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Back from a two year hiatus, it's the Alba Dark Angel Award!
For anyone who wasn't around back in the 12 Seahawks Street hey-day, several of the contibutors to that blog would hand out weekly awards after each game, along with a companion blog post, highlighting different aspects of the competition.
Alba's Dark Angel Award recognizes the person who comes out of nowhere to have a dramatic impact on the game. This award was originally called the Moonlight Graham Award, after the Burt Lancaster character in Field of Dreams, who only got one official at-bat in his big league career, but made the most of his opportunity.
Now, on to those who were considered for the Week One Alba's Dark Angel Award!
There have been so many changes to this team and organization since the close of last season, that there are a lot of new names and faces among the coaches and players, which means that almost everyone is eligible for the award this year, from Jim Mora to Cameron Morrah.
If I could, I'd give the entire coaching staff a ADAA this week, for the aggressive, creative, relentless and successful gameplan that was developed and implemented for this opening game against a divisional opponent.
Kudos to Jim Mora for casting off the mantle of his predecessor, along with the 3rd-and-long draw play, and re-energizing a team that has a lot of unfinished business to attend to. God bless new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who understands that a lead is not something you fall back and try to protect, but something you use to even more aggressively attack and demoralize your opponent. And congratulations to Greg Knapp for making Seahawks fans fall in love with a former Raider by effectively using ALL the weapons on the field, and masterfully orchestrating the rotation at running back. All great signs for a Seahawks rebirth, however, not enough to draw Alba Iron in Week One.
There were four "runners-up" to this week's award. Like I said, with so many new names and faces, the possibilities were almost endless, but the Alba Dark Angel Award Selection Committee put in tireless hours reviewing the game film, checking the stats, and otherwise effing-off at work to arrive that these finalists.
The Offensive Line - much consternation and hand-wringing was done throughout the pre-season leading up to this game, especially with the abrupt retirement of Mike Wahle, the
Pardon me, your bust is showing! Of course, I'm talking about the voluptuous display of mounds of aggression, titalating speed and ample power by borderline first round bust Lawrence Jackson. Seemingly, whenever Lo-Jack was on the field, he was in the backfield disrupting the Ram Offense (is that redundant or an oxymoron?) and playing with wild abandon. However, we'll wait until he puts a couple pert red cherries on top of this performace before erecting an Alba Dark Angel in his honor.
Midway through the game, I could swear I heard the following emergency announcement over the Qwest Field PA system, "Will Mr. Herring and Mr. Hawthorne please report to the defensive huddle - STAT!" Trading away Julian Peterson seemed like a good idea when it allowed us to sign Leroy Hill to a long term deal. However, when both Hill and Tatupu had to leave the game, our pro-bowl bound three-headed-monster linebacking crew featured a rookie and two NFL journeymen. Granted, Curry seems like an early leader in the Defensive NFL Rookie of the Year running, but could roster bubble boys Hawthorne and Herring really step in for Tatupu and Hill? Ummm, the aswer is a 12th man decible breaking level "YES!" Both these reserve linebackers came in and played assignment correct football with the same aggressive style that they displayed in preseason. They really came close to drawing Alba Iron in Week One, but just not close enough.
"Having one's identity concealed; to avoid notice or formal attention; a fat slob with anger issues whose boneheaded outbursts consistently help his opponents" Of course, those are the dictionary definitions of the word Incognito, who was the fourth runner-up for this week's award. Fat Richie didn't disappoint in his return trip to Qwest field, racking up false start penalties and throwing in an unsportsmanlike conduct for good measure. Seemingly, he's done more for the Seahawks now 9-game winning streak against the Rams than anyone. But it'll be a cold day in hell when an Alba Dark Angel goes to an opponent, especially one from St. Loser.
No, this week's Alba Dark Angel Award goes to one man, who was instrumental in preserving the shutout, and ironically indicative of the changing of the guard at the helm of the Seahawks, ushering in a new era of optomism and hope for our favorite club. Of course, I'm talking about the Booth Official who called for the replay review of the blocked field goal. Mike Holmgren's run-ins and disdain for the officials was well documented and publicized, and his record at attempted challenges had been futile at best. There were many blown leads against the Rams throughout his career, where defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory by a bad call or weird bounce of the ball. And don't even get me started on Super Bowl XL!
However, on this pastoral September day at Qwest, the skies opened and a heavenly ray of sunshine pierced through the glass of whereever it is the Replay Booth Official is located, startling him from his slumber and causing him to accidentally hit the buzzer indicating to the field officials that something was amiss with the previous play. And as has been indicated by many of my fellow contibutors to SeahawkBlue.com, the Seahawks 12th man was introduced to the 12th man on the Rams FG block team, nullifying the touchdown with the penalty resulting in a Seahawks first down, which lead to a 14-0 halftime lead and the rout was on!
In the Holmgren years, that play would have been the first in a series of events that would have lead to Ram victory, and then a sheepishly worded apology from the league offices on Wednesday of the following week. (yes, I'm looking at you Baltimore time keeper!) But these are not your Walrus's Seahawks, and hopefully this is the start of a beautiful new relationship, between Jim Mora and the guys who wear the striped jerseys, including the unnamed booth review official who is the recipient of this week's Alba Dark Angel Award.
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