From Crazy to Cool, Here’s to Proving We’re the Best Fans in Sports

Baltimore Ravens v Seattle SeahawksIf 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.

Then there are those fans who are more intrinsically motivated, those on a quest to be labeled the Best Fan Ever. They adorn every square inch of their body in Seahawks blue-and-green, leasing all real estate from head to toe to a hue more befitting of an ogre, a Smurf, or a gangrenous Violet Beauregard. They stand on concrete from kickoff until final horn, occasionally jumping, occasionally swaying, constantly urging their constituents to do the same, frequently barking inspiration at players who can only decipher a collective roar. They are often misunderstood, these Best Fans Ever, seen by many as insane. But insanity is relative, and amongst other screaming, foaming, seething, celebrating spectators, they are running the asylum. And as such, the other inmates follow suit.

Well, most of the inmates. There are those who are too cool, naturally. It’s a given, The Cool are always around, and they exist as a group of fans unto themselves. But let’s face it, we’ve all been guilty of associating with The Cool at some time or another, in some realm of everyday life. We gravitate towards cliques, align ourselves with those who share our personality traits. We stratify our levels of comfort, assigning the entirety of our being to one grouping with which we most identify, limiting the remaining potential we possess to sit dormant within the shell of our Coolness.

The Cool raise a skeptical eyebrow towards those behaving differently than that with which they’re accustomed. They scoff at the maniacal intensity they see in others who just plain aren’t like them. They sit in simmering silence, refusing to release the bellowing fervor that pleads with their innards to be liberated unto the world around them, unto the flow of blaring blabber that permeates the immediate ether, rumbling the chair to which their posterior remains firmly pinned. They fight their instinct, their desire, their nature to succumb to what? The Coolness?

They’re too cool for even those fans who see themselves as the Best Fans Ever, those fans branded with the largest of shoulder chips, those fans who do this simply for their own personal gain, who promote an individual brand and a name and an identity, wittingly or unwittingly propagandizing the good of an entire team – the Seattle Seahawks – and an entire fan base – the 12th Man, they call it – simultaneously.

The one thing I’ve learned about Seahawks fans over the years is that, as a collective whole, they are a force. And on an individual level, many, many, many of them want to be THE fan. They have this desire to be the very best, to be anointed the Best Fan Ever, to be better than all their peers. Many more fans, however, have a competing desire to cede their fanaticism to the Best Fans Ever, to remain firmly entrenched among The Cool, content to idly observe a sporting event between two teams and nothing more. There is a rift that occasionally rears its ugly head between these two dueling hemispheres of Fantasia, the passive versus the aggressive, the yin versus the yang, the calm versus the storm.

You may not notice it, but it’s there. And it’s there every game, no matter how loud CenturyLink Field frequently gets. It’s there and it always has been, sometimes divided by geography (upper bowl versus lower), sometimes divided by social class (the blue collar versus the white), sometimes divided by level of sobriety (the imbibed versus the unimbibed).

But for one day, at least, that rift needs to subside. On Sunday, this Sunday, fans at CenturyLink Field will attempt to break the world record for loudest stadium crowd ever. And sure, to some of you this may not seem like that big of a deal. Division titles will always take precedence over decibels, championships over cheers. But wouldn’t it be nice to say that Seattle fans are the best at something for a change? Wouldn’t it be nice to set the aural standard for unbridled enthusiasm the world around?

We’ve all been guilty of being too cool. On the flip side, we’ve all been guilty of being less than welcoming to those different than us. On Sunday, though, when the pigskin takes to the air and a clock starts ticking down from one-fourth a total of sixty minutes, all that matters is that we’re united in our boisterousness. Whether you’re a man, a woman, a laborer, a lawyer, a jersey-wearer, a suit-wearer, a liberal, a conservative, a drinker, a heathen, a holy man, a believer, a wanderer, an idealist, a realist, a truth-seeker, a liar, a clearheaded critic, an unapologetic nut, a whatever. Forget everything else and go absolutely, undeniably, unequivocally crazy.

We are the best fans in all of sports. It’s time to show the world.

Go Seahawks. Go 12th Man.

One thought on “From Crazy to Cool, Here’s to Proving We’re the Best Fans in Sports”

  1. I almost never leave a response, but after reading through some of
    the comments on From Crazy to Cool, Heres to Proving Were the Best Fans
    in Sports | Seattle Sportsnet. I do have
    2 questions for you if it’s okay. Could it be just me or does it look like like some of the remarks come
    across like they are coming from brain dead visitors?
    :-P And, if you are writing at other online sites, I’d like to keep up with you.

    Would you make a list of every one of your social networking sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed,
    or linkedin profile?

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