Mad-Dog Mean ...
… with no one harmed? Sign me up :- )


We’ve mentioned, a time or three, that sports are useful because they --- > feed a human hunger that is at the same time:

  1. Primal
  2. Noble

Is that possible?  That the same food should nourish both our frontal lobes, and our hindbrains? Can a microprocessor digest the same material as does a reptile?


There was a period, during that Seahawks-Redskins game, that you had a sinking feeling of re-watching Super Bowl 40.  (Let’s call every other Super Bowl by its Roman numeral.)  Was it the third time that they called back a Percy touchdown?  

Later, you were able to shake off the feeling that there were a lot of People, people who cast long shadows, who badly wanted to see that +7 score covered.  We're a few degrees off center.

Okay.  All we’re really getting at is a famous Jerry Kramer / Vince Lombardi quote:  “We never lose a single game.  Of course, sometimes the clock runs out when the other team happens to have more points than we do, but we feel like if we kept playing forever, eventually we’d win.”  In Instant Replay, Kramer wrote about a sinking feeling during a fourth quarter, like the clock might run out at an inconvenient time.  (It did not.)

That, gentlemen, is a rather important glimpse into the heart of a champion.  "That's the way the cookie crumbles," said Dan Miller to Robin Stone in a Jacqueline Susann novel.  "My cookie doesn't crumble," snapped back Stone.


The Seahawks-Redskins game had that feeling, like the clock was destined to expire at the wrong moment.  Was it the Russell Wilson flip to Marshawn Lynch that sidestepped an “accident” in the standings?  Doesn’t matter.

The Seahawks’ talent is great.  Their personalities are great.  Their 12th Man is great.

What I like better than any of those things:  their fighting spirit.  I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never, at any time, seen a sports team battle with more grim iron determination than these Seahawks do. 

Some teams battled with as much.  Larry Bird’s teams, Michael Jordan’s.  Great boxers and wrestlers.  But week after week after week like this?  The consistency of their fighting spirit is INCREDIBLE!.  The 1970’s Steelers weren’t as hard to beat by 8 points as this team is.


A favorite quote from Harry Cook:

Clint Eastwood, in The Outlaw Josey Wales, tells his companions that when everything looks bad and it seems you can't win then you must get mean, "mad-dog mean," in order to survive. This is the basic attitude necessary for effective self-defence and it has always been a precept of the martial arts that if we must choose between technique and fighting spirit, then go for fighting spirit everytime.

Does that sound like a cliche?  If so, might that be because you have not yet contemplated the dilemma with sufficient depth?

Here's the whole article by Cook.   Billy Connolly put it more succinctly:  we've become far too comfortable with lawsuits, and far too uncomfortable with people getting smacked in the teeth.  He was joking.  Kind of.  ;- )

Some guys chuckle at Clint's spaghetti westerns.  Fine, it is America; you have the right.  But go around the corner and scoff out of my sight.  Each new generation will connect with the instinct that is both primal and noble:  that self-forgetful quality that allows a man to fearlessly lose himself in a cause, and to discover that there is something greater than the Self.


Ask Mo' Dawg about a round of golf that means something.

Bob Costas put it another way:  Michael Jordan is what you get when you combine supreme talent with the heart of an overachiever.

In baseball, sabermetricians have argued methodically that heroism doesn't impact baseball games in this sense.  In my opinion, this is one of the most important debates about the value of the sport.  And in the NFL, priorities are the opposite of what they are in pop sabermetrics.  Teams spend how much?, trying to figure out how to reliably identify the next Russell Wilson.

MLB's doing fine.  It ain't the NFL.  This is one of the reasons why.  We baseball fans have a vague distaste for what makes Kyle Seager different from Dustin Ackley.  In football, they relish this difference.


It’s our great privilege to saturate ourselves in the 2012-14-ff Seahawks.  Karma like this is 40 years in the making.  Don't blink, or you'll miss it.  If it lasts 15 years, it won't last nearly long enough.  

War heroism with no casualties?  

