Look at it this way: If Seattle had lost its National Football League game to St. Louis Sunday, Sept. 21, it would have meant that the combined late-summer losing streak of the Seahawks, the Mariners, and the University of Washington football team would have reached 17: 0-11 for the M's, 0-3 for the Huskies, and 0-3 for the Hawks.
So it's something of a civic triumph that the Seahawks didn't fail local fans, flattening the Rams 37-13, bumping the recent male-sport loss-win number to 1-16. Throw in a Seattle Storm Sunday-night 64-50 playoff win against the Los Angeles Sparks and the town is on something of a sports roll.
But don't look too closely at that Seahawks outcome. How do you flatten the football equivalent of a tire so deflated that Les Schwab wouldn't have attempted to resuscitate it? The Rams came to Qwest Field last or nearly so in every stat category except "cool helmet." The Hawks really only needed to dominate in a few key categories to win, and the one that made the difference was rushing: about four yards for every three feet gained by the opponent. Running effectively (Julius Jones, the off-season "steal" acquisition who formerly played for Dallas, had 140 yards from 22 carries), the Hawks also controlled possession time by nearly 10 minutes. It meant that the locals could post a 27-6 halftime advantage and never feel threatened again.
But there might be another threat looming. After a bye week, the 1-2 Hawks, according to many schedule-observers, will fall to 1-3 after a visit to the forbidding East Coast and a meeting with the Super Bowl champ New York Giants. On the other hand, chances are that the well-reported Seattle injury situation will have been somewhat mitigated by then. Maybe a revived roster will miraculously start playing the way many believed the Hawks would during this final NFL tour by coach Mike Holmgren.
It was a relief, in any case, to see Matt Hasselbeck smiling on the sidelines about something other than the approaching of an off week. Capt. Matt had been struggling with an eminently un-Hasselbeck-like quarterback quotient. Against the Rams, he not only threw with greater confidence (possibly because his receivers, whoever they may have been after repeated depletion, actually caught their passes) but ran for critical yardage when required and even posed for a key downfield block.
In any case, the win generates hope that the other local organizations can follow suit. Surely the M's (57-98), at home this week for the waning days of the '08 campaign, will win six of seven and avoid the 100-loss season, right? Bets, anybody? No doubt the Huskies, now under the ultimate guidance of permanent athletic director Scott Woodward, will make good on being an early four-point over-Dawg against Stanford Sept. 27. Right, and for the trifecta of improbability the Hawks really will triumph over the Giants on the road Oct. 5.