The Old Man Looks A Little Agitated - A Championship Performance.

I jetted over to The Black Sheep yesterday a couple hours before gametime after grabbing some White Castle and walking the width of Manhattan because there was nothing for me to do in my apartment. I had the unfortunate pleasure to be sitting at a crowded bar right in front of the beer taps, meaning that my favorite bartender had an obstructed view of my empty beer glass on occasion, but she did her best anyway. That seat, however, allowed me to sit two stools over from My Destiny.

The Old Man (I didn't catch his name, so he's called The Old Man) looked to be slightly taller than six feet, slender, gray hair, in his 50s or 60s, with a very grandfatherly look about him. Apparently, he's somewhat of a regular himself as my favorite bartender knew right away to tell him which TV would show the Arizona Cardinals game. I smirked at this knowledge: the conflict, mine enemy has a face.

We exchanged pre-game pleasantries as only two men transplanted to New York could and I was left with the impression that he'd be an OK guy to watch a game with; then the game started. And boy did he start getting fired up! Only, you know, the Seahawks scored on their first four possessions (including 3 TDs to 3 different wide receivers) in staking a 24-0 lead, so pretty much the only thing The Old Man could get fired up about was how fat Mike Holmgren is. I believe insults such as "tubby" and "fatso" were bandied about. Did I mention he kind of sounded like Jimmy Stewart from 'It's A Wonderful Life'? Oh yes, yes indeed. When you think about The Old Man from here on out, think about Jimmy Stewart with gray hair, it'll help with the rest of the story.

So, halftime rolls around, and I'm taking everything he says with a chuckle, not really bothering to fire back insults of my own since the score said it all: 27-7. Midway through the second quarter, another guy from Seattle stumbled in and sat in between me and the Old Man, so I had a good time talking with him until his buddy came in a little later. During Intermission, I was on the phone most of the time, spilling over into the third quarter; when I finally returned my undivided attention to the game at hand, Arizona was mounting a minimal comeback to make things interesting. And I was sufficiently intoxicated enough to instigate my unique brand of verbal assault upon The Old Man, who'd had his fair share of Bud Lights up to this point himself.

I'm going to put quotes around the following set of dialogue knowing full well it won't be 100% accurate; but I BELIEVE it all started with him complaining about our offensive line holding one of their defenders and the ref not throwing a flag. Once I realized no flag would be forthcoming, despite The Old Man's complaints, I mockingly called out (while still staring at the TV screen), "No flag!"

He turned to me, eyes half open, and said, "Are you making fun of me?"

I turned to him, shit-eating grin on my face, stifling laughter, and said, "Yep!"

He turned to the screen and said, "That could be dangerous."

I turned back to the screen too and said as formally as I could, "I fear no man from Arizona!"

He turned to me once more and said, "That could also be dangerous."

I just laughed at that and we continued watching the game in silence. Arizona made it interesting, pulling to within 13 and recovering a surprise onside kick, but on the very next play, Marcus Trufant picked off a pass intended for Larry Fitzgerald and from then on the game ceased to be in doubt as the rout was on. I made a few heckling comments, but nothing too brazen; nevertheless, my cheering was loud and obnoxious on every big play.

So, the end of the game rolls around, I order a celebratory beer and The Old Man has about half a Bud Light that he's stewing over. As he went to the bathroom, one of my fellow Seahawks fans remarked, "The old man looks agitated," and we all had a laugh. Then he came back to his beer, stood next to his stool, and proceeded to STARE ME DOWN for one solid minute.

It was one of those cases where I didn't REALLY want to say anything or antagonize The Old Man further, because honestly, when you get to be that long in the tooth, you're ready to throw down at a moment's notice, no matter how strapping the younger opponent may be. So, I didn't say anything. In fact, I didn't even look at him except for the one time, because I kinda THOUGHT he was staring me down, seeing him out of the corner of my eye, so I glanced his way, confirmed that he was indeed giving me the ol' evil eye, and then looked away again, though always keeping him right there in my peripheral vision just in case he decided to leap at me, gnashing his false teeth or something. All the while, I'm just sitting there chuckling to myself, because I can't get over the fact that I'm one wrong move away from Taking This Outside.

Who wins when you fight an old man? Besides the entertained spectators, that is? I didn't want to make a scene in what's looking like my penultimate trip to The Black Sheep. So, I sat there, nursed my beer, waited for The Old Man to leave - going so far as to confirm with my Seahawks buddies if he did indeed go - got my picture taken with my favorite bartender, then ran down the street to wolf down some ribs and fries at this place I've always wanted to try. My fingers are dripping with sauce just thinking about those tasty delights.

Other 'Hawks Notes:

Three more sacks for Kerney (league leader now with 13.5); three more picks for Trufant (2nd in league with 7); five picks for Kurt Warner (big bumbling moron); four touchdowns for Hasselbeck (team savior); four consecutive divisional championships (9-4 record, third in the NFC); and three more games against three more teams who wouldn't know their way around a football field if you gave them directions. Two more East Coast games though (the last one may not matter if Green Bay doesn't start hitting some hard times), so we'll see.

Big ups to Josh Scobey, just re-signed this week, got a big safety in the second half.

More ups to the WRs for their amazing catches.

Biggest ups of all to Hasselbeck who played probably his best game ever, dropping balls into spots like he was the real-life football equivalent of that movie Angels In The Outfield.

And some final ups to the defense as a whole for being blatant criminals out there, mobbin' up the joint with 10 combined sacks/interceptions.

Also, did anyone notice the little scuffle on the Seahawks sidelines between two white guys who weren't even suited up? What was that all about? They looked like an old man and a 'fraidy cat out there!