Saturday, December 30, 2006

Good-Bye 2006

So we come to the end of another year. They called this one 2006, based on a kooky religion and some bad math.

I liked 2006, I look back at it and it was a good year.

It’s easy to point out all the trouble in this world. There’s a lot of trouble to choose from. Massive 25 mile long ice drifts are breaking free and casting themselves adrift on the ocean. It’s just the start of events like this, ten years from now, we’ll see this happen more and more.

In case you weren’t aware: out planet is dying.

There are lots of other troubles, Israel is still…well Israel and Iran suddenly denies the truth about the holocaust and builds nuclear weapons. Radical religion continues to want to push us all towards a holy war. Just last week an elected US Senator suggested that a Muslim Senator, (who was also democratically elected), was a security threat to the United States.

It seems, we’ve never fully shed the Middle-Ages. I am waiting for a prominent politician to come around and challenge the notion that the Earth is round.

Ah but, 2006 was a good year. We learned more about cancer this year, than probably any year previous and we now actually have proactive means to defend ourselves from certain types of cancer.

Our knowledge of biochemistry and genetics continues to take amazing leaps. We are learning how the tissue repair process in our body can break down and form tumors in breasts and the colon. We’re learning how to isolate genetic indicators that signal that someone is at high risk of developing these kinds of cancers.

In the decades ahead, we’ll cough up some spit or a drop of blood and in two weeks, they’ll have a genetic disposition chart that will show your risk of certain diseases like an actuarial chart. You can then learn how to take preventative steps to prevent the development of those diseases. You’ll learn which types of screens and checks should be performed regularly for your genetic disposition. You can even see a Genetic Counselor if you want. By the way Genetic Counseling is a growing and lucrative field.

To those who fear anything new and different, it all sounds frightening. But what it really means is a Doctor can learn that your ten year old daughter is highly susceptible to breast cancer, merely because of certain indicators in her genes and you can take steps to prevent your daughter from developing a tumor later in life and dying. It’s a good thing. Life, health and improved understanding of how our bodies work, is a very good thing.

There were other great achievements this year, too often ignored by a media infatuated with dysfunctional celebrities and gossip.

Alternative fuels are making serious headway and automobiles are finally reducing their fuel consumption. Slowly America has realized that our addiction to OPEC Oil is a dangerous addiction, heck even the President said so this year.

Micro-Credit has come of age, a concept that is helping turn around the eternal poverty and hardship in places like Bangladesh. There is hope for the poorest and meekest on this Earth. I grant you it’s a faint hope still, but more and more various nations are fighting their way out of poverty.

New super-powers are beginning to emerge. This is a frightening thought to the xenophobic, but surely the fact that India’s standard of living is vastly improving is a good thing. They are a democracy; they have a fantastic education system and their life expectancy, economy and political influence are all improving. They have removed the shackles of the Third and Second World and moved into the First World. It’s a good thing, their growth and evolution doesn’t mean it is coming at the expense of our own.

Technology of course, grows in leaps and bounds. It is easy to be cynical about these improvements. Sadly, there are some who argue we’ve become slaves to our machines. I think its hyperbole to argue such things. I enjoy talking to my relatives, via phone, text or video at a fraction of what it cost me twenty years ago. I enjoy connecting with and finding people all over the world that share my interests and hobbies. I love the fact the internet teaches me something new every single day.

I am also a hedonist (at least part-time hedonist). So forgive me if I enjoy my new HDTV, my new video-games and my digital camera. Consumption is too often viewed as a sin. Over-consumption is dangerous, especially when it endangers our planet, but that new digital video camera you just bought should be enjoyed guilt free.

On a personal level, 2006 was fine and dandy. I finally got some financial discipline. I have stopped being a teenager when it comes to money. The accomplishment sounds meek, but for me it’s a huge step forward. My work was fine, despite severe challenges and a few internal battles. Mostly I am very proud of my work and I know what I have developed is miles ahead of the systems I inherited.

My family is awesome. My younger brother got to spend his first full year watching his new baby daughter grow. I hear my younger brother’s voice now and I reflect on who he is and where he is in 2006 and I beam with pride. You made it pal, and it looks and sounds really good on you. I could not be happier for him. My Mom spent some time in Ecuador, helping to build a community shelter and recreation facility down there. She came back saddened by the plight of good, honest people down there. I take pride in the fact, that despite the fact she’s over sixty years of age, she found the courage, strength and hard work to make a difference amongst all that hardship.

