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Back from three days in the Midwest with Norman Cheuk and his buddy slash my new friend Karl Stricker.

The boys weekend began in the Windy City.  The destination: Wrigley Field for a Cardinals-Cubs game.  After that I hooked up with a few old friends before reuniting with Norman/Karl and Paul and Marcella Sharkey for drinks and dinner.

On Saturday we headed north to Wisconsin.  Our destination — Green Bay via Whistling Straits.  Karl and Norman played Whistling Straits’ Irish Course – I walked it.

That night we headed for Titletown — Green Bay, Wisconsin.

But for the result of the game — a 27-17 Seahawks loss to the Packers — it was a darn fun day filled with food, football and LOTS of partying:

Monday was probably the most remarkable day of all.  To make a long story short, Karl, Norman and I were packing our car when a local drove up, asked us if we’d had a good time, and ended up giving us a tour of his hometown.  We hit all the hot spots, including the Packers Heritage Trail and the birthplace of Curly Lambeau.

Green Bay wasn’t populated or remarkable for much other than its sleepiness, but I’ll say this: it’s tough to imagine a friendlier bunch of people or a better place to visit for an NFL game.

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I’ve long since all but stopped using the Jenkins Family Blog as a venue to ruminate about what’s bothering me.  But three days after the Seahawks’ heartbreaking loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX, I’m making an exception.

Normal grieving just isn’t working very well.

In reverse order, here’s what I’d like to see the Seahawks do for next year:

10. Find a way to keep Brandon Mebane.  A core player on this Hawks squad, the veteran DT is almost a certain salary cap casualty this offseason as management frees up funds to sign Russell Wilson and/or Bobby Wagner … This is low on my list because a much cheaper Jordan Hill may be a very capable replacement.

9. Promote an insider to replace Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator.  Kris Richard and Ken Norton seem plenty competent and have done well in their respective jobs — there’s no need to look elsewhere.

8. Give Ricardo Lockette more playing time as a WR.  Except for not catching that not-very-good Wilson pass, he’s done everything the coaching staff has asked of him on both offense and special teams … He’s earned the right to more PT — I hope he gets it.

7.  Sign Russell Wilson long term.  This one would obviously be much higher on my list if he didn’t have a year left on his rookie deal … Would be nice to get this deal done, but we can theoretically survive without it this offseason.

6. Trade Doug Baldwin.  The Angry Doug act is wearing thin, especially when it costs his team fifteen yards near the end of the Super Bowl (more) … Almost as bad, he defiantly stated as late as two days after the game that he had “no regrets” about that disgusting, pre-meditated act and did not care what anyone thought about it except his teammates … Deal him to Timbuktu for a draft pick to be used on a WR and I’d be perfectly happy.  Which leads me to …

My heart wouldn't hurt if this was gone.

My heart wouldn’t hurt if this was gone.

5.  Add a big wide receiver to the mix.  Maybe it’s Chris Matthews.  Maybe it’s a guy out of the draft.  But we need a guy who can go up and get it.  Package Baldwin and a draft pick to move up and get a Kelvin Benjamin type — ideal.

4. Sign a new kick returner.  With or without Sir Poop-a-Lot, the ‘Hawks presented no threat to the end zone on kick returns — on too many occasions they barely threatened the 20-yard line … Not saying we need another Percy Harvin, but neither Angry Doug nor Paul Richardson appear to be the answer.

3. Sign a new punt returner.  Brian Walters looks like a high school kid out there … We don’t need Devin Hester in his prime, but we do need something other than a designated fair catcher.

2. If Byron Maxwell goes, sign a starting cornerback.  I’m guessing BM is gone and if he is, it’s clear his replacement isn’t on the current roster … An undersized Jeremy Lane is a nickel back at best, and Tharold Simon reminds me of Kelly Jennings — hard-to-watch bad.

1.  Sign Marshawn Lynch to a three-year deal.  He and Kam Chancellor are the guys who stir the drink … I get that he’s almost 29, but it simply isn’t true that all running backs tail off once they hit 30 (more) … Beast didn’t work too hard in Buffalo, doesn’t practice now and has shown no signs of slowing down, so I’m guessing there’s still plenty of tread on his tires.

Keeping Marshawn Lynch is priority No. 1.

Keeping Marshawn Lynch is priority No. 1.

