Some of us arrived late for Ron Rivera’s postgame news conference. Made a wrong turn and, when we figured that out, we took off running. When we walked into the news conference, Rivera feigned he was finished and was walking out.
“Where have you been?” I asked him.
“Celebrating,” he said.
He was entitled.
▪ Saw a baby at CenturyLink Field. Wondered how a kid could handle the noise. Ah, the baby has smart parents. They brought headphones for him, big ones, the kind you’d wear to a drag race.
▪ When Seattle needed a play, it turned to tight end Jimmy Graham. Graham was a long-time Carolina Panther nemesis when he played for New Orleans. But he’s been ignored and forgotten in Seattle. They even ask him to block. That’s like asking a Ferrari to pull a U-Haul trailer. They remembered him Sunday. The Seahawks were adept at isolating Graham on Carolina’s safeties, and he caught eight passes for 140 yards. I love what safety Roman Harper, a natural leader, brings to the team. But at some point, Carolina’s defensive backfield might have to get younger.
▪ That was Sir-Mix-a-Lot, a Seattle rapper, raising Seattle’s 12th-Man flag before the game. When my younger kid was very young, he’d listen to his older brother’s music and memorize lyrics. He memorized the lyrics to Sir’s greatest hit. I thought it was pretty funny when he recited them. But I’d look at the faces of the people around us and realize that if I had a shot at Father of the Year, it had ended.
▪ The Panthers have won nine consecutive regular-season games, the longest streak in the NFL. I picked them to win Sunday not because of the streak, but because I figured they had a superior game in them, and this felt like the time to play it. They had yet to string together a game in which all the components – offense, defense and special teams – came together. The quality that has distinguished them this season is their poise. Need a play? They consistently provide it.