My wife and my own children are as lovely and healthy as ever. They are happy, I know this because I can hear them laughing in the other room. They are warm, they are dry, they are safe, healthy and they are well-fed. That’s not the most impressive accomplishment of all, but it is certainly the most important.

Good-bye 2006, forgive me if I try to forget all your trials and troubles. Forgive me if I ignore your terrorism, religious intolerance, racism, pollution and frightening politics. Today I celebrate the good things about being alive in 2006. Because it truly is a great time to be alive.

My only lament is the few that I love dearly in my heart could not be here to share this incredible year with us. To them I say, you live on inside our hearts, but I really wish you could have seen just how great a year 2006 was.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

My Raible Vacation - Calgary Concert

At last we arrived in a civilized place! Calgary, the most cultured place in all of Alberta, which is kind of like saying the most woman-friendly tavern in Madinah.

So we decided immediately to do the most cultured thing we could find. Now this is Calgary so ballet, opera, symphonies and theater are pretty much out of the question, so we did the next best thing, we went to a KISS concert.

After the show, we went backstage. We found Gene Simmons there and he was hanging out with Howard Schultz and Ariel Sharon. They all seemed to be getting along well and kept switching from English to Yiddish in mid-sentence.

Gene asked everyone if they were interested in a KISS merchandise license. Just 10K to put the KISS logo on a labia ring and sell them online. Not a bad deal really, I'll think about it, I might be able to make some money on that.

I started to get angry at Howard Schultz (which isn't hard), because he was bragging about 'fleecing the Emerald City'. So I decided to get violent, but then I realized Schultz was surrounded by a gaggle of high-priced lawyers, so feeling intimidated I beat up Tommy Thayer instead.

Well the police came and took me away. They mumbled something about "Soccer Riot Snazel", but of course the Canadian justice system is a joke, so my sentence was to receive free medication and a formal apology from the Ministry of Tourism. Apparently, they felt their country must have done something wrong to make such a nice American tourist such as myself to act that way. I used the free medication to get hold of some Codeine and Xanax. I figure they'll make a nifty cocktail with Tequila if Phil and Bobby get on my nerves.

Here's a snapshot of the concert, pretty crazy. You can click the image or you can click here instead to see a larger version of the photo.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Raible Vacation - Respite in Red Deer

The snow was so heavy we had to use snowmobiles to get out of Edmonton. At last we are out of that sub-artic wasteland!

We have spent the night in Red Deer, Alberta. The people here in Red Deer are very nice, although they tend to hiss like Sleestaks whenever you mention Eastern Canada. I think most people in this town would rather drink raw beef dip than converse with some snot from Toronto. Who can blame them really?

Lanny McDonald called, he says he has a big night planned for us in Calgary tomorrow, I look forward to it. I've lost my camera, I'll have to buy a new camera now. I just hope I can figure this dumb purple and orange currency that Canada uses. Honestly, their money looks like it was made from gay pride parade confetti.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Raible Vacation - Breakfast in Edmonton

Well I was right, Edmonton is cold, Edmonton is bleak and the Yaks shed hair everywhere.

We tried to make a nice morning breakfast, but our spirits were low.

Bobby Orr and I spent the night with Ariel Sharon who was in town to score some free heart surgery from the socialized medicine here in Canada. He was making all kinds of jokes about the United Nations and he got drunk on Molson Ice.

Bobby and I didn't like him much.

Some dude in a weird looking van keeps following us and pestering us with voice mail, but we just ignored him.

Tomorrow we're off to Calgary, thank goodness, civilization at last. You can see a bigger version of our breakfast snap shot by clicking the picture or by
clicking here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

My Raible Vacation Day 2 - Scenic Edmonton

It was time to move on to Edmonton.

I had been to Edmonton once before, it was bleak, it was cold and a Yak ate my shoe.

My friend Phil and I made the trip via the Trans-Canada highway. This is Phil and me in Edmonton, there wasn't much there so we decided to skate on a nearby lake.

