I’m still reeling from yesterday’s unprecedented comeback victory, rendering the Seahawks one game closer to being Back-to-Back Super Bowl Champions. How are you feeling? I may pass out.
It was a roller-coaster for sure: some kind of crazy roller-coaster where you mostly plummet downward for a couple of hours, and then rocket into the stratosphere in the last three minutes, left to orbit in space. And probably throw up.
The emotional discipline required to endure that game may be my biggest take-away. Green Bay and Seattle both made a lot of mistakes. And when Seattle made a few more, GB’s emotions got the best of them. They relaxed and mentally celebrated. But the game wasn’t over. They lacked the discipline to stay emotionally vested in the game, rather than in the after-party.
Seattle, the most keenly emotionally disciplined team around, seized the moment. With just over 3 minutes left in the game, they rallied, moving the 19-7 score to a 22-all tie by the end of regular time. Then, a win of the toss and a touchdown on the first drive solidified them as NFC champs.
It didn’t have to go that way. Wilson should have been so morally beaten by his multiple turnovers.
Kearse should have been devastated by missed pass after missed pass.
Baldwin should have been deflated, having made poor punt returns and missing a vital catch.
Lynch should have been discouraged, facing media harassment and NFL fines right up to game time.
Sherman and Thomas should have given up, both having been injured and needing medical attention.
But they weren’t and they didn’t.
The emotional discipline to maintain focus has been rehearsed as par for the course: every game is a championship. We play for each other. We need each other and the fans. I love you, man.
Not one coach was screaming at a player. Every time I saw a player hang his head, a teammate was there to pat his arm, and offer a word.
I love that Baldwin corrected the @seahawks Twitter account, well before the game, reminding everyone that they aren’t about to play for a trophy. They were about to play for each other.
Every player has been on-message since mid-season, when they reexamined their emotional discipline after some losses. It wasn’t the skills that lacked at that point. It was the love. The emotional discipline came into focus.
So even we – the 12’s – had to remain emotionally disciplined throughout the game. How easy it would have been to succumb to the anxiety of impending defeat!
I felt it – I wanted to curse out Kearse. I wanted to whine at Wilson. I wanted to throw things at my TV and mutter about them not catching it anyway. I wanted to be sad and angry – but the Seahawks have taught me about love and emotional discipline.
Instead, I meditated. I focused on sending love to every player. I breathed. I visualized throws and catches and runs and calls that went our way. I uttered every player, coach, and official’s name as an Om .
I took to Social Media, and asked people to do the same. No disappointment, no vitriol, only cheer with love.
And we rallied. And we won.
When Wilson and Kearse cried after the game, I cried too. It took an inordinate amount of focus to believe throughout that game. Through sobs, Wilson said,
Just making the plays at the end and keep believing there was no doubt … we had no doubt as a team.
Kearse’s tears were immediate, as he found redemption in that final touchdown.
Bennett took a policeman’s bike, and pedaled around the field in celebration. I felt that, too – the unadulterated joy of relief after the intensity of focus.
Tears, relief, joy … frankly, I had a massive headache afterward. I met friends for a celebratory drink and then went home to take a long bubble bath. We all celebrate in our own ways.
Alright, 12’s – we have one more game this season. Every game is a championship game. They’re playing for each other and we are cheering for them. Remain focused and disciplined. Don’t succumb to fear or anger. Exude love. It’s our secret weapon.
Well, love … and Skittles!