For the 12s: Houston Texans

Joe Jurevicius, a receiver who played for the Seahawks prior to 2012, scores in a 2005 matchup versus the Texans

For the 12s is a recurring installment at Seattle Sportsnet. Every week we’ll preview the Seahawks’ upcoming opponent, with each gameday primer geared towards those individuals who have been fans of the Seattle Seahawks since no earlier than 2012.

Big news in Seattle!

Your Seahawks made a noteworthy move this week, signing veteran defensive end Dwight Freeney to shore up a defensive front that recently lost Cliff Avril to a season-ending injury. While many 12s may recognize him as a journeyman who bounced around the league throughout the duration of their fandom, Freeney was actually really good prior to 2012!

A seven-time Pro Bowler and a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team in the 2000s, the 37-year-old established his Hall of Fame career as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. Freeney’s wisdom and unquestioned talent should be a welcome addition to a Seahawks defense that will be facing a tough task this Sunday.

The Houston Texans come to town and are certainly no pushover. Though their brief 15-year history makes Houston the youngest franchise in the league, they are coming off two consecutive division championships and are a perennial power in the AFC, which is a conference in the NFL in which the Seahawks used to play.

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For the 12s: New York Giants

Seattle’s Cortez Kennedy tackling New York’s Rodney Hampton in a game prior to 2012

For the 12s is a recurring installment at Seattle Sportsnet. Every week we’ll preview the Seahawks’ upcoming opponent, with each gameday primer geared towards those individuals who have been fans of the Seattle Seahawks since no earlier than 2012.

The only thing giant about New York’s second-best football team right now is the number of losses they’ve accrued in the season’s first six weeks. At 1-5, the lowly G-men somehow managed to escape their winless start to 2017 with a wholly unexpected road victory in Denver a week ago. The thin air, it seems, must have kept Eli Manning’s passes from being intercepted.

Once upon a time, however, the Giants were quite good! They’ve won a pair of championships in the last decade and are the only thing besides Roger Goodell and fully inflated footballs that seem to slow down the New England Patriots.

Interestingly enough, the rise of New York’s Super Bowl contending teams coincided with the evolution of the Seahawks as we know them today.

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For the 12s: Los Angeles Rams

For the 12s is a new installment at Seattle Sportsnet. Every week we’ll preview the Seahawks’ upcoming opponent, with each gameday primer geared towards those individuals who have been fans of the Seattle Seahawks since no earlier than 2012.

The Rams are back! You may have heard this recently and been thoroughly confused. Where did the Rams go? Were they ever really gone? Haven’t the Rams always been terrible? All valid questions.

Over the course of the past five years, the Rams have indeed been quite bad. While the Seahawks have dominated the NFC West and the 49ers and Cardinals have flirted with the postseason, the Rams have been entrenched at the bottom of the standings. Perhaps the only consistency has been their ability to play Seattle tougher than almost any other opponent during this time; which, in and of itself, is quite admirable.

Interestingly enough, the Rams haven’t always struggled! In fact, prior to 2012, the Rams, at times, excelled. Believe it or not, they even won a Super Bowl in the 2000 season behind a high-flying offense dubbed “The Greatest Show on Turf” – a moniker earned due to the team playing its games on AstroTurf, an artificial surface that has since been replaced by Field Turf.

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Hookers, Media Feuds, and the Ego that Binds Them

Long before Mitch Levy allegedly plunked $160 in cash upon a bedside table in anticipation of a good old fashioned happy ending, The Seattle Times had already determined they’d be severing a long-standing association with Levy’s employer, Sports Radio 950 KJR.

The newspaper and the radio station had no real reason to be on the outs were it not for Frank Blethen, the publisher and CEO of Seattle’s paper of record. Blethen, who has been at the Times’ helm since 1985, was done with the relationship for various reasons – chief among those being a certain level of frustration over KJR’s criticism of the Times’ controversial stance on two different Seattle arena proposals, as well as perceived criticism of the paper itself. As a result, Blethen chose to enforce a moratorium on Times writers appearing on both Sports Radio 950 KJR, as well as “competing media” in the local Seattle area. The Times would later clarify its stance, singling out KJR as the sole outlet from which writers were explicitly forbidden, while also adding that some semblance of managerial permission would be required for employees to appear on-air with other local entities. Previously, this lack of autonomy had not existed.

