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.