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For Seahawks Fans, Pain And Pride In Super Bowl Matchup

David Goldman
AP Photo
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll speaks with Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn before the NFC divisional playoff game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, in Atlanta. Quinn was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator for their back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. ";

For Seahawks fans, this Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup in Houston between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons may be hard to watch – for many reasons.

But knkx sports commentator Art Thiel told 88.5's Kirsten Kendrick that it’s not all bad

What Could Have Been

Let's start with what's aggravating. Thiel pointed out the Seahawks are the only team in the NFL to have beaten both the Patriots and the Falcons this season.

"It showed the maddening inconsistency of the Seahawks and I think inconsistency drives fans crazier than anything," Thiel said.

"They were able to beat the Patriots in New England 31-24 and then they also beat the Falcons 26-24 at the CLink.

"They have shown this season that they had championship-caliber games in them and talent. But they couldn't sustain it.

"They were losing to the Rams. And tying the Arizona Cardinals when they were terrible. And any number of losses that were winnable games because the talent was there.

"Clearly, the Seahawks were young in several key positions. They also had a lot of injuries that they don't ever want to use as an excuse, but I will say they are, in fact, reasons why they don't play well."

'It's The Patriots'

Thiel said the other aggravating factor for Seahawks fans in this year's Super Bowl: "It's the Patriots!"

"I think the wound is still fresh from two years ago when the Patriots beat the Seahawks in a [Super Bowl] game the Seahawks had won up until the final 30 seconds and the play that shall not be mentioned," he said.

"That, I think, coupled with the frustration of the season might make this [Super Bowl] a tough one to watch."

Seahawks' Connection To Falcons Head Coach

One positive aspect of this year's matchup is that Falcons head coach Dan Quinn used to be the Seahawks' defensive coordinator. Theil said this is his third Super Bowl appearance in four years.

"He was with the Seahawks in their back-to-back Super Bowl appearances - the second one, of course, against the Patriots.

"He wasn't that well known. But certainly the players and staff really liked him. They were all happy for him getting the head coaching job in Atlanta And here he is in his second year, in the Super Bowl.

"It speaks well to the Pete Carroll coaching tree. And he is emulating the Seahawks' philosophy in a lot of ways. He actually beat them with it when the playoffs came and Atlanta thoroughly dominated the Seahawks in that second-round playoff game.

"So, if there is any reflected pride in what Quinn is doing, I think Seahawks fans might be eager to pull for him."

Who Will Win?

Thiel joked, "I have said all along and I'm sticking with it that, as much as I and the rest of America outside of New England want to see the Patriots lose in a glorious, miserable, wretched fashion, I think they're probably going to prevail.

"Bill Belichick, the head coach, has done it again with putting together a team solid on both sides that's able to take advantage of [quarterback] Tom Brady's incredible career.

"They are certainly playing with a little bit of an extra 'mad' on," Thiel continued.

"Brady missed the first four games of the season due to a suspension from Deflategate, that onerous episode of deflating footballs that [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell triumphed with.

"The one thing I think a lot of people might be pulling for is to see Roger Goodell hand the Lombardi Trophy to Robert Kraft, the owner, and Brady, the quarterback, and Belichick, the coach - all of whom feel injured by Goodell's ruling.

"But I think they have the team, they have the coach, they have the experience to take advantage of Atlanta's youth. I see something like a 31-28 win by the Patriots."

You can find Art Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwestand

Kirsten Kendrick hosts Morning Edition on KNKX and the sports interview series "Going Deep," talking with folks tied to sports in our region about what drives them — as professionals and people.
Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.