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Collective Unconscious: The Archetypes of a Conspiracy


I just finished reading Dave Zirin’s latest contribution to The Nation, “The Conspiracy Theory Surrounding the Seahawks’ Last Play.”  A week after laughing at ESPN’s Jemele Hill call Richard Sherman “Conspiracy Brother,” I found myself perplexed, vexed, confused and confounded.  I so wanted to write it off as just a coach getting too cute and over thinking the situation in a tight moment and making a bad call.  I wanted to say, hey if it works, it’s a great play and Russell Wilson is so clutch.  I wanted to say damn, that was a good route, the play was there, the Safety Malcolm Butler just made a heck of a play and laud him for the play and how his story is so inspiring.  But I kept coming back to something that happened earlier in the week.

During one of the many press conferences last week, Pete Carroll was asked about Marshawn Lynch winning MVP and would he say he was going to Disney, Carroll replied half-jokingly that “he may say he is going to Oakland.”  Now do I think Carroll actively thought of this at that exact moment and called Wilson’s number or the league mandated that play with a last second call to the sideline and they conspired to keep Marshawn Lynch down?

Absolutely not!!!!

What I am saying is that a seed had been planted and it was in his psyche. I could possibly be grasping at straws in an attempt to explain the inexplicable, but the number of people who have questions is astounding.  Dave Zirin said there was at least one player in the Seahawks’ locker room that felt the conspiracy had some validity.  Initially, I was there too but as I thought it through, that was totally implausible but something was awry.  That’s when I remembered that question Pete Carroll was asked, and how that sort of question can resonate in the psyche.  Those of us that are familiar with Carl Jung and his work understand this; for those of us who aren’t, to sum it up, Jung was a psychotherapist that created a theory about the collective unconscious which consists of archetypes:

collective unconscious, term introduced by psychiatrist Carl Jung to represent a form of the unconscious (that part of the mind containing memories and impulses of which the individual is not aware) common to mankind as a whole and originating in the inherited structure of the brain. It is distinct from the personal unconscious, which arises from the experience of the individual. According to Jung, the collective unconscious contains archetypes, or universal primordial images and ideas.

In this dichotomous world of good and bad, right and wrong, etc., Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson represent two sides of the coin or maybe different coins, but it is there.  There was this type of talk early in the season about this team and these players and how they were viewed, so maybe on a subconscious level it was there at that moment and manifest.  Maybe it was 2006 and what happened in the Rose Bowl.  Maybe this is all a figment of my imagination based on what some would call pseudoscience.  But when arguably the most conservative offensive team in the NFL at the biggest moment of the year goes against their philosophy about offense, questions will abound.  Conspiracy theories will arise.  This may well be a classic sports overreaction rooted in the hysteria and illogical reasoning that buttress most sports arguments…or is it?

Ya Boy Deez……Always About Dat Sports Life

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