As you can see it’s not much of anything, but I was able to watch Eskimos score a touchdown and then skin whale blubber on the sideline to sell in the concessions. I really liked the Caribou meat myself; it goes great with Tim Horton donuts. I understand Eskimos don’t use labia rings, I guess the danger of frost bite is too severe.

I’d like to tell you I didn’t think about Chone Figgins today but I’d be lying.

You can click the photo for a larger image, or you can
click here for a larger image

My Raible Vacation - Day 1 Catching Salmon With Bobby

Day 1 - Catching Salmon With Bobby

Finally! After packing up all the Aason cards, changing my cell phone number again and establishing email filters I was ready for my first ever Raible vacation.

My friend Bobby and I flew to Prince George BC, where we went ice fishing in July and caught this really cool salmon. It was great, I didn’t think about Chone Figgins all day.

After that, we went shopping for labia rings but couldn’t find any. Later that night, we sat around the ice shack and I did begin to think about Chone Figgins and Bobby made me drink a lot of alcohol so I’d shut up and go to sleep.

I hope to write more about my vacation later.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

I Like Blogs Damn You! Here's Why...


So full of deeply personal and uneducated opinion that they are so easily dismissed by anyone with even a smidgen of cynicism, which in today’s modern age amounts to every living soul on the planet.

Still, as uneducated and self-centered as most Blogs are, they still reflect one delightful and often overlooked virtue: free speech.

It’s too bad (in my view) that Blogs became a branding agent for political mongers who make money by broadcasting one and only one side of the political spectrum.

It’s too bad that Blogs were usurped into the pedantic MySpace, a place where kid’s gather and pretend they are adults while adults gather to act like children. If the deafening sound of American pop-culture has left you with a headache, then MySpace is the last place you want to visit. Here, all that matters is the latest comedy skits on television, aptitude with the latest colloquialisms those skits have spawned and of course, discussion of any celebrity that is flogging their wares in mass-media.

If ever a fascist wanted to prove his case that the general public loves to be duped, usurped and lead astray, the vast majority of dialog on MySpace proves their case in spades.

None the less, it is still a medium of free speech, free thought and free interaction of human being across the whole globe. However elitist your reaction to Blogs might be, you can’t deny that Blogs are unaltered, unedited and deeply rooted in the simple notion that all ideas should be free to be broadcast themselves. Yeah sure, some of you would rather listen to even the driest of editorials on NPR or re-read that Salinger novel for the seventh time, rather than stoop to the bowels of the internet. None the less, so far, most governments and corporations haven’t been able to get their grubby, dirty paws on Blogging.

Not that they haven’t tried of course, nothing freaks out an autocrat more than people expressing themselves. Even the most intelligent and educated people can feel threatened by a 10 year old girl simply writing her thoughts in an open diary. The reasons they feel threatened are often shrouded in morale concern. Pedophilia is of course often at the top of the list of reasons why Blogs must be controlled, terrorism is another frightening word that governments delight in throwing around to pardon themselves from judging your loyalty to them and punishing you if you dare to express a dangerous idea.

Frankly, I am choking under the 21st Century’s movement towards censorship, media manipulation and privacy invasion. Now defending Blogs and defending privacy almost seem contradictory. What kind of a nerd can complain about having his privacy invaded, when he writes massive essays on every single salient thought that pops into his head and then publishes them in a forum that the entire world can access and read? Well point taken, but while I defend the freedom of Blogging, I also defend its anonymity.

If you love Blogs like I do you know the success stories of free and anonymous editorial, the emergence of frank discussion on China from Chinese residents, who have found ways to Blog themselves and not get caught from the prying eyes of the Chinese regime is my favorite example, but there are others. The Blog of an ordinary Iraqi resident during ‘Shock and Awe’ was fascinating and the discussion about the Blog’s validity was even more interesting. Seeing a puffy, pill-addicted Rush Limbaugh feeling threatened by the ideas of an adolescent kid in Baghdad, was for me, delightful.

