Seahawks vs. Saints

At this point in the Seahawks’ season, really, what’s the point in feeling shame? Thanks to a stingy defense and Charlie Whitehurst’s modest but interception-free performance against the Rams last Sunday, we’re in the playoffs for the first time in three years. It feels good. It feels embarrassing. It’s like hooking up with the hot, drunk girl at a party because she left her contacts at home. And thus we face the reigning Super Bowl champs, the New Orleans Saints, whose 11-5 record makes our 7-9 season look … well, let’s not go there. Instead, consider these intangibles for the biggest game at Qwest in the Pete Carroll era. We have the element of surprise: No one, and we mean no one, could possibly have expected the Hawks to make it to the postseason. And the Saints face further uncertainty in preparing for two possible quarterbacks: no-mistakes Whitehurst or turnover machine Matt Hasselbeck. New Orleans will underestimate everything about Seattle, except the crowd noise. BRISTOL BLENHEIM III

Sat., Jan. 8, 1:30 p.m., 2011

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