Three days from now, the Seahawks will take to the field for the first time in two weeks and kickoff what everyone hopes and expects to be a run to the Super Bowl. They’ll meet the New Orleans Saints in the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field and undoubtedly the atmosphere will be beyond raucous, beyond chaotic, bordering on anarchic, absolutely insane.
Fans will be amped up after a fortnight away from football, and the energy won’t ooze from the stadium so much as it will rage like storm water through a collapsing levee. The Saints, bless their unfortunate souls, will be lucky to leave Seattle with their eardrums fully functional, their spirits still intact, and their appendages all firmly attached to their collective torsos. Beyond that, the outcome should favor the hometown eleven (or twelve, if you believe in the power of the home crowd, which most do), leaving little doubt over what will occur the following week in that very same venue: an NFC Championship bout with either the hated 49ers or the less-hated Panthers.
Until a referee starts the clock and a football takes flight from the runway of a strategically-placed kicking tee, fans will sit here and stew, anxiously awaiting a moment that seems farther and farther away despite getting nearer and nearer with each passing second. Twitching and shaking we idle at our desks, in our cars, on our sofas, and endure this delay like a child hopped up on sugar sent to his room for misbehaving.
The aggravation builds, the tension rises and falls with every breath, the seconds turn to minutes turn to hours. And as we quietly rumble through the passing moments, we seek outlets for our simmering anxiety. Those outlets, though, they’re insufficient. Seahawks fans have taxed every avenue of repurposed unease in recent days. It has been entertaining at times, boring at others. The end results of compounded apprehension have been good, bad, and ugly. Mostly ugly.
Rest assured, we really need the Seahawks to play a football game. Because in lieu of action, here are a few ways we’ve been spending our free time.
1. We have made every joke there is to make about the geographically-imprecise location of a Fife-based billboard advertising the San Francisco 49ers’ five Super Bowl trophies.
How many titles do the 49ers have? One, two, three, four, FIFE!
Why is the 49ers’ billboard so unfair? Because Fife will never have an NFL team to win a Super Bowl.
Do you have a joke of your own about the unfortunate placement of this billboard funded entirely by sensitive-yet-moronic San Francisco football fans? Have you been saving it to deploy at just the right moment? Well you may as well have been collecting baseball cards, because chances are your wisecrack is now worthless.
If you haven’t gotten your “that billboard is in Fife, you idiots” one-liner in by now, it’s very likely that someone else has already done so on your behalf. Seemingly every quip has been uttered, beaten, and dragged through the mud a thousand times since the digital “billboard” (it’s a screen that occasionally flashes in rotation with a bunch of other advertisements, so call it what you want) was paid for by a group of Niners faithful. It’s reached the point that people don’t even laugh anymore when you show them on a map the 30-mile divide separating Seattle from the location of the ad. The billboard, it seems, has achieved that all-important pinnacle of a bad idea’s evolution: apathy.
2. We have heard way too many new songs that include references to the Seahawks.
I blame Wiz Khalifa. His 2010 hit single Black and Yellow was purportedly about his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. Never mind the fact that at no point during his lyrical ode does he utter the words “Pittsburgh” or “Steelers,” countless musicians have followed in Khalifa’s footsteps, penning rhymes and rhythms in homage to their favorite football franchises in the three-plus years since.
Seattle is no exception, and with a multitude of aspiring-slash-struggling musicians in our fair city, dozens upon dozens of acts have attempted to capitalize on the Seahawks’ widespread popularity by releasing aptly-themed bits of aural (dis)pleasure. If you are a musician dying for attention (or a paycheck), it seems, your path to success is paved in shades of blue and green.
Problem is, most of these songs suck. They suck bad. And they’re written by no-talent ass-clowns who should give up a crumbling dream and take on full-time hours and the prospect of a middle management position at the nearest Burger King. Not all the cuts are horrible, mind you. But most leave something, or everything, to be desired.
So in vetting tunes for the playoff run, be sure you’re being selective. You love the Seahawks, everyone understands that, but you don’t need to post or re-post links to lazy works of art on YouTube simply because those music videos include references to your favorite football team. I like tits and ass, but you don’t see me linking to every cut that references boobies and badonk. Use good judgment. The world will be a better place.
