With the Seahawks trying to run out the clock to create one of the biggest upsets in NFL playoff history, Marshawn Lynch took a handoff and disappeared into a pile. Somehow, he squeezed through.
And you thought, oh nice! A positive gain! We sure needed that on second-and-10. But Lynch kept going.
Then you thought: Beautiful. First down. Take more time off the clock. Yet Lynch kept going.
Then: Wow! All the way to the 50! AND LYNCH KEPT GOING!
Then you stopped thinking. And started screaming. When Lynch stiff-armed Saints cornerback Tracy Porter to the field at the 45 as if he were Tracy Chapman, you realized that Lynch had a chance to reach the end zone.
When he ran through Alex Brown’s ankle tackle–thanks to a block from Matt Hasselbeck–and cut back at the 10, you saw that HOLY CRAP HE’S GOING TO SCORE! His eighth broken tackle, a late dive by Roman Harper at the two, felt almost like it was staged for television.
Don’t know about you, but I ended up with my face buried in a couch, thrusting my arm in the air and shouting “He scored! He scored a touchdown!” And then everyone at my friend Cody’s place started hugging.
At Hec Edmundson Pavilion, a crowd of 300 gathered around TV monitors on the concourse erupted in cheers, according to the school’s digital writer, Gregg Bell. And the same happened in the Qwest Field press box, Sportspress Northwest’s Doug Farrar told me, despite the unspoken “no cheering in the press box” rule.
“That was the greatest run in Seahawks history,” I wrote in an email to my Sportspress Northwest bosses once Id weaned myself from the hug party. Of course, I didn’t send the email, because I didn’t want to jinx the Hawks. Once the win was complete, the run could be properly celebrated.
We shall celebrate The Beasting. We shall celebrate The Beasting for all time.
After the game, it was all we could talk about. My friend Witold came up with the proper context: “It’s like Edgar’s double.” And it was. Remember how Martinez hit that ball off the wall, and you thought: “Sweet! A double! Junior to third base with no outs!” And, then you saw Griffey steaming around third, and HOLY CRAP HE’S GOING TO SCORE!
To the numbers!
Has there been a better run in the Seahawks 35-year history? I sure cant think of one. John L. Williams had that 75-yard romp that iced the Hawks division-clinching win against the Raiders in 1988, but it came on a screen pass. And Mack Strong had that key third-down run against the Redskins in ’05, but it wasn’t a touchdown.
Its an hour after the game ended, and Im at Auto Battery, a bar on Capitol Hill. At halftime of the Jets/Colts game, NBC showed The Beasting with a count of all Lynchs broken tackles. Spontaneously, people at the bar began counting along. “Four! Five! Six! SEVEN! EIIIIGGGHHHT!
Sixty-seven yards, eight broken tackles, six points, an upset we’ll never forget. That is The Beasting.