January 07, 2011
Seahawks Playoff Game Open Thread

The news readers have been telling me that we are all excited about the game tomorrow — while admitting that tickets were still available.  If you are excited, or not, here's a chance to comment on the game.

I'll get things started with, naturally, some thoughts from Plutarch.

That connection doesn't seem natural to you?  Well, hold on while I explain.

In his biography of Theseus, the Greco-Roman writer took time to describe his hero's hair style.

Since it was still a custom at that time for youth who were coming of age to go to Delphi and sacrifice some of their hair to the god, Theseus went to Delphi for this purpose, and they say there is a place there which still to this day is called the Theseia from him. But he sheared only the fore part of his head, just as Homer9 said the Abantes did, and this kind of tonsure was called Theseïs after him.

Now the Abantes were the first to cut their hair in this manner, not under instruction from the Arabians, as some suppose, nor yet in emulation of the Mysians, but because they were war-like men and close fighters, who had learned beyond all other men to force their way into close quarters with their enemies. Archilochus is witness to this in the following words:--

"Not many bows indeed will be stretched tight, nor frequent slings
Be whirled, when Ares joins men in the moil of war
Upon the plain, but swords will do their mournful work;
For this is the warfare wherein those men are expert
Who lord it over Euboea and are famous with the spear."10

Therefore, in order that they might not give their enemies a hold by their hair, they cut it off. And Alexander of Macedon doubtless understood this when, as they say, he ordered his generals to have the beards of their Macedonians shaved, since these afforded the readiest hold in battle.

Ancient warriors knew that long hair (and beards) could be a handicap in combat.  So what explains the long hair you now see on so many football players?

For those who prefer numbers to classical stories, here are some from Nate Silver.  (I get the feeling that he doesn't respect the current Seahawks very much.  And I hope I am not the only one who had never heard of the Sheboygan Red Skins.)

Posted by Jim Miller at January 07, 2011 12:54 PM | Email This
1. So the long hair on the 'anti-war' protesters of the 60s was conclusive evidence that they knew beforehand that their brutal police opponents would not use it as a handle to jerk them out of their riots. Instead, they would only try to use logical persuasion and smart diplomacy in the yet-unforeseen Obama style.

Posted by: Insufficiently Sensitive on January 7, 2011 01:55 PM
2. You are on fire today, my friend, between Inslee and this.

I'm counting on an upset victory for the Hawks, between the weather, the 12th Man, the travel time for the Saints and the fact that New Orleans has lost most of its running game.

Posted by: Don Ward on January 7, 2011 03:53 PM
3. I really hate to say this but the Saints are going to kick the Seahawks from one end if the field to the other. The Hawks will score early once and then it's field goals.

Saints 31
Seahawks 19

Posted by: G Jiggy on January 7, 2011 04:35 PM
4. Will be rooting for the underdog, but realizing that the Saints will likely be too much. And thousands of SH fans will have spent one week having tried to talk themselves into thinking the 'hawks had any kind of chance. Reality will hit them soon enough.

Posted by: Michele on January 7, 2011 04:42 PM
5. I urge you to take Seattle and the points tomorrow. You might want to throw a few on the moneyline. #seahawks

Posted by: Easycure on January 7, 2011 04:55 PM
6. It would be a big feather in their hat if they beat the Saints tomorrow and it would delay the inevitable loss (on the road) for another week. I think it will be close, but the Saints have the decided edge at QB, based on the regular season so I pick NO. The Seahawk defense could change the outcome of the game, though if its close and maybe my pick will be wrong.

If the Seahawks win, it would have to be their best game of the season.

Posted by: KDS on January 7, 2011 07:12 PM
7. insufficiently sensitive:

I protested peacefully back then and didn't worry about police grabbing anything. I wore my hair long in the hope it would be attractive to the opposite sex.

I fear a lot of Seattle-area hearts will be broken tomorrow.