3. We have over-Photoshopped and over-memed.
You have a picture of something, anything. You took the picture, opened it up in Photoshop, slapped a Seahawks-related image on it, hit “Save,” and uploaded your unique creation to the world wide web. Your friend saw that picture. He told one of his friends about it, who told one of her friends about it, who told three more friends, who told six more friends, and all of a sudden you’ve done it, you’ve gone viral. Now everyone is under the impression that there actually is a 12th Man flag on the moon, all because you pieced together two unrelated images so deftly that it has to be real, I mean just look at it, that is clearly not Photoshopped.
This is a trend. For every fifty Seahawks fans that don’t know the difference between Photoshop and Print Shop (remember Print Shop?) there is one enlightened individual who can brilliantly craft any foreground to any background and vice versa, leaving nothing to the imagination because to see it is to believe it.
But even if you can’t Photoshop, you can probably meme. Meme generators pollute the web like sex pill ads, popping up by the millions upon simply Googling “meme.” The formula is ridiculously uncomplicated. Upload an image. Add text to the top of the image. Add text to the bottom of the image. Click “Create.” Done. Your text doesn’t even have to be inspiring or particularly humorous. It will still show up in big, white block lettering. It will still appear in goofy, irreverent fashion. It will still make the rounds on social media if you want it to. And then you’ll be the guy that created that one meme that everybody saw, even if they saw it and didn’t care for it. You’ll be the guy. That could be you.
You won’t be able to suit up and play for your beloved Seahawks. But damn it, thanks to your image manipulation skills, you will contribute to the playoff run.
4. We have dissected every last goddamn statistic.
The football nerds. Someone save the football nerds. After a week-and-a-half with no game film to analyze, they’re going crazy looking for material to break down. Are you interested in how the Seahawks perform on third downs in the fourth quarter when the temperature is exactly 44-degrees Fahrenheit? You could be. What about how the defense performs between the hours of 2:25 p.m. Pacific Time and 2:45 p.m. Pacific Time? We’ve reached a new level of analysis that can only be appreciated by the most diehard of all diehards. There is nothing left to scrutinize, nothing left to inspect.
I liken this to that one commercial from days gone by when a wayward middle-aged man slumped miserably before a computer screen, made one last click of his mouse, and was greeted with an ominous response from the speakers on his machine: “You’ve reached the end of the internet. Please go back.” How much has that man seen, we all thought. How much weird shit did he have to wade through to get to this point? Does his wife know? Has he been fired from his job yet? How is he not in jail? There were so many questions, most of which began with “How” and “Why.”
This is where we’re at in our analysis of the Seahawks. Numbers and words mean nothing anymore. The team needs to play. Just play. Play already! Play a game, save the nerds.
5. We’ve been fighting about stupid, stupid stuff.
You’re not a real fan. Do you even know who Michael Sinclair is? I bet you don’t. Have you heard of Cortez Kennedy or Dave Krieg? Can you even spell “Krieg”? Name five players on the offense whose last names aren’t Lynch or Wilson. You’re not a true Seahawks fan. You don’t deserve this team.
The absence of game action has forced fans to out-fan one another. Who’s the fanniest of all fans? Let’s find out by tickle fighting one another over social media until someone breaks and admits defeat. Let’s get upset over the economics of who gets game tickets and who doesn’t, over who deserves to be there and who doesn’t, over third-party resellers (just get out of the ticket-selling business, StubHub! GOD!), over supply and demand, and over just about anything else one could possibly get upset about.
As soon as kickoff hits, we’ll stop this madness. The game itself is a pacifier of sorts for the crazed fanatics we’ve become. Instead of fighting over useless nonsense, we’ll be fighting over the offensive play-calling (hashtag, FireBevell), or about the proper juxtaposition of the vast array of consonants in “Hauschka.” Regardless, we won’t be pretentious pricks for at least three hours on Saturday, and that’s a good thing. Until the game ends. And we have a championship for which to prepare. And this all begins anew.