I am 28 years old and have lived here my entire life. I was born in Redmond, raised in Bellevue, attended college at the University of Washington, and have since resided everywhere from Renton to Lynnwood. I can tell you about the best bars in the south end, how to avoid traffic in the north end, and get you in and out of Bellevue Square in under an hour on Christmas Eve. I have never left this place. I’ve never wanted to leave this place. The Greater Seattle area is my home and it always will be. I love it here. For better or worse, I will always love it here.
I’ll admit that a large part of what has entrenched me in this region, besides family and friends, are our sports teams. It doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. Over the course of my lifetime, none of our teams have enjoyed much success. There have been a handful of playoff trips here and there, a couple title appearances, a number of memorable players, and modest streaks of decency. But outside of Husky Football’s 1991 National Championship, we’ve never taken home a major sports crown since I’ve been alive. And even when Washington was anointed No. 1 over two decades ago, I was just seven years of age. I’d be lying if I told you I remembered it. What I’ve known, for the most part, is futility. And yes, it has been painful at times.
This is America. And if there’s anything I’ve learned over the years about great pieces of prose, it’s that reminding people that this is America is always a good thing to do. You can’t argue with patriotism. It’s why politicians preface every controversial issue they have with talk about the stars and stripes. As if everyone in this country of ours agrees with what they’re about to say. It’s a genius ploy, and one that sways the impressionable swing voter time and time again. So before I engage in this rant on the liberties of sports fans everywhere, allow me to remind you that this, friends, is America.
In America, we enjoy freedom. That freedom extends to speech, it extends to human rights, it extends to the pursuit of happiness, and much, much more. We are very lucky to have these freedoms. These freedoms give someone like Sarah Brown, for example, the right to express her opinion on the Seattle Seahawks and their fan base, which she did quite loquaciously in this piece from Friday’s Seattle Times.
Sports-hate is an amazing thing. It absolves us of a lot. As sports fans, we can say a whole lot a nasty stuff to each other. Terrible things. But it’s okay, because it’s just sports, and we don’t really mean it. We can kind of say whatever we want, and we can just pass it off as sports-hate. We don’t really mean it when we say we hate each other. Right? I hope so. No one should really mean those mean things.
But man, we love to sports-hate each other. It feeds rivalries, and makes the games more fun. It goes something like this:
Your team sucks! Our team is amazing! You guys are stupid! We have brilliant football minds! Your women are disgusting! Ours are super sexy! Wait, let’s compare pictures.
Gaw, we hate you guys!!
And on and on. Fun, right? I know. Let’s proceed. Without further ado,
Hey, 49ers fans, you guys are IDIOTS!
The national media will have you believe two things about the Seahawks. One, they like to run up the score on their hapless opponents. And two, those very same hapless opponents are playing down to the Seahawks. It doesn’t seem to make much sense. You can’t have it both ways, America. Are the Seahawks running up the score? Or are their opponents playing down to them? Which is it? Make up your damn minds.
Either way, it’s clear that the nation hates the Seahawks. This team doesn’t get proper credit for their own success. They’re either winning by too great a margin, with too little class, or winning simply because the guys on the other side of the field are having an off day. It doesn’t help that our roster is filled with unheralded, unsung superstars. That your average football fan can’t identify with the badasses in our locker room because they don’t endorse Ugg boots or Gillette shaving products. They don’t know us, so they fear us, and in turn dislike us.
Okay. That wasn’t the best Seattle sports weekend. The Huskies (both the football and basketball editions) lost, the Seahawks lost, and word came out on Sunday evening that both Hawks starting cornerbacks — Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner — are facing four-game suspensions for performance-enhancing drug use. So yeah. Admittedly, things could get better.
Scrolling through the Twitter timeline over the past 24 hours has revealed varying stages of grief from Seattleites. We’ve seen everything from denial, to anger, to depression, to acceptance. Some fans are ready to jump off a ledge, some are cursing out anyone who so much as talks to them, some are claiming it’s all a conspiracy, some have the blinders on and refuse to speak one ill word about any of our downtrodden ballclubs, some are coping with humor, and some are just plain sad. No matter one’s progress through the grieving process, it’s clear that these are dark times for us right now. And so as a result, I’m here to offer perspective.
NFL owners refuse to pay the real referees to work.
