MIKE SALK

Salk: Why did Seahawks fans turn to boos? The 3 likely reasons

Oct 28, 2021, 1:05 PM | Updated: 1:15 pm
Seahawks Jason Myers...
Seahawks kicker Jason Myers reacts after missing a field goal against the Saints on Monday night. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Boo! You heard it loud and clear during the Seahawks’ 13-10 loss to the Saints at Lumen Field on Monday night.

What is Russell Wilson thinking as he watches Seahawks struggle?

No, Halloween did not come a week early. Those trick-or-treaters didn’t stop by after getting their nachos from Baker Mayfield’s place. It was the 12s, and they were simply giving vocal form to their displeasure with the team.

No word on whether it was loud enough to create a seismic event.

Although I’m not from Philadelphia, I don’t mind a good booing. It’s healthy for fans to remind teams that their support is conditional. That nothing should be taken for granted. That they are spending a tremendous amount of time and money to attend the game and they want effort and concentration, if not results.

Booing doesn’t mean you have turned on the team (at least not unless you are a Mets fan). It means you are holding them accountable.

Generally, I boo a lack of effort or concentration. You see that in sloppy play – missed passes in basketball or hockey, mental errors in baseball, lazy tackles in football. You see it in mental mistakes, substitution issues and wasted timeouts. You see it when it looks like the opponent is more prepared or invested.

When you plan your day around the game, the least you can ask of your team is that they do so also.

So what broke the dam and got Seahawks fans to vocalize their anger? The answer is different, and I think it boils down to three reasons.

1. Frustration.

This didn’t come out of nowhere; it has been building. The predictable play calls, the wasted timeouts, the conservative philosophy that runs against the “never let up” motto that has become more common across the league. Fans have seen mistakes pile up and get repeated. And when mistakes are repeated, they appear to be mental rather than physical. And that’s where the frustration sets in. When you don’t have a natural release for that energy, it shouldn’t be a surprise when it comes out as a loud “boo!”

2. Expectations.

While no one should call them spoiled, Seahawks fans have had a taste of the good life over the last decade. They know what good football looks like. Yes, they can understand that a backup quarterback isn’t going to function as well as their elite franchise QB. But they know what a real power run game looks like – they saw it with Shaun Alexander and Marshawn Lynch. They know what great secondary play looks like, and they can see the difference between Kam Chancellor and Jamal Adams. They have high expectations and they are clearly not being met.

3. Fear.

Don’t tell Pete Carroll, but it is the most motivating force in the world, and I think Seahawks fans are afraid that their turn is almost over. They remember the lean years and know how much fun it’s been since Russell Wilson joined Pete and general manager John Schneider. They know how much cooler it is to have five primetime games a year versus the days of networks experimenting with a musical score underneath their game. It’s more fun to get mad at the top broadcast crew than it is to wonder who FOX’s seventh-best play-by-play announcer will be. And if Pete can’t get it moving in the right direction and Russ can’t find happiness in Seattle, there is a palpable fear that the party will come to an end. I think we can all boo that idea.

Hopefully this booing event serves as more of a warning than a premonition. Hopefully it offers a sense of accountability to the team and the problems get fixed. With the next home game to be played on Halloween itself, hopefully the only booing we hear is from an especially rowdy group of kids at the door.

Rost’s Seahawks Q&A: What is the future for Wilson and Carroll?

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Salk: Why did Seahawks fans turn to boos? The 3 likely reasons