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Are Seahawks fans biased? Over 1,000 votes cast and the answer is clear: NO!
Seaside Joe 1245: What 1,000 Seahawks fans think about the Seahawks and their rivals
This week I had a question for every Seahawks fan out there: “Are you biased?”
A Seaside Joe world record of over 1,000 of you responded and more than 99-percent self-identified as Seahawks fans. There would be no question then that these poll results should be held in even higher regard than Gallup, Harris, and the U.S. census … combined!
The feeling that I got after reading what over 1,000 Seahawks fans think about the team? Actually NO: Seahawks fans are not biased and actually most of you have a very level-headed, even, measured, and calm reaction to Seattle’s most chaotic offseason since Pete Carroll replaced Jim Mora, Jr. in 2010.
How can I be so sure? The proof is in the polling.
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First, let’s look at how Seahawks fans feel about the offseason. One would expect that a biased fan would have a big reaction to an offseason that included trading Russell Wilson, cutting Bobby Wagner, having their highest draft pick since 2010, and selecting Ken Walker III in the second round. Positively or negatively, most of you must have a lot of feelings and thoughts about Seattle’s 2022 offseason relative to most summer breaks.
But the “Don’t trade Russ!” crowd that you were led to believe is prevalent based on some strong reactions on Twitter and Bill Barnwell writing at ESPN that the Seahawks had “the worst offseason of all 32 teams” is not nearly as mighty as reasonably expected.
When asked “How did the Seahawks offseason go?”, 44-percent of Seahawks fans gave the offseason a 4/5, followed by 30-percent at 3/5 and 17.6-percent answering with 5/5.
Some key things to remember here and always:
These are anonymous answers, so there’s no point to say anything other than your truth. No points, likes, or retweets as benefits for answering with respect to what you perceive to be “popular.”
The offseason was about a lot more than trading Wilson. That’s why I made sure to remind what the full offseason entailed, including the coaching change that most fans wanted (Clint Hurtt replacing Ken Norton, Jr.), the huge haul of draft picks received in the deal, the selection of Charles Cross, and the retention of key free agents like Quandre Diggs, Sidney Jones, Al Woods, and Rashaad Penny.
Barnwell assumed that the majority of NFL fans believed that the Seahawks had a 0/5 or 1/5 offseason just because the team traded the most accomplished quarterback in franchise history and didn’t fire the most accomplished head coach in franchise history. Instead, only 8.5-percent of fans gave the Seahawks a 1/5 or 2/5 in this poll and less than 2-percent of those people voted 1/5.
Repeat: Less than 2-percent of Seahawks fans think the Seahawks had a terrible offseason. And only another 7-percent think that trading Russ and keeping Pete were the leading factors to bad or below-average offseason.
This summer, I’ve gotten so many emails and messages that echo the same comments at Seaside Joe that I’ve read day after day: “The Seattle Seahawks haven’t been this interesting in at least three years” and there’s an observable excitement among fans who may have become bored with the same annual conversations of how to help Russ, how to protect Russ, and how to keep Russ.
Those were all valid questions. But now the fanbase and the franchise can move onto other priorities and start anew at quarterback, something that has recently breathed life into the Chiefs, Bills, Bengals, Chargers, Ravens, and Cardinals, as well as the Rams, Bucs, and Broncos.
Seahawks fans no longer have to sit on the sidelines for every fascinating quarterback addition, whether that come via the draft, trade, or free agency.
That’s why I think most fans see the 2022 offseason as being no less than “Good,” with over 17-percent feeling that the last six months have been near-perfect for Pete Carroll and John Schneider.
“So then Seahawks fans are biased. What are you talking about, you unbelievably stupid fool?!”
If there is a bias, then it should be just as obvious in the other poll questions about Seattle’s playoff chances, their decisions at quarterback, and the quality of play expected for Geno Smith and Drew Lock.
But Seahawks fans responded rationally to all of those questions.
With 1 being “Terrible” and 5 being “Great”, almost 50-percent of Seahawks fans expect either starting quarterback to be “Bad” in 2022. Another 37-percent voted in the “Mediocre” range, with less than 5-percent believing that Lock or Smith could be “Good” or better.
You could argue that voting “3/5” shows a little bias because we know that relative to the other 31 teams, Smith and Lock offer a relatively bad resume of experience and on-field success. But as I wrote on April 15, the difference between 32 and 20 in this league is not nearly as wide of a gap as advertised.
