Seemingly everyone has an opinion on “DeflateGate,” and Shaun Alexander is no exception.
Of course, the Seahawks legend has a take probably unlike any other.
“I honestly thought that New England made this up so they could have people go against them so they could kind of band together for the Super Bowl,” Alexander said on Tiki and Tierney. “I don’t know any player that would make this a big deal. Is the ball two pounds? Is it less? Is it more? It’s football. You run the ball. You stop the run. You complete some third-down passes. You play the game. New England won by so many points. They ran the ball. They completed third downs. No one cares about the (weight) of the ball.
“Rules are rules,” Alexander continued. “So if officials want to go figure out how to make sure the balls are the right weight, they can do that. But on the field, play football. No one’s really caring about this at all.”
To be fair, the AFC Championship referees, according to reports, fixed the deflated footballs at halftime. The Patriots then scored 28 unanswered points, turning a 17-7 contest into a 45-7 blowout.
In the NFC, meanwhile, the Seahawks engineered one of the most miraculous comebacks in playoff history, beating the Green Bay Packers in overtime, 28-22, after trailing by 12 points with less than three minutes remaining in regulation. Seattle will now play in its second Super Bowl in as many years – and Alexander, for one, is not surprised.
“I’m not because when you draft well . . . you build this (great group and you) grow up together,” Alexander said before reminiscing about his own Seattle experience. “We saw each other get married, we saw each other have kids, we saw each other’s good and bad days. So on the field and off the field, we were connected. So (the franchise has) done this with the defense. You get Russell (Wilson) as a quarterback and then you go draft a bunch of defensive guys that all have a chip on their shoulder. They play like that. They play (as if to say), ‘We’re going to be together and we’re kind of upset with everybody we see.’ That’s kind of how they play the game.”
Yes, some Seahawks seem angry; some seem over-aggressive. And then there’s Wilson, who always seem calm and genuine.
Really, the Seahawks are what football should be about.
“It’s the ultimate team sport,” Alexander said. “Everybody’s not going to be the same, and I think players like that. They like the fact that this guy is totally crazy to me, but I love him because he’s my teammate. It’s like a real family. That’s what you see in Seattle. You see a bunch of different personalities, but Pete Carroll’s done a great job of letting guys be who they are but (making) sure they play great on game day. He doesn’t really deal into the, ‘This is my rules, and you need to do this and this is what I think’ (mentality). He’s like, ‘Professionalism is doing your job every single time you’re on the field (and) not doing anything that’s going to hurt the team.’ That’s what they do.
As Tiki Barber noted, part of you almost wants to dislike the Seahawks for their brash, in-your-face style of play. But another part of you – the bigger part of you – respects and admires what they do.
“Yup, and it’s pretty awesome because them boys come to play, and they come to work,” Alexander said. “They practice hard, they play hard, they go after it. It’s pretty fun to see.”