Seahawks fans may recall that as the training-camp-free NFL season began, Seattle was at least a co-headquarters for the “Suck for Luck” campaign, the tasteful appeal from some fans for a profoundly putrid season in order to draft Andrew Luck.
The Stanford quarterback was judged by many to be second only to Alexander the Great in his ability to change the map of the known world. Nothing Luck did in the Cardinal’s 11-1 season discouraged the notion.
Unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on your perspective on the tactic — the local campaign went away faster than Herman Cain’s presidential clown car. Entering Monday night’s game against St. Louis at the Clink, the Seahawks are 5-7, which isn’t great but a long ways from the 0-13 of the Colts of Indianapolis, where Luck may as well start calling real estate agents in anticipation of his draft selection in April.
After jettisoning their longtime quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck, the Seahawks’ No. 1 priority in personnel is for a franchise quarterback. The season to date hasn’t altered that need, although the temp, Tarvaris Jackson, has performed better that most anticipated.
While the argument could be made that, after having to put 13 players on injured reserve, the Seahawks are more in need of a sideline surgical unit, the fact is that not only is the QB need still paramount, it turns out there is more than one quality quarterback in the land.
If you’re a local sports fan, you will get a more extended look at Griffin Dec. 29, when his previously woebegone Baylor Bears (9-3) play the Washington Huskies (7-5) in San Antonio’s suddenly marquee Alamo Bowl.
Think about that: The Seahawks’ savior is the Huskies’ devil incarnate. Only in Seattle sports.
I realize several cosmic perversities must happen in a certain order for that little scenario to play out. But after watching Denver rookie Tim Tebow again win an NFL game Sunday his team had no business winning, let’s just say the far horizon for premier NFL achievement seems a tad closer these days.
Therefore the new campaign for Seahawks fans: Whiff for Griff.
The premise is the same as Suck for Luck: Lose as many games as possible to advance the chances to draft the savior. Starting as soon as, well, Monday night.
It’s true that Griffin, as a fourth-year junior, is not yet eligible for the draft. But that is only a technicality awaiting his petition for eligibility. Griffin already completed a political science degree and was proceeding toward a Master’s degree in communications during his stupendous season in Waco. This would have been his senior year but, because of a torn ligament in his right knee in the third game of his sophomore year, he received a medical redshirt.
While Griffin is almost Jake Locker-like in his loyalty to school, unlike Locker, Griffin has nothing to prove with an additional year, and he has everything to risk in terms of health.
So if we presume Griffin turns pro, the rest is up to the Seahawks. Unfortunately — again depending on your perspective — they seem unwilling to cooperate.
Asked for his biggest challenge in the last four games with playoffs nearly impossible, coach Pete Carroll said, “To finish really well . . . to continue to do things right all the way through the end of the season. We did not do that last year. We didn’t finish in the fourth quarter of last season (losing three of the last four) like we wanted to.”
Coaches always seem to think that way. They believe that playing not to win in the pros has the problem of costing a number of people their jobs. That tends to contradict the fans’ agenda of their favorite team getting better as quickly as possible before they, too, lose their jobs and can no longer afford tickets, or even cable TV.
In Seattle, the Whiff for Griff campaign is further complicated by the fact that the four teams remaining on the schedule — St. Louis, Chicago, San Francisco and Arizona — are having at least as many problems as the Seahawks. After having won three of their last four, the Seahawks are playing closer to Carroll’s idealized notion than at any time in his tenure. Even the 49ers, who have clinched the NFC West title so soon that that, by the start of the playoffs, may forget how they got there, could be a little heavy lidded for their Christmas Eve game in Seattle.
So a 7-9, 8-8 or even 9-7 finish is plausible, leaving the Seahawks in the middle of the first round of the April draft. Andrew Luck will be long gone, but will lower-case luck allow Griffin to drop to them?
Probably not. If Griffin is what coach Texas Tech Tommy Tuberville claims — the best of Tebow and Michael Vick — RG III won’t get out of the top five. Given the state of the Huskies’ defense, that claim may be further embellished in Griffin’s final college game.
Once again, the Seahawks would be thwarted by the high price of mediocrity. The consolation prize is that this draft is so rich in quality quarterbacks that one has to around when the Seahawks draft.
Then again, the Seahawks should find Griffin worthy of trading up to get. If continuing to win this month must be done, killing the Whiff for Griff campaign before gains traction, let the Seahawks consider a month from now another campaign — Stiffs for Griff.
They have the inventory. They just need the will.