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Photography, sports and life as seen through the lens of Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar.

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September 15, 2008 11:48 PM

Seahawks: Is the Devil Collecting His Due?

Posted by Rod Mar

Did the Seahawks sell their souls to the Devil in order to get to a Super Bowl?

Did Mike Holmgren, Tim Ruskell and Tod Leiweke secretly meet with Beelzebub outside of a Kirkland bar in the fall of 2005, asking for a monster year by Shaun Alexander and a trip to Detroit for Super Bowl XL?

I looked through my archives and I don't have any photographic proof that such a meeting took place.

But if it had, might it have gone like this?

Devil: Let's get this straight -- you want to go to the Super Bowl this season.

Holmgren: Yes. Once more before I retire.

Devil: Remember -- the Super Bowl is in Detroit. You sure you don't want to wait until it's in a warmer climate?

Leiweke: We don't care. We think we can beat Pittsburgh.

Devil: It'll cost you...

Ruskell: We know. How about you take Steve Hutchinson and let him sign a poison pill contract with Minnesota?

Devil: Well, I do owe Minnesota. I did once take their hockey team and move it to Dallas.

Holmgren: What's it going to be?

Devil: How about I take six wide receivers from you in 2008?

(Holmgren, Leiweke and Ruskell huddle together...)

Holmgren (whispering): Let's do it!

Leiweke: We're completely mortgaging our future!

Ruskell: Who cares? We might not even be in Seattle. I heard some rich goofus in Oklahoma City is trying to move a team there.

They turn their attention back to the black-clad figure.

Holmgren: Deal! We go to the Super Bowl, you get some receivers down the road.

Devil: Great. Done. Now excuse me -- I have a meeting. The Steelers want to meet with me...something about NFL officials next Februrary...

Sunday was the team's home opener at Qwest Field. It started innocently enough with me wandering around outside shooting features.

Lofa Tatupu can count these two as some of his biggest fans:

(Nikon D3, VR 70-200mm/f2.8 lens @ 155mm, ISO 400, 1/4000th sec.,f5.6)

Taking a cue from the Phoenix Suns' gorilla mascot, the Seahawks mascot "Blitz" rides a zipline from one corner of the stadium to the other before settling in the middle. He hangs there seemingly forever before being gently lowered to the turf.

I'm sure it was supposed to be dramatic, but it ended up looking as if he was stuck in midair while the rigging crew tried to lower him. Anyway, as he hung at midfield, the video screen behind him displayed the dancing SeaGals. And no, this is not an attempt at subliminal stimulation.

(Nikon D3, VR 200-400mm/f4 lens @ 350mm, ISO 400, 1/1600th sec.,f4.0)

For the home opener, the crowd was loud as ever, causing numerous false-start penalties to the San Francisco offense.

(Nikon D3, VR 600mm/f4 lens, ISO 400, 1/2500th sec., f4.0)

The Devil collected one body during pregame when Seneca Wallace pulled a muscle. He got his eighth victim when Logan Payne went down in the first half with a season-ending knee injury.

(Nikon D3, VR 600mm/f4 lens, ISO 400, 1/1000th sec., f4.0)

It figured with such ragtag collection of receivers that the defense would have to step. Seattle's pressure and the crowd noise rattled San Francisco early, and the defense put points on the board when Craig Terrill rumbled to the end zone with fumble recovery to give the Seahawks a 14-0 lead.

(Nikon D3, VR 200-400mm/f4 lens @ 240mm, ISO 400, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

A two-touchdown lead at home against a hapless team as the 49ers should be a mortal lock for a victory for the defending NFC West Champs.

But the inexperienced receivers couldn't play with the big boys. Billy McMullen coughed up the ball after taking it to the San Francisco 11-yard line, killing a Seattle scoring drive.

(Nikon D3, VR 600mm/f4 lens, ISO 400, 1/1000th sec., f4.5)

McMullen was victimized again later when San Francisco's Walt Harris caused a deflection that was intercepted and returned 86-yards for a touchdown by teammate Patrick Willis, changing the tone of the game completely.

(Nikon D3, VR 200-400mm/f4 lens @ 220mm, ISO 400, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

(Nikon D3, VR 200-400mm/f4 lens @ 380mm, ISO 400, 1/2000th sec.,f4.0)

Even through tinted glasses fans the Seahawks fans tried to keep their team in it.

(Nikon D3, VR 600mm/f4 lens, ISO 450, 1/2000th sec., f4.0)

49ers quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan (try typing that three times fast) found his mojo in the second half, deftly avoiding the Seattle pass rush to find targets such as veteran Issac Bruce behind the Seattle secondary.

(Nikon D3, VR 600mm/f4 lens, ISO 800, 1/800th sec., f4.0)

The once raucous Seattle crowd was rendered silent as the lead slipped away and the game went into overtime.

(Nikon D3, VR 70-200mm/f2.8 lens @ 140mm, ISO 800, 1/1250th sec.,f2.8)

San Francisco's Joe Nedney missed a possible game-winning field goal at the end of regulation, but didn't miss when he got his chance in overtime. His 40-yard field goal won the game, 33-30.

(Nikon D3, VR 600mm/f4 lens, ISO 1000, 1/1250th sec., f4.0)

Mrs. Seahawk and the other fans in the south end zone were left stunned.

(Nikon D3, VR 200-400mm/f4 lens @ 310mm, ISO 1600, 1/640th sec.,f4.0)

In his post-game press conference, Mike Holmgren discussed his deal with the devil.

(Nikon D3, VR 70-200mm/f2.8 lens @ 70mm, ISO 800, 1/400th sec.,f2.8)

I'm kidding. But there was this strange smell of sulfur in the media room...

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