The Seahawks’ Yutes at Midseason

Richard Sherman trashes Tom Brady

Richard Sherman trashes Tom Brady

Richard Sherman reflects the Seahawks’ youthful bluster

This column originally appeared at SeattleWeekly.com

The Seahawks have, in the eyes of many, navigated half of an expectant season to a glass half empty. They once stood, after all, at a replacement-ref-inflated 4-2. So reaching the NFL’s midseason with a 4-4 record means the Seahawks have stumbled of late.

Still, the very word that explains the tidal inconsistencies of the first eight games is the same that should inspire optimism for the final eight: Yutes.

Not to go all My Cousin Vinny on everyone (though George Costanza isn’t the only dude with a thing for Marisa Tomei), but what people outside of Jersey refer to as “youth” is an additive, to a sports team, tantamount to chili flakes. Sprinkle in just the right amount, and you get a kick. Too much, and you can get burned.
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Russell Wilson as the ‘black Doug Flutie’

Is Russell Wilson pointing the way in terms of preparation, or is his tale an aspect of reverse-racing profiling? (photo by Seahawks.com)

Is praise of Russell Wilson pointing to a form of reverse-racial profiling?
(photo by Seahawks.com)

People of color generally take a rooting interest when other people of color reach a grand stage and strive for greatness. My heart was aflutter and my eyes dewy when Barack Obama gave us a Yes-We-Can moment, becoming the first black American to be elected President of the United States. Similarly, I’ve been captivated by the rapid, stereotype- and obstacle-bashing rise of Russell Wilson, a young black athlete, from third-round NFL draft pick to starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks.

However, though I have cheered every positive-modeling tale weaved about Wilson’s approach in Seattle, I have had grave doubts from the beginning about the wisdom of elevating a rookie to the sport’s most critical position on a team that otherwise seems poised for a major breakthrough. I am a longtime chronicler of sports, after all, as well as someone with more than casual interest in the Seahawks. I can’t help but also view Wilson’s story through those filters as well.

You wouldn’t name an intern as your CEO the week before your company’s IPO, would you?
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