Screw reality. This is everything we’ve ever wanted rolled up into a single moment in time and it’s goddamn beautiful. You want Chris Petersen? You got Chris Petersen. You want Robinson Cano? You got Robinson Cano. You want the best team in the NFL? You got the best team in the NFL. If you have a wish to make, a prayer to be answered, a request you absolutely must have fulfilled? Today is your day.
You and I, we aren’t conditioned for this. This is sleet in November, triple-digit temperatures in July. We aren’t used to what this feels like. Happiness? Euphoria? This is Seattle. Seattle. When it comes to sports, we’re the perennially disappointed, the consistently underwhelmed. We live in a snow globe where it simply rains all the time. We fall short of expectations, come up empty-handed at year’s end, tank the off-season, blow the big game, flub every opportunity at every single turn, and wallow, miserably, wretchedly, in the cynical aftermath of the emotional nuking our psyches continually endure.
They’ve called us the Worst Sports City in America. On multiple occasions, no less. It sucks to be us, they’ve pointed out. And for the most part, they’ve been right. It has sucked to be us. We haven’t done shit. We haven’t won shit, we haven’t achieved shit, we haven’t been shit. We’ve been nothing. Some cities fly under the radar; we haven’t been on the radar.
Depending on how you look at it, this day was either supposed to belong to the Seahawks or the internet. It was Monday. Cyber Monday, the day the masses descend upon the world wide web for bargains. But Cyber Monday mattered little to those of us in the Emerald City. The Seahawks had a football game on this particular evening. That meant they were playing on Monday Night Football, arguably the biggest regular season stage in all of professional sports. They were already relegated to sharing a pseudo-holiday with online retailers. And yet their civic brethren across the sports landscape were not content to let them have even half the spotlight.
It started with the Mariners, those assholes, constantly fighting to stay relevant in a town where their irrelevance reigns supreme. They woke up on this chilly, sun-soaked morning and decided to sign Willie Bloomquist. Yes, the Willie Bloomquist. To a two-year, $5.8 million contract. It’s been five years since Willie last played for his hometown Mariners and he’s 36 years of age now, so why not sign him, right? Makes perfect sense. Anyway, they did it, they really did it. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t register on our radar – we’re talking about an aging utility player, after all – but this was no ordinary situation.
Your 2013 Seattle Seahawks are 10-1, which in and of itself is a problem because obviously, hah, they’re not a perfect 11-0. Yeah, they might be the best team in the NFL right now, but there’s always room for improvement. That’s why we’re here today to point out 11 of their greatest flaws. Trust me, when we win the Super Bowl, you’ll be grateful we addressed these problems so early on. Go Hawks.
11. Marshawn Lynch’s Beacon Plumbing ad, which is frightening.
Their slogan is “Stop freakin’, call Beacon,” but in reality the freakin’ starts with the ad pitched by the Seahawks’ starting tailback. The tone with which Lynch delivers his endorsement of the local plumbing company is the type of tenor you might expect to hear right before you get stabbed in the heart or kicked in the testicles. Maybe Beacon can consider public speaking classes for the celebrities giving their testimonials in the future, but for now the entire Greater Seattle area lives in fear of clogged drains.
10. There aren’t enough police officers at CenturyLink Field.
During Sunday’s game against Atlanta, you may have noticed Cliff Avril going ape shit on the sidelines in the second half of an all-but-secured Seahawks victory. Avril appeared to be passionately berating his teammates for reasons unknown to many, including coach Pete Carroll, who said on Monday that he wasn’t sure why his starting defensive end was so upset.
We may never get to the bottom of the Cliff Avril freak-out, but we can surmise at least 11 reasons why Avril acted the way he did. At the very least, I think we can all relate.
Why was Avril so angry? Well…
11. All those Candy Crush invites on Facebook.
“I don’t want to play Candy Crush, Richard! STOP SENDING ME INVITES! I WILL DE-FRIEND YOU!”