Sign me up,



Auto5guy's picture

This team just beats on people. On both sides of the ball. I'm certain that if the game were stretched to 5 or 6 quarters you'd see NFL teams just walk off the field. At some point they'd just submit. Yet it never gets boring, like a bad UFC ground and pound against the cage wall because the Wilson and Harvin ballet element is always present.
There are times when this team in the fourth quarter reminds me of the scene in Cinderella Man where Braddock doesn't sit on his stool between rounds and just glares across the ring at Corn Griffin. Griffin becomes completely deflated by it. "Whats he doing? How come he's not sitting down?" You could see the fight leave him in that very moment on screen. I imagine opposing players in the fourth quarter having that same sense of dread when they take the field.


Hey, I just figured out your handle.  I'm also an Auto 5 guy.  Mine's a good old Belgian  light twelve in good condition but with most of the blueing aged off.  I need to get a new barrel for it in time for sooty grouse season next year.  What size is yours and what do you hunt with it?  
For the benefit of SSI denizens,  John Browning is the standing Edison and Tesla of automatic guns.  The most common reaction when a person is first introduced to a semiautomatic weapon is dissapointment.   Autoloaders rarely work as advertised, and when they do, it is only with a certain type and weight of bullet, in a certain temperature range and with certain field conditions.  Generally, autoloaders only shoot standardized wimpy bullets, and are generally reserved for small game varmint hunting and military use.  Your AR-15 might look mighty fine in your closet, but you shouldn't use it on anything larger than a coyote.  My first experience with this was an M-1 Garand.  I got a Garand in trade, and was overjoyed at having a semiautomatic .30-06, and was about to go shoot my standard 180 grain hot loads through it.  Thankfully, I checked a forum first.  Garands only take 150 grain bullets, with no modern gunpowder.  If you don't observe this, the more powerful or heavy bullets will crack the receiver, or warp the firing rod, and any Marines that you know will disown you.  An M-1 Garand is your standard high needs gun.  
Enter Browning.  He invented a  variety of weapons for the U.S. military, the most famous of which is the .50 Browning Machine Gun, or .50 BMG or just the .50 Caliber.  I think it is the largest gun that is not technically a cannon.  It has a muzzle velocity of 13,000 foot pounds of energy, which means that it can move 13,000 lbs 1 foot or 6,500 lbs two feet.  the .50 BMG can knock over a truck with one shot.  I got a light concussion once from a .50 BMG, I was standing twenty feet to the side of the shooter, and five feet behind the barrel.  The shockwave from it felt like being punched in the nose.  The metallurgy and engineering that keeps this gun from melting, cracking or blowing up is astounding.
The second most popular Browning is the Browning Automatic Rifle, or the BAR.  It was once a military battle rifle, but now has been sporterized into potent calibers that are strictly off limits for non Browning automatics.  The most common are the .30-06 Springfield and the .338 Winchester Super Magnum.  The nearest competitor, a Remington 7400 would break just thinking about shooting a .338 hot load.  What makes the BAR fundamentally different from other autoloaders, is that it can accept bullets of a different size, shape, or power without jamming or breaking.  A .338 Winchester bullet ranges in weight from 200 grains to 250 grains, and has an even more extreme spread in the amounts of gunpowder the bullets are loaded with.  The BAR can shoot them all.  There is no equivalent to this sort of functionality outside of a bolt action rifle.  
The Browning Auto 5 or A-5 is the mother of all shotguns.  It was originally intended for military use, and now is a much loved bird gun.  It gets its name because it is automatic, and holds five shots.  The largest size is 12 gauge 3.5 inch.

Light twelve in new condition
The benefits of the gun are that it rarely jams, which is typical of Browning weapons, The receiver can be locked open for safety, but can inject a shell into the firing chamber instantly with the press of a conveniently placed button on the side of it.  The trigger is light.  This makes it ideal for killing birds that flush or startle the shooter and require something quick to be done.  (Hunting with friends for this type of bird is a bad idea.  See Chaney, Dick).  This is a gun that spews an impressive amount of lead short distances at the twitch of a finger.  If Marshawn Lynch were a gun, he'd be an Auto 5.  


