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.
Every time the Seahawks score a touchdown, you can feel the sports-watching nation bristle. Every time they notch a victory, you can hear the country groan. That team isn’t supposed to win. That team isn’t supposed to be that good. That quarterback, all five-feet-eleven-inches of him, isn’t supposed to be starting in the NFL. That defense, with its late-round draft picks and free agent castoffs, isn’t supposed to be that intimidating. That head coach isn’t supposed to be that gutsy. None of that is supposed to be happening.
It bothers people that the Seahawks aren’t your prototypical NFL team. They don’t have the prototypical signal-caller, they don’t have the prototypical hard-ass mentality, they don’t have the prototypical coaching staff, and they certainly don’t have the prototypical draft day talents. They are Mel Kiper Jr.’s worst nightmare. They are second-chance scrap-heap material. They are missed prognostications. They are the thorns in scouts’ sides. They are proving those who doubted them — which amounts to the majority of the league — wrong. Every other team could have had them. Every other team passed on them. They’ve been traded. They’ve been released. They’ve gone undrafted. They’ve gone unsigned. They’ve been ignored. They are angry. They are hungry. They have chips on their shoulders the size of Jupiter.
It bothers people that the Seahawks have swagger. That they’re loud and obnoxious and want everybody to know that they’re succeeding. Contrition isn’t their strong suit. And why should it be? Too many people have told them “no” before. Too many people told them they weren’t, you know, the prototypes. Too many people wanted to forget them. Now, as it turns out, they’re refusing to be forgotten.
The world would like it if they acted like they’d been there before. If they would just shut up and play. If they would quietly go about their business, collect those paychecks, and quickly exit the collective consciousness. But you can’t issue such a foolish demand of a Seahawk, nor can you issue such a foolish demand of Seattle. They’ve never been there before. We have never been there before. If there is the top, if there is a championship, then the world should already know that we haven’t been there. That’s all of us. The team, those players, those of us who support the team, those of us who support nearly every other professional team in this entire city. We are success starved in Seattle. We are thirsty for a winner. We are desperate for something to cheer about. So no. We won’t act like we’ve been there before. And neither will they. We need this, they need this, and you’ll just have to deal with it. Call it classless. Call it disappointing. Call it unfortunate. But we don’t care.
We don’t care if we win each game by one or one-hundred. We don’t care if we have to rely on horsecrap calls to get our victory. We don’t care if you slap our players with fines and suspensions; if we have to, we’ll take up a collection. We don’t care how much you loathe what we do and how we do it. Because we have been looking for that team, that special team, that one-in-a-million team, for so, so long. We’ve suffered through losing season after losing season. We’ve lost in the winter, in the spring, in the summer, in the fall. We’ve lost on the diamond, on the court, on the gridiron. We’ve lost an entire freakin’ franchise — and no, we WILL NOT get over that, so shut the hell up — to cold, heartless theft. We have been losers. Let’s just say it. We’ve been losers. And now, thanks to the Seahawks, we’re not losing so much anymore.
So no, you won’t get an apology, America. And no, we won’t be quiet about this. And, yes, we know what that entails. Should we fall, we’ll hear about it from you. Should we crumble, we’re sure you’ll let us know. But for now, in this moment, we’re winners. And for now, in this moment, you need to realize that. Because no one is playing down to us; we’re just that good. And yeah, maybe we’re running it up a bit; but again, we’re just that good. The world is our Xbox and you can’t hit Reset.
It might not be this year. But we hope it is. It might not be next year. But we hope it is. We don’t know when it will happen. We don’t know when we’ll hoist our next championship trophy — the Seahawks’ first championship trophy and Seattle’s most celebrated championship trophy since 1979, when the Supersonics raised theirs — but we will. And when we do that, we’ll shut up. A little bit. Not too much, but just enough. We’ll pipe down for your sake. Because all we really want is to get there, to get to the top, to get that title. We’re no different than any other city in America in that regard. We’ve just been waiting a bit longer. And we’ve been through our fair share of shit. We want to win, too. It’s human nature.
Until then, until there happens, deal with it. And be afraid. The Seahawks have scored 108 points in their last two games. That’s absolutely frightening and, frankly, a little bit crazy. We can’t do this all year long. But we can try. And maybe, just maybe, the rest of you can start playing up to our level.
In the immortal words of Russell Wilson, “Go Hawks.”