Their parents should be ashamed. The Seattle Seahawks are no gentlemen.
Throughout the game, the Seahawk defenders persisted in hitting Bronco players when they were trying their best to make plays. They blasted receivers, gang-tackled running backs and repeatedly harassed quarterback Peyton Manning, a shockingly inconsiderate treatment of a future Hall of Famer.
Despite the fine example set by the Denver team on the other side of the ball, the Seattle players refused to adopt a more genteel approach. Denver gave Seattle receivers ample space and allowed quarterback Russell Wilson both the time and the throwing lanes to make completions. They never even attempted to disrupt the timing of the Seattle offense, or to take the ball away. At the beginning of the second half, Denver smartly escorted kick returner Percy Harvin the length of the field to the Denver end zone. True, one Bronco player accidentally made contact with the fleet receiver during the return, but was seen apologizing afterward.
You’d have thought that Seattle, having been shown how the game is played by well-bred young men, would have adopted a less confrontational style, but the brutes ignored the display of proper decorum set by the Bronco eleven. They never allowed Mr. Manning, perhaps the greatest quarterback ever too don cleats, nor his record-setting cadre of talented receivers, any opportunity to showcase their formidable talents, and they rudely took the ball away on numerous occasions.
Perhaps most egregious of all, the officials appeared to condone the mayhem on the field, turning a blind eye to the repeated incidents of churlish and violent behavior committed by the Seahawks. As a result of the indifference of the referees, a number of players sustained minor injuries. It’s a wonder more participants were not severely injured, given the complete lack of concern for the safety of the contestants.
I’m confident that as the years go by, despite the lopsided score, the Broncos will be remembered fondly as the team that refused to succumb to the temptation to meet violence with violence, and remained true to their refined natures despite the extreme provocation by the Seattle bullies.
One hopes that the National Football League, if it truly wishes to reform the game and to continue to distance it from its barbarous past, will take note of the gracious and dignified style the Broncos steadfastly maintained throughout the contest. They may have lost on the scoreboard, but they won a victory for civility.