The Seahawks are out to maim, demoralize and destroy the other team.  Mad dog mean sums it up perfectly.  The poster child of this mentality is Kam Chancellor.  He basically crushes and maims receivers until the other team gives up.  
Watching an LOB bushwhacking is not for the faint of heart though.


I posted about this early last season, about why I thought the Seahawks would peak late in the season and be the best team in the NFL (whether they won the SB or not - as they were at the end of the season before).
By the mid-to-late season, with all the bumps and bruises a season lays on players, you see more and more "business decisions" made by the opposing players. The same thing will happen this season. I don't know if they will win 12 or 15, or whether they will actually win the SB with so many variables, but I do know that they are the best team already, and they will be even better than they are now (and were last year) by mid-season.
There is no team that does things the way this one does.


The Washington Football Club punt returner early in the game smartly decided to call a fair catch. If he hadn't, Lockette would have torn his head off. Later in the game, Lockette was a little late getting down there for a punt, and the returner had plenty of time to catch and run. But he called for a fair catch.

misterjonez's picture

Lockette is truly a world-class sprinter with the body of a legitimate, professional, football player. I've been watching nearly every football game this year (meaning all the non-Seahawks games) and I have yet to see a gunner who makes an impact which can even be compared to Lockette's. I see some guys get down the field occasionally, but Lockette is *always* in the returner's face.
Carroll has explicitly said that he believes special teams are a third of the game, and has come under fire for it from the pundits. After watching Ryan pin teams inside their own 20 yard line game after game from deep in his own territory, I'm coming around to the possibility that Carroll's right.
The rest of the league is just doing it wrong.


Like Mojo sez, we shouldn't assume too easily that lawyers think less about the end of society than we do.
... why is it that I always thought of D.A.'s as the ones with the SOF-mail-order grenade bandoleros in their bomb shelters, though?


I didn't know that Browning designed the 1911 and the lever gun too. What kills me about Browning is what you pointed out: that his stuff has never been improved upon. He made a weapon, said here is the perfect gun, and that was that.

When Tesla invented the radio control, he didn't invent the best radio control that ever existed.

My Auto 5 was purchased at a garage sale for $50 bucks and lacks a barrel. I lost a grouse this spring to a gun that is going into retirement. I planned to get a barrel before your post but now you've got me excited.


I am reminded of Lenny Wilkens when I watch Wilson, or any great point guard - Magic Johnson comes to mind as well, but Wilson is short like Lenny and silky smooth. Anyway, when you are able to penetrate the lane, like Wilkens did, then other players who aren't guarding you have to compensate and move off their man and cover your advance. And with that spacial ability Auto5guy discusses, Wilson knows where the open guy will be, and he hits him. It's pretty cool. Wilson's ability to run 15 yards downfield is similar to a driving layup. It has to be challenged, and Wilson has left the defensive lineman in his tracks. So someone is open, and Wilson knows who that is. He also knows how to pop the 20 footer if he's open.

