Lost in all the fuss over Shermaggedon is that Russell Wilson, still a sophomore, has some enormous balls. While Colin Kaepernick fell apart in the fourth, Wilson stepped up, avoiding turnovers and tossing what would be the game-winner, a 35-yard strike to Jermaine Kearse. But it almost didn't happen, and Seattle can thank its kicker for knowing his limits.
Down four and facing a fourth-and-7 in San Francisco territory, the Seahawks sent the field goal unit out. But Steven Hauschka didn't like his chances of making what would have been a 53-yard try.
"I didn't really want to kick it, to tell you the truth," Hauschka told Newsday after the game. "It was into the wind . . . I didn't think it was the right decision and I let coach Carroll know that."
Hauschka said he'd never before passed up an opportunity to attempt a field goal.
"You have to be honest with yourself," he said. "It was the wind at that moment. Sometimes you can make that, but I felt the wind at that moment was into the face enough to not want to try that kick. I grabbed him on the sideline as I ran out because I could see the flags [on top of the uprights] and I told him: 'We shouldn't kick this.'"
Whether it was due to Hauschka's reticence, we'll never know, but Pete Carroll called a timeout. Upon reconsidering, he sent the offense back out to try and pick up the first down. You know what happened next:
We'll of course never know what would have happened had Hauschka attempted the kick, or how the game would have gone from there. But there's a lesson in here, probably. Always give 110 percent. Always believe in yourself. Fifty-three yards into the wind? F that. And that's how you make the Super Bowl.