January 13th, 2008


Nipped In The Bud

I suppose seeing Sweeney Todd was pretty apropos since after a day of football like today's, I could really use a close shave followed by a crazy fucker slicing my throat open.

So, it's pretty cool to have friends, I guess. I mean, if you're into that sort of thing. Personally, I'd trade the whole treacherous lot of 'em in to see the Seahawks win just one Super Bowl. And I'm REALLY sick and tired of my team falling to the hands of certain teams that certain friends root for, rendering yet another season painfully moo.

Is it a successful season? No. Am I pleased with how far we made it; NO. Am I particularly optimistic about where things are headed? Of course not.

This is what happens. This is what happens when you spend a week building your team up, saying from top to bottom they're comparable to Green Bay in every way, and that on a neutral field with half Seahawks fans and half Green Bay fans, we'd play them to a draw in overtime after overtime after overtime until Brett Favre died of old age and Shaun Alexander's great grandson broke one off for a 20 yard touchdown as time expired fifty years from now.

Because in all honesty, we never were comparable to Green Bay and it showed.

We can't run the ball because our line is either too old or too young and ineffective. That's across the board, that's including Walter Jones and Heather Locklear - arguably our most steady contributors. That means their defense can send seven back into coverage to blanket our unspectacular receivers while their front four eventually harasses Hasselbeck enough to throw a bad ball. Of course, it doesn't help that Old Man River at tight end is letting the good balls go right through his arms unmolested in any way.

Then there's the fact that their offensive line is one of the best in football. That means, going in, our coaching staff had to make a choice: sell out and leave our corners on an island for Favre to beat deep, or play passive and hope our cover two is good enough to keep their offense out of the endzone long enough for ours to cover the spread. I'm assuming Option C - play passive and guard nobody, letting them reach the endzone on six consecutive drives - was an emergency fallback option when everyone on the Seahawks sideline collectively shit themselves in their warmed-over pants when they saw the falling snow wasn't going to stop anytime soon.

For five glorious minutes, there was something to cheer about as the Packers gifted us 14 points off of two running back fumbles. Was it a bad sign that we lost our best special teams tackler on the first kickoff of the game? Would I have been more confident if Shaun Alexander didn't have to struggle - barely falling over the goalline - on the 2-yard opening score? Did it bode well whatsoever that Deion Branch re-injured his knee on the first pass attempted to him, leaving Ben Obomanu as our team's leading receiver for the day? That's a Yes on all counts, soldier.

Problems to fix: Every position on the offensive line, starting with the Offensive Line Coach. Tight end. Running back. Defensive Tackle. Speedy receiver to create a deep threat (or a backup quarterback that will let us utilize Seneca Wallace more than three times a season). Other than that, we're pretty kosher. Yeah, our defense got destroyed today, but it didn't help that our offense couldn't sustain a drive, killing us in Time of Possession by eight minutes.

Biggest problem to fix: Beating the teams you're supposed to beat.

We don't fumble that exchange in Arizona, our record is 11-5. We don't crap our pants in an overtime loss in Cleveland, our record is 12-4. We don't wet the bed in Carolina against Vinnie Testaverde's backup, our record is 13-3. We don't rest our starters in Atlanta, our record is 14-2.

14-2 means we're the number one seed in the NFC, means Green Bay has to face Washington in the first round, means they come to Seattle today, means we're playing this game in a balmy 41 degrees in front of the rowdiest fans in football, looking forward to the winner of the Dallas/Giants game coming to Seattle next weekend. Instead, we get lots of snow being the determining X-Factor in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. For a team that can't run the ball, we sure could've used clear skies to elevate our passing game.

Maybe then balls wouldn't have been dropped. Maybe then tackles would've been made. Maybe then Green Bay's punter would've seen more than one snap fly into his hands, BEFORE the 42 almost-unanswered points.

But at least Josh Brown had a good game. Wouldn't want to waste those fresh 75 degree legs.

There Will Be Blood

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street marks the second twisted musical I've seen in the last month and actually enjoyed. Of course, the other was The Rocky Horror Picture Show in the comfort of my own darkened bedroom, safe from all the crazies who invade the night getting their inner transvestites on.

So, pretty much, to catch my eye and keep me enrapt in a musical, you've got to make it about the fringe elements of society.

Of course, it helps that Sweeney Todd was made by Tim Burton (I am, after all, a tremendous fan of A Nightmare Before Christmas). And even though the music wasn't produced by Danny Elfman, I have to say that I wasn't put off in the least by the harmonizing of Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, or any of the other enjoyable scamps in the cast of this film.

And, unlike Rocky Horror, this movie actually has a point. So those of us who aren't stoned out of our gourds 24/7 can also enjoy what we're watching on the big screen.

That point: Sweeney Todd is a street shavin' man, the best there's ever been. He was ripped apart from his family by an evil man, sent away for 15 years, and now he's back to enjoy his bloody revenge.

And how ABOUT that bloody revenge! Makes my stomach all hungry for some Üter-braten just watching it.

I probably went ahead and jumped the gun in declaring Susan Sarandon's rack the best in Hollywood, but I will tell you that Tim Burton's wife - the delightfully impetuous Helena Bonham Carter - gives Ms. Sarandon a run for her money in the get-ups Burton has her cavorting in.

But, that's the thing with Tim Burton movies. He gives you awe-inspiring visuals you're not going to see anywhere else. Bosomy wenches aside, you've got turn-of-some-century London and all its dingy decor, you've got costumes both drab and eye-catching at the same time, and you've got one hell of a fantasy sequence that brings you right back to Dorothy's first steps into Oz.

As far as live-action musicals go, this one's the best I've ever seen, but that's not saying much, considering I've yet to see Hedwig And The Angry Inch, which by all rights I'm told is a must-see on all accounts. Nevertheless, I'm pretty confident that - what with the tepid musical fare from "Grease" on down to "Chicago" - Sweeney Todd will go down in my top five all time musicals if for no other reason that it didn't annoy the piss out of me and didn't have John Travolta involved in any way whatsoever.