Blogging might be hated by elitists who think uneducated commoners like me should just shut up and read Tolstoy, but like it or not it is here to stay. Thank goodness too, because as I read more and more about stealth marketing efforts by large corporations (where companies ‘plant’ company stooges inside free forums, town meetings and large clubs to broadcast company marketing efforts), as I read about corporations that sue, bully and cajole consumers who dare to complain about their products, or worse companies that shut up formal employees by threatening them with expensive lawsuits, when those employees dare to expose the criminal activity they witnessed in their employ. As I read about our own government tracking every single phone call made in the United States, in the name of ‘security’, but has failed to secure our waterways, chemical plants and nuclear facilities in any tangible way. As I read about databases of debit card purchases being sold to whoever wishes to pay for them and wireless ‘smart barcodes’ on product that communicate to central archives as to when, how and who purchased them, and as I read about a world utterly obsessed with knowing who we all are and what we all think and then passing laws to put us in prison when those thoughts or actions don’t match a particular profile, well quite frankly Blogs quickly become a very safe and very necessary haven.

Censorship is in ‘vogue’ my friends. It’s the latest new ‘thing’ and we have all passively accepted it. Your neighbor calls and complains about a raise in his utility bill that was not broadcast or communicated to him before hand and his power is cut off for three days. You call to complain about the fact the garbage collectors were seen driving dangerously in your neighborhood and your garbage stays in your alleyway for days. You broadcast in some forum that a product you purchased has failed to meet up with your expectations and the post is deleted, or worse edited to make it look like you are completely happy with your purchase. You post a bad review of a movie and suspiciously a person that has defended every single movie that a particular media company has produced vilifies you and then proceeds to deliver yet another glowing review, just like the last one for the movie the same company release two weeks ago.

CNET, Amazon, Windows Marketplace, CNN, Hasbro and others have all allowed people who are PAID to editorialize to infiltrate their forums and areas reserved for customer feed back and splatter the medium with infomercials that appear to be just free thought, from a paying customer, but are in fact ‘employees’ of the very brand being discussed. Meanwhile an extremely dissatisfied customer has his message altered to make it look like he was happy the whole time.

Welcome to the 21st Century, the century where compliance and patriotism have fused to become the same thing. This is the century where discordance and complaint is met with vilification and even criminal prosecution in some cases. This is the century of databases with billions of individual data points on everyone and the massive queries that troll those databases for trends, profiles and bell curves. When your political thought, your private discussion with your neighbor about the civic election, your payment to the company that mows your lawn are all cataloged into the same central repository and then disbursed to the government that focuses primarily on staying in power, well forgive me, but the quality of Blogs are the least of my concerns.

In fact, in many cases, an angry Blog, from an uneducated slob like me, can at times, seem like a breath of fresh air.

I know what some of you are thinking, how dare I whine about the conditions of the modern world? I should go back to my cubicle, just shut up and watch American Idol. At the very least if I am going to rant about something, couldn’t it be about something interesting like Tom Cruise’s baby?

(The above was unedited and just a capture of train of thought, my apologies if it was painful to follow or read as a result).

Saturday, April 22, 2006


So it’s time for me to write something...

I have so much to say I don’t even know where to begin, let me boil it down to some sort of stinkin’ office memo, in the name of efficiency let’s just craft it like some sort of inter-office memo.

1. Thank you all of you who raised concern about my last self-loathing post. It’s amazing what people who crawl out of the crannies when you claim you are unhappy. Thank you all and believe me, while I have moments of self doubt, I am overall doing just fine, and thank you all for asking.

2. Seahawk Kinship – Yes American Football is incredible. Yes, Seattle deserves a Super Bowl – and more. My favorite people on Earth live here. This is a city that quite simply is beautiful, not just physically, but beautiful artistically and spiritually.

3. Yes, I like to drink beer. Yes, I like to watch sports. You got a problem with that? If so, then good for you, none the less, beer and sports still serve me better than the New Testament. Put that in your Ann Coulter pipe and smoke it.

4. The Montreal Canadiens are about as close to human perfection as you can get. The sole exceptions I can think of are Macbeth, To Kill a Mockingbird and Gary Gygax.

5. You try collating multiple MSI and IHC genetic tests, from multiple labs across several genetic markers and then tell me I’m insane. Do that first before you ever fucking judge me and my ridiculous blog.

6. Oblivion is way fucking over rated. In my opinion, it’s more about hardware elitism and RPG snobbery than anything that resembles real entertainment. It runs on my machine fine. It's boring as hell.

