We are just about down to the game, the SuperBowl itself. It will be an interesting collision of different sorts, a kind of State of the Union of Pro Sports. The smiling coach, and all he brings, versus the never-to-smile coach, and all he brings. The too-short quarterback versus the too-perfect quarterback.
There are plenty of people who hate the New England Patriots, for their form of arrogance, and plenty of people who hate the Seattle Seahawks, for their form of arrogance. It is not quite red state versus blue state, but you can see it from here. It is not quite Sparta versus Athens, but it is close.
It is the result that is feared. Not so much the victory, as the affirmation — of values and humors and styles and choices and attitudes. It is a small momentary scorecard, of both a game and of a people, of regions and of ambitions.
You know now that neither team has much affection for the other. You know some of their history. You know what too many reporters look like. You have a couple days yet to mull on what little is left to mull.
For something different, try this — a different look at the Seahawks, this time a brief view from an astrological point of view. Like it or not, care or not, it should give you something to chew on while you wait for what you really want to get your teeth into.
For the record, go Hawks.
Taken from the simplest detail of each player's birthday (all listed on NFL.com), there are some clear and obvious patterns and constructions.
Consider, for example, Marshawn Lynch, a most exemplary and seemingly enigmatic running back. Lynch was born April 22. That makes him a Taurus, the sign of the Bull, typically a sign of great bullish will and determination. Taurus is the first earth sign and it is the first fixed sign, doubly stubborn. A bull is happier doing the work than talking about it— and that is an apt description of Lynch. As for a bull, woe unto thee should you get between a bull and water or a bull and its goal.
There are two spring signs — Aries is the first, it is the sign of the Ram, a sign ruled by fire and often described as a fire in the field. It is the start of spring, insistent and pushing, like a ram, to move forward. Taurus, the bull is the second spring sign and the earthy one — together they are characterized by their form and their push.
How interesting it is that six of the Seahawks most crucial linemen — Cliff Avril, O'Brien Schofield, James Carpenter, Lemuel JeanPierre, J.R. Sweezy, Max Unger — have birthdays in this time frame, from the 20th of March to the 20th of May. Rams and bulls. But you must then add three impact defensive backfield superstars — Cam Chancellor ( April 3), Earl Thomas (May 7) and Richard Sherman (March 30) — high velocity Rams and Bulls — for they too were born in these spring slots. Suddenly the Seahawks seem inclined to a particular force of earth and fire. You must as well add Paul Richardson to this list — born April 13, he is a classic Aries wide receiver, all speed and velocity.
Now consider the other receivers for the Seahawks. They have, of course, a different task than linemen, one that involves agility and grace and catching a ball in the air. There are three Air signs in the Zodiac — Gemini, Libra and Aquarius — and the Seahawks receiving corp seems to distinctly represent Air signs. There are three Geminis (Cooper Helfet, Tony Moeaki and Ricardo Lockette), two Libras (Doug Baldwin and Kevin Norwood) and one Aquarius (Jermaine Kearse). Even Steve Hauschka, the field goal kicker, is an air sign, June 19. For the record, even the now famously traded Percy Harvin (May 28, Gemini) is also an air sign. Luke Willson, the other Seahawk receiver who has made a fine name for himself, is of a different mold ( January 15) — he is a Capricorn, an earth and not an air sign, a physical and relentless player. More on Capricorn in a moment.
There are at least five Sagittarius players on the squad. Sagittarius is the final Fire sign, often described not as fire in the field, like the Aries, but as the Archer, shooting arrows of fire in many directions, versatile, mobile. Russell Wilson, November 29, is the most obvious celebrant of Sagittarius — but the Seahawks also have Chris Matthews, DeMarcus Dobbs, the punter (and fake punt passer) Jon Ryan, Robert Turbin and Zach Miller — sharing Sagittarius birthdays. A true Sagittarius is not a solo star but rather a team star, casting arrows in every direction to get the group a victory. Aaron Rodgers, the wonderful Green Bay quarterback, is also a Sagittarius — slower afoot than Wilson but stronger armed: What they share is their multiplicity of talents and their natural sense to involve the entire team.
A few further observations. Any pro football team needs timber — stern, fixed players who hold the fort or force the issue. Taurus, as noted, is one of the fixed astrological signs; two others are Leo, the Lion, and Scorpio, the Scorpion. The Hawks are stocked at both these positions. The Lions are Kevin Williams, K.J. Wright, Jordan Hill and Greg Scruggs — the Scorpions are Greg Bennett, Bruce Irvin, Jesse Williams and Bryan Walters.
Finally, any good team must find room for Capricorns, the stubborn Goat. It has been said there are more heavyweight boxing champions who are Capricorns than any other sign — tough, hard-working, insistent and determined, in every case, to get there. The Capricorn Hawks: Tony McDaniel, Will Tukuafu, Mike Morgan, Brandon Mebane, Anthony McCoy, and Willson.
The Seahawk organization is certainly a thorough bunch but it is also certain they were not consulting astrology for any of their decisions. Years ago, they drafted Brian Bosworth to lift their defense. On his broad shoulders fell the great weight of taking this young Seahawks team to the next level.
I got a fax right after they signed the Boz, from a musician friend, who noted that he had two Pisces musicians in his band who were remarkable. But, he added (with a laugh I think) that there were no great Pisces middle linebackers in the NFL and never would be. Pisces is a brilliant sign and with much to do on this earth but its strength is not the sort that will be best served at middle linebacker. The Boz, of course, did sadly break down physically in his first year, specifically in his shoulders.
Is astrology any help in predicting the upcoming Superbowl? Nah, likely not. A few things can be noted, though. The Pats coach, Bill Belichick, is an Aries and a ruthless one — he will show neither humor nor mercy nor distraction. His innovations will be numerical, specific and relentless. His quarterback Tom Brady is a Leo, the second Fire sign after Aries, and they have been together for 14 years, and have gone to the Super Bowl six times. They are a specific, these two. Brady employs the math that Belichick computes. If they are left to enact their math, the Patriots are very difficult to stop.
For the Hawks, Pete Carroll is a true Virgo, a man who loves both details and the people that the details apply to. He has had two weeks to unravel the Patriot game and that should be enough time to at least minimize the typical Belichick angling. The Hawks will win if they make the Patriots human, if they can force the Patriots out of their mathematical comfort and precision.
The Patriots will win if they hold tight, stay metronomic, protect the angles. They are a business and they mean to win. The Hawks are a passion — and they want to win. An interesting collision of types.
One final note: The Hawks, young as they are, have always been lousy in the Old Moon, and terrific in the Full Moon. The playoff game with Green Bay was in the Old Moon and last year's Super Bowl was in the Full Moon.
This year Super Bowl 49 is one day before the Full Moon. Also, the Hawks, young as they are, sleep in all too well: Any games before 2 p.m. they have notoriously been half-awake. The Super Bowl kicks off at 3:30 p.m.
Belichick does not know, or care, about moons. But Pete Carroll, he might.