Jan 28, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin is interviewed during Media Day for Super Bowl XLIII at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
“Big Game” Percy Harvin. That’s a nickname you’ve never heard in your life. And there’s a good reason for that. For people to call you “Big Game,” you have to do something good in a big game.
What has Percy Harvin ever done in a big game? When has he ever performed in a way that made you say, “That Percy Harvin, he is so clutch?”
I have two memories of Percy Harvin in a big game situation. One is from the NFC Championship Game against the Saints in 2010. It involves Percy fumbling a reverse deep in the Vikings’ own territory, setting up the Saints for an easy go-ahead score.
My other memory is of the Vikings going on a 4-0 run to end the season in 2012 without Percy on the field.
It wasn’t Percy’s fault he couldn’t play down the stretch in 2012. He had an ankle injury that was probably exacerbated by Leslie Frazier’s dumb decision to leave him out there against the Seahawks when he was clearly hobbled.
But then again I don’t know. Percy reportedly didn’t exactly bust his hump in rehabbing the ankle. Could he have played? If he had really wanted to be out there?
We’ll never know.
We do know Percy chose to rehab – or lay around or do whatever he was doing – away from the team entirely. He wasn’t even on the sidelines for the Vikings’ improbable playoff run.
Needless to say, he wasn’t anywhere near the field when the Vikings got smoked by the Packers in the playoffs. By that point Percy was over the Vikings and the Vikings were over Percy.
Harvin spent four years in Minnesota. He did some amazing stuff over those four years. But he fumbled in the NFC Championship Game, and he was a non-factor in the 2012 playoff run.
He did nothing in the 2009 playoff game against Dallas, but the Vikings didn’t need him because Sidney Rice was epic that day.
And in Seattle? Well you know the story. Percy missed almost all the regular season, returning from his vaguely mysterious hip injury for one game…against the Vikings. So he could send a message to Rick Spielman and the other folks who doubted him.
Was Percy motivated by a desire to prove something to his teammates? No. He wanted to get back long enough to stick it to his old team. He was motivated by something purely selfish.
The Seahawks blew through the regular season mostly without help from Harvin. They got a little bit from Harvin early in their first playoff game before a concussion knocked him out.
They won the NFC Championship Game against San Francisco with no Harvin. Given the way he performed on the same stage with the Vikings, perhaps they were better off without him.
And now Seattle is in the Super Bowl. Percy Harvin will play and be a significant part of the game plan. Maybe this time Percy will actually put on his big boy pants in a big game and do something great.
Or maybe Seattle will win the game with no contribution whatsoever from Percy Harvin. His teams have won without him in the past.
Everyone’s always talking about the X-factor represented by Percy Harvin, but when big games roll around, more often than not he has been zero factor.