The Mariners undoubtedly have in storage a bunch of unused “Believe” posters.
Perhaps the club, which is now developing a portfolio as a Sodo real estate developer after almost succeeding in baseball, has no further need of sports memes and can off-load the overage to Seahawks fans.
The meme from Ted Lasso worked for the Mariners. Until it didn’t.
Seahawks fans need the pop psychology only to last until Russell Wilson returns from surgery Friday that fixed a ruptured tendon and broken bone in the middle finger on his throwing hand.
The media speculation is that he could be back in six weeks, which is good news for the Seahawks.
The bad news is that their record is 2-3 when one of the best quarterbacks in the game was healthy* (the asterisk is for the fourth quarter that he didn’t play in the loss to the Rams Thursday, when replacement Geno Smith led Seattle to 10 points, three more than Wilson in three quarters).
The club released a statement Friday night that announced the successful repairs to Wilson at a hospital in Los Angeles, where he was flown after the game :
“Russell Wilson injured his right middle finger during last night’s game versus the Rams,” the statement read. “He sustained two injuries to the finger: an extensor tendon rupture (mallet finger) and a comminuted fracture-dislocation of the proximal interphalangeal joint. He had successful surgery today in Los Angeles by hand specialist Dr. Steven Shin at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan Jobe Surgery Center to repair both injuries. He will start therapy this weekend and it is highly anticipated that he will return to play later this season.”
If you aren’t familiar with the medical terminology, the lay explainer is, “What happens when Aaron Donald is blocked insufficiently.”
The “Believe” mantra certainly can’t hurt in the recovery of Wilson, whom Carroll described as “a great healer,” calling to mind the supposed feats of preacher Oral Roberts. When the belief will get a little thin is Dec. 19, the date of the Rams rematch in LA, where the feats of Donald & Co. are not suppositions but facts.
Despite numerous changes to personnel, coaching and scheme in the off-season, not only are the Seahawks still not better than the Rams, they are worse off because the Rams knocked Wilson from the game and a big chunk of the season. And the Rams a week earlier lost to Arizona, 37-20.
By the rematch, it’s possible that these comparative scores will be rendered meaningless, due perhaps to the Rams’ own injuries/shortcomings and a Seahawks renaissance under a healthy Wilson. But to believe that, a Seahawks fan would have to believe the rest of Seattle’s problems are solvable.
That is a magnum stretch.
Wilson can’t play cornerback (and neither can a few other others paid by the Seahawks for the job). He can’t help SS Jamal Adams or LB Jordyn Brooks in pass coverage. He can’t help DE Carlos Dunlap rush the passer. He can’t pass-pro against Donald. He can’t get Chris Carson healthy. He can’t help organize the team’s covid-19 health protocols to get TE Gerald Everett cleared on time Thursday to help against his old team.
He can’t help Carroll make the right decisions on fourth down, although lordy, he has tried.
And he can’t help general manager John Schneider draft better, which is the origin story to the current talent travails.
What Wilson can do, for now is help Smith be the best he can be.
In that tidy morsel, a fan can believe.