Following up on my Sunzi Super Bowl analysis, I thought it might be good to consult the Yi Jing about the outcome of tomorrow's big game. This was made easier last evening by a group of friends who urged me to ask the oracle: "Will the Seahawks win?" We were all at a local bar and the atmosphere was a bit boisterous. But through the talk and laughter, an answer came into view: the Seahawks will, indeed, win.
I realize, since this is also the conclusion of my Sunzi analysis, that a Seahawks victory now appears overdetermined. But, as the commentary below illustrates, things could go wrong for Seattle. It will be a battle. If, however, they do what the Yi Jing suggests, they will prevail.
The first hexagram I received from the Yi was 44, Kou, "Coming to Meet," with four - yes, count them, four! - moving lines, in the first, second, third, and ninth places, thus tending in the direction of, Sui, hexagram 17, "Following::
Let's start with 44. The broken yin line at the bottom is a key: it suggests a principle of darkness or weakness or inferiority rising up into a time of light and strength and superiority. A kind of conflict or contention, or dare we say football game, is implied: strong v. weak. Since I asked directly about the Seahawks, we could assume that the "strong," "light," "superior" force here is the Seattle team. If that is the case, a struggle is foreseen. The Judgment ("Coming to meet. The maiden is powerful. One should not marry such a maiden") gets at the inherent danger when yang meets yin. And the Image ("Under heaven, wind: The image of Coming to Meet. Thus does the prince act when disseminating his command and proclaiming them to the four quarters of heaven") suggests that a leader (a quarterback calling plays?) must take command to manage the dangers of the opposing force. And notice: the leader must be on his game for "four quarters."
Some more interesting points come in the line statements. The six in the first place implies that the Seattle defense must play strong:
It [Pats offense?] must be checked with a brake of bronze. Perseverance brings good fortune. If one lets it [Pats offense] take its course, one experiences misfortune. Even a lean pig has it in him to rage around.
The course of the Pats offense cannot be allowed to proceed unchecked. The Hawks D has to persevere. It is tempting to see the "lean pig" as a deflated football(!!!). But maybe it is a warning not to take the Pats too lightly, which Seattle certainly will not do.
The rather gruesome image in the third line could point to an injury that might disrupt the Seahawks plans:
There is no skin on his thighs, and walking comes hard. If one is mindful of the danger, no great mistake is made.
Whatever happens, they have to keep their heads, stick to the game plan, persevere through it all, even if an apparently significant injury takes a player out of the game.
The sixth line is rather foreboding:
He comes to meet with his horns. Humiliation. No blame.
Wilhelm's commentary gives us this insight into this line: "There are many people who in a noble pride hold themselves aloof from all that is low and rebuff it brusquely wherever it comes to meet them. Such persons are reproached for being proud and distant..." Sounds like Marshawn Lynch and his dealings with the press... But, seriously, the invocation of humiliation could point a bad situation for the Seahawks. The reason why I think that something better is in the offing for them is hexagram 17, the condition toward which things are tending.
The Judgment for "Following" is very favorable:
Following has supreme success. Perseverance furthers. No blame.
It is all about adaptation. If the Hawks do not try to force things, if they take what circumstances allow, if they follow the natural unfolding of the game, they will prevail.
Here's what all of this suggests: the game will be a close struggle, the forces of dark and light fighting it out. The Pats might gain the upper hand early; the Hawks may suffer a significant injury and be trailing at halftime. To win, the Seahawks will have to keep their heads, maintain their defensive strength, and adjust offensively at halftime. If they are able to stay within the particular dynamics of the game and exploit their inherent strengths, they are going to come out on top: "supreme success." And then Russell Wilson will be able to walk off the field toward a restful night, just as hexagram 17 says:
Thus the superior man at nightfall goes indoors for rest and recuperation.