Good teams win games like the one the Seahawks won on Monday. Regardless of the opponent, the venue, the spread, the conditions, or any other hurdle one could dream up, good teams – championship-contending teams – prove victorious in adverse contests.
It’s important to remember that fact, because over the course of three hours on Monday evening, fans of Seattle’s football team conveyed the entire gamut of negative emotions as their ballclub battled – and ultimately triumphed over – the St. Louis Rams. From tweets of “Fire Bevell!” to verbal lambasts of every player on the field – Sidney sucks, Russell sucks, Marshawn sucks, Sweezy sucks (okay, he kind of did, but still) – to declaring the season cooked, toast, stick a fork in it, done, the 12th Man went full overreaction Monday in the midst of a game that, once again, good teams win.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Seahawks fans over the years, it’s that each individual fanatic seems to have a unique chip on his or her shoulder that serves as motivation for the devoted interest in Seattle’s pro football team.
Some fans grew up in the Kingdome and became accustomed to earth-shaking noise reverberating off the stone-grey walls of the now-deceased indoor venue. It’s their personal mission to bring that same cacophony outside, and what better place to do it than CenturyLink Field.
Other fans travel to and from each game in a junker Winnebago they’ve owned for two-plus decades, spending every last dime they earn to fill that gas guzzler with its necessary fuel. They put the team above their own personal well-being and for that they should be rewarded.
11. Frank Gore sucks.
He scored a 6 on the Wonderlic test…out of a possible 50. His showing ranks as one of the worst all-time scores in Wonderlic history.
Rather than calling out coverages, perhaps Seahawks linebackers should pepper San Francisco’s running back with stupid questions before the snap. “Hey Frank! Spell all forms of the word ‘there.’ All forms, Frank! Not just one. And then use each form in a sentence so we know you’re not bullshitting us.”
10. Their mascot sucks.
Did you know that the Niners’ mascot is a cartoonish cowboy named Sourdough Sam? Probably not, since Sourdough Sam is the stupidest name ever. I imagine a cowboy named Sourdough Sam would be the first one to die of dysentery on the Oregon Trail. Or worse, he’d drown in the very first river you forded.
“Brady Quinn? What’s he doing in there? Put Russell Wilson in!”
It was the second quarter of the Seahawks’ inaugural foray into what is alleged to be their first championship season. And not one hour down the path of Title Road there was ignorance among us.
“Seriously. Why isn’t Russell playing? Is he okay? Is he hurt?”
Every year, clothing companies mass-produce replica jerseys of some of the biggest names in sports. Every year, sports fans the world around purchase these jerseys. And every year, without fail, a handful of the men who inspire these jerseys fall farther and farther out of relevance, spiraling downward into a pit of despair filled with bitterness and loathing.
We buy the jerseys of players that have been great leading up to this moment or may be great later on. We buy knowing that we’re making an investment in the future that may not pay off. We buy because our fanaticism overtakes our ability to make rational decisions.
Replica jerseys have really only been relevant for about two decades. Prior to the early-’90s, the jersey fad had yet to catch on. But with the advent of cheap polyester and screen printing, lifelike uniforms could be had by the vast majority of us. And thus a movement was born.
There is no better place to be right now, it seems, than the building that sits about a par five away from my home. I’ve done the math. It’s roughly 600 yards between the pillow I rest my head on each night and the entrance to the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, better known as the VMAC, best known as the Seahawks Practice Facility.
Today marks the opening day of Seahawks training camp, and with all the hubbub and fanfare that surrounds the beginning of any NFL season, excitement is radiating from my neighbor’s turf-covered backyard. When one factors in the expectations that now follow this team around – most prognosticators have the Hawks pegged as a Super Bowl favorite – the fervor evolves from palpable to totally understandable. And thus we have a midsummer block party taking place in and around Interstate 405’s Exit 7.
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.