What time does the parade start?
The Seattle Seahawks’ world-championship parade, I’m talking about, the Feb. 4, 2014, street party that will make Fat Tuesday in the French Quarter look like bingo night at the Elk’s Club.
What makes me think a million football fans will convene in downtown Seattle next Feb. 4? Because the Super Bowl is scheduled for Feb. 2, and the Seahawks will spend Feb. 3 traveling from the East Coast. Besides, they’ll need a day recovering from the Super Sunday night bash in New York City before extending the celebration in Seattle.
And so I’m wondering: What time does the debauchery begin?
I know, there’s still some unfinished business between now and then: four exhibition games, and 16 real games, and at least two and possibly three playoff games and, of course, the Super Bowl itself, where the better team is not always the victorious team.
But the 2013 Seahawks figure to be too stocked with positive vibes, selfless egos and sheer talent for us to worry about something going awry.
The more I consider the genius moves of general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll — the greatest collaboration since John Lennon wrote songs with Paul McCartney — the more I’m convinced the Seahawks’ first NFL title is inevitable.
I saw the Seahawks as a playoff lock before the league’s offseason formally kicked off Tuesday. And when they obtained pass-catching electroback Percy Harvin from
Minnesota in a trade for three draft picks, my expectations were further amped up because Harvin, I have been told, is a threat to score a touchdown every time he touches the ball.
Last season, Harvin touched the ball 100 times before missing the final seven games with an ankle injury, so it’s reasonable to presume he’ll touch the ball 175 times in 2013. If he scores each time he touches the ball, Harvin will average 65 points a game — more than a point a minute and enough, presumably, to compensate for the possibility defensive end Chris Clemons won’t begin the season at full strength after major knee surgery.
Still, Schneider and Carroll are shrewd roster builders who understand the idea of balance. A day after hauling in Percy “Point-a-Minute” Harvin, they signed the great defensive end Cliff Avril to a free-agent contract.
Full disclosure: I’m not able to recall what Avril did to achieve greatness in Detroit, where he lined up wide and concentrated on quarterback sacks. He was credited with 9.5 of them in 2012, or 5.5 more than Clemens recorded in the first half of that crazy Monday night game against the Packers.
The reliably astute analysts at Pro Football Focus ranked Avril as the 30th best pass rusher among NFL defensive ends working from a 4-3 formation last season, and 59th against the run. While those numbers might not be eye-catching — or at least not as eye-catching as Harvin’s potential average of 65 points a game — I put my trust in pro-football experts lauding the Seahawks’ latest acquisition.
Avril, who turned down a three-year, $30 million offer from the Lions a year ago, had plans of hitting the jackpot as a free agent. He ended up with a two-year deal worth $15 million, which would qualify as a jackpot in my world but appeared to represent something of a pay cut in his.
In any case, consistent with a trend, the Seahawks were declared winners in the transaction.
“Cliff Avril got $15 million for two years,” noted CBS Sports.com’s Will Brinson. “John Schneider is a friggin’ Jedi.”
He’s a Jedi for guaranteeing $15 million to the NFL’s 30th-best pass-rushing defensive end from a 4-3 formation? Uh, whatever. Pundits required to pay attention to the NFL 365 days a year insist the Seahawks got a buyer’s-market bargain in Avril, and when it comes to evaluating edge rushers from Detroit, I’m in no position to dispute the pundits.
All I know is the 2013 Seahawks are bound for glory. They’re immune to the injuries that can put key players — quarterback Russell Wilson, say — on the sideline for two or three weeks at a time. They’re fail-safe from the kind of deep-coverage breakdown that prevented the Denver Broncos, who had the lead, the momentum and the home-field advantage, from eliminating the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs.
It doesn’t take much to derail a Super Bowl express: A quarterback’s knee buckling from a bad landing … a safety taking the bait on a pump-fake and allowing the deep receiver all the room he needs … a chip-shot field goal missed … a botched handoff on first-and-goal inside the 2-yard line …
I’ve seen it all, and so have you. We saw all of that during the 2012 playoffs.
But we won’t see the Seahawks’ Super Bowl express derailed. No way, no how. Percy Harvin will score every time he touches the ball, and Cliff Avril will prove that his general manager is a friggin’ Jedi, and on Feb. 4, the most promising season in the history of any Seattle pro sports team will conclude with a parade for the ages.
Any word on what time it starts?john.mcgrath@ thenewstribune.com