I went out for a jog around my neighborhood yesterday afternoon around 4:00. About halfway through I started to get that eerie “it’s quiet … a little too quiet …” feeling. There were no pedestrians on the sidewalks, no cars on the street. It wasn’t until I realized that the windows of every house on the block were flashing in blue-white synchronization that I started to remember. A big TV event? Something about a sport, or something?
Ah yes. That. How could I have forgotten.
Actually, forgetting hadn’t been difficult at all, as I have never cared about football. Honestly, I don’t care about any sports, but at least I have friends who are fans of the Seattle Mariners and the Seattle Sonics, and keep me somewhat abreast of the baseball and basketball season. But as I only have one person in my circle of acquaintances that is enthusiastic about football — and the only team she follows is the Green Bay Packers — it’s perhaps unsurprising that I was out trotting around, blissfully ignorant about The Biggest Football Game In Seattle History.
When I got back home I turned on the TV to see the status of the game. I still didn’t care, but it was like checking the weather. I wanted to see if the 14-day forecast for Seattle showed dark clouds of Football Fandom amassing on Seattle’s horizon, or whether we would dodge that particular storm.
Incredibly, the former appeared to be the case. The Seattle Seahawks were leading the Mumble* Panthers 27-7 in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship. (* I’m embarrassed† to admit I don’t even know where the Panthers hail from.) († I’m not actually embarassed.)
Without turning off the TV I left the room for a few minutes. When I returned, The Queen was stationed in front of the television, gawping in amazement. “The Seahawks are going to the Superbowl!” she shouted with what sounded suspiciously like real enthusiasm. My god, I though, they’ve already got my wife!
Anyhow, it appears that Seattle has abruptly become A Town That Gives A Rats Ass About Football, and everyone is now scrambling to prove that they were fans waaaaay before last weekend. Fortunately, I was able to unearth this photo, demonstrating that, at at least on point in my life, (I / my father) cared enough about the team to (wear a piece of Seahawks-related apparel / dress me in a piece of Seahawks-related apparel for picture day). PUT THAT IN YOUR ENDZONE AND, um, TACKLE IT, YOU BANDWAGON HOPPING JOHNNY-COME-LATELYS!
Of course, now I am on the horns of a real dilemma. Because even as a kid, I didn’t really care about football, except insofar as it was expected of me. So while I publicly pledged allegiance to the Seahawks, I secretly rooted for another team, from another state entirely. Why were they my favorites and not the Seahawks? Simple: they had the coolest looking helmets in the league.
That team was the Stealers — and that’s who the Seahawks will face on February 5, 2006, in the Superbowl. What’s a fair-weather fan to do?
Update: I have been informed that the actual name of our rival is “the Steelers.” Wha-?! The other reason I liked them as a kid was because they had a cool, rougey name, like the Raiders and the Pirates. Now I learn that they are named after a metal alloy? GO SEAHAWKS!!