7. The NBA has become a joke. Where are the ambassadors to the game? Am I really supposed to buy that Carmelo is on parallel with Kareem, Magic, Charles and Mike? No fucking way, the NBA right now is selfish, elitist and way too fucking expensive. It’s the sport of the upper-middle class, it’s the American version of Cricket. Fuck the NBA, it is totally fucking cheese. It is out of reach and totally out of tune with the average American.

8. Somebody took my cheesy ass lyrics and made a real rap song out of it. Holy shit, my cranky uneducated ass actually inspired someone to make art. Here it is… Check it out. Yes, those are my cheesy lyrics applied to real music and craft. My thanks to my life-remixed kindred spirit that produced this it totally made my week.

9. Steve Raible Baseball is dead. Yet instead some fucking ridiculous clown-like board game squanders millions. Wizards of the Coast is THE dumbest fucking dumb-ass company I have ever worked for.

10. England won World War II. Yeah sure America provided the tanks and the people. Yes, America’s significant contribution should never be denied. But the spirit of World War II, was embedded deep in the fire bombs that landed in London. That glorious country survived the nightmare and provided the launching pad that eventually ensured that democracy would dominate the rest of the 20th century.

11. Russia is fucked up and anyone who thinks the Cold War is over has not been paying attention.

12. No, I am not some sort of right wing bitch. I am not a clown who waves flags. China and Russia are fucked, period. America is superior to them both. I say that not because I am an overly-patriotic reactionary. I say that because America invented Jazz, put men on the moon and lead the vast majority of scientific fields.

It does so, because at this stage of time, it is a superior fucking country that treats its people with more respect than any other super power in human history. Yeah, I like Canada too and the UK, but let’s face it, neither of those countries intimidate the Security Council.

13. Yes, damn you vote. Yes, I know Florida was fucked up in 2000. Yes I know democracy isn’t perfect. Yes, George Carlin’s nihilism is right and correct. You know what? I don’t fucking care, vote anyway, it’s hell of a lot better than a country that doesn’t even provide that simple basic human expression.

14. I like Passover more than I like Easter. I say that as an atheist.

15. Did I mention that Oblivion is over rated?

16. Has anyone else noticed that the editorials on Penny Arcade have slowly become unreadable? Jesus H. Christ, put the fucking thesaurus down you nerd and just talk to me like a normal human being.

17. Yes Michael Moore lies. So does George W Bush, the left and the right have turned into cheerleaders. Make up your own god damn mind and try to do it without listening to NPR or Rush Limbaugh.

18. I love life, every time I doubt that statement, I look at my children. Whatever life is, for better or for worse, I believe it gets better with every generation. I believe I have seen visible proof of that statement.

19. To support item #18, I claim here and now, that I am a better human being than my own father. However, I also concede that one of the key reasons that I am a better human being, is my father worked hard to raise me right. It's called progress, it's called evolution. It's part of what makes life so beautiful.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sometimes Mud Gives the Illusion of Depth

Shortly after the Super Bowl ended, I drifted into a soft bed and became a piece of peaceful granite for about 9+ hours. I woke up feeling like Buddha, smiling quietly with an inexplicable sense of calm

I read all kinds of email threads from friends and family: Referees? Woulda? Shoulda? Coulda? Hollow? Bias?

All of it, some of it, none of it is true depending on context and perception.

Television media, which is what you subscribe to when you become an NFL fan, is beyond a fickle mistress. She's just a pure, unadulterated fusion of power, message and perception. She broadcasts the perception of truth for the sake of theme, power and profit. Put much more simply and effectively than my dumb ass can ever hope to say:

"The medium is the message" - Marshall McLuhan

...or perhaps even more appropriatley...

"Sometimes mud gives the illusion of depth" - Marshall McLuhan

Actually, it’s very difficult for me to put into words what I observed in the two weeks after the Seahawks won the NFC up until the Super Bowl was over. To summarize my thoughts, as best as I can:

The two weeks of hate-mongering towards our innocent city was something of keen interest to me. It helped me understand how the 21st century operates, at least when it comes to mass-media, power, message, brand and consumerism.

This was best illustrated in several editorials about our city written in several national publications, editorials that primarily attacked our city and its people and not the football team.

Their words, even the reason why they wrote the words are meaningless. They are meaningless because all that matters truly in the end, is your own reaction to them.

Rick Riley and Skip Bayless don't define this city. A television broadcast doesn’t define anything other than just a television broadcast. That's not sour grapes talking either.