Have a great day regardless everyone,

new left conservative

Posted by: new left conservative on January 7, 2011 09:10 PM
8. I will be rooting for the locals today but not expecting much more than a good fight. The Sea-Hoax, after all, have so many personnel needs before being competitive anywhere but the NFC West. It would have been much better to let the Ram embarrass our division while we accept a much better position in the draft.

Posted by: Saltherring on January 8, 2011 07:21 AM
9. I agree with saltherring on this. I will be rooting for my Hawks but my expectations are low. I was really hoping (in advance of last weekend's game) that we would lose so that we could start rebuilding one week earlier, instead of being humiliated (most likely outcome) on national TV.

As far as the long hair in the NFL, all over the internet people are claiming that the hair is part of the jersey, yet I specifically remember someone being flagged in last year's playoffs for pulling another player down by the hair. It was ruled an illegal tackle. I can't find anything official though.

Posted by: Calvin A on January 8, 2011 07:31 AM
10. Go Seahawks! I only want them to win because I want the Patriots to beat them. Go Pats!

Posted by: pudge on January 8, 2011 08:49 AM
11. Long hair: it's because of Troy Palamulo.

And, they all want the shampoo endorsements.

Posted by: Hinton on January 8, 2011 03:24 PM
12. Oh my God.

Way to go Hawks!

Posted by: RagnarDanneskjold on January 8, 2011 05:26 PM
13. 41-36 SEAHAWKS! Great 67 yd TD run by Lynch to seal it.

Posted by: SouthernRoots on January 8, 2011 05:27 PM
14. Well, I returned to this thread to admit I was wrong---wrong, wrong, wrong.
And I was never so happy to be so wrong! Congratulations, Seahawks!

Posted by: Michele on January 8, 2011 06:11 PM
15. Seahawks win - Great effort ! My hedge was wrong. However, next week they will have to play on the road - watch out...

Posted by: KDS on January 8, 2011 06:17 PM
16. I guess that's why they actually play the game. We all have our hopes and expectations, but expecially with a pointy ball things can go either way. I like the present Team feeling on the Hawks. Great game!

Posted by: papab on January 8, 2011 06:27 PM
17. Calvin@9,

Any hair that is outside the helmet is deemed to be a part of the uniform and can be used to tackle a player. It cannot be pulled after the tackle however, and this is what has resulted in the recent fines.

More here: http://www.ehow.com/list_6729222_nfl-rules-hair-pulling.html

Posted by: Smoley on January 8, 2011 09:18 PM
18. WHO DAT! No, seriously, WHO DAT??? :)


Posted by: Shanghai Dan on January 9, 2011 06:51 AM
19. Thanks Smoley,

I could have sworn that someone was just pulled down by the hair a couple years ago and that resulted in a penalty. Maybe that play was what caused the NFL to clarify the rule?

Anyway, way to go Hawks, and go Pack. I'd much rather travel to Chicago than to Atlanta right now. :)

Posted by: Calvin A. on January 9, 2011 03:14 PM
20. Not to pat myself on back with the prediction, but, damn, my arm is getting tired :-)

Posted by: Don Ward on January 9, 2011 06:35 PM
21. Those darned Hawks!! Well, I'll echo Michele. I was real wrong and all the happier for it. And the run!


Posted by: G Jiggy on January 9, 2011 07:03 PM
22. Calvin A - I don't know if this is what you are thinking of, but within the last year or two, I saw Troy Palamalu get tackled and it looked like he was tackled by the hair. A penalty was called, but it was for a horse-collar. Supposedly, the tackler had grabbed the shoulderpads instead of the hair.

Posted by: SouthernRoots on January 9, 2011 07:40 PM
23. Don, I sure hope you put some $$ down on that game, for all of your prognosticating powers.

#18: Loved this headline from another site---

Posted by: Michele on January 9, 2011 09:00 PM
24. ABOsTS klalsrgixfvj, [url=http://awqndicolhal.com/]awqndicolhal[/url], [link=http://jbvpvwtgklhc.com/]jbvpvwtgklhc[/link], http://rkcueohlzptf.com/

Posted by: wbexudic on January 10, 2011 05:10 PM
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