Auto5guy's picture

Great post Mojician
My auto5 is a Belgian light 12 manufactured in 1968, almost identical to the one in your picture except for a flat knob instead of a round one. It was a gift from my father when I was 16. He hunted with an auto5 as did my grandfather. I use it to hunt grouse and pheasant. Being on the wet side of the mountains i have to hunt a lot of the times at the release sites where steel shot is mandated. I can't shoot steel shot through the fixed choke without damaging the barrel so I've been using a Remington 870 instead. It feels like such a step down. I need to either have the barrel modified for screw in chokes or pick up a Japanese barrel.
I'd like to elaborate on Mojician's history lesson. John Moses Browning is my biggest non religious based idol. In the firearms world John Moses Browning is indeed Edison, Tesla, Einstein, da Vinci and Mozart rolled into one. He has hundreds of firearms designs and patents to his name. He designed his first unique working rifle when he was eight years old. Every cowboy movie you've ever seen features the Model 94 Winchester lever action rifle of his design. The Shotgun wielded by Arnold in Terminator is his design. Every gangster or cop movie you've ever seen featuring a Glock is using a modified version of his 1911 lockup. Until we move on to laser guns, pistols will be utilizing the browning lockup. It simply can't be improved upon. Think about that. Can the same be said of cars or planes or any other mechanical device from 1911?
Every American should give thanks that John Moses Browning was born in this country. From the Spanish American war to the present day battle field American troops have enjoyed a significant advantage due to Brownings designs. The 50 caliber machine gun Mojician refers to, designated the M2 by the US military, first saw service around 1921. Today it is still a fearsome force to be reckoned with and in it's role has no peer.
Early in his career Browning established a relationship with Winchester Arms Co. Winchester bought one of Brownings first rifle designs, a single shot commonly called the High Wall. Recognizing his talent, Winchester signed an exclusive agreement with Browning in which they would, for a flat fee, buy sight unseen any design Browning came up with. Brownings designs catapulted Winchester into the #1 spot in firearms production for decades. The vast majority of the designs purchased were never put into production. The designs were for firearms in the same category or niche that Winchester was already producing. Winchester couldn't justify retooling an entire factory to produce a firearm that would replace a firearm currently in production and selling extremely well. Still Winchester gladly forked over the cash to keep the designs out of competitors hands.
That relationship changed with the design of the auto5. Browning knew he had something special with the auto5. In 1898, when Browning designed the auto5, the firearms world was transitioning from black powder to smokeless propellent. Mojician is right about auto-loaders being sensitive to a few grains difference in bullet weight or powder charge. it makes a difference in the pressure curve, which in turn affects the cycle speed of the auto loading mechanism. So if the difference between a 150 and a 180 grain bullet is like the difference in speed between a fastball and a slider, the difference between black powder and smokeless is like the difference between a fastball and an eephus pitch. The auto5 could shoot both equally well. It was as if Browning created a car that could run equally well on gasoline or diesel.
Knowing how special the gun was Browning informed Winchester he wanted royalties for the design instead of the usual flat fee. Winchester, not wanting to break the precedent of the sweet deal they had going, refused. So, auto5 in hand, Browning headed off to the Remington Arms Co headquarters. History dryly tells us that while Browning was waiting in the lobby, the Remington CEO died of a heart attack. Rather that wait for the corporate turmoil to settle out he went to Europe to sell the design. I believe that John Moses Browning couldn't have been less responsible for that mans death if he had kicked in the office door an shot him in the chest with that auto5. Think about it. The man solely responsible for relegating his company to second place for more than a decade just walked through the front door with a new design to sell. I like to think that CEO was on top of his desk in the middle of a jig when his heart gave out. Compare it to being the GM of a basketball team in the 80s and having Phil Jackson walk through the door with Michael Jordon in tow.
The auto5 has been out of production since 1998. It fell victim to production costs. It's long recoil mechanism required large amounts of machine work while the gas operated competing designs could be made with much cheaper stampings. That machining and long recoil design give the gun an elegant and classic old world feel that can't be matched by stampings. It will always be my favorite.
Sports tie in! Once heard Hugh Millen on the radio explaining that a big part of being a quarterback was to have the ability to see in your head the players move on the field and see where the holes would open before they were actually there. Millen stated that Tom Brady had the best ability to do this of any quarterback he'd ever seen and more than arm strength or accuracy that's what makes him special. In the scientific world what Millen was talking about is called spacial ability. It's the ability to see and move objects in 3D in your mind. I once had to take an aptitude test that included a spacial ability portion. I couldn't believe how mentally draining it was. Someone like a Tom Brady with superior spacial ability could briefly look at two different sized gears running together, close his eyes and tell you when any two particular teeth on the gears would mesh. In football what we call anticipation is spacial ability. Guys like Brady and Manning have it. Guys like Elway don't.
John Browning would reportedly sit in his favorite cafe in Utah and stare up into the rafters. His hands would be moving in front of him on the table as if her were moving parts of a gun. He was running a 3D autocad program in his head 100 years before such a thing existed!

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