Green Bay Packers fans proudly own their team. (And they’ll tell you every chance they get. Like in this tweet from Packer fan @GetFound, for instance: “Packers Champs 10 times, Seattle Seagulls ZERO, and we are not just fans, we are owners loser!”)
Ipso facto, by virtue of the transitive property, Green Bay Packers fans blame THEMSELVES for their loss to the Seahawks.
Don’t be so hard on yourselves, Packers fans.
First of all, everybody calm down! In the replacement rules, it CLEARLY STATES that if a receiver has so much as A FINGER on the ball, it is BY REPLACEMENT RULE a reception. You cannot argue with the replacement rules. The replacement rules are enforced by the replacement officials TO A TEE! If you don’t like it, that’s too bad. If a travel leads to a home run on a wicked googly, JUST GO WITH IT! A win is a win and you can’t deny it! It feels so good!
Look, folks. Let’s get serious here for a moment. I’ll be honest. If I was a Green Bay fan, I’d be mad, too. Was that a reception? Was that an interception? Who really knows. How closely did those replacement refs really double-check that last play? Not close enough, I’d wager. Was it worth a discount double-check? Yeah, probably.
But seriously. How beautiful was that game? It was so ugly. So freakin’ ugly! And yet so amazingly beautiful. It was Sarah Jessica Parker. It was Taylor Swift. It was Lindsay Lohan. Are you ugly? Are you beautiful? I can’t tell right now, but you know what? I’m happy anyway. And that’s what really matters.
Life isn’t always fair. Take that photo to the left, for example. That’s a stock image of Kelly Kapowski, the prettiest girl at Bayside High School, as played by Tiffani Amber Thiessen. The picture? It was taken right around the second season of the perpetually iconic Saved By the Bell, when Kelly was a sophomore…and Thiessen, in real life, was 16 years of age. Seriously. Sixteen. Look at that picture. Think about that age. How messed up is that? Like I said, life isn’t always fair.
Much like all you horndogs who now find yourself reluctantly longing for a barely-legal (in this state, at least) Tiffani Amber Thiessen, fairness and life aren’t exactly aligning themselves for your Seattle Seahawks, either.
In 2009, the Seahawks had the good fortune of selecting a can’t-miss linebacker out of Wake Forest with the fourth overall pick in that April’s NFL Draft. Everyone agreed that Aaron Curry was one of the crown jewels of his class, a run-stuffing, pass-rushing beast of a man who, as multiple “insiders” would put it, was the most talented linebacker to arrive from the college ranks since Lawrence Taylor.
Unlike the Hall of Famer he was being compared to, Curry was considered a gem both inside and outside the confines of his workspace. A God-fearing 23-year-old with a beaming grin on the day he was introduced to fans, the ex-Demon Deacon was far more ministerial than devilish.
So I have this friend. His name is not relevant, but for the sake of this article will call him Bryan Smivish. Smivish is a 36-year-old single man, happily ensconced in his world of bachelorhood. He dates women, he enjoys women, and I imagine he likely knows how to treat women right. If I had an attractive, single lady friend, for instance, I would certainly recommend she give Smivish a try. He’s a good guy, deserving of a well-to-do, diminutive female companion. Ladies, if you’re interested in Smivish, please let me know, I’ll arrange the meeting.
All that said, Smivish likes to tell me about what he calls the “Crazy-Hot Scale.” The Crazy-Hot Scale is a gauge by which a woman’s intrinsic craziness is measured against her extrinsic hotness. If a woman was incredibly hot and not all that crazy, she would be a pretty good catch, according to Smivish’s Crazy-Hot Scale. By contrast, if a woman happened to be…homely…while simultaneously…looney, she would be undateable, per the scale. Most women, as it turns out, happen to fall somewhere in the middle.
I’m convinced that Marshawn Lynch is irreplaceable. I know. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Running backs are a dime a dozen in the NFL. Overpaying for a ball carrier is flat-out silly. They’re like iPods, those running backs. The battery life is short, and there’s seemingly a new version out every other year. Why waste your money on an old one when a fresher, cheaper, sleeker model is ready to come off the line as we speak?
It’s foolish, really. Marshawn Lynch should be replaceable. There should be a thousand Marshawn Lynches out there. Maybe they’re still in college. Maybe they’re on some other team’s practice squad. Maybe they’re backing up a Hall of Famer somewhere. But they should be around.