Yes, it’s true that I would have loved to see Seattle win this game. Not for me personally, I've watched teams I admire win championships now 11 times in my life time. No, I wanted it for this city, this great city where my children were born in, for no other reason that it would have strengthened the kinship between all my friends and family who live here.

That kinship however remains, so what have I really lost? In fact all I would have really "won" is something to make myself and my friends happy. If you really think about it, all we would have "won" was our reaction to the event. In my opinion, if our reactions to this event bonds us further, help us understand one another better and bring us closer together in spirit and kinship, then perhaps we have won, at least at some level.

The noise you hear from the television station trying to sell you deodorant, the minutia over the details of a football game, the perception of meaning and significance from entities who profit from the business of football itself, mean nothing and from to time actually become quite boring, if you obsess over them enough.

Whine? Don't whine? Fair? Unfair?

They are just words and they are words too often bandied about by people who don't know us, and worst of all, have never lived here nor care to live here.

Your reaction is all that matters.

My reaction is this:

I love the Seahawks. They help me feel like I belong here in the Northwest. They are a story about how we fight to preserve the traditions, our passion for the only temperate rainforest on Earth, and in some small way how we honor the ancestors who lived here thousands of years before any of us. I can explain to you why the Seahawks mean all those things to me, but most of you who know me - know why I feel that way.

Take a walk outside, look at where you live. Take a look at your friends, family and the lifestyle you all enjoy here. Who on Earth would anyone trade any of it for a sports trophy? Not me. And who on Earth thinks their life would be as awesome as it is, if they lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? Who on Earth really believes Rick Riley isn't anything but a self-serving, sub-par writer who slandered Seattle for the sake of selling a few magazines and pocketing some greasy nickels into a bank account somewhere?

If you reflect on Super Bowl XL (and if you insist on attaching meaning to it on some way), then when contemplated long enough and truthfully enough, it was just one of a thousand reasons why we live in the greatest city on Earth.

Now if you'll excuse me, I am in danger of "walking backwards into the future", as McLuhan would say. So it's probably best that I just shut up and go back to work.

Thanks for listening though, if you made it this far.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


So we are in the midst of the greatest Seahawk season ever. I am filled with so many thoughts on opinions on the subject I can barely contain myself.

I am the most opinionated bastard on Earth, so this is no surprise.

The world is full of people who are bigger Seahawk fans than me. I am a Seahawk newbie really. I adopted the team ten years ago when I moved out to the northwest and while I have a massive pile of ticket stubs and memories of the team, I confess my Seahawk resume is not that impressive. At least in comparison to a few fans I know out there.

I wanted to share my thoughts on four fans that come to mind immediately, and I won’t mention them by name.

My favorite Seahawk fan of all time is a guy who loves to mock and cajole my status as a fan all the time. That’s nothing new, as I am quite the loud mouth so I tend to attract a lot of angry, boisterous counter-opinion all the time. This particular fan has accused me of being a “care bear” Seahawk fan for a long time. He’s called me a “Holmgren-lover” and is quick to point out when my overly opportunistic view points come crashing down around me.

He watches the Seahawks from the bottom circle of the upper deck. He watches them religiously. He is knowledgeable and passionate about his team.

This guy also happens to suffer from Cerebral Palsy. I don’t tell you that to solicit sympathy for the guy, not at all. This gentleman holds his own and neither wants nor needs your sympathy. I did want to mention that to accentuate why he’s my favorite fan. You see he has to communicate to the outside world through a more code communicator mounted on his wheel chair. He has to tap his head onto a receiver behind his head to communicate. The chair then translates the message into text.

It can take him quite a few minutes to tap out a simple sentence that you and I take for granted. Yet this guy writes constantly about his passion for the Seahawks on the internet. He involves himself in complex threads about the Seahawks defense, the draft strategy or the west coast offense, all using Morse code from his wheel chair.

To me, that is just an incredible testament to the passion he has for the team and the emotion that being a sports fan can invoke. He and I have never really agreed about anything on these threads and he has mocked me all the time. In truth, he has been far more right than I have in the long haul. We are both opinionated bastards. It’s just that this fan has to work that much harder to express his, which means he has more passion than I ever will. On top of that, he’s a smarter fan, because as I say, in the long haul he’s been more right than I have.

