By John Boyle
When Doug Baldwin had a big game to help lead the Seahawks to an NFC championship game victory over San Francisco, he called out the people who had been critical of Seattle’s receivers, most notably responding the criticism that they’re a “pedestrian” group by saying, “We’re going to walk our pedestrian asses to the Super Bowl.”
Well now that Baldwin is a Super Bowl champion, don’t expect him nor any of his teammates to lose the chip on their shoulders that helped get them here. In particular, Baldwin had a message for ESPN analyst and former receiver Cris Carter, who had earlier described the Seahawks receivers as appetizers because they lacked a main course. Baldwin didn’t name Carter, but it was very obvious who he was talking to, right down to referencing Carter’s lack of Super Bowl appearances.
So when a reporter teed up a question for Baldwin (it wasn’t me, I swear, though I would have if somebody else hadn’t), he didn’t hesitate.
“OK, y’all listen to me loud and clear,” he said. “Y’all listening? Y’all hear me? For all y’all who called us, the receiving corps, average, pedestrian, appetizers—I’m not going to say any names, but he knows who he is—I respect what you did on the field, but stick to playing football, because your analytical skills ain’t up to par yet. You need to slow down and go back and not do it half-assed and put some effort into it, because you’re saying some stuff that didn’t really make sense.”
“That dude who said that we were appetizers, he told me to Google him, and I did Google him, but I didn’t see any Super Bowl appearances, and I also saw two losses in conference championships. I have a Super Bowl ring, and I would gladly show that to him. And if he doesn’t have time to come see it, tell him he can Google it.”
As much as Baldwin loves to derive personal motivation from his doubters, part of this is also a desire to stick up for his teammates.
“They’re not just receivers, they’re football players,” he said. “You’ve got Golden Tate, who is probably the best punt returner in the game. You’ve got Percy Harvin, who’s probably the best kick returner in the game, and if you look at Jermaine Kearse, how many tackles does he have on kickoffs, how many tackles does he have on punts? We’ve got dogs over here, and if you don’t know what that is, you can Google that.”
Baldwin finished the game with 66 yards and a touchdown on five catches, while Kearse, who also came into the league as an undrafted free agent, had 65 and a touchdown on four catches. If Baldwin looked especially determined to push his way into the end zone on his touchdown, he had a reason, besides the obvious desire to extend his team’s lead.
“I had a lot of things that I wanted to say postgame, and I knew I couldn’t say those things if I didn’t score a touchdown,” he said with a grin.