Growing up in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, just one hour south of Green Bay, I often dreamt of being a sportswriter covering the Packers.
Those dreams continue to this day. Recently, one of them had me scoring an interview with Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch as he prepares to take on the Packers in the NFC Championship this Sunday:
Q: Marshawn, wonderful to be here. Coming through Sea-Tac Airport, I actually noticed some people wearing Seahawks gear. Last year, that wasn’t the case. One championship makes quite a difference. Can you imagine what having 13 NFL titles like the Packers would do?
A: Thanks for asking.
Q: Had a nice meal at the 12 Club when I landed. Sat in the section with the ring devoted to the Seahawks history. Right at the midpoint. You know, 2005-06. Nice place, huh?
A: I appreciate your asking.
Q: I forgot to check. Were either of the Seahawks’ failed attempts to top the Packers in the playoffs in the history ring, including the one where Matt Hasselbeck said, “We want the ball, and we’re gonna score”?
A: Thank you.
Q: Speaking of history, where would you rank this year’s Hawks teams with the great teams of the franchise’s past. Like, um, last year’s?
A: Appreciate it.
Q: A couple fans had some questions they wanted me to ask you. First, will the game be on at Starbucks?
A: Thanks. Thank you.
Q: Oh, and they’d heard your quarterback was playing second base for the Rangers this summer. He also played in the World Cup, led the Sounders to the Supporters’ Shield, and was recently transferred to the English Premier League. The fans wonder if he’s getting overextended.
A: Thanks. Really appreciate the question.
Q: Bainbridge Island, hometown of former Clarion sportswriting great Wesley Remmer, has banned cheese from City Hall due to the looming matchup with Cheeseheads. Do they know Tillamook is in Oregon?
A: Thank you. It’s appreciated.
Q: Russell Wilson graduated from Wisconsin. Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell graduated from Wisconsin and got his pro coaching start with the Packers. Seahawks GM John Schneider is born and raised in Wisconsin and came to Seattle from the Packers. Even dangerous passing threat O’Brien Schofield is a former Badger. Can you stop stealing our stuff, including the Lombardi trophy? We promise you can keep your rain and fog, but we’re keeping the Brewers, who were once the Seattle Pilots in 1969, just like Oklahoma City fully intends on keeping the Thunder.
A: That’s a nice question. Appreciate it.
Q: Can women be 12th Men, or is it like the priesthood?
A: Awesome. Thanks.
Q: Since 2006, Green Bay has only not been first in market viewership once. Seattle jumped from 24th in market viewership last season to sixth this season. Are you worried the Packers run defense could show similar improvement?
A: Nice. Nice. Appreciate it.
Q: The Seahawks are Alaska’s team! But the Kenai Peninsula is not known for quickly adopting the latest fashion trends. Should we expect to see a lot of Seahawks gear Sunday?
A: Thanks for the question.
Q: Greater bust to bad haircut ratio: Brian Bosworth or Tony Mandrarich?
A: Appreciate that one. Really.
Q: In all seriousness, the Packers’ offensive line and your quarterback, Russell Wilson, are both underrated. The Green Bay front five handled Detroit’s nasty defensive line much better than the vaunted unit of Dallas. Wilson has the highest QB rating in postseason history, and this doesn’t count his scrambling ability, and his ability to eliminate one defender you have to worry about due to the danger of him keeping the ball on the ride-and-decide, or what is more commonly known as the read-option. Wilson may not have gotten his due yet because he doesn’t look like an all-time great QB and because of the brashness of his teammates, but I fear by Sunday afternoon that will probably change. What say you?
A: Good question, boss. Thank you.
Clarion sports editor Jeff Helminiak can be reached at email@example.com.