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Last night the Jenkins fam was joined by 20+ or so people for our second straight Super Bowl party.  (Last year’s.)

It did not end well.

Down 28-24 with 30 or so seconds to go, the Seahawks had the ball on the Patriots two yard line.

Good peeps, bad result.

Good peeps, bad result.

An obvious run play.  Or not.

Russell Wilson’s interception gave the Pats their fourth Super Bowl title in the Brady/Belichick era.

shoes

The result — and the call — broke a good many hearts.

Mine included.

The decision to pass won’t be debated for long.  Although it was a defensible call (more), it’s already being talked about among the worst calls in sports history.

Not shown -- my tears.

Not shown — my tears.

Maybe or maybe not.  But it certainly contributed to one of the worst nights I can remember.

On a brighter note, Finn had his first-ever sleepover, this one with his buddy Harry.

On a brighter note, Finn had his first-ever sleepover, this one with his buddy Harry.

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This past weekend I joined my buddied Mike Waldner and Joel Aro in San Diego.  The occasion: the Seahawks game against the San Diego Chargers.  The game didn’t go so well — the Bolts clobbered us 30-21 — but between golf at Torrey Pines, bodyboarding and biking on Pacific Beach, the game at Qualcomm and Sunday night at the pool — we had a ton of fun.

I’ll let the pics speak for themselves:

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A view from our seats at game’s end.

It wasn’t pretty, and we were down 13 heading into the fourth quarter, but the Seahawks beat Tom Brady and the Patriots 24-23 yesterday (box score) at Century Link Field — with Joel and I in attendance.

We’re 4-2 now. The playoffs look increasingly likely and my 11-5 prediction — very possible.

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Last night, Joel Aro and I went to the Seahawks final pre-season game at Century Link Field. The Seahawks beat the Oakland Raiders 21-3 (more) to finish the pre-season a perfect 4-0. The Seahawks begin the regular season next week in Arizona. Rookie Russell Wilson will start at quarterback.

A view from our seats.

I’m going to go out on a limb with these predictions. The Seahawks:

(1) will win eleven (11) games this year; and
(2) will win one playoff game.

You read it here first.

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Why? Because I’m feelin’ NFL football right now, it’s a lazy Friday afternoon on a holiday week, and I needed an excuse to embed some sweet YouTube videos.

1. Walter Payton. Da Man on Da Team, Sweetness was the best on and off the field. Almost bought a No. 34 jersey in Chicago last week, but that might not go over well in Seattle.

2. Devin Hester. Most exciting player of the last fifteen years, and you gotta love any guy who checks himself out on the jumbo-tron while the play is still going on, as he did during his kickoff return in the Super Bowl against the Colts.

3. Ed Reed. I like single-syllable names (hence “Reese” and “Finn”) and Ed Reed has two of them. Plus he’s the best DB of his generation and he’s a threat to score any time he touches the ball.

4. Barry Sanders. Up there with Payton, but Sweetness beats him on off-the-field charisma points.

5. Troy Aikman. If I had one guy around whom to build an NFL franchise, either he or John Elway would be the guy.

6. Jim Zorn. Left-handed QB’s not named Todd Marinovich are usually cool, and Dave Krieg’s predecessor was the coolest.

7. Michael Irvin. The best of the Jimmie Johnson-era Miami Hurricanes.

8. Wilber Marshall. In the early 1990’s he played linebacker about as well as it could be played.

9. Steve Largent. No way a guy with his physique should have played in the NFL, let alone prospered.

10. Earl Campbell. Largent in reverse. I’m sure he scared more than a few LB’s in his day.

11. Eric Dickerson. One of the ten best NFL RB’s ever, he’d make my list For the hair alone.

12. Michael Strahan. The fourth guy on my list from the University of Miami. Great player and, like fellow Hurricane Irvin, also an outstanding commentator.

13. Herschel Walker. There may have been better college RB’s, but I can’t name ’em.

14. Merton Hanks. Best. Neck. Ever.

15. Jim Plunkett. Gotta love him for coming back from the career dead — not to mention his rags-to-riches story (more).

I won’t bother with a separate entry but among my least favorite players: Michael Vick (not a big fan of dog killers, even if they did their time); Tom Brady (great player, but seems to spend a lot of time berating his coaches and teammates); Ryan Leaf (not a big fan of jerks); and Jay Cutler (the guy just looks like a d–k).

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