DANNY ONEIL

Which Seahawk would be the best partner in a survival situation?

Jun 21, 2016, 10:42 AM | Updated: 1:31 pm
Russell Wilson's unyielding optimism would have its pros and cons in a survival situation. (AP)...
Russell Wilson's unyielding optimism would have its pros and cons in a survival situation. (AP)
(AP)

Marshawn Lynch is running wild … with survivalist Bear Grylls.

This promises to be utterly entertaining.

Effective? That’s another question. How’s Lynch going to be in the wild? I’m truly interested to find out, and it prompted me to wonder who would be the best and the worst of the Seahawks to be tethered to in a survivalist type of situation.

Doug Baldwin: The worst

Look, I love Doug. One of the most unflinchingly honest and respectable pro athletes I’ve gotten the privilege of covering. But Doug without a map and hungry? Man, that sounds like a recipe for non-stop arguments:

“Why do you think we should go that way?”

“Why don’t you trust my sense of direction?”

“Is it because I was undrafted?”

“You think I’m a pedestrian survivalist, don’t you?”

And Lord help you if Doug managed to catch a fish or kill a rabbit. On the plus side, you’d get to eat. On the negative side, you’d have to hear all about the lack of credence you gave his talents as a hunter-gatherer: “You didn’t think I was going to do it, did you? You thought, ‘Oh that’s just Doug thinking he can get food. He went to Stanford. What’s he know about hunting and fishing?’ And I was like, ‘Don’t trip. We’re OK. I’ll get this little bunny.’ And now look at you sitting there with rabbit grease dribbling down your chin, eating like a pig even though you didn’t think I could do it.”

Earl Thomas: The best

Look, I’m not sure if you’d get out of it alive. You might just wind up sitting and listening to Earl philosophize. Is that a word? If it is, it sounds like a word that would apply to Earl’s take on life, which is vaguely existential and awesomely weird. Like when he talked about the defense needing to play like it’s connected to a string, but warned that you can’t put that string in a box and sometimes you just need to let the painting unfold for itself. Seriously, he actually said exactly that. He is the Seahawks’ great warrior poet, and getting stuck with him would become like a vision quest with Carlos Castenada or some other hippie truth-seeker.

Russell Wilson: The worst

Have you ever worked closely with someone who is so good that it makes you feel uncomfortable, even inadequate? I have. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Your own warts and vices get amplified in your own mind. It makes you feel pretty inadequate, and eventually, that overwhelming goodness of your co-worker casts such a shadow that you feel like you need to bathe in sin after your shift.

Except in a survival situation, your shift doesn’t end. You’d wake up all grouchy, hungry and with a sore back from sleeping on the ground. Part of you wishes you just hadn’t gotten up, and here’s Russell, already up and at ’em, saying: “Hey, man. I had no time to sleep last night so I wove you this special back brace out of bamboo leaves. I know your back’s getting sore, and I just thought that would help. Ready to get going? I just know we’re going to hike our way out of this today. We know every football field is 100 yards by 53 1/3, so that must mean there’s an edge to this jungle, too. I saw some birds flying overhead a couple minutes ago, so there must be fresh water nearby. We’ll just take it one step at a time and have that laser focus.”

That undefeatable optimism would get you saved. It also might make you feel so personally inadequate that you’d never recover.

Michael Bennett: The worst

The utter unwillingness to take the situation seriously would be maddening. Imagine having gone three days without food and then listening to Bennett, who won’t stop talking about how much money Jay Cutler makes or how Matt Stafford is from Dallas, where President John F. Kennedy was killed, or doing his imitation of Russell Wilson’s voice.

Bennett is funny. Not just athlete funny (which means he’s funny compared to other pro athletes, most of whom are deliberately boring in public). He’s legitimately funny, but something tells me that after a day without food, Bennett’s sense of humor would become more enraging than entertaining. I mean, there’s only so many times you can laugh when he rips on Sam Bradford before you snap: “Dude, enough with the jokes. We need HELP!!!”

Kam Chancellor: The best

He’s really quiet, which would be a huge asset in terms of your sanity. There isn’t a badder man in the NFL, which would certainly provide something in the way of safety. And while he does get pedicures (which makes you wonder how he’d do in the wild), he showed some willpower and individual gumption last year when he held out. If you gave me one pick on a player to be paired with in a survival setting, Seattle’s strong safety would be it.

The single worst person to be stuck with in a survival situation?

Me. Seriously, I’d be absolutely terrible. First, I’d think I knew something about surviving in the outdoors being that my dad was a logger. I grew up camping and split cords upon cords of firewood in rural Oregon. I’d somehow forget the fact that I haven’t gone a full day without my feet touching concrete in like 15 years as well as the reality that my sense of direction was never as good as I thought it was.

Second, there’s no Molly Moon’s ice cream in the wilderness. This would be a distinct problem that I wouldn’t stop complaining about.

Third, no one ever read their way out of being stranded, and my tendency to overstudy everything combined with a reluctance to make firm decisions would make me not just insufferable, but dangerous.

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Which Seahawk would be the best partner in a survival situation?