Posted: 10:52 a.m. Thursday, June 27, 2013
A couple of days ago, I wrote about the inevitable nature of the NFL to makes things go topsy-turvy using the Aaron Hernandez (at the time, impending) arrest as an example. It's tough to plan for something like that. And now? Well, he's no longer a Patriot. Wibbly-wobbly NFL indeed.
But, I think there is a flip side to this coin. Yes, the NFL has a way of making great teams stumble and fall. This doesn't mean the Patriots will - any team with Tom Brady on it is a solid team. Every year, though, some journalist points out that a playoff team from last season won't make it this season. For most of us in tune with the cyclical nature of the NFL, that's not really surprising. Not at all.
This also means, however, that a new team is making the playoffs. For every team that stumbles and falls, there is another team that seizes the new opportunity. The 49ers are very much that team - or rather, they were. Jim Harbaugh inherited a young team with a lot of talent. He made that team a playoff success story.
But, the Seahawks are also that type of team. Last year they burst onto the scene in a big way. And now, we have Vernon Davis claiming that the Seahawks are building a "dynasty." While this might be a bit premature, the point stands a bit too strongly for my taste. Seattle has a solid team. Heck, let's not deny it, they have a great team. The whims of the NFL have surely swayed in their favor.
In addition, let's not get too complacent about the rest of the NFC West. The whole division has risen from the ashes (get your act together, Arizona!). So yes, it's a bit easy to look at the Hernandez situation and see teams quickly take a bad luck punch. But some teams get good luck too. The 49ers did. And now the Seahawks are. They are getting enough luck that a comment Vernon Davis makes is national news.
All day long, I saw his picture on Yahoo! (lol me, still getting e-mail there). This was surprising to me. I've grown accustomed to thinking about the Seahawks-49ers rivalry as a hotly anticipated narrative this season. And it is, in some sports circles. But for the most part, I don't know if the national media was really paying attention. It was too focused on the bad luck of another team (i.e. the Hernandez deal - which in all fairness is a big deal) to recognize what is going on over here. But Vernon's comment struck a chord, because, I think, it so aptly demonstrates how flimsy NFL good fortune is.