PEP Talk with Tony Ventrella: Welcome Back Coach

Mike Holmgren is coming back for one more season as the Seahawks coach.

Mike Holmgren is coming back for one more season as the Seahawks coach.  I remember his first day in Kirkland back in 1999.  I was getting ready to do a "live" remote on KIRO-7 television's noon news.  The anchors tossed to me and as they did the new Seahawks coach walked over to our camera and started to chat. His timing was perfect but then it usually is. I'm glad coach Holmgren is back for a lot of reasons not the least of which is his press conferences.

He's a funny guy with perfect comic timing.  Someone asked him if he might have a voice in the selection of his successor in Seattle next year. Coach Holmgren took a comic pause and then said, "well my daughter Jenny has always wanted to coach."  That's a funny line. You can't write that stuff. I'm looking forward to another season of informative, entertaining and yes funny press conferences.

I'm also looking forward to a re-energized coach heading into his final season on the sidelines like a boxer heads in the final round of a fight.  When asked about what he might do differently his final season Holmgren struck again. "I expect to use a lot of fake punts, double reverses, trick plays, all kinds of stuff." 

If I could write a script for Mike Holmgren's final season I'd give him a much improved running game, a better pass rush, a 6-2 record on the road, 8-0 at home and a second Super Bowl victory. 

The next important dates for Seahawks fans are April 26 and 27th, the NFL draft.

For now there's not much fans can do but anticipate certain front office decisions regarding players and of course get ready for a Super Bowl that includes two of the Seahawks 2008 opponents.

The Patriots come here next season and the Seahawks travel to the Meadowlands to face the Giants. Dates and times will be announced in April.

When I watch the Super Bowl on February 3 I'll be thinking of my Uncle Louie Lapolla. He passed away last fall at the age of 91.

I grew up about 55 miles from New York City so I rooted for the Giants as a kid. So did Uncle Louie. There was a problem though. NFL games used to be blacked out within a 75 mile radius of the home team's field so we couldn't get the games on CBS Channel 2 out of New York. Uncle Louie had to climb up on the roof Sunday mornings to turn the TV antenna toward Hartford, Conn. So we could see the games on WFSB Channel 3.

On Super Bowl Sunday I'm going to climb onto my roof in memory of Uncle Louie. No body has antennas anymore so I'll just sit up there for a moment of silence before the game starts.

While I'm at it, congratulations to Doug Baldwin, the P.I. Male Sports Star of the Year winner last night at the downtown Westin. He deserves all the recognition for the season he had. He deserves to be in the Pro Bowl but that's another column.

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