I sort of owe Mike Ditka an apology.
For years I blamed Ditka’s X’s and O’s skills, or lack thereof, as the primary reason why his Chicago Bears teams of the middle 1980’s have only one SuperBowl win to show for their Monsters of the Midway reign. Understand, I’m not altering the premise here that speaks to Iron Mike’s shortcomings, just taking into account all the other factors that may have ultimately gone into his team’s underachieving nature.
Still, the Seattle Seahawks and their circus-like implosion since their drive to the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl just four months ago have somewhat brought me to the point of perhaps giving Ditka the benefit of all my lingering doubts. Since hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in what seems like just days ago, the Seahawks have seen their born-again, star quarterback file for divorce from his statuesque, still newlywed bride amid salacious rumors she may have cheated with his top and favorite receiver and witnessed their self-adoring head coach again largely emerge as the face of arguably one of the most infamous NCAA cheating scandals over the last decade or so.
And now comes word that star running back Marshawn Lynch is threatening to walk away from the game altogether, all in a leveraged play for more loot.
Sense the pattern here? In the crazy world that is NFL Nation, particularly where the most star-studded of teams and eccentric of characters are concerned, things, lots and lots of them, happen that you simply can’t account for, let alone actually prepare or game plan for.
The man known as Beast Mode wants a new deal and he doesn’t care who it means he may have to take down to get it. Even if it means grounding the Hawks.
Seattle signed Lynch to a four-year, $30 million deal in 2012, but in a game where Colin Kaepernick just signed for in excess of $120 million and Wilson and Cam Newton are reportedly negotiating to receive even more, that all now seems so passé and relatively meager.
Understand, I’m not championing the Seahawks cause here, or for that matter, any league that allows owners to rip up all contracts at their discretion, yet hypocritically scolds players about the virtues of honoring an agreement when the roles are at all reversed. Rather, I’m simply lamenting the premature demise of what could have been a lasting dynasty.
Like Ditka and the Bears. No one can recall for certain all the outside distractions the Bears may or may not have encountered coming off their Super Bowl season, but given their rostrum of such free-spirits as Jim McMahon, William “The Refrigerator” Perry, Buddy Ryan, Steve McMichael, Otis Wilson and even Walter Payton it seems fair to conclude they probably faced a few of them.
And in the end, the team’s run was much less than what it could or should have been. Seattle, can you hear me?