Hereâ€™s a thank you letter to the Seattle Seahawks.
1. Thank you for proving again that 7 minus 3 equals. The real play that lost the Super Bowl for the Seattle Seahawks was Seattleâ€™s decision to kick a 27-yard field goal in the third quarter on 4th down-and-short on the New England Patriots 10. I said to my daughter, Jordan: â€œSeattle just lost the game. This will haunt them.â€ It did. Settling for 3 instead of 7 equals 4 points that the Seahawks gave up. They lost by a 4-point deficit. Thank you for proving that kicking inside the red zone is a formula for losing. No one is talking about Seattleâ€™s call to not go-for-it that would have iced the game. Kicking on 4th and short on the 10 is another example of conformity in the NFL. Settling for three inside the red zone cost Seattle the Super Bowl. Thank you Seattle Seahawks for proving once again that kicking field goals instead of going-for-it costs you big games. The 27-yard field goal turned out to be 4th and Hell for the Seattle Seahawks.
2. The last minute of yesterday New England Patriots versus Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl tortured my conscience but it cured my PTSD. Thank you Seattle Seahawks for curing my PTSD.
I suffer from PTSD â€“ Penalties That Still Distress. It developed over decades of coaching amateur football. I canâ€™t watch football without suffering the painful effects of PTSD. Every time I see a football penalty by any team, I suffer. It triggers a memory of hell, the nightmare of when it all started.
But yesterdayâ€™s Super Bowl cured me. Nothing just happens. It wasnâ€™t a coincidence. Every time I worry about memory loss, I remind myself that I have no problem vividly remembering penalties that teams have committed decades ago that killed potential wins. The worst penalty memory is OCD – Offsides Cause Discomfort. I suffer from OCD because of the opening game of the 1997 season. We were winning 43-40 in the 4th quarter. We were on the brink of a major upset. It was our first game ever as the Niagara Colts, a 19-and-under expansion team that we threw together, not literally, figuratively. We â€˜threw togetherâ€™ meant we bombed the hell out our first opponent with a relentless air attack. Air strike after air strike. Hitting the strike zone over and over, right down the middle. We set a league record that day with 607 yards passing. One of our wide receivers, Steve Smith, who went on to play at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania, proved that the â€˜Power of Pay-backâ€™ works out. Steve dropped a sure TD pass in the first quarter. Steve said, â€œIâ€™ll make up for it, Coach. Iâ€™ll catch a TD pass as pay back.â€ I said, â€œNot enough, Steve. Five. You need to catch 5 touchdown passes to make it up.â€ He did. Steve paid back in full. Everything fell into place. Literally and figuratively. Steve caught five touchdown passes to give us the 43-40 lead midway during the 4th quarter.
Then the moment of truth happened. We stopped them on 3rd down with 7 minutes to go in the 4th quarter. 4th and 4 on their 41. It would be 4th and hell for someone â€“ 4th down & hell and 4th quarter & hell. They blinked. They punted. Stupidest call in football history because our defense was awful. Weak and inexperienced. I set a world record â€“ first time a coach yelled, â€œGO FOR ITâ€ to the opposing team. I was embarrassed for them and for the whole sport. By punting on 4th down, they were giving up against an expansion defense in the league, made up of weak inexperienced rookies.
All hell broke loose. One of our defensive linemen jumped offside. Automatic first down. Then we jumped offside again. Then again. Strike three. More bombs got dropped. I dropped F-bomb after F-bomb. My left arm started shaking. My bottom lip went numb. My vision blurred. Next play, they scored the go-ahead touchdown. We lost 47-43. We threw the game â€“ triple meaning. We threw for a league record 607 yards passing, threw it down the toilet, and we threw away the game with offside penalties.
I had invested a lot of time teaching teenagers during practice to, â€œStand still. Donâ€™t move. Wait until the ball moves.â€ Over and over, â€œStand still. Donâ€™t move. Wait until the ball moves.â€ After the loss, I hated the sport. I hated myself. It was a beautiful day. I could have been catching rays instead of watching us catch passes in a throw-away game.
It started my love-hate relationship with football. I canâ€™t watch football on TV. My 4 year-old granddaughter rescued me during the first half of the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl yesterday by asking me to play chess in the other room. Nothing just happens. It wasnâ€™t a coincidence. She saved me more suffering. I didnâ€™t have to torture myself by watching the Super Bowl â€¦until the last minute.
Patriots intercepted. The world focused on the â€œstupid callâ€ of all-time made by the Seattle Seahawks. I didnâ€™t. The game wasnâ€™t over after the interception. The guy who intercepted made a blunder. He brought it out to the one instead of going down in the end zone which would have brought to ball to the 20, giving New England breathing room to kneel down and run out the clock. Things were tight on the one-yard line. Tom Brady had no room to take a knee without giving up a 2-point safety. Then I had a flashback. I watched Seattleâ€™s defense jump offside â€“ the true â€˜stupid playâ€™ of game. Then another â€˜stupid playâ€™ – more penalties after a hockey-style fight.
Thank you Seattle Seahawks. I felt #peace. How can I fault amateur teenagers for jumping offside when professional millionaires do the same on the biggest stage? Thank you Seattle Seahawks for giving me perspective. Thank you Seattle Seahawks, for teaching me that amateurish mistakes donâ€™t just happen in amateur football. Iâ€™m cured. I have found #peace.
Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Natâ€™l Coaching Certification Program)
Head coach â€“ Niagara X-men football
Owner – X Fitness Inc.
Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. His website, blog, Youtube channel, and list of books are at: www.ginoarcaro.com
His books include:
4th & hell: seasons 1-5, Soul of a Lifter, SWAT Offense, SWAT Defense, X Fitness Workout System, and a 3 business book series called Soul of an Entrepreneur
He also has written 20 editions of 6 law enforcement academic textbooks. A new 8-volume interrogation book series will be released in 2014. And just released, a new childrenâ€™s book called â€œBE FIT â€“ DONâ€™T QUIT.â€ His latest book on human potential called â€œHashtag Peaceâ€ is at the editing stage. He just finished another book called â€œLifterâ€™s High.â€ Both will be released soon.