does not. Every time I see that stupid flag on top of the Space Needle, I cringe.
Another thing I don’t like about the Seattle fans is their proclamation that they are the loudest fans in the N.F.L. because the Guinness Book of World Records said so. Frankly, I could care less. Yes, those fans are loud, and they have the ability to break sound records when they do a count down at games. I don’t know about you, but if I find myself at Mile High stadium, I’m there to watch a game of football. And if that game of football gets me screaming, then so be it. I am not going there to yell so I can say I was there when we broke the sound record. Broncos fans know how to be some of the loudest fans in the league, and we don’t need some stinking countdown to do so.
As it is right now, I offer no predictions for what may happen in the Super Bowl. I do like the fact that the Broncos know how to handle themselves in big games and aren’t prone to running their mouths off in post-game interviews with reporters. The Broncos let their actions speak for themselves.
In that preseason game against Seattle, Denver knew one of the reasons they were there was to test players who may or may not earn a spot on the roster. Seattle was in that game to win a playoff game, it seemed. I also believe that the team is going to remember Wolfe come Super Bowl Sunday as well. They remember the cheapness of that hit and the rest of that team.
I have no doubt that this Super Bowl is going to be a fistfight between these two teams. And for those of you who say that Seattle beat Denver in that first fistfight, you are right. The Broncos showed up to play a preseason game. Denver is an organization that knows when to bring out the big dogs and play mean. Seattle did that in week three. The Broncos will do that in the Super Bowl.
Make no mistake about it, this Super Bowl is going to be nasty, and it's the Denver Broncos who will be leading the charge, not the big-mouthed Seahawks, too busy wasting their time, well, screaming into cameras and acting like complete tools.