By now we know that the Times cited “off-color” and “sexist” remarks from KJR radio personalities as the reasoning behind their imposed operational changes. However, that language didn’t emerge in an official statement until Thursday, August 31st, which might not mean much if it weren’t for Levy and his fateful blunder nearly a week earlier.

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Update: The Seattle Times Bans Sportswriters from Local Radio, TV

*Updated 8/31/17

In what is sure to be hailed as a brilliant public relations maneuver by absolutely no one, The Seattle Times has decided to prohibit their entire sports writing staff from appearing on local radio and television for the foreseeable future.

Beginning September 5th, Times sportswriters will be barred from the Seattle airwaves at the behest of management, preventing reporters and columnists from fulfilling previous commitments to local sports radio stations and television outlets. Once imposed, the ban will primarily have an impact on entities like Sports Radio 950 KJR and 710 ESPN Seattle, where many of the Times’ stable of writers would often appear.

Citing “competing forms of media” as the reason behind the embargo, the Times seems willing to sacrifice much-needed exposure for… ego, perhaps? Because make no mistake about it, this decree comes straight from the top and is a direct result of hurt feelings and a bruised manhood.

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The Perfect Protest

It’s the perfect protest, really.

Silent, peaceful, powerful, and set against the backdrop of something Americans care about. This isn’t just a march through the streets on a lazy weekend afternoon. It’s an act of rebellion against the flag and the anthem, two symbols of this nation that still mean something to all of us.

The forum is ideal. A football field, the epicenter of Americana, the one sport that seems to rally citizens to come together, sit on their couches, drink beer, wear replica jerseys, and watch. Were it a basketball court, the outrage would be minimal – just ask former NBA guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who staged his own sit-down protest in the mid-1990s, and has all but been forgotten since. Even in Major League Baseball, where Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Carlos Delgado took a seat in the early-2000s, such an act was similarly overlooked. But football? Don’t mess with football.

If this wasn’t a big deal, columnists across the country wouldn’t be churning out opinions firmly entrenched on either side of this issue. Talking heads wouldn’t be devoting segment after segment to discussion of the topic. And those people you only kind of know on social media? They wouldn’t be lashing out at one another over differing viewpoints on the matter.

In today’s society, how else are you supposed to get everyone’s attention? We’ve created an atmosphere that rewards the loudest and most selfish of our species. We’ve designed online platforms that highlight how important we are and how much more cool stuff we can do than our so-called friends. Our cameras have been redesigned to take pictures of our own selves instead of the world through our eyes, and as a result the most ubiquitous type of photo we now produce literally oozes with egocentrism: the selfie.

Face it, in order to seize the public consciousness, we have to be a precise combination of brash, unique, and outlandish. And somehow, in sitting quietly while a song plays and colors are unfurled, a group of football players have managed to achieve the right mix.

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Explaining Seattle’s Love Affair With a Legend

Maybe they were bound to one another long before that fateful evening some nine years ago – an evening that, unbeknownst to many at the time, signaled the end of the Seattle Supersonics.

There was no naivety, however. Every fan in the building that night had an inkling the team could be moved in the offseason. But the prevailing thought was that they’d stick around, that the legal system, if nothing else, would bestow at least one more year of Sonics basketball unto Seattle.

Still, the audience took no chances.

In the waning moments of the season’s final contest, the capacity crowd began chanting “Save our Son-ics.” It was a murmur, at first. But then it grew, as all good chants seem to, spreading from section to section, filling the cheap seats and skyboxes alike, covering each crevice and corner inside Key Arena until every last basketball fan in the building spoke in unison.

At the epicenter, atop the hardwood floor that gave the room its heartbeat, there stood a young man, still a teenager, who heard every word the crowd shouted.

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