Dear Current Seahawks Players,
You may be wondering, how do you treat the biggest week of your life like it is a normal game week? On the outside, it seems like a circus. I will never forget the week before the Seahawks NFC Championship game in January of ’06. It was my second season with the Seahawks and, like you, we finished the regular season 13-3. The city was going crazy, much like it is now. I remember the many media requests, fan rallies, family and friends flocking to town, and ticket requests from everyone I’d ever known. But the preparation had to remain the same. The focus had to prevail through each of the distractions of the NFC championship week.
The NFL playoffs are like nothing else in professional sports. Each game tests the determination of a team’s drive for a championship -- not through a series of five or seven games... Just one. There is only one opportunity to win; there’s only one opportunity to move on to the Super Bowl. Just one bad game means all of the hard work and preparation over the last twelve months was for naught.
As you now know, a playoff win is one of the most joyous, yet short-lived, victories an NFL player can experience. While beating your opponent in a divisional playoff game is certainly exciting, and important, it is not the destination that any player has circled on the map of his career. It is easy to forget about all of the success that you have enjoyed if you don’t end the season holding the Lombardi Trophy in your hands.
With all that swirling around inside, your focus must remain on the job at hand. Nothing can take away from the mental and physical preparation of film study and practice reps. You owe it to your teammates, your coaches, your family and to yourself to put in every minute of preparation for this game. You never know how many times you will have the opportunity to play for a championship in a career that, at least for me, seems like it is over in a blink of an eye. You must live in the moment. Because while the Super Bowl might lie ahead in your future, the promise of playing for an NFC Championship, in front of your own fans in the city that embraces you, is one of the most surreal things you can experience.
Enjoy it. Embrace it. Give it everything you’ve got. You may be the best the Seahawks have ever been -- and good enough to hoist the Lombardi trophy. I believe in you. The fans believe in you. The city of Seattle is in your corner and the 12s will be there doing their part. They always do. Do your thing and we will see you at Super Bowl XLVIII.
Seahawks Alumni 2004-2011