By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly
Welcome to another edition of The Layup Drill – Championship Edition. This month, we take a look at our Super Bowl champions! We also look at one of the best snowboarders not going to the Winter Olympics.
City of Champions
The city of Seattle rejoiced as the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVII by defeating the Denver Broncos 43-8. While many people believed this would be a close game, the Seahawks played dominant defense and silenced the No. 1 offense in the National Football League. Special notice should go out to Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, as he was one of the key contributors on offense.
Baldwin scored a touchdown in the big game and was once again the leading receiver for the Seahawks.
What makes Baldwin such a great receiver is that he plays to prove critics wrong. Case in point is NFL Hall-of-Famer-turned-ESPN-analyst Cris Carter. Earlier in the season, Carter had called Seahawks’ wide receivers, including Baldwin, “appetizers,” which was a slight on Baldwin’s ability to play. Another reporter described the Seahawks’ wide receivers as “pedestrian,” another insult to their abilities.
Rather than disregard the criticism, Baldwin used it as motivation to make him better. After he scored in the Super Bowl, Baldwin called out Carter. He did it again during the post-game press conference, in which he relayed the story that Carter had told him. Carter wanted Baldwin to look him up on the Internet and to type his name in the Google search box. This was a subtle and insulting way for Carter to let Baldwin know that he is a Hall of Famer. In response, Baldwin wanted to let him know that he now owned a Super Bowl Championship ring, something Carter could never do in his career, and if he did not believe it, he could Google Baldwin. Sweet revenge!
Baldwin is in his third year as a pro and already has a Super Bowl ring. The sky is the limit for the Stanford University alum.
In addition to Baldwin, we should also congratulate Seahawks assistant coach Rocky Seto. A former USC Trojan, Seto came to Seattle with coach Pete Carroll when Carroll took the job in 2010. He serves as the defensive passing game coordinator. Seto, a Japanese American, was a “walk-on at USC,” a non-scholarship player. His path to play for the Trojans was due to his perseverance. While he was told he could walk on as a player, USC did not inform Seto when he would be admitted to play. As a result, Seto coordinated an “accidental” run-in with USC’s head coach at the time, John Robinson, who clarified Seto’s playing status, which allowed him to play for the Trojans.
After his playing days, Seto became an assistant head coach at USC under Carroll. Coincidently, Seto’s wife, who played college soccer at USC, is originally from Seattle.
Despite the cold, a reported 700,000 people made it to downtown Seattle on Feb. 5, the Wednesday after the Super Bowl. Fourth Avenue was filled with people wearing Seahawks jerseys, hoodies, and hats. Mayor Ed Murray and his husband, Michael Shiosaki, rode in the parade as they happily waved to the cold, but fired-up Seahawks fans.
Seattle is still in the afterglow of the victory with Seahawks flags on cars and people wearing “Super Bowl Champions” T-shirts and caps. It was a great win for the Seahawks and a moment of pride for the city.
Due to age, snowboard prodigy misses Sochi games
While the United States ended up with the gold medal in the snowboarding downhill slope style, it could have had a frontrunner in the women’s half-pipe event. But American Chloe Kim is just 13 years old. To be eligible for the Winter Games in Sochi, athletes had to be 15 by the end of 2013. Kim is an eighth-grader in Southern California and trains six hours away at Mammoth Mountain. Despite having the ability to compete on the world stage, she was relieved that she was not able to compete in the Olympics, claiming that there would be a lot of pressure. Still, Kim competed in the X Games, an ESPN-sponsored snow sport event, a week before the Olympics, in which she won the silver in the snowboarding half-pipe competition.
Kim, who is South Korean and whose parents emigrated from South Korea, will wait until the 2018 Winter Olympics, when it will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Despite missing this year’s Olympics, Kim is a much sought-after rising star in the snowboarding community. She already has sponsorship deals with Burton and Oakley, and has sports agents waiting to represent her.
Kim first started snowboarding when she was 4 years old, and started competing at the age of 6. In order to train, Kim lived in Geneva, Switzerland, where she attended the third and fourth grade. She is currently on the U.S. Snowboarding Junior Team. (end)
Jason Cruz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.