When Marcus Mariota, Davis Mills, Mitchell Trubisky, Daniel Jones, Jared Goff, and Jameis Winston are positioned as Week 1 starters; when seven teams are set to start quarterbacks drafted in either 2020 or 2021 who’ve yet to prove themselves (Tua, Mac, Zach, Trevor, Jalen, Justin, and Trey); when Baker Mayfield, Ryan Tannehill, Carson Wentz open the season on the hot seat… The road to “top-20” is paved in the inevitable mistakes of MOST of those quarterbacks.
So while I would have answered with a 1 or a 2, giving the Seahawks a 3/5 could be reasonable if you believe that either Lock or Smith could at least survive a full season.
If any of those 3/5 voters were responding out of unreasonable optimism, then it would have shown up in the other “Are you biased?” poll question about quarterbacks. But it didn’t. Unlike Barnwell, Seahawks fans are able to wrap their heads around a long-term plan.
When asked if the Seahawks should have added a better QB than Lock and/or Geno, almost 85-percent of Seahawks fans said “No”; and 78-percent of those fans made it clear that it was because Seattle is making the long-term play at quarterback instead of any reactionary mistakes.
While 16-percent of Seahawks fans felt that the team should have added someone other than Geno or Drew, we can’t say for sure if they mean Matt Ryan, Baker Mayfield, Desmond Ridder, or Colin Kaepernick. It could be any range of options but even after an expected poor start at quarterback in training camp this year, Seahawks fans are prepared for a rough season in order to get to the light at the end of the tunnel when the carousel comes around again in 2023.
Over 78-percent of Seahawks fans (819 of 1,048 votes tallied) responded that they’re aware that the plan at QB is for 2023…and they’re good with that. We know that they’re good with it because the majority of Seahawks fans also voted that the offseason has been Good-to-Great.
Finally for Part I of revealing Seattle’s “bias” with this survey (Part II will be released later this week with your answers on how much you hate the 49ers, if Pete is your favorite head coach/if he’s a “Good” head coach, and reactions to the Ken Walker III pick and the rookie class), it becomes even more obvious that Seahawks fans are smart enough to separate having a “Good offseason” from having immediate success.
That’s what has been so confounding about “smart analysts” giving the Seahawks an “F” for their offseason because for years now we’ve been talking about the benefit of getting a quality quarterback on a rookie contract and potentially teams separating themselves from elite quarterbacks in the prime of their careers with the goal of reloading through the draft. Then using those cost savings at quarterback to improve the supporting cast.
I’ve long called this “The era of separating ‘the franchise quarterback’ from ‘the franchise’.” It’s a risky play but one that I expected even before Tom Brady left the Patriots and Matthew Stafford was traded to the Rams.
The salaries finally outpaced the potential value and when Peyton Manning was able to reach two more Super Bowls after leaving the Colts, it set the tone that Brady, Stafford, Wilson, and Deshaun Watson would soon follow.
You would think then that analysts—whether you want to refer to this as “front office analytics” or “moneyball for the NFL”—would LOVE the Seahawks offseason. They saved literally hundreds of millions in future cap space (I estimated the total savings/draft haul here) by not paying Russell Wilson’s probable $250 million price tag, they acquired the biggest draft haul in NFL history (the Texans may have topped it weeks later with Watson), and they reloaded the roster in the draft.
Most Seahawks fans observed Seattle’s offseason and came away anywhere from satisfied to elated. But this did not sway them into thinking that the Seahawks got better in the immediate wake of trading Wilson either. So are Seahawks fans biased?
Not when it comes to the current roster.
Because 86-percent of Seahawks fans still expect the Seahawks to miss the playoffs.
Even in a weak year for the NFC (no Wilson, no Ryan, a practical rookie starting at QB for the 49ers, DeAndre Hopkins’ suspension, Calvin Ridley’s suspension, another suspect year in the NFC East, Mariota, Baker/Darnold, Winston starting in the South) and with three wild card teams, almost every Seahawks fan is willing to accept that anything that meets “respectable” in 2022 will be good enough.
If there was a bias, we might expect at least half of Seahawks fans preparing to shock the world with Geno Smith or Drew Lock. The team had a top-10 defense in points allowed, made a highly-regarded change at defensive coordinator, extended DK Metcalf, drafted several exciting prospects ready to contribute immediately, and with Russell Wilson right now probably would be considered an NFC playoff team.
But Seattle’s fan base appears pleased with the organizations moves in 2022, even if they don’t include Russell Wilson or the playoffs. Because Seahawks fans are ready to sit in this for at least two years and to let it play out with Pete Carroll however it may play out. Will there be different answers should Seattle get off to a bad start in the regular season?
That’s only something to address until we get there. For now, Seahawks fans have shown little bias for rose-colored glasses. There will, however, be a considerable bias in their hatred for the 49ers.
That’s next time on Seaside Joe.
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