He’s probably reading this now and thinking I am suck-ass for writing all this. That’s one of the reasons why he’s the greatest Seahawk fan I know.

Another great fan I know is someone I met only briefly while working a contract for a wireless company. The contract was terrible and it was easily the lowest point in my career path in the past 10 years. None the less sitting next to me was one of the biggest Seahawk fans I ever met. He went to school with Bill Gates and Paul Allen and pulled out his high school yearbook one day to prove it to me. I guess they were friends back in the day, but drifted apart when they went to college.

He was a Seahawk fan before Bill and Paul ever were and showed ticket stubs and other evidence that he’s followed the team since its inception in 1976 and has had season tickets in the family for 20+ years. He could recite memories of games that were not only obscure, but were fascinating in their re-telling. He’d tell me the differences between Patera and Knox’s style and he knew all the dirty details about the Behring family and just how dirty and inept the franchise became under their tenure.

After a game, we’d discuss and dissect the subtleties on Monday at work, discussion that were the highlight of my Monday. I just admire this man because he had been there from the start - and even though I was this nerdy opinionated newbie fan, he not only tolerated my allegiance to this team, he seemed to admire it. He made me feel like I belonged to the Seahawk family and he had the kind of seal of approval that you can take to the bank. I have lost contact with this man, which is a shame, because he made me feel like I truly was part of the legendary “12th Man”.

There are other fans I must tell you about. Each of whom have different stories to tell.

One I know came from another place but adopted the Seahawks immediately after arriving, and has held season tickets with pride for seven years straight. He used to shake his finger at me with his Seahawk opinions just about every day of the regular season at work. My favorite memory of this particular fan was the Cheshire grin on his face the day we drafted Shaun Alexander. “Shaun likes to score touchdowns,” he told me excitedly the day after we drafted him which has stood to be the most prophetic statement ever told to me by a Seahawk fan. He would come into my office for weeks after that and just repeat the phrase and then leave with that impish grin. Shaun does indeed like to score touchdowns.

Others friends I know still cling to the places they came from in the past, but have incorporated the Seahawks into their sports resumes comfortably and with pride, one fan I know who fits in this category single-handedly cursed the 49ers into missing a field goal on a pivotal season-ending game in 2003. It was the magic that only a Bills fan could have invoked. Another guy I know has the sharpest memory for statistics and play calling I have ever known. His passion for the team is undeniable and if you’ve ever heard this man rave about the overuse of the “half-back sweep” from the stands, you know who I mean. This man remembers everything and his accuracy for statistics and events long since passed borders on miraculous. Another friend has lived here all his life and remembers the franchise’s birth and its glory days in the early 80’s. This fan can communicate just how much the Seahawks mean to our community better than anyone I know. He’s one my favorites because every year he predicts the Seahawks will go undefeated and then lays out an entire argument as to why.

All of these friends are quick to tell me how wrong I am about my own interpretation of the team and rightly so. What I know about football can me measured with a thimble, but it doesn’t stop me from voicing that uneducated opinion constantly and with great ferocity. Most of the time, I voice them just to egg some of the people I’ve listed above onto a discussion. I do it to get them to talk about one of my favorite subjects, I have literally emailed “the Seahawks suck” and the “Seahawks are going to win the Super Bowl” out as opinions on the very same day, each to bait entirely different fans into a discussion.

There are of course other fans, the face painters, the ultra-diehards, the guys who constantly find a way to get on TV during and after the game. I’ve met most of them, but none of them compete with the fans I’ve just listed here. It’s not that they aren’t great people themselves (they are) it’s just that the people listed here have had more impact and influence in my own experience as a fan.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to the Seattle Seahawks this year. I fear the worst, I hope for the best. I just know that whatever happens, each of the fans I’ve listed here will experience it as well. Our reactions will each be different but our experience will be shared and each of us in our own way will be hoping for something that the city of Seattle can cherish for decades to come. Each of us, in our own way, are just expressing our pride for great northwest and the city of Seattle specifically.

It’s that kinship, that I admire about being a sports fan most of all.

As for me, well I find I'm so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a Seahawks fan can feel, a fan at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope we make it the Super Bowl. I hope to see my friends, and shake their hands when we do. I hope all our dreams come true. I hope.