I grew up watching sports. One of my first memories was running around imitating the referees with my hands in the air yelling, “TOUCHDOWN!” (When I get home in April, the first thing I’m gonna do is scan that picture and post it, it’s adorable.)
But contrary to that memory, my one sport was always baseball. When the Mariners went to the playoffs in 94, I cried when they lost thinking it was because I wasn’t at the game. In 95, I went to a playoff game and was so superstitious, thinking the littlest thing I did differently was going to make us lose.
Growing up in Seattle since I was five, I came to know a singular thing as truth: our teams may suck, but the fans are steadfast in our support.
If I were to make a list of the good and bad things the Seattle fanbase has had to go through in the past 10 years or so, there’d be more bad than good. But this blog isn’t about the bad. It’s about loyalty. About finally getting our due (though it should be stated that The Seattle Storm, and the Seattle Sounders, are dominant in their leagues, and have both brought us home a championship in the past few years). About getting retribution. About showing that the underdog can prevail.
Memories of football in my household are punctuated by one word: “Suckhawks.” For years, I endured games filled with my father yelling at the television set thanks to the Seahawks. Then, in recent years something changed. First, I went off to college, and we made our first appearance in the Super Bowl against The Steelers. That didn’t go like we hoped.
Then we had a few more subpar seasons. And then Pete Carroll found his way to our rainy city in 2010. And he started amassing a team of so called misfits, rejects, people who were continually told they couldn’t, something Carroll himself is familiar with. I mean, just look at our quarterback Russell Wilson! He’s 5 foot 11 inches. Scouts were saying if only he were a bit taller, he’d be number one draft pick. At the start of the game yesterday, commentators Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were doubtful if he’d be able to work through his nerves considering this was only his second season in the NFL and his first appearance in the Super Bowl. Wilson dominated! He kept a level head, and he made 18 completions on 25 attempts.
In addition to Wilson, you got Derrick Coleman – the first deaf offensive player in the NFL. You have Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch, just look at his career stats – his years on the Buffalo Bills compared to his years with the Seahawks and you can see how he’s flourished. He’s a huge part of the Seahawks offense. You got Kam Chancellor. Chris Clemons. Malcolm Smith, this years’ Super Bowl’s MVP. Cliff Avril, our defensive end who kept successfully pressuring Peyton Manning yesterday. And of course Richard Sherman, who only in his third season in the NFL has shown that he’s dominant and good at his position.
I can relate to these guys. They’ve all overcome the odds and succeeded. They’ve been told all their life they couldn’t, They’ve been laughed at, been called names, been kicked down – but risen above it, wanted to prove everyone wrong. They are Seattle. They are us. This is why we cheer day in and day out, winning or losing, because when we get a team like this, a team that resonates with us, IS US, it’s the best feeling in the world. And to see them go all the way? Incredible, to put it simply. If I were to try to write out exactly how I feel I don’t know if I could. A mix of elation, jealousy, envy, happiness, sadness, and wanting to dance in the streets all rolled into one? I guess the long, and short of it is, I needed this. After finally being able to divulge a little bit of how losing my best friend felt, how broken I feel, I needed this win. And I think Seattle, and the Hawks, needed it too. I think Peyton wanted it, I know he really wanted it.
And speaking of Peyton and his Broncos, I was excited for this match up. I think Peyton Manning is an incredible quarterback. And this was his year, everyone thought. It was going to be the perfect ending to a great season for him. I’m not going to say that the Hawks wanted it more, or that Peyton choked. But the Broncos struggled. And the Seahawks played how they play best. They kept saying that they were going to treat the biggest game of the year as just another game. And though people were skeptical, it worked. We have a Lombardi Trophy now!
I love my team. I love these boys who inspire every single day. Most of all, I love my city. I always hoped I’d be around for the day when one of our teams won the championship, and even though I was miles away from Seattle, I’m happier than ever. I’m so proud to be a Seattlite, I’m even prouder to be a Seahawks fan, and be able to claim I’m a part of the 12th man. This is our time.