The Seattle Seahawks have endured a number of less-than-endearing nicknames. They were the 'êHee-Hawks,'ê for example, when the young club was a perennial National Football League laughingstock. That'ês why one would have imagined 'êLimeys'ê would have been the latest way to rename a team that, losing to Chicago at home Sunday, fielded eight names that weren'êt listed among the 22 anticipated starters when training camp commenced in July.
'êThese guys are green as limes,'ê an observer could have said, literally, given new home jerseys that look like they could be wrung into gimlet goblets to approximate citrus juice. And, while in many cases 'êGreen is Good'ê is a commendable slogan, it doesn'êt seem to apply to pro football. The Bears'ê 25-19 victory margin might actually have been a lot wider had the poor visitors not been victimized by retina burns from having to gaze with their naked eyes all afternoon at the Hawks'ê tropical attire.
The Limeys actually were in the game until the final seconds, needing to pick up 30 yards with a passing game better suited to three-yard gains. Seneca Wallace, who still sails the ball beyond the hands of open receivers, nonetheless had a capable performance for a backup quarterback (if, indeed, a guy who started half of Seattle'ês games last season could be considered second-string).
The Hawks scored during their first three possessions and led for much of the first half. The beat-up defense yielded the team'ês first Qwest Field scoring of the season late in the second quarter, and Seattle opened the second half with a possession and a 13-7 lead. But a turnover gave Chicago the way to 10 more unanswered points, which could have been mitigated had Olindo Mare not hooked a couple of unsuccessful field-goal tries.
Obviously, Mare'ês misses represent the Bears'ê six-point victory spread, an arithmetic observation not lost on his perhaps soon-to-be-former coach. 'êWe had some chances to put some points on the board and it didn'êt happen,'ê Hawks coach Jim Mora said, stating the obvious. 'êGotta make those kicks,'ê Mora said of Mare. 'êNot acceptable. We'êre not gonna fight our ass off and then have a field-goal kicker go out there and miss two field goals.'ê He made it clear that management might be looking for a more reliable leg. In his defense, Mare did make four field goals, two each for 46 yards. He also thumped the ball deep into the end zone on kickoffs.
'êWe'êre gonna get better,'ê vowed Mora, whose garb, a much-less-garish green than lime, was as subdued as his demeanor. Mora didn'êt really say how this will happen but he noted that some of his much-missed injured players will be returning.
Wallace amassed a modest quarterback rating of 74.1, far below that of Chicago'ês Jay Cutler (126.4). But Wallace saw a few catchable balls dropped and only had one pass intercepted. He was about as effective as first-stringer Matt Hasselbeck has been in the same amount of play time this young season.
The 'ê09 struggle may well continue through next week, when the Hawks, notoriously pokey on the road, travel to Indianapolis, presumably to watch Hall of Fame-bound QB Peyton Manning pick them clean. 'êWatch'ê is the key word, given that another infamous moniker for Hawks who seem to like to watch out-of-town opponents instead of play against them: The Road Voyeurs.
As for the sartorial splash, a local TV station solicited fan reaction to the shirts sported by the Limeys. Two were: 'êWhat'ês next? Hot pink?'ê 'êThey looked like girly men.'ê
The way the season'ês going, they may soon look more like the Hee-Hawks of old.