Because I have been a Seahawks fan since 1976 -- the guys in the group house where I had a home in Moscow watched every game that inaugural season when I was a junior at the U of I and Seattle was only a six-hour thumb away -- I have been reveling in the past five seasons, particularly last year's championship.
It was five years ago this week that the Seahawks hired Pete Carroll as their head coach. Sunday they will play for the NFC Championship and the shot at a second straight Super Bowl.
I take nothing for granted -- having rooted for them all these many long and often miserable years preceding the Carroll Era -- but I have good reason to be confident going in. The Packers will be a worthy test. If the Hawks win, they will be ready to win it all.
It's been a remarkable feat. And it's especially fun to remember all the people who have been giving the Seahawks and their fans unbelievably bad advice along the way -- advice we have had the good sense to ignore.
In honor of Sunday's NFC title game, here is a look back at some spectacularly bad sports analysis that has been written at various times about these Seahawks -- kind of a Hall of Shame of Idiot Sportswriting, all of it Pete Carroll-related:
Pete Carroll Will Lose Credibility if He Goes to Seattle
Ted Green, L.A. Times
Excerpt: "Seattle is the Bermuda Triangle. Once you leave here, Pete, you effectively disappear off the face of the sporting earth."
Analysis: This one is particularly noteworthy for all the classic California-style bashing of the Northwest and Seattle, "on the way to Alaska," blah blah blah. Suck on it, Ted, writing in a city so dysfunctional it doesn't even have an NFL team.
Carroll, NFL Still A Lousy FitAnalysis: Hahahahahahahahaha.
Jeffri Chadiha, ESPN
Excerpt: "Now that he's back in the NFL, Carroll will eventually discover that plenty has changed since he left more than a decade ago. The players have gotten bigger, faster, stronger and, yes, smarter. They're probably better at recognizing a coach who isn't ready to deal with all the challenges that come with leading grown men who make tons of money. And what Carroll hasn't realized yet is that he's still the type of guy who falls into that category."
2012 NFL Draft Grades: Ranking Teams That Failed on Draft Day
Donald Wood, Bleacher Report
Excerpt: "No. 1: Seattle Seahawks
"After one of the worst picks in the first round I can ever remember, the Seattle Seahawks didn't draft any positions of need or draft for the future.
"Pete Carroll is proving why he didn’t make it in the NFL the first time. Not only was Bruce Irvin a reach at No. 15, the Seahawks proved they were oblivious to their madness by celebrating their selection.
"As if the day wasn’t bad enough, Seattle selecting Russell Wilson, a QB that doesn’t fit their offense at all, was by far the worst move of the draft. With the two worst moves of the draft, Seattle is the only team that received an F on draft day."
Analysis: Not quite as grotesquely, hilariously wrong as the last two, but pretty close. Not only has Wilson become a superstar, but even Irvin has become a major contributor to the team's league-leading defense.
Icy Issue: Pete Carroll's Mistake Starting Russell Over Flynn
Joseph Fell, Cold Hard Football Facts
Excerpt: "But here's one take on Carroll you can take to the bank: his decision to name rookie Russell Wilson the starting quarterback ahead of Matt Flynn will prove Carroll’s worst move during his tenure as Seattle's head coach."
Analysis: Oh yeah. Wilson has proven nothing but a headache. For opposing teams. Meanwhile, we get to worry about Matt Flynn as the backup to Aaron Rodgers on Sunday. As in not.
The fun part comes in realizing that these guys never apologize or acknowledge their utter boneheadedness, nor do they ever look in the mirror and wonder if they're just carnival barkers writing crap that grabs people's attention instead of the journalists they pretend to be. No wonder Marshawn Lynch refuses to even talk to these clowns.
I'm thankful, though. I'm thankful. Thankful to have this team to root for on Sunday.